Enhancing anaerobic endurance in football players: A comparative study of 3-a-side and 5-a-side small-sided games



  • Ketut Chandra Adinata Kusuma Department of Sport Coaching Education, Faculty of Sport and Health, Universitas Pendidikan Ganesha, Singaraja, Indonesia
  • I Wayan Artanayasa Department of Physical Education, Health, and Recreation, Faculty of Sport and Health, Universitas Pendidikan Ganesha, Singaraja, Indonesia
  • I Ketut Sudiana Department of Sport Science, Faculty of Sport and Health, Universitas Pendidikan Ganesha, Singaraja, Indonesia
  • Alex Aldha Yudi Departement of Sport Coaching, Faculty of Sport Science, Universitas Negeri Padang, Padang, Indonesia


Anaerobic endurance, football, small-sided games, 3-a-side, 5-a-side


The demands of modern football are to play at a high tempo for two 45-minute games or more. Aerobic endurance, power, maximum speed, and acceleration are not enough for today players. The purpose of this study was to reveal the impact of 3-a-side and 5-a-side small-sided games (SSGs) on increasing anaerobic endurance. This study employed a quasi-experimental design with a pretest-posttest group design involving 40 young football players who were randomly assigned to practice 3-a-side and 5-a-side for 4 weeks. Before and after carrying out the 4-week training, a Repeat Sprint Ability Test (RSAT) was performed to measure anaerobic endurance. The paired sample t-test was used to determine whether there was an effect of the exercise, and the independent sample t-test was used to see whether there was a difference in the results between the two groups at the 1% significance level. Before carrying out the parametric test, the data were first tested for normality using Kolmogorov-Smirnova and for homogeneity using Levene's. It was revealed that 3-a-side and 5-a-side SSGs were both capable of increasing anaerobic endurance, but there was no significant difference between the two groups. It can be concluded that anaerobic endurance can be increased within four weeks by using these two methods. The recommendations from this study are to conduct a randomized controlled trial with a larger and more diverse sample to validate and extend these findings. Further studies also need to explore the effects of SSGs exercise on anaerobic endurance over a longer exercise period and in different age groups to gain a more comprehensive understanding.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Ketut Chandra Adinata Kusuma, Department of Sport Coaching Education, Faculty of Sport and Health, Universitas Pendidikan Ganesha, Singaraja, Indonesia

Email: [email protected]



I Wayan Artanayasa, Department of Physical Education, Health, and Recreation, Faculty of Sport and Health, Universitas Pendidikan Ganesha, Singaraja, Indonesia

Email: [email protected]



I Ketut Sudiana, Department of Sport Science, Faculty of Sport and Health, Universitas Pendidikan Ganesha, Singaraja, Indonesia

Email: [email protected]



Alex Aldha Yudi, Departement of Sport Coaching, Faculty of Sport Science, Universitas Negeri Padang, Padang, Indonesia

Email: [email protected]




Aguiar, M. V.D., Botelho, G. M. A., Gonçalves, B. S. V., & Sampaio, J. E. (2013). Physiological Responses and Activity Profiles of Football Small-Sided Games. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 27(5), 1287–1294. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e318267a35c

Ariani, L. P. T. A., Sudiana, I. K., & Kusuma, K. C. A. (2022). Continuous and Competitive Circuit Training: Methods to Increase VO2max on Young Badminton Player. Journal Sport Area, 7(2), 236–245. https://doi.org/10.25299/sportarea.2022.vol7(2).9423

Arslan, E., Orer, G. E., & Clemente, F. M. (2020). Running-Based High-Intensity Interval Training vs. Small-Sided Game Training Programs: Effects on the Physical Performance, Psychophysiological Responses and Technical Skills in Young Soccer Players. Biology of Sport, 37(2), 165–173. https://doi.org/10.5114/biolsport.2020.94237

Arslan, E., Soylu, Y., Clemente, F. M., Hazir, T., Isler, A. K., & Kilit, B. (2021). Short-Term Effects of On-Field Combined Core Strength and Small-Sided Games Training on Physical Performance in Young Soccer Players. Biology of Sport, 38(4), 609–616. https://doi.org/10.5114/biolsport.2021.102865

Barbero-Álvarez, J. C., Pedro, R. E., & Nakamura, F. Y. (2013). Validity of a Repeated-Sprint Ability Test in Young Soccer Players. Science and Sports, 28(5). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scispo.2012.12.003

Barnes, C., Archer, D. T., Hogg, B., Bush, M., & Bradley, P. S. (2014). The Evolution of Physical and Technical Performance Parameters in The English Premier League. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 35(13), 1095–1100. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0034-1375695

Berrezokhy, F., Gustian, U., & Puspitawati, I. D. (2020). Analisis Kemampuan Fisik Atlet Tinju Amatir Kalimantan Barat. Jurnal Pendidikan Olahraga, 9(1), 109. https://doi.org/10.31571/jpo.v9i1.1753

Bompa, T. O., & Buzzichelli, C. A. (2019). Periodization: Theory and Methodology of Training (R. W. Earle (ed.); Sixth Edit). Human Kinetics.

