Periodization: What is it? Is my MS and HS coach doing it?

Periodization: What is it? Is my MS and HS coach doing it?

Ensuring development in technical/tactical and physical areas is a major objective of any Coach, Club, or School. (Well, it should be). But each year, players I coach tell me horror stories about their Middle School and High Schools, and it amazes me.

"They just made us run" | "We did two a days during the hottest part of the day" | "My coach said we don't need to work on being better with the ball, if we can work harder than the other team we will win" | "We lost so the day after the game the coach made us do sprints" | "We have to run 4 laps of the field before we start to practice" | "I am always sore"

Periodization is breaking down the year, or months of training, into more manageable weekly/daily intervals. Allowing you to manage and coordinate all aspects of training to bring an athlete to peak performance.

Simply though:

  1. The training workload has to decrease when there is an increase in games. The correlation is demonstrated below.
  2. More games = less physical demand | Less/no games = greater physical demand
  3. You cannot go from 0% to 100% workloads. Instead, you need to steadily build up and maintain levels in between games.

If the workload does not decrease when you have a pick up in games, you run the risk of causing your players high levels of fatigue and also causing them injuries.

Players and parents, please be smart when participating in Middle School and High School activities. With so many practices and games condensed into an 8-12 weeks period, if the Coach is not managing the player's workloads, he/she is running the risk of causing unneeded fatigue and injury that prevents you from being at peak performance.

More practice does not mean quality practice. Be smart, and ask your Middle School and High School coaches, how are you managing our workloads this season?