Agile Periodization Manifesto [Part 2]

Agile Periodization Manifesto [Part 2]

In the previous installment I explained the concept of Agile periodization as opposed to “traditional” one (i.e waterfall) and covered one of the two main cycles – Training block.

In this one I will cover the second major cycle called “Sprint”, it’s sub-components and two major principles:

  • Embedded testing
  • Minimal viable product


“Micro dictates Macro”
Stuart McMillan

Sprints are shorter cycles and usually last 1-4 weeks. The term sprints come from SCRUM methodology.

It is important to acknowledge that ONLY ONE sprint is planned in advance (in details). This is in sharp contrast to traditional planning: in Agile Periodization planning is ongoing through sprint iterations, while in “traditional” approach planning is just one stage that happens once in the beginning.

Using sprints we iterate through PDCA cycle and adjust (we adjust the apriori standardized work) based on observations (new evidence and information) through embedded testing, demonstrable MVP, better understanding of the context and problems at hand and engaging with the players themselves and massively using their feedback in improving the processes.


Each sprint has couple of elements:

  1. Sprint planning – well, deciding on the duration, objectives, standardized work defined by constraint of the training block and so forth
  2. Realization and monitoring – using embedded testing to adjust processes instead of outcomes (see Management by Means vs. Management by Results). This also involves daily standup meetings – very short meetings to realign the team to the defined objectives
  3. Sprint review – Reviewing results/outcomes of each sprint
  4. Sprint retrospective – Reviewing sprint processes and trying to improve them (kaizen)

There are two very important concepts in sprints – embedded testing and MVP.

Embedded testing

Embedded testing involves utilizing ongoing testing and monitoring of the athletes. This is in sharp contrast to traditional approach where testing is done in batches and infrequently. In Agile Periodization we seek to make tests embedded in the training process, do them as frequently as possible without negatively affecting the training program and process.

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I am a physical preparation coach from Belgrade, Serbia, grow up in Pula, Croatia (which I consider my home town). I was involved in physical preparation of professional, amateur and recreational athletes of various ages in sports such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, martial arts and tennis. Read More »

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