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Periodisation Training

Dutch man, Raymond Verheijen, is a very outspoken person who is confident in his methods.  The Russian fitness coach criticised many nations at this years European Championships about their pre-historic methods & daily double training sessions.  Russia was the only nation to train only once a day & they started the tournament excellent but then stuttered & didn't manage to qualify from their group.  He is a man that looks to evolve & is widely respected in the professional game having held roles at Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester City & having been involved in the last 3 World Cups & 4 European Championships.  I attended one of his clinics in Northern Ireland earlier in the year & here is what I found out...

Periodisation in football

1. Football Philosophy

  • Traditional fitness --> Football  (isolation of fitness from football)
  • Periodisation football --> Fitness

2. Analysis of the Game

Raymond used a concept of showing actions per minute using a ‘X’ & used ‘----‘ to indicate reduction in actions per minute, i.e. X--- X----X-------------X

  • During game quality reduced (fatigue)
  • Less actions per minute during final stages

Ideal X---X---X---X---X (quality and duration, improvement & consistency)

Subjectivity in football is a problem, especially past performances.  Remove your opinion & stay objective, it’s not a “pub chat”.

“Subjectivity is the weakness of our profession”

Fatigue is non-contextual, but “actions per minute” is

Quality/Quantity Chart

Football                                                                X---x-----x                           X-----X (30sec)   X-X-X (15/30/45)

Analysis                                                                X---X---X---X                      X---X---X (15s)   X-(15)-X-(15)-X

Football                better football                  maintain good                   more actions      ability to maintain

Performance     actions                                  f’ball actions                       per min                 more act per min

Football                more explosive                 maintain exp                    quick recov        ability to maintain

Fitness                  f’ball action                         actions                                  between acts    quick recov bet acts

Football                football sprints                  football sprints                 games 4v4         games 11v11/8v8

Experience         with max recov                 with min rest                     and 3v3

Training                see following sections on breakdowns

Method

“We must communicate objectively to avoid confusion and misinterpretation, keeping it precise for the  players”

3. Football Performance

  • Better football action, better passing, pressing, defending (per minute)
  • To maintain more football activities (per minute)
  • Quality, quantity, maintain - BE MORE DEMANDING!

4. Football Fitness

  • Build football fitness into technical and tactical aspects of training
  • Less Space & Time à Execute Actions Faster à More Explosive Football Actions
  • We can learn from the fitness world but take it back to football & make it applicable

5. Football Conditioning Exercises

Traditional athletic approach

  • Start run when you want
  • Moment of action
  • Direction of action
  • Speed of action

A study was conducted over 15 metres with 1 player isolated running the distance.  They compared this to 2 players running against each other.  Finally, the coach held the hands of either player with a ball between them.  This offered a resistance & when the coach played the ball between the players the player that won the ball got to score.  He called this part the ‘environmental trigger as it was within a football context

This offered a closer realism to the game & players worked harder as there was a reward at the end of it so their performance increased.  Making simple adjustments like this to your training will improve the overall results, better training instead of more training.

After the initial power point presentation Raymond then took a practical.  He worked with the Northern Ireland U16 squad.  Upon arrival the players had received a warm up from their coach.  Raymond set up a pitch with 2 full size goals.  The pitch was split into 3 sections of 15 yards each.  He wanted the players to sprint, jog then walk before receiving a 15 yard pass from him.  He wanted the players to receive on the half turn before striking at the goal.  The players started with a chip into the keepers hands before he developed intensity.

Set 1 – Max Rest (with a finish on goal)

A)    5m football sprints

B)    10-15m football sprints

C)    20-25m football sprints

Set 2 – Progress to Short Rest (noticed a drop in & i.e X---X-----X------x---------x---------------------x)

Notes – look at quality with rest and then without rest and ability to maintain

The session then developed to the 2 players against each other with resistance from the coach holding their hands.  He operated this from either end & in groups of 8.  He had a lot of fun with the players by trying to trick them before making contact with the ball.  You can increase the distance set over 30, 45 & 60 yards.  So with the group of 16, 8 worked while the other 8 operated 6 v 2 for an active recovery.  If you have an odd number place a cone down mid way & the player must get to the ball before it passes the cone.

Raymond then operated a game on a 75 x 48 yard pitch.  He played 6 v 6 rotating with another team of 6 - play 2 minutes then switch.  The progressions he added included developing shape / tactics (3 v 2) then the team without the ball had to press.  While the team with the ball always played out from the back, i.e. goalkeeper played out so players always looked to drop / width.

  • Free play (low intensity)
  • Tactical (higher intensity)

Small sided games = overload body in actions per minute = BODY ADAPT!

