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Definitions over the years

"The physical preparation is oriented to the development of capacities, strengthening of organs and systems and to the increase of the organic functional possibilities." (Ozolin, NG 1970)

Physical preparation is based on motor stimuli above the threshold of arousal, which are systematically repeated to establish new morphological and functional adaptations (Grosser, M. 1981)

" Physical preparation guarantees mastery of skills and their effectiveness in play, combat or competition. It encourages the development of basic capacities for sports performance" (Ranzola, A. and Barrios J. 1998)

" Physical preparation is considered one of the most important components of sports training; it focuses on the development and improvement of motor qualities; strength, flexibility, endurance and speed (within basic capacities); and agility and coordination" ( within the coordinative capacities) ( Thematic Dictionary of Sports, Ed. Arguval, 2000 )

" Physical preparation is a part of the sports training process that consists of developing the athlete's functional potential and their physical qualities to the highest possible levels. " (Pajón, MA . 2010 )

"The fundamental content of physical preparation lies in the development of physical capacities, especially those of strength, endurance, speed and mobility." (Harre, D. 1973)

" Physical preparation is the application of a set of body exercises (generally unrelated to those used in the practice of sport), rationally aimed at developing and perfecting the perceptual - motor qualities of the person to obtain greater physical performance. " (Platonov, V. 1995)

" Physical preparation is the permanent and constant activity of the training process, focused on the development and continuous maintenance of the athlete's physical qualities." (Pradet, M. 1999)

" Physical preparation is that part of the preparation in which it is about putting the athlete in physical shape, taking advantage of their natural aptitudes and rationally applying systematic and graduated exercises that develop their physical qualities and other physiological aspects, to promote the adaptation of the body to a specific job and get the best possible sports performance. " ( Mengucci, L. and Vilmar, A. 2002 )

" Physical preparation  (understood as sports preparation) is the adaptation of an individual from his potential to his optimal state of performance based on the demands of competition.(Chorro, D. 2015 )

Physical Preparation (Sports) since its inception

"If we understand by sports training (sports preparation) any organized training process whose purpose is the rapid increase of the physical, mental, spiritual and technical-motor capacities of individuals, training existed from the first moment of the appearance of being! human on earth! " (Martínez, JL, 2000).

Taking nature itself as a trainer, the training of our ancestors was based on a series of principles:

  • The WORK-RECOVERY alternation. Forced by the circadian cycle, they alternated activity with sleep, no matter how hungry they were, fatigue would force them to rest. Little by little they experienced SUPERCOMPENSATION.

  • They used SPECIFIC EXERCISES to prepare. Only practice with the tool-weapon itself gave them greater skill for competition. There was no general preparation, everything was specific.

  • Empirically they knew the two BASES OF TRAINING: minimize spending and maximize available power.

  • TALENT SELECTION without the need for laboratory procedures. The best ate more times and better things, the fruit of their true talent.

  • The long and frequent involuntary DIETS, during days of scarcity of nutritional resources, served as training to the organism to improve its efficiency as an energy machine.

(Martínez, JL, 2000)

Greece was the forerunner of the training methodology by creating the first major sporting competitions, reaching almost all the foundations more or less empirically. It was then that the first forms of training planning appeared, ordering it in cycles. In the image we can see the so-called “tetra”, or four-day plan, very similar to the current microcycle, introducing the first forms of alternating training loads.

In 1877 Arndt exposes the Theory of the integration between stimuli and living matter. “Gentle stimuli slightly excite the organic functions. Strong stimuli produce adaptation phenomena and too strong stimuli produce damage to the body that can even lead to death ”.

Uthomskij adds that: “The organism restores in a short period of time the energies expended by the effort and later develops an energetic improvement to be better able to face successive efforts, calling the latter pro-

process of extended restitution. Knowing this phenomenon is of vital importance so that the stimuli are applied to the body as soon as it has completed its recovery process so as not to fall into the exhaustion phase. "

According to Díaz, J. (1982) from the 18th century to the first JJ.OO. of the Modern Era (1896), sports training begins an elementary period. In the last half of the nineteenth century, athletes did long-term training, uninterrupted and uniform.

In 1930 the Fartlek system (fart: speed, and lek: game) appeared in Sweden by the hand of Gosse Holmer, who is based on medium-long duration training, leaning towards the quantitative factor. Perform five workouts per week and in two daily sessions without reaching exhaustion.

During these years, Gosta Olander goes beyond the physical component of training and states that “training is not only physical effort, but also mental preparation (...) the true sources of physical effort are not in the muscles but in the brain . "

In 1939, the Russian K. Grantyn proposed the first system consisting of a complete annual training cycle, without interruptions, with more precise training periods than had been done to date.

In 1940, the well-known intervall training system appeared from the hands of Woldemar Gerschller and Prof. Raindell.

In 1956 the annual periodization of training appeared, by LP Matveev, pedagogically organizing the load to match the form and calendar of competitions.

