Small-sided games present an effective training stimulus in Gaelic football
The amateur status and the consequential time demands of players requires an appreciation of training strategies which best serves the development of technical skill as well as the attainment of desired fitness levels. The most obvious means of inducing appropriate exercise stress that is compatible with Gaelic football match play is by replication of game play in the training setting. In soccer, small-sided games (SSGs) provide an equal physiological training stimuli compared to classic interval training (Reilly and White, 2005). It is believed SSGs replicate the movement patterns, physiological intensity and technical requirements of competitive match-play (Gabbett and Mulvey, 2008). However, the efficacy of SSGs for Gaelic football preparation and conditioning remains unknown. The purpose of this current study then was to assess the effects of eight weeks of SSGs training on the anthropometric and physiological performance of sub-elite Gaelic footballers. 2. METHODS Seventeen sub-elite (club) Gaelic football players (Mean ± SD: age: 26 ± 4 yrs; stature: 180 ± 6.8 cm) participated in the study. Anthropometric measurements were taken prior to fitness testing and made in accordance with the standards of the
International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK). Wholebody fat mass was estimated by measuring the thickness of subcutaneous fat tissue in millimetres at four sites (biceps, triceps, subscapular and suprailiac) using Harpenden skin-fold calipers (Harpenden Instruments Ltd, England). The percentage body fat was calculated from the sum of the four skinfolds using the equation of Durnin and Womersley (1974).