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Modifying Games for Improved Aerobic Fitness and Skill Acquisition in Youth

Cronin, John PhD; Harrison, Craig PhD; Lloyd, Rhodri S. PhD, CSCS*D; Spittle, Michael PhD

Strength & Conditioning Journal: April 2017 - Volume 39 - Issue 2 - p 82–88
doi: 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000283
Article

ABSTRACT: BY COMBINING TECHNICAL AND TACTICAL GAME COMPONENTS WITH APPROPRIATE PHYSICAL LOADING, MODIFIED GAMES CAN PROVIDE AN IDEAL ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUNG ATHLETES TO DEVELOP AEROBIC FITNESS, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME ACCUMULATE PRECIOUS HOURS OF TECHNICAL SKILLS DEVELOPMENT. FURTHERMORE, MODIFIED GAMES PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR PLAYERS TO DEVELOP THEIR DECISION-MAKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS UNDER STRESSFUL PHYSICAL LOADS, WHICH ARE CRITICAL FACTORS IN SUCCESSFUL LONG-TERM PLAYER DEVELOPMENT. THIS ARTICLE DISCUSSES THOSE CONSTRAINTS BELIEVED IMPORTANT IN OPTIMIZING AEROBIC FITNESS AND SKILL ACQUISITION IN YOUTH USING A MODIFIED GAMES APPROACH. FOR A VIDEO ABSTRACT DESCRIBING THIS ISSUE, SEE VIDEO, SUPPLEMENTAL DIGITAL CONTENT 1, HTTP://LINKS.LWW.COM/SCJ/A203.

1AUT Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand;

2School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia;

3AUT Millennium Athlete Development, Auckland, New Zealand;

4Youth Physical Development Unit, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, United Kingdom; and

5Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL), Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia

Address correspondence to Dr. John Cronin, john.cronin@aut.ac.nz.

Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: The authors report no conflicts of interest and no source of funding.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (http://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj).

John Cronin is a professor in Strength and Conditioning, AUT University and an adjunct professor, Edith Cowan University.

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Craig Harrison is the director of Athlete Development, AUT Millennium.

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Rhodri S. Lloyd is a senior lecturer in strength and conditioning and chair of the Youth Physical Development Unit, Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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Michael Spittle is an associate professor in Motor Learning and Physical Education and the discipline group leader of Physical Education, Heath, and Sport Coaching, Victoria University.

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© 2017 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association