Verheijen had a great method to replicate actions per minute in a game.  This was shown on a chart like this; X-X-X------X, 'X' indicates actions per minute while '-' indicated less actions per minute.

As coaches we should look to replicate problems from games to training & keep realistic.  For example if the movement per minute not as it should be look to press / transition.  Break it down to work 11 v 11 or 8 v 8 etc. 

  • 10 minutes X - X - X - X
  • 20 minutes X - X - X - X
  • 30 minutes X - X - X - X
  • 40 minutes X - X - X- - - - - X

In the above example the body says no but the coach says yes!  Body will adapt.

The Game     X - - - X - - - - X - - - - - X

Higher Level  X - X - X - X - X - X - X

Based on the higher level example above.  To improve the first actions per minute is through football sprints with max rest.  Then to develop is through games, i.e. 4 v 4 / 3 v 3.  Coming to the latter stages 11 v 11 / 8 v 8 or 5 v 5 / 7 v 7 will improve as will football sprints with minimum rest.

He talked about coaching the moment where the X---X---X------------X----X gets missed out, this was especially prevalent in the 2nd half of the games when the boys were unable to press or transition.  It allowed RV to push/coach the player to maintain his actions for a longer period of time. 

6. Training Methods

  • Football sprints with maximum rest

a) 6-10 football sprints x 5 metres / 30 second rest

    4-8 football sprints x 15 metres / 45 second rest

    2-6 football sprints x 25 metres / 60 second rest

Step 1 - 6 x 5     4 x 15     2 x 25

Step 2 - 7 x 5     4 x 15     2 x 25

Step 3 - 7 x 5     5 x 15     2 x 25

Step 4 - 7 x 5     5 x 15     3 x 25

Step 5 - 8 x 5     5 x 15     3 x 25

Step 6 - 8 x 5     6 x 15     3 x 25

etc.

Step 13 - 10 x 5     8 x 15     6 x 25

b) 2-4 series x 6-10 football sprints x 15 metres / 10 second rest

c) 2-6 games x 1-3 minutes work / 3-1 minutes recovery / 4 series

Step 1 - 2-6 games     4 v 4 / 3 v 3      1 minute work     3 minute rest      x 4

Step 2 -                                                                            2.5 minute rest

Step 3 -                                                                               2 minute rest

Step 4 -                                                                            1.5 minute rest

Step 5 -                                                                               1 minute rest

Step 6 -                                                                            0.5 minute rest

etc.

d) Extensive endurance rest

2-6 games x 10-15 minutes work / 2 minute series rest

Step 1 - 2x10 minutes     11 v 11 / 8 v 8      2 minutes rest      x 4

Step 2 - 2x11 minutes

Step 3 - 2x12 minutes

Step 4 - 2x13 minutes

Step 5 - 2x14 minutes

Step 6 - 2x15 minutes

Step 7 - 3x11 minutes

Step 8 - 3x12 minutes

Step 9 - 3x13 minutes

Step 10- 3x14 minutes

Step 11- 3x15 minutes

Step 12- 4x12 minutes


4-6 games x 4-8 minutes / 2 minute rest

Step 1 - 4 x 4 minutes 2 minutes rest

Step 2 - 4 x 4.5 minutes

Step 3 - 4 x 5 minutes

Step 4 - 4 x 5.5 minutes

Step 5 - 4 x 6 minutes

Step 6 - 4 x 6.5 minutes

Step 7 - 4 x 7 minutes

Step 8 - 4 x 7.5 minutes

Step 9 - 4 x 8 minutes

7. Pitch Size

11 v 11 - 10 outfield players - 100 x 60 metres

10 v 10 - 9 outfield players - 90 x 54 metres

9 v 9 - 8 outfield players - 80 x 48 metres

8 v 8 - 7 outfield players - 70 x 42 metres (50m)

7 v 7 - 6 outfield players - 60 x 36 metres (40m)

6 v 6 - 5 outfield players - 50 x 30 metres (40m)

5 v 5 - 4 outfield players - 40 x 24 metres (30m)

4 v 4 - 3 outfield players - 30 x 18 metres

3 v 3 - 2 outfield players - 20 x 12 metres

2 v 2 - 1 outfield players - 10 x 6 metres (15x10m)

1 v 1 - 1 outfield players - 10 x 6 metres

8. Periodisation Model

Day / Training Week X

  • Saturday - Game
  • Sunday - Recovery Training (subs F.C.T.)
  • Monday - Day off
  • Tuesday - Tactical Training (am - Strength)
  • Wednesday - Conditioning Training
  • Thursday - Tactical Training
  • Friday - Tactical Training
  • Saturday - Game

