Book review: El entrenamiento en los deportes de equipo (Training in team sports)

Pablo Ariel Torres

*Corresponding author: Pablo Ariel Torres

Original Language Spanish

Cite this article

Ariel Torres, P. (2022). Book review: El entrenamiento en los deportes de equipo (Training in team sports). Apunts Educación Física y Deportes, 149, 79-80.


The coordinator of this book review, Francisco Seirul·lo, a graduate in Physical Education and Human Motricity, has many years of experience in physical training and coaching in high performance sports (athletics, handball, judo, tennis and football), and also as a teacher at the INEFC in Barcelona. He is currently working as director of training methodology at the F. C. Barcelona.

Seirul·lo designed and built the foundations of Structured Training in team sports. The text shows the principles of the methodological approach developed by the Barcelona School, which has influenced (and continues to influence) a large number of coaches, trainers and physical therapists all over the world.

Figure 1
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From Seirul·lo Vargas (2017).

The book encompasses a process initiated in the late 1980s by a group of professionals who worked for the INEFC in Barcelona, led by Seirul·lo and comprised of the authors of the chapters in the book under review: Tous, Moras, Vizuete, Fortó, Serrés, Massafret, Espar, Romero and Padullés. These members worked on the development of a renewed theory of training for team sports. Influenced by the concepts and ideas of the Complexity paradigm (coming from the sciences of Gestalt, Cognitivism and Structuralism), from a systemic and multifunctional view of the human athlete, they focused on the optimisation of their structures and movement as the focus of their proposal. This methodology began to be put into practice in high performance sports and was subsequently developed in the Professional Master’s Degree in High Performance in Team Sports of Barcelona (2003). Since then, this innovative way of understanding training, focusing on the universality of sports and the particularity of athletes, has been constantly evolving and reinventing itself, supported by technological advances, to improve the practice of design, control and assessment of players. 

The book presents Structured Training (the theory of training for team sports), its methodology, planning and control processes, in a generic and specific way for each sport speciality, with the purpose of preparing the athlete to train and compete.

The first chapter contains an overview of the general theory of sports training, from which closed, universal and multidisciplinary models applied to athletes and successfully applied to individual sports were presented. Seirul·lo states that this movement originating from Mechanicism and Behaviourism (Simplification paradigm) has numerous limitations for team sports. Whereas the complexity paradigm, which supports Structured Training, according to the author, is more adequate for conceiving team sports as intuitive, synthetic, holistic, non-linear, cooperative and qualitative. 

Throughout the extensive chapter two, the training of conditional structure as a support in the prevention of injuries and optimisation of performance is established. This is what the authors call “preparing for training’’ and involves the inclusion of oriented, general and targeted exercises, proposing training strategies based on three-dimensional and four-dimensional strength development. 

In chapter three, the explanation of “prepare for competition” begins, with the predominance of the coordinative structure. It develops the methodology for the design of training tasks through preferential simulated situations. 

In chapter four the authors address the cognitive structure, explaining the importance of strengthening and developing these capacities of shared space athletes, emphasising decision-making in the game and its implication in the design of exercises. 

In the next chapter, Seirul·lo develops socio-affective structure as an inexorable element that enables knowledge on how and why a team wins, since sporting success and failure are group-based. The author stresses that high levels of interpersonal relationships are necessary for the fulfilment of each team’s objectives.

In chapter six, the authors address planning in structured training, describing it as a systematic and continuous process, which requires rigorous timing of theoretical and practical tasks of periodisation, cyclisation, programming, assessment and control. They characterise planning as unique and specific to each sport speciality and personalised to the athlete. 

In the last two chapters, they work on the transversal contents of the proposal: the methodology of preventive intervention within the optimising training of the athlete and control of the internal and external load of team sports.

As physical education and physical preparation professionals, we now have access to a great book that brings them closer to the world of high performance sports with the possibility to compare, complement and continue to study their actions in the sports field. This book contains many articles that help to better understand how to coach based on this ideology, which has greatly influenced many of the world’s best clubs. The enjoyable reading and rereading of this compilation has been a decisive before and after moment in our profession. Reading it is highly recommended.


[1] Seirul·lo Vargas, F. (2017). El entrenamiento en los deportes de equipo. Editorial Mastercede.

ISSN: 2014-0983

Received: February 18, 2022

Accepted: May 23, 2022

Published: July 1, 2022