Periodization has become a fancy word utilized in sports performance over the last decade. The idea behind Periodization is to create a structured training plan that accounts for many variables in order to optimize the team’s readiness to compete. Though the term may sound complex, it is simply about creating a thorough, progressive and smart training plan! Periodization is not only tied to the Sports Science team, but it can also be applied to many disciplines.

Here are a few examples:

  • The Technical Staff can create a technical/tactical periodization which will display a well thought out plan on how to expose the team to various key aspects of the game model and develop specific behaviors in a progressive manner. 
  • The Sport Science team will create a physical periodization which will lay out a physical loading plan based on the calendar in place in order to best prepare the team, the subgroups and the individual players for competition while trying as best as possible to mitigate injuries. 
  • The Return to Play Specialist may also create an RTP periodization for an injured athlete coming back from a long-term injury. That plan will consider many variables in order to slowly progress the player physically but also bring them back to their position specific technical/tactical habits while considering their nutritional and psychological needs. 
  • The Mental Coaches may also advise the technical staff on how to Periodize their delivery of information and the cognitive demands placed upon the team in order to optimize the retention of information while best preparing them to compete.


All these different approaches to Periodization are crucial in order to best serve our athletes and should all be included to bring all the staff’s thoughts and work together in one planning system. Below I will share some thoughts on my process in developing a muti-disciplinary approach to Periodizing a season.


  • The Head Coach is always going to have the biggest influence on the team’s playing structure. It is important to start by understanding the coach’s game model, playing principles and behaviors that he/they will try to instill in the team, subgroups and individuals. That also comes with a bigger picture understanding of the market we are in, the club’s culture, goals and vision for the team along with a good analysis of the personnel (players) that are available in our roster. 
  • Next, it is important for everyone to understand that the physical needs will lay the foundations for the team’s development. We will lay a physical plan, or “Physical Periodization” based on the game schedule for the season that will allow our players to build strength and resilience to the game loads based on the specific capacities dictated by the coach’s game model. 
  • The technical staff will utilize the guidelines from the physical periodization in order to create the technical and tactical periodization in order to organize the delivery or the playing principles and development of behaviors during the different blocks of the season. This process will be supported by the high-performance team. 
  • Next, we should consider overlaying a mental/cognitive plan based on the information needed to be delivered through different cycles of the season: within the microcycle, the mesocycle and macrocycle. This should also account for various “unique” moments of the season such as dense periods of games, pre-season, playoffs, cup games… which may all bring different psychological challenges. 
  • Lastly, all support staff should now utilize this master periodization plan in order to optimize their own department’s planning to best serve the team. The medical team will now be able to organize and plan treatments, rehab, recovery modalities; The operations staff will be able to plan appearances, team events, individual player needs and overall scheduling; The media team will be able to schedule interviews, press conferences, photoshoots…etc. All this organization will become a product of the master periodization system developed within the club. 


In my next blog, I will go through my step by step approach on how to develop a Periodization System in order to set a strong foundation for the club’s organization and team’s performance.