Day / Neutral Week

  • Saturday - Game
  • Sunday - Recovery Training (subs F.C.T.)
  • Monday - Tactical
  • Tuesday - Game
  • Wednesday - Recovery Training
  • Thursday - Day Off or Tactical Training
  • Friday - Tactical Training
  • Saturday - Game

Mid week game = skip conditioning session

Part Time / Training Week

  • Saturday - Game
  • Sunday - 
  • Monday - 
  • Tuesday - Full Conditioning Work
  • Wednesday -
  • Thursday - Tactical Training
  • Friday - 
  • Saturday - Game

Periodisation Model

Week to Week on FCT day

3 Blocks x 2 weeks = 6 weeks total

                1                              2                              3                              4                              5                              6

 

Explosivity Prep Exercises            F’ball Sprints with min                    F’ball Sprints with max

                                                                                Rest (10”)                                            Rest (60”)

** For Pre-season**

                11v11 / 8v8                                         7v7 / 6v6 / 5v5                                   4v4 / 3v3

**Zero Pts **

                3x12’                     3x13’                     4x5’                        4x5.5’                    2x6x                       2x6x

                                                                                                                                                1’W/3’R                1’W/2.5’R

ß---------------------------------------------------------CYCLE 1-----------------------------------------------------------à

 

2.            3x13’                     3x14’                     4x5.5’                                                    2x6x

                                                                                                                                                1’W/2.5’R

3.

4.

5.

6.            4x13’                     4x14’                     4x7.5’                    4x8’                        2x6x                       2x6x      

                                                                                                                                                1’W/45”R             1’W/30”R

Explosivity Prep Exercises  (prep for min rest)

TR 1/2                   6 x 60m                 60%                        60”R

TR 3/4                   7 x 50m                 70%                        50”R

TR 5/6                   8 x 40m                 80%                        40”R                      

TR 7/8                   9 x 30m                 90%                        30”R

TR 9/10                 10 x 20m              100%                     20”R

**                           2 x 6 15m             100%                     10”R       = stage 1 of min rest football sprints

** Prepare for 10” rest = lactic acid prep exercise and therefore injury prevention

101%                     ^ Football Sprints (max rest) 4v4/3v3

I

I

                Intensity              I

I

I

                100%                     ---------------------- > Football Sprints (min rest) 11v11 / 8v8

                                                                Maintain/Volume

Where to make zero pt??  e.g. 36min net playing time equates to 3x12’ = starting point

9. Lower Level --> Higher Level of Play

  • Youth Academy --> 1st Team
  • Higher level play = High speed of game
  • Intensity increases
  • Volume...?
  • Higher intensity = smaller volume
  • Higher level of play

--> Gradual increase for youth players to develop body.

10. Playing Style --> Fitness

Raymond offered examples of playing styles.  Below offers what he had to improve on in major competitions with each country & how he did.

World Cup 2002 - Korea

1st Half

Very high intensity of play X - X - X - X - X

2nd Half

Dramatic drop in work rate X - X - X - X - X - - - X - - - - X - - - - - X

Solution

More 11 v 11 / 10 v 10 --> 8 v 8 training.  4 x 10 minutes, 5 x 10 minutes, 6 x 10 minutes, etc.

Euro 2008 - Russia

1st Half

Relatively low intensity of play

2nd Half

No drop in work rate, low tempo

Solution

Improve actions per minute through small sided games.

11. Principles of Periodisation

Speed of actions!

  • Football is an intensity sport...
  • ...not an endurance sport
  • Increase the intensity of a session
  • ...not the number of sessions per week
  • Better 4 sessions @ 100% intensity
  • ...than 6 sessions @ 80% intensity

Football Philosophy

  1. Traditionally = Fitness --> Football / More = Better (quantity)
  2. Periodisation Football --> Fitness / Less = More (quality)

1. Traditional = Quick build up

  • 2-3 weeks physical training dominant
  • 2-3 weeks tactical
  • Quick build up = short term fitness
  • Fitness drop in November / December & April / May
  • Quick build up = more injuries
  • Less training / games with strongest teams
  • Quick build up = fatigue in pre-season

Most important - Team development, playing style & understanding

2. Periodisation = Gradual build up

  • 6 weeks football (conditioning) training
  • Gradual build up = long term fitness
  • Fitness increases during season / no drop
  • Gradual build up = almost no injuries
  • More training / games with strongest team
  • During injury slow loss of fitness
  • Gradual build up = no fatigue in pre-season
  • Same fitness level as quick build up!

Part time pre-season

Week 1

Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday (3 training sessions)

Week 2

Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday Game (2 training sessions + 1 game)

Observations

Periodisation in Football

  • Football specific (just play & learn the game)
  • Gradual physical development (long term fitness)
  • Periodisation = less injuries (more player development)
  • Academy Structure (periodisation long term process)
  • Talent Integration in first team (smaller training volume)

Football coaches are the best fitness coaches.