Bush, M., Barnes, C., Archer, D. T., Hogg, B., & Bradley, P. S. (2015). Evolution of Match Performance Parameters for Various Playing Positions in the English Premier League. Human Movement Science, 39, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.humov.2014.10.003

Castillo, D., Raya-González, J., Manuel Clemente, F., & Yanci, J. (2020). The Influence of Youth Soccer Players’ Sprint Performance on the Different Sided Games’ External Load using GPS Devices. Research in Sports Medicine, 28(2), 194–205. https://doi.org/10.1080/15438627.2019.1643726

Chandra, K. C. A. K., Artanayasa, I. W., & Mashuri, H. (2022). League 3 of Indonesia Bali Zone: Shots and Patterns of Scoring a Goal. Journal Sport Area, 7(2), 204–213. https://doi.org/10.25299/sportarea.2022.vol7(2).9464

Clemente, F., Praça, G. M., Aquino, R., Castillo, D., Raya-González, J., Rico-González, M., Afonso, J., Sarmento, H., Filipa Silva, A., Silva, R., & Ramirez-Campillo, R. (2023). Effects of Pitch Size on Soccer Players’ Physiological, Physical, Technical, and Tactical Responses during Small-Sided Games: A Meta-Analytical Comparison. Biology of Sport, 40(1), 111–147. https://doi.org/10.5114/biolsport.2023.110748

Cunningham, D. J., Shearer, D. A., Carter, N., Drawer, S., Pollard, B., Bennett, M., Eager, R., Cook, C. J., Farrell, J., Russell, M., & Kilduff, L. P. (2018). Assessing Worst Case Scenarios in Movement Demands Derived from Global Positioning Systems during International Rugby Union Matches: Rolling Averages Versus Fixed Length Epochs. PLoS ONE, 13(4), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0195197

Danurwindo, Ganesha, P., Sidik, B., & Prahara, J. L. (2017). Kurikulum Pembinaan Sepakbola Indonesia. Persatuan Sepakbola Seluruh Indonesia.

de Dios-Álvarez, V., Suárez-Iglesias, D., Bouzas-Rico, S., Alkain, P., González-Conde, A., & Ayán-Pérez, C. (2023). Relationships Between RPE-Derived Internal Training Load Parameters and GPS-Based External Training Load Variables in Elite Young Soccer Players. Research in Sports Medicine, 31(1), 58–73. https://doi.org/10.1080/15438627.2021.1937165

Delaney, J. A., Thornton, H. R., Rowell, A. E., Dascombe, B. J., Aughey, R. J., & Duthie, G. M. (2018). Modelling the Decrement in Running Intensity within Professional Soccer Players. Science and Medicine in Football, 2(2), 86–92. https://doi.org/10.1080/24733938.2017.1383623

Dolci, F., Hart, N. H., Kilding, A., Chivers, P., Piggott, B., & Spiteri, T. (2018). Movement Economy in Soccer: Current Data and Limitations. Sports, 6(4), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports6040124

Dolci, F., Hart, N. H., Kilding, A. E., Chivers, P., Piggott, B., & Spiteri, T. (2020). Physical and Energetic Demand of Soccer: A Brief Review. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 42(3), 70–77. https://doi.org/10.1519/ssc.0000000000000533

Doncaster, G., Page, R., White, P., Svenson, R., & Twist, C. (2020). Analysis of Physical Demands During Youth Soccer Match-Play: Considerations of Sampling Method and Epoch Length. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 91(2), 326–334. https://doi.org/10.1080/02701367.2019.1669766

Donie, D., Kiram, Y., Hermanzoni, H., & Edmizal, E. (2021). The Effectiveness of Footwork Exercises with the HIIT Method in Developing VO2max and Anaerobic Capacity. AL-ISHLAH: Jurnal Pendidikan, 13(2), 998–1005. https://doi.org/10.35445/alishlah.v13i2.803

Hadi, & Yudhistira, D. (2023). High-Intensity Interval Training Method in Karate Athletes: Can it Improve Power, Agility, and Endurance in the Kumite Category?. Journal Sport Area, 8(1), 43–51. https://doi.org/10.25299/sportarea.2023.vol8(1).10656

Halouani, J., Ghattasi, K., Bouzid, M. A., Rosemann, T., Nikolaidis, P. T., Chtourou, H., & Knechtle, B. (2019). Physical and Physiological Responses during the Stop-Ball Rule during Small-Sided Games in Soccer Players. Sports, 7(5), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7050117

Jeffreys, I. (2019). The Warm-Up: Maximize Performance And Improve Long-Term Athletic Development. Human Kinetics.

