All Title Author
Keywords Abstract

Publish in OALib Journal
ISSN: 2333-9721
APC: Only $99


Relative Articles


From Traditional Approach to Ecological Dynamics Approach with the Italian Young Soccer Players

DOI: 10.4236/ape.2022.123016, PP. 201-216

Keywords: Ecological Dynamic, Constraints, Young Soccer Players

Full-Text   Cite this paper   Add to My Lib


The team sports are looking for a methodology capable of structuring more effectively the prerequisites necessary for the training of the future athlete/player. In recent years in the field of motor activities, methodological research has made it possible to outline new approaches aimed at involving the cognitive area together with the motor one. For many years, the demand for motor tasks in analytic form prevailed over other modes of presentation of the motor and technical task. This belief was due to linear motion patterns that were popular in motor behavior theories from the 1960s to 2000s and which somehow still prevail in current practice. However, the demands of mastering a soccer game require much more than just physical or technical skill. In fact, in sports open skills the perceptual, decisional and cognitive aspects play a very significant role in solving motor problems. This study describes the methodological paradigm change in the model of youth soccer starting in Italy, and aims to describe methods of intervention and phases that distinguish it from the traditional approach.


[1]  Abad Robles, M. T., Collado-Mateo, D., Fernández-Espínola, C., Castillo Viera, E., & Giménez Fuentes-Guerra, F. J. (2020). Effects of Teaching Games on Decision Making and Skill Execution: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, Article No. 505.
[2]  Araújo, D., Davids K., & Hristovski, R. (2006).The Ecological Dynamics of Decision Making in Sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 7, 653-676.
[3]  Araújo, D., Davids, K., & Renshaw, I. (2018). Cognition, Emotion and Action in Sport: An Ecological Dynamics Perspective. In G. Tenenbaum, & R. Eklund, (Eds.), Handbook of Sport Psychology (4th Ed., pp. 535-555). Willey.
[4]  Araújo, D., Hristovski, R., Seifert, L., Carvalho, J., & Davids, K. (2017). Ecological Cognition: Expert Decision-Making Behaviour in Sport. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 12, 1-25.
[5]  Baker, J., Côté, J., & Abernethy, B. (2003). Learning from the Experts: Practice Activities of Expert Decision Makers in Sport. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 74, 342-347.
[6]  Barba-Martín, R. A., Bores-García, D., Hortigüela-Alcalá, D., & González-Calvo, G. (2020). The Application of the Teaching Games for Understanding in Physical Education. Systematic Review of the Last Six Years. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, Article No. 3330.
[7]  Barnabé, L., Volossovitch, A., Duarte, R., Ferreira, A. P., & Davids, K. (2016). Age-Related Effects of Practice Experience on Collective Behaviours of Football Players in Small-Sided Games. Human Movement Science, 48, 74-81.
[8]  Berry, J., Abernethy, B., & Côté, J. (2008). The Contribution of Structured Activity and Deliberate Play to the Development of Expert Perceptual and Decision-Making Skill. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 30, 685-708.
[9]  Betzler, N. F., Monk, S. A., Wallace, E. S., & Otto, S. (2012). Variability in Clubhead Presentation Characteristics and Ball Impact Location for Golfers’ Drives. Journal of Sports Sciences, 30, 439-448.
[10]  Bunker, D., & Thorpe, R. (1982). A Model for the Teaching of Games in Secondary Schools. The Bulletin of Physical Education, 18, 5-8.
[11]  Busquets, A., Marina, M., Davids, K., & Angulo-Barroso, R. (2016). Differing Roles of Functional Movement Variability as Experience Increases in Gymnastics. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 15, 268-276.
[12]  Button, C., MacLeod, M., Sanders, R., & Coleman, S. (2003). Examining Movement Variability in the Basketball Free-Throw Action at Different Skill Levels. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 74, 257-269.
