Year-round Soccer Preparation Model *TOP-SECRET*

I am just kidding that this is TOP-SECRET, but it is developed by myself as a result of current undestanding of sport preparation proces. I will be upgraded if needed, so be free to coment it, critique, ask question etc. Tnx in advance

The main goal of a sport preparation is to develop sport form (srp. sportska forma) at the main competition(s) (or comp season for soccer), and mostly forgotten to prevent injuries and overtraining and, last but not the least, psychology de-motivation using variety in training stimulus.

General/specific/(competiton) preparation controls the reaching, keeping and beaking up of sport form. I will not going to explain Russian and Eastern-European concept of sport form for now, but if you are not familiar with the concept I will do it later.

General preparation have to provide

  1. Intoduction to training process
  2. Multi-lateral development (especialy with childern)
  3. Base for later specific work
  4. Injury prevention
  5. Variety in training
  6. Active rest/restoration
  7. Refreshment of athletes and keeping a sport form
  8. Breaking up of a sport form

Specific preparation needs to provide specific development of an athlete, and competition preparation (srp. takmičarska priprema) direcly lead to a sport form. The diffrence between mentioned phases (general, specific, comp) is in the emphasis or usage of general, specific, competiotion means (exercises).
The main thing in this model is to menage ratios between general/specifi/competition preparation in the year cyclus (and whole athlete career)
The first thing we should do is to classify means. This is one ungrateful job and higly individual (some coaches will have different classification) because there is no crisp (sharply defined) limit between them (they are fuzzy sets) but rather a continuum so it is hard to put some mean in one group easily…
This is mine attempt to do this classificatio that should be finished off by your help.

General preparation means
Continuous running (uniform, variable)
Hills (< 30m)?
Medball (partner, wall, low-medium intensity)
Proprioceptive training (balance boards etc.)
Resistance training -Gym(5-15RM load)
Pliometrycs, jumps (low int, rope)
Calistenics ex. (push-ups,pull-us, squats etc)
PNF system (not stretching – spiral, diagonal patterns)
Static stretching
Falling exercises (rolling etc)
Hurdle walk
Accelerations < 50m?

Specific preparation means
S.A.Q. (with and without ball)
Individual technique-tactics (+eyes closed, small balls, medballs, sand, shallow water)?
Explosive medballs
Pliometrics, jumps (high intensity)
Resistance training - Gym (dynamic effort method, Clean&jerk,snatch 5-15RM;squat, bench, lunges 1-5RM)
Balistic-dynamic stretching

Competition means
Tacticat training (situational)
Friendly games
Integral preparation
S.A.Q. with short rest (specific endurancet)??

Exercises with the ? means that the author didn know do they belong in their group or somwhere else, he was confused…
S.A.Q. – speed-agility-quickness

This graf shows exercises (means)EMPHASIS in the year cycle.
GPP – general preparation period
SPP – specific preparation period
RT – early competitions (srp. rana takmicenja)
T – competitions (srp. takmicenja)
KT - late competitions (srp. kasna takmicenja)
I – exit from training to rest-transition (srp. izlaz iz treninga u odmor)
PO – complete rest (srp. poptuni odmor)
AO – active rest (srp. aktivni odmor)

srp. Pripremni period – preparation period (I & II)
srp. Takmicarski period – competition period (I & II)
srp. Prelazni period – transition period

RED LINE – Competition means (exercises) (srp. Takmicarska sredstva)
GREEN LINE – Specific preparation means (srp. Specificno-pripremna sredstva)
BLUE LINE – General preparation means (srp. Opste pripremna sredstva)

Note. The general/specific/comp ratio is higly simbolic, and their curves (ratios, durations, amplitude) should be changed according to real-life situations (age group, season, athlete development etc). Mean Ephasis is nothing more than the relative time spent using it in the training (microcyclus for example), it is not intenisty but it could be called volume.

1.Everything is done only the emphasis(volume) varies

2.In the preparation period it should be successive developed: aerobic endurance, SAQ and specific endurance (be quick over a prolonged period) and to prevent de-training of allready developed abilities

3.Do not over-use continuous uniform long distance running (cross running in the woods), and give more ephasis on tempo running and fartlek for the development of aerobic endurance

4.Aerobic endurance is best developed over the transition period, and in preparation period should be only maintained with tempo and specific work

5.Because competition period lasts long (about 3 months), it is imposible to maintain sport form wich can be maintained only for 2 – 2,5 months, so different player (playmakers, key players) are introduced into sport form at different times so that the competiton period could be qualitative covered. Other solution is to use first 1/2 month of competition period (RT) to enter sport form (srp. uigravanje), and to use last 1/2 month of competetion period (KT) to maintain sport form by greater ephasis on general preparation means and less on specific and competiton means(see graph). This refreshes players and allows them to maintain sport form longer. Offcourse, the selection of appropriate method depends on quality of a team and the competiton calendar. The best situation for some good team is to play games with poor teams in the first 1/2 month of competition period (RT) and to use this to enter sport form. They will win them were they, or not, in the state of sport form. Also the poor teams can use same method to enter sport form but they will play with good teams because were they, or not, in the sport form they will lose the game. This depends only on the competition calendar and the goals settings, so coach (or menager) should adapt to allow reaching the highest goals. Dont forget that some games should be lost to allow some games (most important) to bi won!!