Martínez, JL (2000)

Shortly after, Fidelus (1960) proposed a significant decrease in volume during the competitive period in order to lengthen the maintenance of shape. (Roca, A. 2008).

In 1971 A. Arosiev invented the principle of pendulum training, relying on the systematic (pendulum) alternation between special and general load, in which the special load, unlike the general load, always grows more, until reaching its culmination with the competition period.

In 1979 the block model appeared by Verjoshanski. Through the concentration of the training loads in 2 or more work blocks during a period of time of 2 months, the improvement of certain strength capacities and muscular power is sought between whose blocks are inserted periods destined to the development of technique and speed. (Verjoshanski, IV 1990).

At the beginning of the 80s, new lines of training planning appeared, by the hand of Peter Tschiene, which served as an alternative to the old postulates of Marveev, based on the distribution and organization of the volume and intensity of the loads. In this way, Tschiene seeks the specificity of training according to his sport. It is based on three development principles that emerged in the mid and late 1970s: Theory of functional systems (Tschiene, 1988), the Theory of action (Bondarchuk, 1979) and the Adaptation of training loads and the concept of "adaptation reserve". We are facing a transition from quantitative to qualitative training.

vo, where it will be sought to relate the different aspects of training (the conditional and coordinative structure must be trained together) and in this way the application of contemporary planning models will be consolidated.

In 1983 a book appeared by Álvarez del Villar that marked an era in terms of a line of work, The physical preparation of soccer based on athletics . According to this author, physical preparation in soccer is important because it facilitates the player's learning, gives him security and confidence, improves the show and helps coaches. From this moment the physical trainer begins to have importance within the coaching staff and his job is basically to increase the physical condition of the player: that he had more strength to jump more or shoot harder, more resistance to endure at a higher pace throughout the game, more speed to be faster than the rival and more flexibility to avoid injury. On the one hand this work was done (without the ball) and on the other hand the coach did the soccer work (with the ball). In this way, the multidisciplinary training methodology appears (Solé, 1996), which is based on the fact that optimal sports performance is achieved through the sum of the elements that intervene and determine sports improvement (technical, tactical, physical and psychological and visual ) but with isolated and totally differentiated objectives. The aim was to improve the technical-tactical aspects and represent the efforts of the competition in training sessions. Six years earlier, in 1977, Martinez, C. et al, already stated that sports preparation should be individualized for each player and periodically verified by controls (tests). They also presented a working formula in sports training in soccer, where they differentiated different types of training, including invisible training:

Technical training + physical preparation + invisible training (food, rest, hygienic life) + psychic training = sports preparation

However, physical preparation (conditional) is still understood as an independent element to work within training.

In 1984 the model of the individual structure appeared by Bondarchuk, whose development criteria is based on achieving an adaptation to the loads conditioned by the individual capacity of the athlete to achieve it. Unlike previous models, it raises the need to combine technical and tactical work with conditional work to give sports training a more specific character of football, thus laying the foundations of Integrated Physical Preparation or Integrated Training. " This new methodology involves an integration and combination between different types of load, but the common denominator of this methodology is always technique and tactics. Through it the remaining qualities that intervene in performance are developed." (Roca, A. 2008).

In 1994, Navarro (adapted from Issurin and Kaverin, 1986, from working with Soviet canoeists) appeared with the planning model so widely used in football until a few years ago, the ATR model. Concept of periodization that uses three types of mesocycles: accumulation, transformation and realization; each one of them composed in turn by microcycles. The sum of these mesocycles form the macrocycles that always respond to the three basic mesocycles, and where at the end of each one of them the player is in better conditions to compete. But, what happens if the player must be in the best conditions every weekend?

(S ituations OF REFERENTIAL S IMULACIÓN P): actual interaction tasks where necessary to solve the optimization of any of these so sitemas preferred over others.

In 1998, F. Seirul-lo introduced a new form of planning into football: the structured microcycle . It considers the person as a hyper-complex structure that is articulated through the relationships of six capacities. "It is not about adding, uniting, or mixing capacities / structures, but about trying to separate them as little as possible" (Cano et al, 2006). It is characterized by:

CHANGE IN THE CONCEPT OF INTENSITY. It goes from being a physical parameter to a cognitive one, and is related to the specificity of the game.

CHANGE IN PERIODIZATION. All the importance is given to the week, to the microcycle. All planning revolves around it.

NEW CLASSIFICATION OF TASKS. Generic, general, targeted, specific or special and competitive.

LOAD DYNAMICS OF THE WEEK. As the competition approaches, the volume decreases and the intensity increases, understood as specificity.

"This type of training supposes that in a given training situation all the elements of all the structures involved have to be given and prioritize an element that allows preferential attention (a priority)." (Seirul-lo, 2002).

And, finally, approximately twenty years ago, a term appeared on which the new trend of sports training in soccer will be based, the so-called "game model", and on which "tactical periodization" revolves. Its original author is Professor V. Frade from the Faculty of Sports of the University of Porto (Portugal) and collaborator in different top-level Portuguese teams.

