Preparing teams for a competition environment where winning becomes the main aim
Training to focus on solving football problems, based on match analysis
FOOTBALL CONDITIONING becomes a key part of the program
The session themes are based largely on recent match performance, with a view to improvement in the next match.
• This requires from a coach the ability to properly analyse a game, define the ‘football problems’ and design sessions to improve the team’s ability to solve these football problems.
The Training Game can now be used as a Football Conditioning game.
• Football Conditioning Games are part of the Football Periodisation Model, developed by exercise physiologist Raymond Verheijen, which has been adopted by FFA.
The Football Periodisation Model is based on the principle that it’s totally possible to get your players fit for playing football by playing football. This aligns perfectly with our vision that a holistic approach to coaching is not only the most educationally effective way but also the most time effective way. If done in the proper way, football training automatically becomes conditioning and therefore it’s unnecessary and unwise to separate fitness training from football training.
In the Football Periodisation Model there are three types of conditioning games:
• The big games (8 v 8 or 9 v 9 or 10 v 10 or 11 v 11)
• The medium games (5 v 5 or 6 v 6 or 7 v 7)
• The small games (3 v 3 or 4 v 4)
Put simply, if these games are conducted in the right way, they develop the qualities of aerobic capacity and aerobic power specific to football players. However, a real understanding of this conditioning method, including football sprints, can only be gained by attending FFA’s Advanced Coaching Courses.
Regarding the 6-week cycles in the Performance Phase the following points are essential:
• The session with the Football Conditioning Games must always be planned for the beginning of the week to avoid players still being fatigued on the day of the next game
• We consider 4 sessions of 75-90 minutes and one game a maximum safe weekly workload for the Performance Phase (Advanced level only)
• The planning and progression of the Football Conditioning Games requires expert knowledge of the Football Periodisation Model. It is dangerous to experiment with Football Conditioning without having the necessary knowledge
• To give coaches a basic grasp of the concepts, we provide three sample Performance Phase sessions, based on hypothetical ‘football problems’ that a team might have. Each sample session shows how the Training Game can be changed to a Conditioning Game (one ‘big’, one ‘medium’ and one ‘small’ game), gaining a football fitness benefit while still working on the team’s ‘football problem’.