[13]  Cardis, M., Casadio, M., & Ranganathan, R. (2018). High Variability Impairs Motor Learning Regardless of Whether It Affects Task Performance. Journal of Neurophysiology, 119, 39-48.
[14]  Chow, J. Y., Button, C., Davids, K., & Koh, M. (2007a). Variation in Coordination of a Discrete Multiarticular Action as a Function of Skill Level. Journal of Motor Behavior, 39, 463-479.
[15]  Chow, J. Y., Davids, K., Button, C., Shuttleworth, R., Renshaw, I., & Araúo, D. (2006). Nonlinear Pedagogy: A Constraints-Led Framework to Understanding Emergence of Game Play and Skills. Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, 10, 71-103.
[16]  Chow, J. Y., Davids, K., Shuttleworth, R., Button, C., Renshaw, I., & Araújo, D. (2007b). From Processes to Principles: A Constraints-Led Approach to Teaching Games for Understanding (TGFU). Review of Educational Research, 77, 251-278.
[17]  Colella, D. (2019). Insegnamento E Apprendimento Delle Competenze Motorie. Processi E Relazioni, Formazione & Insegnamento, 17, 73-88.
[18]  Colella, D., Monacis, D., & Limone, P. (2020). Active Breaks and Motor Competencies Development in Primary School: A Systematic Review. Advances in Physical Education, 10, 233-250.
[19]  Côté, J. (1999). The Influence of the Family in the Development of Sport. The Sport Psychologist, 13, 395-416.
[20]  Côté, J., & Hay, J. (2002). Children’s Involvement in Sport: A Developmental Perspective. In J. M. Silva, & D. Stevens (Eds.), Psychological Foundations of Sport (2nd Ed., pp. 484-502). Merrill.
[21]  Côté, J., Baker, J., & Abernethy, B. (2003). From Play to Practice: A Developmental Framework for the Acquisition of Expertise in Team Sport. In J. Starkes, & K. A. Ericsson (Eds.), Expert Performance in Sports: Advances in Research on Sport Expertise (pp. 89-113). Human Kinetics.
[22]  D’Elia, F. (2020). Teachers’ Perspectives about Contents and Learning Aim of Physical Education in Italian Primary School. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 15, S279-S288.
[23]  Davids, K., Araújo, D., Correia, V., & Vilar, L. (2013). How Small-Sided and Conditioned Games Enhance Acquisition of Movement and Decision-Making Skills. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 41, 154-161.
[24]  Davids, K., Handford, C., & Williams, M. A. (1994). The Natural Physical Alternative to Cognitive Theories of Motor Behaviour: An Invitation for Interdisciplinary Research in Sports Science? Journal of Sports Sciences, 12, 495-528.
[25]  Diamond, A. (2012). Activities and Programs That Improve Children’s Executive Functions. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21, 335-341.
[26]  Diaz Del Campo, D. G., Gonzalez Villora, S., Garcia Lopez, L. M., & Mitchell, S. (2011). Differences in Decision-Making Development between Expert and Novice Invasion Game Players. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 112, 871-888.
[27]  Esposito, G., Ceruso, R., & D’Elia, F. (2019). The Importance of a Technical-Coordinative Work with Psychokinetic Elements in the Youth Sectors of Soccer Academies. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 19, 1843-1851.
[28]  Esposito, G., D’Elia, F., & Raiola, G. (2020). A Method to Promote the Development of Intelligence and Game Skills in Youth Football. Teoria Ta Metodika Fizicnogo Vihovanna, 20, 142-148.
[29]  Fenner, J. S., Iga, J., & Unnithan, V. (2016). The Evaluation of Small-Sided Games as a Talent Identification Tool in Highly Trained Prepubertal Soccer Players. Journal of Sports Sciences, 34, 1983-1990.
[30]  Ferrara, F., Izzo, R., Ceciliani, A., & Di Tore, A. P. (2019). Pilot Study on the Testing of Power Glove Applied to Volleyball. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 14, S233-S238.
[31]  García-Angulo, A., García-Angulo, F. J., Torres-Luque, G., & Ortega-Toro, E. (2019). Applying the New Teaching Methodologies in Youth Football Players: Toward a Healthier Sport. Frontiers in Physiology, 10, Article No. 121.
