Raymond Verheijen’s Impact on My Coaching Philosophy (Part 2)

“Applying the WFA periodization model to an 8 hour week.”

Recently, I wrote about how the WFA one-day conference, in Philadelphia, has changed my approach to soccer. I spent the last two months revamping how we train, at Duquesne, with the women’s soccer team. The one obstacle that all Division 1 soccer programs deal with is what the NCAA defines as “off-season.” At Division 1, either gender, there are three seasons defined as “Traditional, Non-traditional, and Off-season.” The traditional season is the fall, the non-traditional season is the spring, and the off-season is the time between.

We are currently in the off-season with the non-traditional season right around the corner. As we drill down into the off-season rules, governed by the NCAA, players are only allowed to participate in their respective sport for a maximum of eight hours per week. Of those eight hours, only two hours can be with a ball. I am sure you can see the obstacle that is staring at you: how can we apply the periodization model if we can only train with a ball for two hours each week?

Another challenge that we face is facilities that allow us to play larger than 7v7. So, how do we put all this together? Well, first we came up with a 7v7 futsal tournament. The tournament was a great way to have all players participate and keep each week challenging and exciting. The periodization model that we came up with was each week one team would get the overload. Since we have three teams playing, one team has to play back-to-back games. The team playing back-to-back games would receive this overload every three weeks. I have included a chart below that shows how we broke the model down,

2015 Winter futsal league periodization
Week Date Game Time Duration Break time
1 1/13/15 C vs A 2x7w/2r 37 5 min
A vs B 2x7w/2r
2 1/20/15 B vs C 2×7.5/2r 39 5 min
C vs A 2×7.5/2r
3 1/27/15 A vs B 2x8w/2r 41 5 min
B vs C 2x8w/2r
4 2/3/15 B vs A 2×8.5/2r 43 5 min
A vs C 2×8.5/2r
5 2/10/15 A vs C 2x9w/2r 45 5 min
C vs B 2x9w/2r
6 2/17/15 C vs B 3x7w/2r 55 5 min
B vs A 3x7w/2r
7 2/24/15 C vs A 3×7.5w/2r 56 5 min
A vs B 3×7.5w/2r
8 2/10/15 Semi 3x8w/2r 61 5 min
Final 3×8/2r

According to Raymond Verheijen’s periodization model the 5v5/7v7 starts out in four game intervals. Since we are against the eight-hour clock we had to scale back the games to two. This would allow us to play the games and have an additional hour left during the week. You can see that we increased to three games on 2/17/15; which is the start of our non-traditional season. Once we are in the non-traditional season we may begin using the ball in all training sessions. Going into more detail about college participation rules would be out of the scope of this article. The area of fitness that we are trying to improve is “Maintain Quick Recovery between Actions.”

In addition to the futsal league we incorporated small-group training each week. This would become a prodigious task, trying to control all hours for each athlete so as not to go over the two-hour window. The small group training was periodized within the 3v3/4v4 model and the fitness component we were improving was “Quicker Recovery between Actions.” We warmed up with technical training specifically applied to the positions that were in the small group. After about 15-20 minutes we went into the 3v3/4v4 games. Below is the breakdown of each week:

2015 Small group training periodization
Week Date Game Time Duration Break Players
1 1/22/15 2v2 10x-: 30w/2r 30m M
1/23/15 2v2 8x-: 30w/2r 24m D/F/GK
2 1/29/15 3v3/4v3 2×6-1w/2.5r 42m D/F/GK
1/30/15 4v4 2×6-1w/2.5r 42m M
3 2/5/15 4v4 2×6-1w/2r Did not do M/F/GK
2/6/15 4v4 2×6-1w/2r 36m D
4 2/12/15 3v3/4v4 2×6-1w/1.5r 32m D
2/13/15 3v3/4v4 2×6-1w/1.5r 32m M/F/GK
5 2/19/15 3v3/4v4 2×6-1.5w/1r 32m D/M/GK
2/20/15 3v3/4v4 2×6-1.5w/1r 32m F
6 2/26/15 3v3/4v4 2×6-2w/1r 36m F
2/27/15 3v3/4v4 2×6-2w/1r 36m D/M/GK
7 3/12/15 3v3/4v4 2×6-2w/1r 36m Team
8 3/19/15 3v3/4v4 2×6-2.5w/1r 42m Team

*The bold letters (week 7,8) represent when we begin our non-traditional season.

We are currently four weeks in and I can report that soreness is down and freshness is up. We recently performed the yo-yo IR1 test and as you can see from the scores below, all but one player (coming off injury) improved their score from fall pre-season testing.   I am excited to apply this model to our upcoming spring season. Once we play our first spring game I will report on how the model was applied to the non-traditional season.

Player Winter 2015 Pre-season 2014
Athlete 1 2440 (in meters) 2040 (in meters)
Athlete 2 2360 2160
Athlete 3 1880 1800
Athlete 4 1880 1600
Athlete 5 1840 1640
Athlete 6 1840 1600
Athlete 7 1840 1560
Athlete 8 1800 1520
Athlete 9 1760 1600
Athlete 10 1760 1520
Athlete 11 1760 1520
Athlete 12 1720 1480
Athlete 13 1720 1440
Athlete 14 1640 1440
Athlete 15 1600 1440
Athlete 16 1600 1400
Athlete 17 1560 1500
Athlete 18 1480 1520
Athlete 19 1480 1460
Athlete 20 1080 800
Athlete 21 1040 800
Athlete 22 720 800
Mean 1673 1484

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