'Football is an intensity sport - not an endurance sport.  Less is more!'

'Better training instead of more training.'

Raymond Verheijen with Tim Wareing

13 Responses to “Periodisation Training”

  1. Thomas Johnson says:

    How did the 11 vs 11 sessions help the Koreans maintain their intensity? Was it because there are longer, explosive actions in 11vs11 and the problem was maintaining the explosivity during the longer actions during the game?

    Were they basically able to recover from the smaller explosive actions but not the long explosive actions?

  2. Coach Tim says:

    That’s correct Thomas. I think he has a book out although think it may only be in Dutch at the minute waiting translation.

  3. Thomas Johnson says:

    6. Training Methods
    Football sprints with maximum rest
    a) 6-10 football sprints x 5 metres / 30 second rest
    4-8 football sprints x 15 metres / 45 second rest
    2-6 football sprints x 25 metres / 60 second rest
    Step 1 – 6 x 5 4 x 15 2 x 25
    Step 2 – 7 x 5 4 x 15 2 x 25
    Step 3 – 7 x 5 5 x 15 2 x 25
    Step 4 – 7 x 5 5 x 15 3 x 25
    Step 5 – 8 x 5 5 x 15 3 x 25
    Step 6 – 8 x 5 6 x 15 3 x 25
    etc.
    Step 13 – 10 x 5 8 x 15 6 x 25
    b) 2-4 series x 6-10 football sprints x 15 metres / 10 second rest

    Hi Tim. When do these steps happen in relation to the training week/point in the 6 week periodisation cycle? Also,

    TR 1/2 6 x 60m 60% 60”R
    TR 3/4 7 x 50m 70% 50”R
    TR 5/6 8 x 40m 80% 40”R
    TR 7/8 9 x 30m 90% 30”R
    TR 9/10 10 x 20m 100% 20”R
    ** 2 x 6 15m 100% 10”R = stage 1 of min rest football sprints

    What does the T/R represent in this part? Thanks. I’ve attended Raymond’s courses before but not had the opportunity to enjoy a practical session. Great stuff.

  4. Coach Tim says:

    Hi Thomas, I must look out my notes again as clinic was January 2012 so been a while since…will see if I can locate my notes & catch up later in week.

  5. Thomas Johnson says:

    3 Blocks x 2 weeks = 6 weeks total
    1 2 3 4 5 6

    Explosivity Prep Exercises F’ball Sprints with min F’ball Sprints with max
    Rest (10”) Rest (60”)

    Hi Tim. I’ve a couple of questions. I’m currently training for my new season following these guidelines. At the end of the 1st cycle, do you return to explosivity preparation again?

    Also,
    ** 2 x 6 15m 100% 10”R = stage 1 of min rest football sprints

    “2x6x15m” 2 sets of 6 reps of 15m?

    Thanks!

  6. Dusan says:

    Hi, I would like to ask you some questions. exercise EPE must manage in one session or spread out over the week? Another question is when I do sprints, whether long or short rest so do the workout in the fitness game I play? or the day after, the day before? Thanks for the answer

  7. edfordham says:

    Tim and others,

    I’ve been running a bastardised version of TP for a couple of years now. I generally like the structure of the programme and think the players appreciate knowing in advance how long or how many times they will do this or that, so that they can pace themselves and give 100%. What I sometimes feel though is that I am not coaching enough if I am running numbers.

    Any thoughts?

    And how specific/strict do you think you have to be to the numbers?

    Thanks in advance,

    ed

  8. Tom Egan says:

    Enjoyed reading your article, has given me things to work towards.

  9. Tom Egan says:

    Very interesting article

  10. Prosanta says:

    I would like to ask some questions. one is how I design a week with big/medium/small games with sprints(EPE/sprints with short rest/spints with longer rest)? both conditioning part in same day or alternate day . Another question is this periodisation is suitable from which age of group. Please explain me. Ineed your help.

  11. james says:

    i have few questions

    I run a university team and students wont come back till September

    the league is already ongoing but our first game starts week after we get back

    how do I tailor my training to get players fit and match ready

    Monday -training
    wed- university games
    thurs-training
    fri- league game

    how do we build our fitness with no recovery in between? .

  12. elida5380 says:

    This is what I call awesome content. Continue the good work.

  13. Stijn says:

    @ James. In the case of a midweek game you should plan a neutral week. That means no conditioning training, only team tactics. Also, if you start your preparation one week before competition, please dont expect the players to be match ready. It will take them 6 weeks to be fully match ready. Your aim is to keep them fresh for 90 minutes during the whole season. Hope you found out already.
    @ Coach tim, great site. keep it up

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