Tactical Periodization: Is it really new?


What exactly is tactical periodization? Is it the newest buzzword or a new name for what great coaches have always done? Before you jump on the bandwagon and try to understand some of the poorly translated Portuguese books and interviews on the subject look at history for a minute. Look at Dean Smith and John Wooden – they did not call it tactical periodization but their practices were designed to thoroughly and systematically prepare for the demands of the game. Look at Chip Kelly when he was at Oregon or Herb Brooks with the 1980 Olympic Ice Hockey team. Basic sound pedagogy designed to speed up the game. Practices were fast to make the game slow down for them and speed up for the opponent. They focused on key “moments of the game.”  Everything was driven by the demands of the game, no fluff. In short tactical periodization is not new, just wrapped in a different package – good marketing.

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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