The key role of context in team sports training: The value of played-form activities in practice designs for soccer

PETIOT, Grégory Hallé, VITULANO, Mike and DAVIDS, Keith (2023). The key role of context in team sports training: The value of played-form activities in practice designs for soccer. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching.

Davids-TheKeyRoleOfContext(VoR).pdf - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (949kB) | Preview
Official URL:
Open Access URL: (Published version)
Link to published version::


Played-form activities in soccer are customized variants of the original game, configured to emphasize important informational and task constraints in the way players perform in practice. Parameters of play such as the shape and dimensions of the playing area, number of participants involved, and conditions of play are key properties that activities are designed from. These properties impact on the specific practice contexts in which players are challenged to perceive information, make decisions and perform actions, during competitive performance preparation and player development. There are countless possible configurations of played-form activities that can provide development or training opportunities for players to improve performance. Although there are no standard guidelines for designing such practice tasks, here we propose how a theoretical rationale like ecological dynamics can frame the configuration of activities, modelled on typical formats, specific task constraints and key developmental needs. In this article, these formats are depicted with reference to common coaching licence curriculum needs and scientific literature. This insight paper presents a continuum of played-form activities, exemplifying characteristics of different practice designs in soccer. This integration of knowledge provides a valid continuum of play practice designs, based on an extent of specific opportunities for actions in different phases of play. Our insights suggest how coaches and trainers in team sports could gain a deep understanding of how specific played-form activity configurations impact on skill adaptation in players, providing opportunities for coaches to function as learning facilitators.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 11 Medical and Health Sciences; 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences; 32 Biomedical and clinical sciences; 42 Health sciences; 52 Psychology
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2023 15:49
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 12:46

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics