Differential Learning as an Important Factor in Training of Football Technical Skills

Ali Ozuak, Atakan Çağlayan


The aim of this study was to examine the effect of differential learning activities on young football players’ skills. Athletes who had played active football for at least 2 years in the youth teams participating in competitions in Amateur Leagues in Istanbul, Turkey took part in the study, as the Experimental Group (EG; n=26, age=12.03±0.44) and Control Group (CG, n=26, age=12.05±0.46). In the study, differential learning exercises integrated into their training programme for a period of 8 weeks, 3 days per week, were applied to the players in the EG immediately following warm-up, while the players in the CG continued with their traditional training programmes. The Illinois Test with Ball (ILL), Creative Speed Test (CST), Ball-Dribbling Test (DT), Ball-Juggling Test (JT) and Passing Test (PT) were carried out with all players participating in the study as a pretest prior to commencement of the programme and as a posttest following the implementation of the programme, and the gathered data were analyzed statistically. The findings obtained revealed that in the within-group pretest and posttest, players in the EG showed a statistically significant improvement in all parameters (p<0.05), while players in the CG showed a statistically significant improvement in ILL, CST, JT and PT (p<0.05). When the differences in development of the groups were compared, a statistically significant difference in the ILL, CST and DT parameters was determined in favor of the players in the EG (p<0.05). Consequently, although regularly-performed classic football training develops skills, it is seen that differential learning exercises integrated into training programmes are more effective for dribbling skills. It is considered that differential learning exercises, in which the non-dominant leg is frequently used, can make it easier for players to apply the necessary skills by allowing them to give more effective responses to the tricky positions encountered in football, and that these exercises can support the development of players’ performances.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/jets.v7i6.4135


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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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