[32]  Giuriato, M., & Lovecchio, N. (2018). Cognitive Training in Soccer: Where Is the Key Point? Open Access Library Journal, 5, Article No. e4333.
[33]  Gonçalves, B., Folgado, H., Coutinho, D., Marcelino, R., Wong, D., Leite, N., & Sampaio, J. (2018). Changes in Effective Playing Space When Considering Sub-Groups of 3 to 10 Players in Professional Soccer Matches. Journal of Human Kinetics, 62, 145-155.
[34]  Greier, K., Drenowatz, C. , Riechelmann, H. , Ruedl, G. , Kirschner, W., & Greier, C. (2020). Longitudinal Association of Motor Development and Body Weight in Elementary School Children—A 4-Year Observational Study. Advances in Physical Education, 10, 364-377.
[35]  Handford, C., Davids, K., Bennett, S., & Button, C. (1997). Skill Acquisition in Sport: Some Applications of an Evolving Practice Ecology. Journal of Sports Sciences, 15, 621-640.
[36]  Harley, J. A., Barnes, C. A., Portas, M., Lovell, R., Barrett, S., Paul, D., & Weston, M. (2010) Motion Analysis of Match-Play in Elite U12 to U16 Age-Group Soccer Players. Journal of Sports Sciences, 28, 1391-1397.
[37]  Hiley, M. J., Zuevsky, V. V., & Yeadon, M. R. (2013). Is Skilled Technique Characterised by High or Low Variability? An Analysis of High Bar Giant Circles. Human Movement Science, 32, 171-180.
[38]  Hulteen, R. M., Morgan, P. J., Barnett, L. M., Stodden, D. F., & Lubans, D. R. (2018). Development of Foundational Movement Skills: A Conceptual Model for Physical Activity across the Lifespan. Sports Medicine, 48, Article No. 1533-1540.
[39]  Jacobs, D. M., & Michaels, C. F. (2007). Direct Learning. Ecological Psychology, 19, 321-349.
[40]  Koklu, Y., Asci, A., Kocak, F. U., Alemdaroglu, U., & Dundar, U. (2011). Comparison of the Physiological Responses to Different Small-Sided and Conditioned Games in Elite Young Soccer Players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 25, 1522-1528.
[41]  Launder, A. G., & Pilz, W. (2012). Play Practice: The Games Approach to Teaching and Coaching Sport (2nd Ed.). Human Kinetics.
[42]  López-Felip, M. A., Davis, T. J., Frank, T. D., & Dixon, J. A. (2018). A Cluster Phase Analysis for Collective Behavior in Team Sports. Human Movement Science, 59, 96-111.
[43]  Martins, D. A., Gonçalves, S., Varanda, B. S., Margarida, A., Da Eira, A. J., & Correia, N. M. (2016). Manipulating the Number of Players and Targets in Team Sports. Small-Sided and Conditioned Games during Physical Education Classes. Revista de Psicología del Deporte, 25, 169-177.
[44]  Memmert, D., & Perl, J. (2005). Game Intelligence Analysis by Means of a Combination of Variance-Analysis and Neural Networks. International Journal of Computer Science in Sport, 4, 29-38.
[45]  Memmert, D., & Perl, J. (2009a). Analysis and Simulation of Creativity Learning by Means of Artificial Neural Networks. Human Movement Science, 28, 263-282.
[46]  Memmert, D., & Perl, J. (2009b). Game Creativity Analysis by Means of Neural Networks. Journal of Sport Science, 27, 139-149.
[47]  Memmert, D., & Roth, K. (2007). The Effects of Non-Specific and Specific Concepts on Tactical Creativity in Team Ball Sports. Journal of Sports Sciences, 25, 1423-1432.
[48]  Mesquita, I., Farias, C., & Hastie, P. (2012). The Impact of a Hybrid Sport Education-Invasion Games Competence Model Soccer Unit on Students’ Decision Making, Skill Execution and Overall Game Performance. European Physical Education Review, 18, 205-219.
[49]  Nunes N. A., Gonçalves, B., Sj Fenner, J., Owen, A. L., & Travassos, B. (2021a). Exploration of the Age-Category Soccer Performance Effects during Ball Possession Small-Sided Games. Journal of Human Kinetics, 80, 251-262.
[50]  Nunes, N. A., Gonçalves, B., Davids, K., Esteves, P., & Travassos, B. (2021b). How Manipulation of Playing Area Dimensions in Ball Possession Games Constrains Physical Effort and Technical Actions in Under-11, Under-15 and Under-23 Soccer Players. Research in Sports Medicine (Print), 29, 170-184.
[51]  Passos, P., Araújo, D., & Davids, K. (2013). Self-Organization Processes in Field-Invasion Team Sports: Implications for Leadership. Sports Medicine, 43, 1-7.
