Team Sports Training: The Complexity Model, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Team Sports Training

The Complexity Model, 1st Edition

By Javier Mallo Sainz


232 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780367860707
pub: 2020-03-26
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 26th March 2020

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Team Sports Training: The Complexity Model presents a novel approach to team sports training, examining football (soccer), rugby, field hockey, basketball, handball and futsal through the paradigm of complexity.

Under a traditional prism, these sports have been analyzed using a deterministic perspective, where the constituent dimensions of the sportsmen were independently examined and treated in isolation. It was expected that the body worked as a perfect machine and, once all the components were maximized, the sportsmen improved their performance. If the same closed recipe was applied to all the players that formed part of the squad, the global team performance was expected to be enhanced.


As much as these reductionistic models seem coherent, when contrasted in practice we see that the reality of team sports is far more different from the closed conditions in which they were idealized. Team sports contain variable, heterogeneous and non-linear constrains which require the development of a different logic to organize their training.


During the last years, ecological psychology, the dynamical systems theory or the constraints-led approach have opened interesting fields of research from which many conceptual foundations can be applied to team sports. Based in this contemporary framework, the current book presents the study of the players and the teams as complex systems, using coordination dynamics to explain the emergence of the self-organisation episodes that characterize them. In addition, this thinking line provides the reader with the ability to apply all these innovative concepts to their practical training scenarios. Altogether, it is intended to challenge the reader to re-think their training strategy and to develop an original theory and practice of training specific to team sports.

Table of Contents


1. The reductionist paradigm in team sports

2. Towards a new theory and practice of training for team sports: The complex alternative

3. Coordination dynamics

4. Intrapersonal coordination (The individual play)

5. Interpersonal coordination (The collective play)

6. Design of training tasks in team sports

7. Training strategies for team sports

About the Author

Javier Mallo (PhD in Sports and Physical Activity Sciences & BSc in Physiotherapy) works since 2013 as a fitness coach for Real Madrid CF, with previous experiences at Manchester City FC and Atletico de Madrid, among other football teams. He has complemented his practical experience in professional football with the publication of books, presentations in international congresses and lecturing in the Technical University of Madrid (Spain), providing theoretical tools to develop an alternative approach to the training of football.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Sports Coaching

The Routledge Research in Sports Coaching series provides a platform for leading experts and emerging academics in this important discipline to present ground-breaking work on the history, theory, practice and contemporary issues of sports coaching. The series sets a new benchmark for research in sports coaching, and offers a valuable contribution to the wider sphere of sports studies.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SPORTS & RECREATION / Coaching / General
SPORTS & RECREATION / Coaching / Basketball
SPORTS & RECREATION / Coaching / Soccer