6.After the entering in the state of sport form, there is less ephasis on the competion means because the loading caused by the games itself (T period, see graph)

7.Preparation period II lasts shorter than first, but the SPP II is longer over the shorter GPP II. GPP II is used for the intentional breaking up of sport form and restoration. Sport form is intentionaly breaked because we can maintain it only for 2 – 2,5 months. After that we can rebuild it again. Preparation period II is not the same as first because the level of the athlete preparation is higher and should be maintained by more emphasis on specific and competiton means (see graph)

8.In the transitional period there are, exiting period (I), complete rest period (PO) and active rest period (AO)

9.Exiting perid (I) is used after the end of competition period to allow slow exit from the training proces.The emphasis on means is less and less (and intensity is less and less). If the breaking was sudden the de-training would be faster, so this should be slowly done

10.Complete rest period (PO) is the one where there is no trainig at all (this is questionable) and represent annual vacation of the athletes where they are recovered completely from competition and psychology stress. This period is short (7-15days)

11.Active rest period (AO) represent the period where the athlete alone or organized use general preparatory means for active recovery and prevention of de-training. There is slowly build-up of emphasis on specific work. This period is great for development of aerobic endurance. There should be attention on the negative transfer if there is a usage of some exercises like swimming, cycling, skying etc.

1.First develop acceleration, deceleration and max. speed abilities (<50m but not in great volume) in the linear faschion (straigh line running) and then introduce SAQ (agility) work. This way you are making the reserve of speed wich can be used in agility and specific work

2.During the SAQ training first develop the abilities without ball and then with it. This is the way you create reserve, because player that are faster without ball have greater chance to be that with ball also.

  1. During the SAQ training firstly use shorter accelereation distances, obtuse (dull) turning angles because this prevents development of higher speeds and large forces during cutting and as a consequence reduce training stress and injuries. Use short-to-long and obtuse(dull)-to-acute(sharp) approach during SAQ

4.Firstly develop SAQ abilities with great rest (3-5mins)between bouts of activities and then progresivly shorter them in the purpose of developing specific soccer endurance (10-30sec). First make them fast and only then make them able to maintain that speed (SAQ) during the whole game.

1.Before the planning proces, the coach should first determine sport and position requirements (modeling proces), then with subjective(qualitative) and objective(quantitative) analysis to find out the strong and weak characteristics of athlete and team in general, and then according to the differences and competition calendar (and his experience) to approach planing proces

2.How much there is types of preparation there is as much of test to asses them: medical testing, physical testing, technical, tactical, psychological, theoretical (game rules etc.) and integral. Test can be specific and non-specific , laboratory and field. Levels of some types of preparation is not posible to measure (quantitative and objective) but only subjective (qualitative)

3.The best test is highly demand competition (integral testing) and he is the sum of all types of preparation.

4.Subjective (qualitative) testing (measurement) is done non-stop, continualy during the every training (monitoring)

5.Objective testing is done on the scheduled dates during the transition of emphasis in the training plan, from one goal to another. Except they give us objective values, they can motivate athletes because they can show their improvment.

6.Coach should choose tests specific to his sport, more exactly, tests that measure that qualities of player wich are indispensable for succes

7.In soccer there can be done tests that assess aerobic endurance, SAQ qualities and specific endurance. Psychological tests can be also done. The best time to schedule tests is during the transition of the training goals (emphasis) that is on the beggining of the preparatory period, at the end of GPP(after the aerobic endurance emphasis), in the middle of SPP (after the SAQ training ephasis) and at the end of preparatory period (after the specific endurance ephasis)

8.Coach can also use non-specific tests like 100m and 200m time to allow himself easyer planing on that distances (70% for tempo), can do the 1RM for the gym work, long jump, high jump, tripple-jump, flexibility tests for example. Laboratory tests (VO2max, bLA) can also be done if they are aviable but the coach should not attribute them a great meaning (because they havent it) as the modern coach do.

9.Remember that the best test is highly demand competition

10.Tests for aerobic endurance can be different beep-tests (shuttle run). They are specific for soccer because of a rhytm change, but they do not isolate only aerobic abilities but there is a bLA toleration (anaerobic capacity) and speed reserve. Maybe this makes them more specific for soccer??

