This is an excerpt from Training and Conditioning Young Athletes-2nd Edition by Tudor O. Bompa & Sorin O. Sarandan.
The concept of modeling can also be applied to planning, particularly to the methodology of planning microcycles (weekly training plans) with a varied number of games per weekend.
Modeling a Microcycle Ending With an Exhibition Game
The standard format of a microcycle is illustrated in table 7.3, where the days of the week (first row) are numbered because some exhibition games do not always follow a standard week’s days. The second row refers to training objectives, the third row suggests how to plan the energy systems to correspond with the training objective, and the fourth row suggests training demand for each day.
An exhibition game should be planned only when the team is ready, usually at the end of the preparatory phase (one or two per week). The main scope of these games is not victory; rather, it is for testing and monitoring all aspects of the game and individual athletes, from collaborations between different lines or compartments of the team to the efficiency of transition from defense to offense and vice versa. Therefore, the demand of training for the week is slightly higher than the demand preceding league games.
Logically, planning of the exhibition games should be progressive, from a team of a lower standard to teams that offer a good opposition. Enter each game with specific objectives in mind, each goal being an intrinsic part of your game plan. Modify and refine your game model based on your observations and conclusions from the exhibition game with the intent of taking the time to change and validate your game plan.
Modeling the Microcycle With One or Two League Games
The structure of the training model for one league game at the end of the week is like the model for exhibition games, except the last day before the game has a low (L) demand. The big difference arises when a team must play two games a week; before and after each game, you have to plan low training demand to rest for the game and facilitate supercompensation.
After the game, the primary goal is to remove fatigue from athletes’ systems through recovery, regeneration, and physical therapy techniques. A short aerobic activity to produce perspiration may aid in removing the fatigue from the system because perspiration facilitates the removal of metabolites.
As shown in table 7.4, during the league games the only time you can train maximum speed, agility, power, and strength is at the end of days 2 and 5. This model is a maintenance-type program for retaining the abilities you have trained during the preparatory phase. (For training methods and programs suggested for each dominant ability, see chapters 9-12.)
Modeling Weekend Tournaments
Model training is the most effective method for training the athletes to cope with the specific physiological, psychological, and social stresses that arise during tournament games. In most team sports, especially basketball, handball, lacrosse, hockey, baseball or softball, volleyball, and water polo, weekend tournaments are a tradition. During these tournaments, teams usually play at least three games.
As illustrated in table 7.5, modeling a training program for weekend tournaments involves organizing two or three microcycles that mimic the future tournament structure, ensuring readiness for the tournament. The model includes three or four high-demand training sessions on three consecutive days. It is the only way to adapt successfully to the specific physiological demands of the tournament and be able to cope with the psychological fatigue associated with three days of challenging games. If you expect to play two games each day, such as Saturday and Sunday, that tournament structure needs to be modeled over two or three weekends.