Planning the In-Season Microcycle in Soccer Part 3: Mick McDermott Case-Study

Previous parts:

  1. Planning the in-season microcycle in soccer – Part 1: Complexity
  2. Planning the in-season microcycle in soccer – Part 2: Mark Williams Case Study

It is great that coaches started sharing their own case studies and I urge others to share their own experiences and solutions.

I am more than glad to share Mick McDermott’s (@MickMcDermott) solution to in-season microcycle organizational problems. Mick McDermott was fitness coach for Al Ain FC for 5 years and currently works for Al Nasr FC, along with running Soccer Specific website (where I have published couple of articles as well).

Here is what Mick shared:

I use a games-based model for ‘conditioning’ supplemented with various interval formats (as needed): these follow 6-week or 3-week cycles. Being based here in the Middle-East (Al Nasr FC) we train in the afternoon due to the heat. Gym-based work – we will generally have 1 A.M session after the free day and then we use ‘modules’ of training plugged in before the pitch-based sessions throughout the rest of the week. These ‘modules’ can vary according to need / microcycle / etc etc – strength module, flexibility module, bracing module, upper body, mobility, etc etc. I find this format works well as the players can train for 20-25min in the gym and walk straight out to the pitch for training – the adaptation comes from the frequency of training. During my time at Al Ain FC (5 years), I also found that pre-training short blocks of gym-based work performed frequently was the best option.


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