Nuno Amieiro, Certified Trainer in our Official School and experienced Coach talks with us about the importance of the Pattern Morphocyle in that process.

TP: Why is the Pattern Morphocycle applied from the first day of the season?

Nuno Amieiro: Because of habits. Due to my personality, in contexts of less comfort, I have some difficulty controlling my anxiety, I start to sweat, my mouth becomes dry, I always want to drink water, and I can only be myself, when my body “grabs me”, and I start to be “fluid”, I start to be spontaneous, I’m no longer worried about choosing the words, they come to me naturally. For me, this has everything to do with the game, because the game is just that, it faces circumstances that we do not control, that we do not predict, in the heat of the moment, therefore, with an associated emotional load, it is the body that catches us and takes us to the “place of habits”.

I remember a quote from Professor Bento, in which he said that “habits organize the routine”, and this, in fact, is a central idea for anyone who is passionate about Tactical Periodization®.

We start from the coache’s game idea, an outline of how we want our team to play, but for this to become a game model, – and a model from the perspective of being an emergency, something that begins to reveal as a regularity, and therefore, as an identity, a pattern of organization, – it takes time and a process.

TP: Why?

Nuno Amieiro: Precisely because when they play, they play from their “place of habits”. And changing habits, ingraining new habits, is not easy, it takes time, and, to that extent, it is crucial to understand how we can train. Therefore, there is clearly a gap, a space between what we want, what our ideas are, and what the team will be regularly, in competition, and then this question arises.

How to train to reduce this period of time, which will lead us to, in fact, the team being in our image? Therefore, the “music” that is played on Sunday (match) will be our “music”. This will necessarily have to do with the process, with the priorities, with the concerns that we take to training. Therefore, if we talk about Tactical Periodization®, we are talking about a methodology that implies that we take part in a way of playing, an idea, and the entire process will be directed towards acquiring that game ideia.

Then, the implementation is carried out, game by game, and the Pattern Morphocycle emerges as the mother cell, it is what will standardize the procedural logic, and that in its systematic repetition will begin to give shape to our ideas. In this logic of periodizing game by game, the central concern of the Pattern Morphocycle is this management of the performance-recovery relationship, on one hand fatigue, on the other recovering, on one hand playing and on the other resting.

In this double need, I have to rest from the game that went on, to the next game, because I never know what the next game will be like, and hence our concern about having the guarantees that they are ready, and the team is prepared to respond to the maximum demands. The team, in addition to being fresh for the next game, is fresh so that we can continue, as far as possible, to train throughout the week, – which we know is not necessarily every day, at least in the same way, – to evolve the performances of the team and each of the players on the team. Therefore, to summarize this, the Pattern Morphocycle is responsible for the articulation of meaning, between the idea and the process, and is the guarantee of the correct dynamization of the performance-recovery relationship.

Being the systematic presence of this logic of the Pattern Morphocycle, it will allow us to grow the team, not only the team but also the players in the team, related to the initial idea, related to what was the previous intention for the team.

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Nuno Amieiro has a degree in Physical Education and Sport from the Faculty of Sports of the University of Porto, with a specialization in High Performance Football. He began his career as a Coach in the 2000/2001 season and, since then, he has worked in Youth Football and Professional Football, in Portugal and abroad. He is on of the co-authors of the book “Mourinho – Why so many wins?”