What is Tactical Periodization?

The Inventor - Vitor Frade

Professor Vitor Frade (now 75 years old) from Porto University invented the Tactical Periodization methodology. In Tactical Periodization, every aspect of the game is interconnected.

Training should be related to possible in-game scenarios and not focus on independent tactical, technical, physiological and psychological elements.

Isolated exercises that focus on things like general fitness or general passing are taboo. Likewise, players should not be told what to do, they should be given a problem and encouraged to solve it for themselves, in the correct environment.

Proponents of Tactical Periodization include Jose Mourinho, Andre Villas-Boas, Vitor Pereira, Jose Tavares, Leonardo Jardim, Marco Silva, Brendon Rodgers and many others.


The most important thing is the game being first born in the player’s minds. Decision making cannot be coincidental and has to be based on certain principles that follow an internal logic.

This suggests that the coach must use strategies to let the players recognise the importance of certain behaviors. By creating this desired way of play (collective intentional organisation) players think about the same thing in a similar manner at the same time. Through habits, the decision to reaction time can be reduced significantly when trying to solve game related issues.

Training Week

In Tactical Periodization, the training week is governed by phases. These phases suggest that on different days, different aspects of play are worked on using a logical structure. This structure revolves around the four main moments in a game and the tactical principles of play (principles, sub principles and sub-sub principles).

These behaviours and patterns express a collective dynamic behaviour revealing the playing IDENTITY of the team.

Hear from FC Porto U23 Assistant Coach Vitor Matos at IFCCA to learn more on this methodology.

Vitor will also demonstrate how to apply this methodology at all levels of the game, whether you're at professional or grassroots level.

If your club and coaches are interested in learning more, contact to book a group delegate package of 6 or more. Any purchases exceeding six or ten delegate passes will attract a 10% discount per individual ticket. For individual delegate passes, visit here. Words: Ken Stead Conference Director

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