11.For SAQ testing it can be used same exercises done in training (20m, T-test, 8, squares, zig-zag etc.). They can be don with or without the ball

12.Test for specific soccer endurance are nothing more then SAQ tests but only with a minimal rest (15-30sec, depends on the players position). The thing that is calculated is the difference between fastest and slowest try (or first and last). One example is 7x30m with 25sec rest.

I hope you will have nerve to read this huge post…
In advance sorry for lousy graph (it is on serbian) and bad english in text…
I will be very thengfull if you will critique this texts and propose some additional tings…
BTW I hope it will be helpfull to someone interested in soccer!
TNX :slight_smile:

Mladen Jovanovic (student)
Department of strength training and conditioning
Faculty of sport and physical education
University in Belgrade

Where did you get the peridiozation graphing program?

A few suggestions based on real life experience with premiere and lower league soccer teams:

a) In soccer you rarely have more than 4 weeks of “preparation”.

b) You gotta stay on the field as much as possible, so no sand, walls or shallow water. Ideally yes, practically no.

c) The metabolic runs have to become very specific quickly, so you gotta study the physiology of the sport and come out with the right thing.

d) Soccer players have limited knowledge of strength training and mostly can’t squat properly, let alone do OL; so have them do 5 RM snatch is very little efficient.

e) Given the short preparation time and the peculiar mind set of soccer (a.k.a. sucker) players, you cannot wait to introduce the ball work at a later time than the first day of preparation.

f) Given the tactical needs of the game and the unstable list of team members from year to year, also the tactical work has to begin from day one.

I am sure there would be more things to point out, but I suggest you, as a sport scientist, to experience the real world situations before you publish the theorizations.

I could not agree more!
And let me add: you have to come out with the right thing (whatever works in the situation and with the players you’re working with)STRAIGHT AWAY,or you end up fired very soon…
And that requires time and trial and error experience well beyond scientific knowledge of any kind!

I agree that something like this won’t necessarily work 100% as planned “in the trenches”, but these models do have their use. How can one optimize a protocol for a paricular situation unless the “ideal” protocol is known? (i.e. how can one do a cost/benefit analysis without all of the options)

Sports scientists and coaches don’t have to always fight, each has their own place. When they work together as in the former Soviet Union, the results are astonding.

I would agree, soccer players (especailly pros) are perhaps the worst people to train. I know one strength coach from a UK premiership club that puts Yoga on his conditioning list because most of the players have personal yoga teachers and can find the time to do it. His thinking is that doing yoga is better than doing nothing (which is waht they would do otherwise). Until you have been there you really can’t imagine how bad the situation is.

I created it based on my current theoretical knowledge, it will be modifided as I will learn more and engage into practical work, but the main frame is that…

This model was created for our serbian teams, but if you work with other leagues you can modify it and introduce specific work sooner, again this is just a framework, a picture of my current phylosophy :cool: . The model is highly adaptable, just change emphasis duration, intensity, etc… I would be very thankfull if you put your vision of the graphical model…

True for the formed world class players, but again this is a framework and can be used to work with childern too (again modifyed). Why are the brasilians soo good? As childerns they play soccer at the beach and learn to control the ball very well…

True, so the ball work is introduced from day one (everything is done, only the volume varies), look at the graph, there is specific work.
Must to say that all means (exerc) that I put in the three groups (general, specific, comp) are not done, as you can see at the graph, the line on the graph means that some exercises from a group are done (the coach choose what to do according to the team needs and the material state of the club, geographical zone etc…). I did classifycation just to help myself where the some thing belong, that doesnt mean that I will use them all…

Same as the preceding answer, tactics are introduced from day one, but their volume depends on how long time does team to enter sport forme and how time does you have till te comp season start… introducing too much of very specific form lead to sport form but at the wrong time… Thats why some teams play gread friendly games but when is the time to showdown they sucks… you need to think about sport form…

True sprintregue, but I didnt have intentions to publish it (I dont think about this forum) without practical modification… and offcourse suggestion from the member from forum :slight_smile:
BTW dont you think that you should to have some theoretical model (based on some good theoretical knowledge) that represents your training philosophy befero you enter into the practical world of training??? Spriterogue, tnaks you very much on your suggestions…I will have in mind your critics :wink:

True, but how do you define right thing? If they show results at the instant that is not good, they have a comp and season to showup. There is time and place for everything. Offcourse you will not do something that dont works… P ractical experience come as a upgrade on a good theoretical background…

That is what I am talking about… you have to have a phylosophy, and ideal model, a starting referent point before you go outside and work…
quarkthedark you are my man :slight_smile: I always create models and systems and then try to find a strategy to control them… this is a classical example of cybernetics wich is, on my own opinion, should-to-shoulder with fuzzy logic, a key element in controling a sport preparation process…

Yoga can be used in trainig (can be put in the general prep means list) but just as a form of streching not something metaphysical… But I think it is unneccesary if you have stretching and some relax time (PMR progresive muscular relaxation etc.) in your training…
Tc, you dont know what is BAD until you come in Serbia… :frowning:

How can one optimize a protocol for a paricular situation unless the “ideal” protocol is known? (i.e. how can one do a cost/benefit analysis without all of the options)

I think the “ideal” protocol has to take into account the frame within which it is going to be applied, otherwise all or part of it becomes a mere, groundless speculation.

