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When we talk about tactical periodization, it’s always important to mention the weight of the game model that’s to be used. Remember it was Jose Mourinho who launched this model in football.

Let’s see what is the true value of the game model and what the tactical periodization brings as a tool to evolve the team in a framework of high performance.

Tactical periodization is a method of specialized training for the team to follow a specific style of play. However, this does not mean that a trainer cannot incorporate his own methods of play. Since football is a team sport, high performance can only be achieved when building a team that will play as a whole. We need to develop a collective group through training. The game model is the representation of a collective group, which we use as a reference to trace all the exercises that teach the players to play according to the model

Have you ever thought how to create a model of a successful game where the players know what to do at all times?

There are several ways to read the game. Some coaches organize the team depending on the time of game (offensive organization, defensive transition, offensive and defensive organization transition).

Others use the three phases of the game and there are still those who organize the team depending on the areas of the field, taking players to fulfill functions depending on the ball. The important thing will be creating situations so that the players know when to attack, when to defend, when to pause the game, when to accelerate or when to rest. This is very important because players need to know when to do certain things and how to achieve them.

We must create a logical thought process for players to enable them to know the exact time to perform the technical-tactical actions like where to pass the ball when dribbling, etc.

If we assume that players absorb the training methods and have the same logic and thought processes as it was delivered in training, everyone will know what actions they should take, and with that, all perform the required actions together. For example, if we just retrieve the ball, all players should know what are the changes to be made, so there is always passing lanes and enclosed spaces.

If a player is out of position, then a potential passing lane might be missed to create a opportunity for a goal, or maybe leave space that could lead to a chance for an opponent to score.

Work  principles of the greater  game.

You need to decide how the players move, who will take up space and move around the pitch. Remember that players need to know what to do when they move.

A game model should be specific, should guide players in all functions, even when they are away from the center of the game.

From the moment in which players get to an area of the field where they can potentially retrieve the ball, the issues are:

  • How to retrieve the ball?
  • What to do after getting the ball back?

These issues are resolved by the great principles of the game.

With multiple systems such as pressing, close spaces, organizing lines , the players need to know exactly what to do. For example: Let’s assume that we lost the ball, and our style of play, we want to press and win the ball back quickly.

How we pressed? Man to man? Per zone? Who provides support?

Players need to know what they will do after they complete each move, because otherwise they will be outnumbered by opponents. With the great principles, we are defining functions for players, to work in the field collectively.

Work principles of smaller game.

The moments of a game drives organized teams and the great principles organize the functions of the players.

What’s up next?

Arrange the players in the ball area, which equates to a distance of 9 meters around the ball.

Let’s think together: When the ball is in a certain area, what to do to get it back or how do we finish? The players know where they are moving, they know what to do, but who does it and how he does it? These issues are still unresolved and while we do not solve the problem of small game principles, we will use two simple principles specific to exemplify:

Containment and defensive coverage: These are the specific principles that are simpler, one attack, another defense, and they serve for a certain time.

If an opponent enters a zone, the team must know who comes in and who comes into contention defensive cover.

If two defenders come into contention, other areas will be uncompensated.

If you do not get any defenders in contention there’s need to be balanced. One defender needs to get to the attacker and another one in contention for defensive cover, so that the space is closed and there is no other uncompensated space immediately behind.

Small game principles resolve the various situations in terms of a group of players, while the main principles of game solve the structural problems of the team before the opposing team. So, we need to specify the small early game, so players know what to do in each moment. Football is triggered by various actions of gain, loss and maintenance of the ball and the team needs to win and keep the ball for several actions until you reach the opponent’s goal to finish with competence.

Torneio Quadrangular – _Retirar a Bola da Zona de PressaŞo_(144p_H.264-AAC)

Build gaming standards:One thing is to have an organized structure, where all the players know what to do and when to do it due to the other players on the team. Another thing to be prepared to take risks where they lose the ball, which speeds up the game. The standards should be set so that teams have rehearsed plays, which the players should be able to perform with more speed and accuracy than a regular move.

If the model contains plays from a standard football game, they can be used to train players more accurately. During the game, players will be used to doing the moves, they will perform them with more speed and precision than normal moves, which can lead to success.

Define the technical-tactical actions of each player: Coaches always like to call on technical tools and tactical actions, since, through technical and tactical actions, players take actions that lead to the collective team moves.

This means that you can only create collective moves depending on technical and tactical actions, and so players should have the ability to solve every situation through one or more situations with technical and tactical actions, so that will solve collective situations.

Personally, I believe that players should be well developed in the technical aspect. This is so they are able to recover the ball, pass or complete the goal. For that, I believe there are moments in the game where you need to develop only technical exercises, especially during the training of athletes. Exercises that take players to develop skills according to their position and function in the field.


Using methods for ordinary and basic training, we can develop a model of a simple and practical set. A very common expression that says that success only comes before work in the dictionary, turns out to be true. If you really want to build a successful team, we need to work hard and with dedication, from the big details to the small details.

Article contributed by – Juliano Silveira Fontana

Football Coach and Trainer

Juliano Fontana

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