Football is way to complex to divide it into small parts, yet many coaches train tactics, technique, fitness and the mental thing separately. With this they hope that when putting all the pieces of the puzzle back together, the team will perform better in the next game. The question is, does this really work? Of course the answer is, no it doesn’t. Educators such as Raymond Verheijen, Fergus Connolly and James Smith explain this in their respective books, maybe in different ways, but the message is still the same. THE most important thing in football is communication, which means in no uncertain terms, learning how to work together as a team. In football, learning to understand each others verbal and nonverbal communication is of the highest order. When you play the game you train all the aforementioned aspects (tactics, technique, fitness and the mental thing) that are always present. The game is the starting point for every aspect mentioned and should always be adhered to.
During games your brain decides where to go, when to go there, at what speed you will travel, how you interpret the opponents (inter)action, how you will execute a certain movement and how often you are willing to do this. Your body only executes these decisions that your brain makes. The more you have experienced different game scenarios with the same team mates, the better the communication will become, but only if this is trained in the right context. In other words in game like situations. Kicking a ball back and forth with a partner will not make you pass better in a game situation. The reason for this is easy to explain because there was no opponent present in your training. Your brain does not recognise this experience and gives a slightly different message to your body, which then executes your next action differently.
The ball roles over the touchline during a game and spectators often wonder why this happened? You often hear reporters say; “What a bad pass!” The statement should be; “Was it really a bad pass or poor communication between the players involved?”
What has all of this got to do with individual periodisation? In previous posts there has been information mentioned, that a certain type of player should have an individual planned week, to ensure that they are fresh on game day. This is in relation to their football workload. Some should have a structural lower workload and other a temporary lower football workload, where other train all sessions fully. This individual planning has nothing to do with weight training in the gym or other non-contextual training. The only sessions where certain players will be taken out earlier is in the football sessions. An example could be the younger player mentioned in previous posts Individual periodisation – part 4. He will join most sessions during the week, but will do less on the football conditioning day. If the planning says 4×12 minutes 11v11, he will only play 2×12 minutes. Using this method the younger player trains a little less on a specific day or two, but is still heavily involved in the communication part of all of the sessions. He is experiencing the complexity of the game while training and his brain is now learning to make better decisions. He will execute these decisions as he sees fit for certain situations that regularly occur during the game. Consider the game as the starting point and lets agree to work from there.
Thanks for sharing.