Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Training periodization: Is it applicable to football?

We are now at the stage that everybody is thinking and planning on the new season. Phases, targets, plans and more. Can we adopt a periodization model in football?

To my opinion, this is extremely difficult at the elite level. At this level, there is a 5-7 weeks preparation period before the official matches start, followed by a period of almost 4 months in which the team usually plays 2 matches per week. So, how can we plan periodization? In young players, I think that periodization must be the case. At these ages, players’ development must be the main target and not team performance and win on weekend match.

There are mainly 2 approaches in training periodization
  1. The traditional training planning: According to this many different aspects of physical, technical and tactical attributes are all the target of a certain period. It is a rather “mixed” model which might cause some “conflicts” and overload the players.
  2. The block periodization: this is the modern approach in which planning includes the consecutive development, at certain “blocks”, of each ability. The advantage of this model is clarity of objective, flexibility and variety of activities at each block. Another important aspect is that training intensity can remain high since it is concentrated at the improvement of a single factor each time.

Which approach is your favorite one? Please feel free to comment.

1 comment:

JT said...

I am just catching up on this thread a little late here, but one thing that makes periodization extremely challenging for football is that the point of periodization in the end is to maximize a peaking potential. With the length of the season, and then factoring international events and in season tournaments, the idea of peaking is tough to figure out. So then question is, is there anyway to have multiple peaks through the season without having a true detraining phase? I have posed the question to a periodization specialist at West Virginia University in the US. I'll let you know what he thinks...