Play to your potential with a game model

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Welcome to Jason Tee and Mike Ashford’s guide to Tactical Periodisation for rugby.

This module is all about developing a game model and is part of our Tactical Periodisation course.

A game model is a way of training and playing to allow your team to achieve their potential.

Tactical periodisation is

  1. A “process” of finding a shared way of playing.
  2. Training in a way that covers all aspects of the game all at once.
  3. A journey to find a way of playing that everyone in YOUR team understands.
  4. And how that translates in a better performance that is effective for your team.


We would love to say differently, but the process of finding a shared way of playing takes time and requires deliberate effort. Deliberate in the sense that it doesn’t happen by chance.

To achieve this shared way of playing, you have to feed all your other activities through the development of tactical understanding. You must develop skills, physical fitness and mental abilities within tactical scenarios.

For example, rather than splitting up a session between physical conditioning (for example, shuttle runs), technical skills (for example, long and short passes) and tactical drills (for example, wide-to-wide attacking play), an entire session could be focused on a specific aspect of the game model (for example, identifying and moving the ball into space). Through training this tactical outcome, players will be exposed to the specific skills and fitness capacities required to execute the game model.


Our first steps towards implementing tactical periodisation are to understand and implement a game model.

At the end of this module you will understand:

  • What is meant by a game model
  • The benefits of using a game model
  • How to construct a game model
  • How to adapt a game model (as shared understanding grows)

We will start with the story of a team who will discover they need a game model.

Click on lesson one to begin.

Jason Tee worked has worked in rugby and strength and conditioning across the rugby pathway from grassroots to international level. In the world beyond rugby, he works as a coach education and development specialist.

Mike Ashford is a lecturer in sports coaching at Coventry University, coach educator and developer and rugby union coach. Mikes work with coaches ranges across a number of sports working in community, talent pathways and elite professional contexts.

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