Karahan, M. (2020). Effect of Skill-Based Training vs. Small-Sided Games on Physical Performance Improvement in Young Soccer Players. Biology of Sport, 37(3), 305–312. https://doi.org/10.5114/biolsport.2020.96319

Kinnunen, J.-V., Piitulainen, H., & Piirainen, J. M. (2019). Neuromuscular Adaptations To Short-Term High-Intensity Interval training In Female Ice-Hockey Players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 33(2), 479–485. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000001881

Koklu, Y., Sert, O., Alemdaroglu, U., & Arslan, Y. (2015). Comparison of The Physiological Responses And Time-Motion Characteristics of Young Soccer Players in Small-Sided Games: The Effect of Goalkeeper. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 29(4), 964–971. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182a744a1

Kunz, P., Engel, F. A., Holmberg, H. C., & Sperlich, B. (2019). A Meta-Comparison of the Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training to Those of Small-Sided Games and Other Training Protocols on Parameters Related to the Physiology and Performance of Youth Soccer Players. Sports Medicine - Open, 5(7), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40798-019-0180-5

Kusuma, K. C. A., & Kardiawan, I. K. H. (2018). The Effect of Touch of The Ball in Small Side Games on The Improvement Vo2max Amateur Football Players. ACTIVE: Journal of Physical Education, Sport, Health and Recreation, 7(3), 128–132. https://doi.org/10.15294/active.v7i3.26496

Leontijević, B., Janković, A., & Tomić, L. (2019). Attacking Performance Profile of Football Teams in Different National Leagues According To Uefa Rankings for Club Competitions. Facta Universitatis, Series: Physical Education and Sport, 16(3), 697–708. https://doi.org/10.22190/fupes180404062l

Lopes-Silva, J. P., Ferreira Da Silva Santos, J., Abbiss, C. R., & Franchini, E. (2019). Measurement Properties and Feasibility of Repeated Sprint Ability Test: A Systematic Review. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 41(6), 41–61. https://doi.org/10.1519/SSC.0000000000000495

Malone, J. J., Lovell, R., Varley, M. C., & Coutts, A. J. (2017). Unpacking the Black Box: Applications and Considerations for using GPS Devices in Sport. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 12(2), 18–26. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2016-0236

Mara, J. K., Thompson, K. G., Pumpa, K. L., & Ball, N. B. (2015). Periodization and Physical Performance in Elite Female Soccer Players. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 10(5), 664–669. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2014-0345

Metaxas, T. I. (2021). Match Running Performance of Elite Soccer Players: V̇o2max and Players Position Influences. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 35(1), 162–168. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000002646

Mexis, D., Nomikos, T., & Kostopoulos, N. (2022). Effect of Pre-Season Training on Physiological and Biochemical Indices in Basketball Players-A Systematic Review. Sports, 10(6), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060085

Modric, T., Versic, S., Sekulic, D., & Liposek, S. (2019). Analysis of the Association between Running Performance and Game Performance Indicators in Professional Soccer Players. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(20), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16204032

Moran, J., Blagrove, R. C., Drury, B., Fernandes, J. F. T., Paxton, K., Chaabene, H., & Ramirez-Campillo, R. (2019). Effects of Small-Sided Games vs. Conventional Endurance Training on Endurance Performance in Male Youth Soccer Players: A Meta-Analytical Comparison. Sports Medicine, 49(5), 731–742. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-019-01086-w

Nosek, P., Brownlee, T. E., Drust, B., & Andrew, M. (2021). Feedback of GPS Training Data within Professional English Soccer: A Comparison of Decision Making and Perceptions between Coaches, Players and Performance Staff. Science and Medicine in Football, 5(1), 35–47. https://doi.org/10.1080/24733938.2020.1770320

Núñez, F. J., Toscano-Bendala, F. J., Suarez-Arrones, L., Martínez-Cabrera, F. I., & De Hoyo, M. (2018). Individualized Thresholds to Analyze Acceleration Demands in Soccer Players using GPS (Umbrales Individualizados Para Analizar Las Demandas En La Aceleración En Futbolistas Usando GPS). Retos, 2041(35), 75–79. https://doi.org/10.47197/retos.v0i35.60402

Racinais, S., Cocking, S., & Périard, J. D. (2017). Sports and Environmental Temperature: from Warming-Up to Heating-Up. Temperature, 4(3), 227–257. https://doi.org/10.1080/23328940.2017.1356427

Rivilla-García, J., Calvo, L. C., Jiménez-Rubio, S., Paredes-Hernández, V., Muñoz, A., Tillaar, R. Van Den, & Navandar, A. (2019). Characteristics of Very High Intensity Runs of Soccer Players in Relation to Their Playing Position and Playing Half in the 2013-14 Spanish la Liga Season. Journal of Human Kinetics, 66(1), 213–222. https://doi.org/10.2478/hukin-2018-0058

Runacres, A., Mackintosh, K. A., & McNarry, M. A. (2019). The Effect of Constant-Intensity Endurance Training and High-Intensity Interval Training on Aerobic and Anaerobic Parameters in Youth. Journal of Sports Sciences, 37(21), 2492–2498. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2019.1644890

Sabag, A., Little, J. P., & Johnson, N. A. (2022). Low-Volume High-Intensity Interval Training for Cardiometabolic Health. The Journal of Physiology, 600(5), 1013–1026. https://doi.org/10.1113/JP281210

Saifu, Karakauki, M., Ali, S. K. S., Mustapha, A., Muslim, B. A., Ismiyati, F., Sundara, C., Wahyuni, S., Putri, D. T., Kristiyanto, A., Pratama, K. W., Nasrulloh, A., & Yudhistira, D. (2021). The Effect of Small Game Exercise on Freestyle Swimming Speed: A Case Study of Halu Oleo University Sport Science Student. International Journal of Human Movement and Sports Sciences, 9(6), 1140–1145. https://doi.org/10.13189/saj.2021.090609

Sarmento, H., Clemente, F. M., Harper, L. D., Costa, I. T. da, Owen, A., & Figueiredo, A. J. (2018). Small Sided Games in Soccer–A Systematic Review. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 18(5), 693–749. https://doi.org/10.1080/24748668.2018.1517288

Sarto, F., Stashuk, D. W., Franchi, M. V., Monti, E., Zampieri, S., Valli, G., Sirago, G., Candia, J., Hartnell, L. M., Paganini, M., McPhee, J. S., De Vito, G., Ferrucci, L., Reggiani, C., & Narici, M. V. (2022). Effects of Short-Term Unloading and Active Recovery on Human Motor Unit Properties, Neuromuscular Junction Transmission and Transcriptomic Profile. Journal of Physiology, 600(21), 4731–4751. https://doi.org/10.1113/JP283381

Selmi, O., Ouergui, I., Levitt, D. E., Nikolaidis, P. T., Knechtle, B., & Bouassida, A. (2020). Small-Sided Games are More Enjoyable Than High-Intensity Interval Training of Similar Exercise Intensity in Soccer. Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine, 11(1), 77–84. https://doi.org/10.2147/oajsm.s244512

Sgrò, F., Bracco, S., Pignato, S., & Lipoma, M. (2018). Small-Sided Games and Technical Skills in Soccer Training: Systematic Review and Implications for Sport and Physical Education Practitioners. Journal of Sports Science, 6(1), 9–19. https://doi.org/10.17265/2332-7839/2018.01.002

Sidik, D. Z., Pesurnay, P. L., & Afari, L. (2019). Pelatihan Kondisi Fisik (Nita (ed.); Cetakan Pe). PT. Remaja Rosdakarya.

Slimani, M., Znazen, H., Miarka, B., & Bragazzi, N. L. (2019). Maximum Oxygen Uptake of Male Soccer Players According to their Competitive Level, Playing Position and Age Group: Implication from a Network Meta-Analysis. Journal of Human Kinetics, 66(1), 233–245. https://doi.org/10.2478/hukin-2018-0060

Sugiyono. (2017). Metode penelitian pendidikan pendekatan kuantitatif, kualitatif dan R&D. Bandung: Alfabeta.

Sulistiyono, Andry, A., Nawan, P., Fatkurahman, A., Nurhadi, S., & Dewangga, Y. (2021). Effect of 10 Weeks Game Experience Learning (GEL) Based Training on Teamwork, Respect Attitude, Skill and Physical Ability in Young Football Players. Physical Education Theory and Methodology, 21(2), 173–179. https://doi.org/10.17309/TMFV.2021.2.11

Trewin, J., Meylan, C., Varley, M. C., & Cronin, J. (2018). The Match-to-Match Variation of Match-Running in Elite Female Soccer. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 21(2), 196–201. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2017.05.009

Turner, A. N., & Stewart, P. F. (2014). Strength and Conditioning for Soccer Players. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 36(4), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1519/SSC.0000000000000054



How to Cite

Kusuma, K. C. A., Artanayasa, I. W., Sudiana, I. K., & Yudi, A. A. (2023). Enhancing anaerobic endurance in football players: A comparative study of 3-a-side and 5-a-side small-sided games. Journal Sport Area, 8(3), 318–327. https://doi.org/10.25299/sportarea.2023.vol8(3).13150



Received 2023-06-09
Accepted 2023-08-21
Published 2023-09-01

Most read articles by the same author(s)