[52]  Pizarro, A. P., García-González, L., Cortés, á. M., Moreno-Arroyo, M. P., & Domínguez, A. M. (2016). Aplicación de un Programa de Intervención Para Mejorar la Comprensión Táctica en Fútbol Sala: Un Estudio En Contexto Educativo. Movimento, 22, 51-62.
[53]  Práxedes, A., Del Villar álvarez, F., Moreno, A., Gil-Arias, A., & Davids, K. (2019). Effects of a Nonlinear Pedagogy Intervention Programme on the Emergent Tactical Behaviours of Youth Footballers. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 24, 332-343.
[54]  Práxedes, A., Moreno, A., Gil-Arias, A., Claver, F., & Del Villar, F. (2018). The Effect of Small-Sided Games with Different Levels of Opposition on the Tactical Behaviour of Young Footballers with Different Levels of Sport Expertise. PLOS ONE, 13, Article ID: e0190157.
[55]  Práxedes, A., Moreno, A., Sevil, J., García-González, L., & Del Villar, F. (2016). A Preliminary Study of the Effects of a Comprehensive Teaching Program, Based on Questioning, to Improve Tactical Actions in Young Footballers. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 122, 742-756.
[56]  Raiola, G. (2014). Motor Control and Learning Skills According to Cognitive and Ecological Dynamic Approach in a Vision on Behaviorism, Cognitive, Gestalt and Phenomenology Theories. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 15, 504-506.
[57]  Raiola, G. (2017). Motor Learning and Teaching Method. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 17, Article No. 236.
[58]  Raiola, G., & Tafuri, D. (2015). Teaching Method of Physical Education and Sports by Prescriptive or Heuristic Learning. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 10, S377-S384.
[59]  Ranganathan, R., Lin, M., Carey, S., Lokesh, R., Lee, M. H., & Krishnan, C. (2021). Motor Variability Prior to Learning Does Not Facilitate the Ability to Adopt New Movement Solutions. Neuroscience, 479, 157-168.
[60]  Rendell, M. A., Masters, R. S., Farrow, D., & Morris, T. (2011). An Implicit Basis for the Retention Benefits of Random Practice. Journal of Motor Behavior, 43, 1-13.
[61]  Renshaw, I. J., Chow, Y., Davids, K., & Hammond, J. (2010). A Constraints-Led Perspective to Understanding Skill Acquisition and Game Play: A Basis for Integration of Motor Learning Theory and Physical Education Praxis? Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 15, 117-137.
[62]  Renshaw, I., Araújo, D., Button, C., Chow, J. Y., Davids, K., & Moy B. (2015). Why the Constraints-Led Approach Is Not Teaching Games for Understanding: A Clarification. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 21, 459-480.
[63]  Renshaw, I., Davids, K., Araújo, D., Lucas, A., Roberts, W. M., Newcombe, D. J., & Franks, B. (2019). Evaluating Weaknesses of “Perceptual Cognitive Training” and “Brain Training” Methods in Sport: An Ecological Dynamics Critique. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, Article No. 2468.
[64]  Ribeiro, J., Davids, K., Araújo, D., Guilherme, J., Silva, P., & Garganta, J. (2019). Exploiting Bi-Directional Self-Organizing Tendencies in Team Sports: The Role of the Game Model and Tactical Principles of Play. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, Article No. 2213.
[65]  Rietveld, E., & Kiverstein, J. (2014). A Rich Landscape of Affordances. Ecological Psychology, 26, 325-352.
[66]  Sannicandro, I., Piccinno, A., Rosa, R. A., & Cofano, G. (2021). Analysis of the External and Internal Load in 4vs4 Large Sided Games: Differences between Fields of Different Sizes. International Journal of Human Movement and Sports Sciences, 9, 1470-1476.
[67]  Sannicandro, I. (2020). Ecological Dynamics Approach in the Youth Soccer: A Short Narrative Review. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 15, S1133-S1139.
[68]  Sannicandro, I., & Cofano, G. (2019). Small-Sided Games 2. Edizioni Correre.