Because the focus in such plans goes onto marginal details and completely miss important aspects, the versed eye quickly label them as speculative, rookie plans.

In addition to the above, consider that in theory and methodology of training things are not so clear cut as presented, especially when it comes to team sport, and within team sports especially for soccer and basketball.

I appreciate Duxx efforts, but I am suggesting both a different, actually more scientific, modus operandi and a different way of presenting his work (more socratic).

I think it depends on how one applies the plan determines whether it is mere speculation or not. I like to compare these plans to the general solution of a PDE. As a general solution, it contains nothing in relation to object in question. However, if one adds boundary condictions and the initial condictions (the seasonal parameters, the condictions of the athletes, the competitive season) the actual solution becomes known.

Math analogies aside, i can understand how these plans can become useless quickly and i agree these models must be verified. However, i do like the concept of reducing training into models as it satifies the engineer in me :).

PS: Sorry to break into ugly math analogies, guess what homework i have been doing recently. :slight_smile: At least my research is going well…

Not exactly true… the performance in such compex structure sports (team games, that need complex structure of motor abilityes, skills and psychological prep) is offcourse dependent on varyety of factors but in training theory you got a lot of principles that helps you control its preparation process. This principles whic I have learned at faculty from out expert Koprivica (student of Matveyev) and from other experts like Charlie are built in this model. I dont think that this model gives you the answer to some specific situation but rather gives you more questins and helps you put all thing where they theoretically belongs. The main thing of this model is a control of sport form wich is, I am sure not so familiar concept to wests, the main goal of periodization and the training proces in general… The sad thing that I have never ever seen a western textbook tah t deals with sport form control in the training proces…
I think that quarkthedark will support me when I say that to control such complex system (as sport preparation of team games and other sports) you must use cybernetic principles (that of having referential point -model- of abilityes needed for sport excelence, and algorithm or some action plan for developing them - principles of training theory) and they must be higly adaptable and flexible…
As a mather of precision in control of training proces I will give you a few good quotes on this topic (on the control in general but it can be used in control of a training proces)

As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning and meaningful statements lose precision.
Lofti Zadeh

So far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain. And so far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
Albert Einstein

Both your quotes sum up the situation you describe!!
Whatever the writing about sport form and so on, it doesn’t mean a damn thing if the prep is wrong in the first place. First get to the most basic concepts and then worry about specific application.

Time is the biggest problem for grandiose physical progression plans in team sports. Sometimes, reaching basic levels of physical fitness will screw up the whole plan time wise, and consequently eliminates the next step on the planned progress-ladder.

Can you expand it a little bit on this Charlie? I dont get the point (bad english, my offcourse :slight_smile: ). Tnx in advance…

Exaclty… thats what I am talking about!!!

Depends how do you set goals… First goal of sport training, as I stated, is reaching top sport form at the time set (biggest meet, season etc…), second could be improving sport form foundations (physical preparedness, technical, tactical, psychical preparedness). Dont forget that sport form is not an arithmetical sum of its components, so improving component doesnt guarantee you improving of the sport forme!!! If you cant (or dont have time) to improve components of sports form, do what you can with them, use them as they are and try to enter sport form…

Many European texts describe the movement to skills etc but the training approach itself is often off-base and doesn’t consider the impact of the team practices on individual physical prep.

Would anybody here advise or agree with the use of frequent short
duration, low volume, high intensity sprinting with full recovery
between sprints(180seconds) in combination with a strength training
program during a microcycle or mesocycle with workouts beeing a few
hours apart or on seperate days or both.

Lets say the max volume per session would be 100 meters
10 x 10m
5 x 20m
3 x 30m
2 x 50m
3 x 10m+1 x 20m+ 1 x 40m
1 x 60m+ 2 x 20m
1 x 40m+2 x 20m+2 x 10m
As long as the total volume does not pass 100 meters per session.

The foundation of my question is based on the comparison to the
olympic lifting world where it is known that they pull-push many
times a day or a week with some very heavy loads and are able to
produce extremely powerfull athletes.

The goal would not be to brake records with each sprint but more for
max motor unit activation and the cns.