Game-Based Approaches' Pedagogical Principles: Exploring Task Constraints in Youth Soccer

This study tested the use of two pedagogical principles of Game-based approaches, representation and exaggeration, in the context of game performance of U10 soccer players. Twenty-one players participated in two 3 vs. 3 small-sided games. The first small-sided game was modified by representation. The second small-sided game was modified by enhancing the penetration of the defense tactical problem for invasion games. Decision-making and execution were assessed using the Game Performance Evaluation Tool. No significant differences were observed between games in the number of decision-making units related to keeping possession, nor in those related to penetrating the defense. No significant differences were observed in any execution ability (ball control, passing, dribbling and get free movements). The findings suggested that both games could provide similar degeneracy processes to the players for skill acquisition (specific and contextualized task constraints in which they could develop their game performance and the capability to achieve different outcomes in varying contexts). Probably both games had similar learner-environment dynamics leading players to develop their capabilities for adapting their behaviours to the changing performance situations. More research is necessary, from the ecological dynamics point of view, to determine how we should use small-sided games in Game-based approaches.

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