The second step is to create a physical periodization document which will serve as our guiding platform for programing and tracking all workloads for the year. Even though teams are utilizing more online platforms to record things, I like to keep a running document shared with all staff where I can get a broad visual of where we are, what we have done and what is coming. 

First thing in creating the periodization document is to reproduce the calendar into a weekly view. That should look like an excel table with the week heading at the top on a background color specific to the block we are in. This helps visually to see when we are approaching a new block of work. The days of the week flow under from left to right, Monday through Sunday with an extra column on the right called totals. On the left-hand side we have a running list of variables. Yes, that is going to be a lengthy excel sheet, as we are creating each week of the calendar in this document. It works well because we slowly scroll through the year as we move forward and have an easy way to re-assess the period we just closed and look ahead at the period that is coming. 

Here are some of the variables I use in my periodization document:

  • Session Title – This is based on a common language established with the coaching staff. We will label each training session the same way based on the days leading to the game and the physical emphasis we want to achieve.
  • Physical Focus – This highlights whether the session will dominate in strength, endurance or a mix of both. 
  • Training Load – Targeted RPE is a good way to assess post session whether we designed an appropriate session. If we have access to GPS, I will also create a line item for TD, HSR and sprint where we estimate the session ahead then enter the true values post sessions. This tab is designed as a check and balance, to help us reassess our plan daily, weekly and as a block. 
  • Conditioning – will highlight the days we are doing top up conditioning work on field, non-impact in the gym or even to program our sprint exposure work.
  • Lift – will highlight the days we are in the gym, the emphasis of those sessions, include our readiness testing and prevention strength blocks. 
  • Video/Meetings – will display when the team has sessions and the emphasis of those sessions which will help us guide the coaching staff on cognitive load throughout the week.
  • Notes – Will be the last item to add anything specific about each day that we should consider.