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In season

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The main goal of the coaches is to maintain the physical/technical/tactical/mental performance of their players at high levels for the longer possible periods of time.

During the season it is difficult to keep a team at high performance levels for a long time. The accumulated fatigue from the games, the constant travels, the training and psychological pressure from achieving specific team objectives have an impact on their course. By continuously monitoring the overall performance of the players (fitness / technique / tactics / psychological parameters) can be diagnosed decline elements. At this point it would be wise to discharge the players helping them to "rest / refresh" and continue their upward performance trend over time.
Zoom out and see the overall picture of the season and not just the upcoming match to select the training contents of your micro cycle.

In season

Choose carefully when ... and design restoration microcycles with short and not so intensive workouts using pleasant drills and without the use of psychological pressure during workouts.

In Figure 1 an example of a design where the 5th and the 10th week i created restoration microcycles in a first National Division team where eventually surpassed expectations and won a ticket in the Europa League.

In season
In season
1.Active "restoration"

One of the main responsibilities of the coaching staff during the season is the compilation of training by setting the volume and intensity of each training session. These two elements play a dominant role in the performance sector and the goal will be not only the forthcoming match but also the calculation of the impact that will have the specific placement during the season.

The main concern of the teams is to contain high levels of players' performance over as long periods. Some times selections are made of high-performance periods depending on the needs of each team (European group stages, knockout matches, playoff etc.).

In season

The training volume is directly related to the training time (in minutes) or in football, in particular the total meters covered in a training session.

With a simple minutes recording per training session or data collected through GPS systems, we can easily monitor the variance of the training volume at the intervals we have selected (microcycles - mesocycles - macrocycles).

To monitor the intensity of training, several sport scientists differ in terms of integer numbers and tracking variables.

The majority of bibliographic references, however, publish Heart rate data over 85% of M.H.R. and running speeds above 14km / h.

In season

In the figure below you see the periodization I created and executed at a team in superleague Greece, which conquered the privileged 5th place and the participation to the Europa League of next year.The team began preparation period at the end of June and finished the season obligations in late May.

With the red color you see the training volume and with the blue the intensity.

In season
In season
2.Corellation between volume - intensity in season

The best training is the one that simulates the needs of the match.

The modern form of training now in football is that of Small-sided games. Players try to accomplish the objectives of each game, creating habits for the performance of football activities.

These habits are expected by team coaches to see from their players, during the official matches, hoping for a similar result.

In season

Small-sided games are designed to improve all four aspects of technical / tactical / mental and physical performance.
However, there are a number of factors that affect their effectiveness and usability and which coaches should take into consideration before applying them to the training process.

  • Player capabilities
  • Game implementation period
  • Number of players
  • Game space dimensions
  • Duration of play
  • Game break
  • Using a goalkeeper
  • Orientation of the game or not
  • Contacts with the ball

In the above table you see's analysis of functionality and effect on a set of parameters of Small Sided Games.
Study the impact of the training stimulus you want to give to your players and select games with the corresponding content.

In season
3.The Small Sided Games Method