This new paradigm is based on the idea that "the whole has properties resulting from the interactions and relationships between its parts and in the relationship of the whole with the context. This property is destroyed when the system is physically or theoretically dissected into isolated elements. "(Capra, 1996). "From this vision a globality is defended that integrates all the dimensions and moments that make up the game. In such a way that it allows us to distinguish without being articulated, associate without identifying or reducing. (Morin, 1990). To achieve all this, "the point of origin from which the whole process will be based will be the game model that the coach wants to give to his team, thus being the cognitive-tactical thing that guides our actions; through the division of this game model in a series of tactical-collective principles and sub-principles, simplified training situations will be created, in which the player understands and understands what is intended, from a cognitive and global functioning point of view. " (Gómez, 2011)

According to Gomes (2006) it differs from the previous integrated model in that it neglects the dynamic role of its parts, the interrelational interactions of the team sectors, the individual characteristics and the relationships of the players at various moments of the game. Although it globalizes, it does so in an unspecific way. "In integrated training, although the training may seem specific because the training situations created are for soccer, they are not always the ideal ones to show the desired behavior patterns for that team, that is, there is no specificity of the team model" ( Oliveira, 2007)

In summary, as Tamarit (2007) exposes, tactical periodization has as its main concern the play that a team intends to produce in competition. "Training and playing to develop what the game demands" (Cano, 2006)


At present there are many opinions on the way of training a team, and within this the role of physical (sports) preparation, something logical to understand due to the multiform nature of sport. Current trends are constantly influenced by scientific progress in the physiology and biochemistry of muscle activity, sports medicine, the biomechanics of sports gestures and basic studies of training methodology in high-level sports.

In addition, there is a very important factor that has influenced the changes in this theory and methodology of training, the competition calendar: greater number of games in a season. As a consequence, the coach has to ensure that his players achieve a high level of performance and maintain it.

Regarding the latest training models, it is true that the trend towards the principle of specificity in football is increasing every time:

- "We must not pursue to build the most resistant player, nor stronger, nor faster, since we must work with the concept of " optimal manifestation for football "(Gómez, P. 2014).

- Like Stolen et al. (2005) who ensure that training should not only be based on quantity but also on quality, since the soccer player is a hypercomplex subject and his improvement is due to a global vision where all the shaping structures are found. That is, "only specific stimuli create specific adaptation, only exercises that resemble competition train for competition. This similarity of specific competition exercises is highly correlated with the competition gesture itself in its metabolic, biochemical needs. , structural, neurological, neuromuscular, etc. " (Martínez, JL, 2000).

- "Physical preparation must be aimed at causing specific adaptations to play soccer and should never be treated as an independent entity." (Mallo, 2013)

- "For me there are no players who are fit or are not, but there are players adapted or not to a way of playing. It is ridiculous to prepare an exercise that you will not face on the pitch later, for that reason We cannot think that the footballer improves his resistance by running on the beach. " (J. Mourinho)

- "When you get to the Barca, the first thing they teach you is to think, to think quickly." (Xavi Hernandez) "In football, if you don't think fast, they'll kill you." (Andres Iniesta)

- "In soccer, individual technical-tactical actions represent singular motor strategies as a result of the personal interpretation that each athlete performs of the different game situations, and in which elements of a conditional, coordinative and cognitive type are closely interrelated". ( Casais and Lago, 2006).

In my opinion, I think it has been essential to start seeing football as a collective sport, very different from those sports in which there is no relationship between players, and therefore their training has to be treated in a different way than sports individual, favoring the learning by the player of all those possible situations that can be found in the competition. However, I believe that we should not go "crazy" with "training only with the ball", but rather that training will have to be based mainly on the way the team plays while working on certain aspects without the ball and in a more analytical way, as long as it is necessary.

Training is an art and must be done taking into account the player in front of us. I don't think there is the perfect athlete with the best physical capacities for endurance, strength, speed, etc. But the one that is most adapted to his role within the team, and go to the limit of his possibilities. As Ozolin, NG said in 1970, "the human being is capable of displaying unusual courage, great strength, phenomenal speed of movement and great resistance under extraordinary situations (danger, fury, etc.)." I think the coach has to help the athlete to find this optimal state for the competition, in which he is not the best, but feels the best.

There is no greater individualization of the training load than what the player himself can contribute. Your will and intellectual involvement is what determines the quality of the training stimulus and its depth. He is the one who determines the human limits that man has overcome so many times in extraordinary moments. As Candido (1994) said: "The will is the only power that the human being can give himself."

"The great athletes are those who, since they did not know it was impossible, did it."

Davi d Chorro

Physical trainer

Atlético de Madrid SAD, Real Madrid C F., Real Valladolid CF, Real Sporting de Gijón, CF Trival Valderas Alcorcón

Figure 7. The historical plays of world football.


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