Football Periodization for Kids: A Real Example

I want to help you easily understand the basic aspects of periodization in football. In this article I will answer the following key questions:

1. What is periodisation and what is its use in football training?

2. How do you divide time into periods: months, weeks, terms?

3. Objectives to achieve in each period.

4. In what order will we work on what we have decided to do?

5. When are we going to work on which contents?

6. Finally I provide a real example of a periodisation plan that I have med for a youth team.

If you want to know how to pose periodisation training for your football team, read this article.


1. What is periodisation and what is its use in football training?

Periodisation is to structure training sessions of a period of time in cycles. Imagine that you are going to build a house. We have raw materials, labour, work sessions, etc. Periodisation is about grouping work days in blocks and work units. In football it works the same way.

2. How to divide periods: months, weeks, terms?

Let's take for example a normal football season in Auckland for Youth in 12 grade. The first game begins in early April and the last in late September. Periodisation is to order all training sessions from April (or even weeks before) to September, in cycles or periods. For example:

We could arrange the sessions by months, (i.e. sessions in April, May, June, July, August and September).

We could also arrange sessions following the school calendar, (i.e. sessions in February to April for Term 1, May to mid-July for Term 2 and late July to late September for Term 3).

We could also put them in sequence following the competition schedule, i.e. sessions during grade competition, and sessions during the Championship competition.

My proposal is totally different, instead of periodization following the dates, terms, competitions, etc... we structure training sessions depending on the objectives that we want to work on and achieve in each sub-period, giving the specific and necessary time to each objective, and even to each player, level,

skills, etc. The key to remember is that you don't need the same amount of time and number of sessions to train "how to defend" on you do to train "passing". Going back to the example of the construction of the house, it's not as complex nor does it take the same time to place the structure of the house than to place the fence.

Note that we should consider both the school calendar as well as the one for competitions in order to avoid mistakes in periodization, e.g., in school holidays we shouldn't think about starting or ending a cycle, as it is very likely that many players will be missing. To start to develop a new concept or plan to finish a concept without the certainty of players participating will not be helpful. Similarly, before beginning the construction of the roof of the house, we must make sure to have enough pillars installed before calling the workers who will prepare the upper structure. If we consider that there will not be enough columns, beams, etc. for the roof on a particular date, we should leave a margin and periodise the roof installation for later. In our proposed model, we take holiday weeks as of no training for periodization effects. Logic shows that the periods must be variable in duration, simply because depending on what we're going to develop or achieve, we will need more or less time.

3. Objectives to achieve in each period.

The first thing is to select which goals we want to achieve in each period, which content we will develop for these objectives, what methodology we will use, how to evaluate the objectives we have achieved and the improvement proposals for future intervention. Continuing with the example, we need to do the foundation, build the structure, make partitions, walls, paint, electricity, plumbing, etc ... and each and every one of these actions requires a different amount of time.

4. In what order will we work on what we have decided to do?

Now we will have to sequence the objectives and previously selected content: in what order will we work with them? We set up the walls, do the plumbing and electricity and we finally paint it, for example.

5. When are we going to work on which contents?

Lastly, structure or periodise objectives and the selected and sequenced content. When are we going do what and that also precedes anything else. From this date to this other date we will achieve objective B which is subsequent to A (which we started earlier) and that will be necessary to reach the next objective C. We will put the foundation in January, we will set the pillars in February and in mid-May we will start the construction of the roof.

6. A real world periodisation proposal

Attending to everything discussed above, I hand to you my real periodization proposal for a football team for 12 grade for kids in the Auckland league:

Period 1 (3 Feb to 6 April) I'm going to call Pre-Season and which in turn is divided into sub-period I, Initial Contact, and sub period II Trials.

Period 2 (7 April to 18 May) I'll call Fundamental (basic for the development of the fundamental principles of the game). This period is sub-divided into Fundamental I: Fundamental Principles of Offensive Game and Fundamental II: Fundamentals of Defensive Play.

Period 3 (19 May to 29 Jun) I'll call Specific Offensive I, which in turn is sub-divided into Specific Offensive Ia: Attacking as a team and Specific Offensive Ib: Attack on Quartets.

Period 4 (30 Jun to 17 Aug) I'll call Specific Defensive I, which in turn is sub-divided into Specific Defensive I: Block and Specific Defensive II: Partners

Period 5 (18 Aug to 30 Sep) I'll call Specific Offensive II, which in turn is sub-divided into Specific Offensive IIa 2v1 and specific offensive IIb 1v1.

This is my real periodization and explanation on how to do it. The next step is to make the planning of sports training for football, which is to fill each of the parts with training objectives and content. This issue was discussed in a previous article. If you haven't read it, I recommend you do it.

I really hope you enjoyed this article that it is of assistance to you. If you liked it and if you know another coach or anyone else who might be interested in this topic please forward this article to that person's email, thanks.

If you want to ask me something, please do so.

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