Weekly Pattern (Morphocycle)



According to Guilherme Oliveira, the weekly pattern is fundamental to the organization of the training process, because after the game the coach analyzes and defines a set of objectives to focus on throughout the week. In this way, “the weekly pattern is designed to prepare for the next game taking into account what happened in the previous game and what lies ahead in the next game”. From here we direct the training process for the next competition.

Monday and Tuesday. When there is only one game per week, I give the day off on the day following the game. I know it is incorrect from the physiological point of view, but it is the mental point of view [as the consciousness also has physiology]. And it is also best for myself, because I do not like to work on the day after the games. I find it hard to sleep after the games, I find it hard to wake up, I find it hard to concentrate, I find it hard to plan, I find it hard to think, I find it hard to take training, and during these practices I spend more time on walking from one side to the other to watch the training, than on the training itself. The same happens to the players. It would be wrong to think otherwise. From the physiological point of view, it is better to train on the day following the game, but the players don’t like it, do not feel well. It is better for the body, but is worse for the head. And we have to look at this issue from a global point of view [because the behavior is an intellectual expression in the first place, and only then the physical. And from a purely visible perspective it can be seen that the central fatigue interferes with the quality of the play].

Tuesday: Active Recovery:
With the objective of recovery, Guilherme Oliveira states that “on this day we address some sub-principles that we believe we should train in relation to what happened in the previous game (good or bad) and facing what we anticipate in the next game”. And to clarify gives an example: “we were bad in terms of offensive organization (in a short build-up), the ball didn’t enter well into the middle sector due to poor positioning of midfielders and defenders (who also chose the wrong moment to make the pass), due to poor quality of the pass”. Given this, we decide to do “passing exercises” (in a way that we want this element to appear in the game), but “without opposition to correct the important aspects where we were wrong”.
However, we should note that these situations are very discontinuous, i.e. with frequent stops for the players to recover. In this sense, Guilherme Oliveira clarifies that we promote “a typical effort of our play, but with a very large reduction in terms of speed, tension and duration of contraction”. And therefore, we develop the sub-principles under recovery regime.

Wednesday: Medium fraction of the “play”.
Wednesday. Experience tells me that three days after the game players are not yet fully recovered. Not so much in physical, but fundamentally, in emotional terms. The emotional distress takes longer to recover than the physical.
In this training session the coach takes into account an aspect considered essential – the possibility that the players are not yet fully recovered (mentally and physically) from the previous game. As a direct result of this uncertainty, as the individuals have different rates of recovery, the training on Wednesday is the most discontinuous in morphocycle, i.e. the one that comprises more frequent recovery intervals and therefore is more fragmented.
Mourinho seeks to address smaller parts of the model of play, the sub-principles and sub-principles of sub-principles, less complex purposes, but always with their articulation with the whole, permanently establishing the bridge to the main principles of play, creating sub-dynamics of the play.
What for me is the meaning of strength in football? It is having the ability to start, stop, change direction, jump to head. We have to contextualize it in terms of what are the specific actions of our players in the game. And therefore, we have to work according to the specificity of our play. If we want the training session to have a predominance of tactical-technical actions under regime of strength-technique [is meant, high specific tension], what we do is look for a set of game situations [specific, i.e., concomitant with the acquisition of the principles of play] where it is presented. Now we have to quantify if the player makes ten or fifteen changes of direction. Our concern is to make sure that the situation itself can drag a dominance of these actions.

Thursday. The training on Thursday takes place on large spaces, with more displacement and it is closer to something that, to help the understanding, I can call “specific endurance”, but that has nothing to do with the traditional idea of endurance. I do not practice endurance! For me, endurance is to be adapted to a concept of play, to be able to perform individual and collective actions implied in our form of play. So the only thing we do is train on more enlarged spaces, closer to a real situation. That is, our concern is to find tactical contexts, game situations, which would allow specific adjustment to our form of play. I do not use the total field space, but that has to do with the contexts of propensity, with the need to increase the density of curtain things.
Thursday: Large fraction of the “play”. Complex dynamic of the “play”.
Referring to this day of the weekly pattern, Guilherme Oliveira states that the work is focused on great principles or some sub-principles which are closely related to these great principles”, and adds that “we train the articulation of the sectors with the whole, or almost the whole team”.
To focus on collective dynamic and therefore, on addressing great principles, it is essential to create situations with the whole team. It is not large number of players in abstract form, as for example 11x11 situation, but rather the collective organization. Thus, on this day we focus on the team’s collective dimension, exercises are performed on large spaces and their duration is increased compared to other weekdays.
However, author warns that sometimes we develop great principles of play on reduced spaces, as a strategic issue.