[69]  Savelsbergh, G. J. P., & Wormhoudt, R. (2019). Creating Adaptive Athletes: The Athletic Skills Model for Enhancing Physical Literacy as a Foundation for Expertise. Movement & Sport Sciences - Science & Motricité, No. 102, 31-38.
[70]  Seifert, L., Papet, V., Strafford, B. W., Coughlan, E. K., & Davids, K. (2019). Skill Transfer, Expertise and Talent Development: An Ecological Dynamics Perspective. Movement & Sport Sciences - Science & Motricité, No. 102, 39-49.
[71]  Serra-Olivares, J., González-Víllora, S., García-López, L. M., & Araújo, D. (2015). Game-Based Approaches’ Pedagogical Principles: Exploring Task Constraints in Youth Soccer. Journal of Human Kinetics, 46, 251-261.
[72]  Severino, N. C., Cassese, F. P., Ceciliani, A., D’Elia, F., & Di Tore, A. P. (2019). Psychophysical Benefits of Recreational Five-a-Side Football. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 14, S206-S214.
[73]  Sgrò, F., & Lipoma, M. (2016). Technical Performance Profiles in the European Football Championship 2016. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 16, 1304-1309.
[74]  Sgrò, F., & Lipoma, M. (2019). Riflessioni Sull’utilizzo Dei Tactical Games Model Nella Scuola Primaria. Formazione & Insegnamento, 17, 193-205.
[75]  Sgrò, F., Aiello, F., Casella, A., & Lipoma, M. (2017). The Effects of Match-Playing Aspects and Situational Variables on Achieving Score-Box Possessions in Euro 2012 Football Championship. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 12, 58-72.
[76]  Sgrò, F., Quinto, A., Platania, F., & Lipoma, M. (2019). Assessing the Impact of a Physical Education Project Based on Games Approach on the Actual Motor Competence of Primary School Children. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 19, 781-786.
[77]  Silva, A. F., Conte, D., & Clemente, F. M. (2020). Decision-Making in Youth Team-Sports Players: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, Article No. 3803.
[78]  Silva, P., Travassos, B., Vilar, L., Aguiar, P., Davids, K., Araújo, D., & Garganta, J. (2014). Numerical Relations and Skill Level Constrain Co-Adaptive Behaviors of Agents in Sports Teams. PLOS ONE, 9, Article ID: e107112.
[79]  Stolz, S., & Pill, S. (2014). Teaching Games and Sport for Understanding: Exploring and Reconsidering Its Relevance in Physical Education. European Physical Education Review, 20, 36-71.
[80]  Stuhr, C., Hughes, C. M. L., & Stöckel, T. (2018). Task-Specifc and Variability Driven Activation of Cognitive Control Processes during Motor Performance. Scientific Report, 8, Article No. 10811.
[81]  Tan, S., Wright, S., McNeill, M., Fry, J., & Tan, C. (2002). Implementing the Games Concept Approach in Singapore Schools: A Preliminary Report. REACT, 21, 77-84.
[82]  Thorpe, R. (2005). Rod Thorpe on Teaching Games for Understanding. In L. Kidman (Ed.), Athlete-Centred Coaching: Developing Inspired and Inspiring People (pp. 229-243). Innovative Print Communication Ltd.
[83]  Wang, M., & Wang, L. (2018). Teaching Games for Understanding Intervention to Promote Physical Activity among Secondary School Students. BioMed Research International, 2018, Article ID: 3737595.
[84]  Withagen, R., Araújo, D., & De Poel, H. J. (2017). Inviting Affordances and Agency. New Ideas in Psychology, 45, 11-18.
[85]  Withagen, R., De Poel, H. J., Araújo, D., & Pepping, G. (2012). Affordances Can Invite Behavior: Reconsidering the Relationship between Affordances and Agency. New Ideas in Psychology, 30, 250-258.
[86]  Woods, C. T., McKeown, I., O’Sullivan, M., Robertson, S., & Davids, K. (2020a). Theory to Practice: Performance Preparation Models in Contemporary High-Level Sport Guided by an Ecological Dynamics Framework. Sports Medicine - Open, 6, Article No. 36.
[87]  Woods, C. T., McKeown, I., Rothwell, M., Araújo, D., Robertson, S., & Davids, K. (2020b). Sport Practitioners as Sport Ecology Designers: How Ecological Dynamics Has Progressively Changed Perceptions of Skill “Acquisition” in the Sporting Habitat. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, Article No. 654.


comments powered by Disqus

Contact Us


WhatsApp +8615387084133

WeChat 1538708413