Friday. This is the last day on which Mourinho emphasizes acquisitive side of the dynamic of the play and it is dedicated to the sub-dynamics associated with it. The concerns are directed to the sub-principles, the less complex tactical purposes, and we may call this day “the day of the purposes under regime of elevated speed of contraction”.
We do not take “speed” in the traditional way, i.e., from a strictly physiological point of view. We have to consider it as the analysis or processing of information and execution. Our concern in terms of speed of execution is the contextualized speed, i.e., the one that our form of play requests. This is our major concern. In training, what we do is look for game situations that can drag a dominance of this physiological need, as well as the need for our organization of the play.
Friday: Small fraction of the “play”
Guilherme Oliveira states that Friday is related to the level of sub-principles, which favors the work in terms of sectors. However, clarifies that “the major concern is for the exercises to promote high speed of decision making by the players, so they can decide fast and execute.” To make it happen, we create situations where “there is no opposition or the opposition is reduced compared to the game, such as 4 or 5 against 0, 10 against 0, 8 against 4, 7 against 3”, but sometimes also create “exercises of 8x8 or 10x10 on a much reduced field, so there’s no space for the players and they are conditioned to execute quickly.”

Saturday. On the day before the game, Mourinho brings an introduction to the competition, eliminating everything that represents detrimental wear to the game the following day. He reduces the complexity of exercises, decreases spaces, increases the recovery times, and highlights the sub-principles and sub-sub-principles under regime of tactical-strategic context. On Saturday, the final product is finished, the work is focused on strategic side, more “theoretical”, almost without competitiveness. It is a training under regime of recovery, but also an introduction to the competition.
The recovery on Tuesday is a concern of the previous game, but on Saturday it is derived from the introduction to the competition, although in both cases we speak of recovery.
It is important, as we get closer to the day of the game, that the training goes decreasing in terms of density, especially with respect to the requirements of concentration. The fatigue of the central nervous system is decisive, and
the closer we get to the competition, the less we should encounter demanding exercises at this level.
Saturday: Predisposition for the game
Explaining how the training is structured on the day before the competition, Guilherme Oliveira states that the concern is to “recall some aspects trained during the week, but always without much effort, that is unopposed”, and adds that “we can cover some sub-principles considered important, but without giving great emphasis to the acquisitive side, because we don’t want large requests in terms of concentration, since we’ll have a game the next day. It is basically a pre-activation.
Given this understanding, the author states that “we seek to recover through an effort with much reduced tension and elevated speed, but with a minimal density and a very short duration.” This way, we address some situations where we conduct the activation of some dynamic automatisms of the team, i.e. some behaviors that do not require much concentration and that “recall” the collective patterns.
In addition, we may recall some aspects considered important, such as what the team is doing well or where it is failing to deliver the quality, or even a few points addressed throughout the week about the opponent, but always without great demands. 

Morphocycle developed by José Mourinho


Morphocycle
(1 Game per Week)
Game
Recovery
Acquisitive Operationalization of the Play
Recovery
Game
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday


Tactical Dimension:
Complexity of the Play:


Qualitative Evaluation


Passive Recovery
Active Recovery
Medium Fraction of the Play
Large Fraction of the Play
Small Fraction of the Play
Predisposition for the Game


Qualitative Evaluation

Level of Organization:
Sub-Principles
Sub-Principles, Sub-principles of Sub-Principles
Great Principles, Sub-Principles
Sub-Principles
Sub-Principles
Organization:

Sectoral, Intersectoral
Intersectoral
Collective
Sectoral



Physical Dimension:
Sub-dynamic:
Active Recovery
Tension (Specific Strength)
Duration (Specific Endurance)
Speed (Specific Speed)
Active Recovery
Muscle Contractions:
Tension:
-
+++
++
+
-/+
Duration:
-
-
+
-
-
Speed:
-
+
-
++
-/+
Psychological Dimension:
Emotional Distress:
-
+
++
-
-/+

Training Exercises:
Discontinuity:
+
++
+
+
++
Duration:
90’
90’
90’
90’
60’
Density (Space/Number of Players):
+
-
++
+
+

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
  • Marisa Silva O desenvolvimento do jogar, segundo a Periodização Táctica.
  • Bruno Ricardo Valente Nunes Gaiteiro A CIÊNCIA OCULTA DO SUCESSO! Mourinho aos olhos da ciência.