It was Sir Alex Ferguson who coined the phrase "squeaky bum time", but if any other coach has understood the concept it is Brian McDermott.
The idea is that the way to win a League is to stay in the hunt throughout the first part of the campaign, and then bring your team to a peak when it matters most in the final dozen games of the season. Those are the matches that decide who picks up the trophy when the last whistle blows, and that is when you need to be firing on all cylinders.
Which Brian McDermott am I talking about? Well mainly the man who has won two Grand Finals in two years in Super League for Leeds Rhinos, but his namesake who is now across the city at Elland Road hasn't done so badly either. We'll come back to that.
McDermott - the Rugby League man - has mastered the idea that in a sport as brutally physical as Super League you cannot play every game to the maximum and still produce the equivalent of a sprint finish. For two years the Rhinos have ended the regular season in fifth place, then each time they have gone on to collect the prize in the Grand Final at Old Trafford. It looks like they could be going for a hat-trick.
Now I'm a bit biased here because I've backed Leeds at long odds on both of those occasions (here's last year's column, if you'd forgotten). But there are good signs they are ready to do it again.
While Huddersfield, Wigan and Warrington have been scrapping out for the top of the table, Leeds have stayed comfortably in fourth place. They have been collecting their points against the competition's lesser lights, and been competitive in the big games without necessarily hitting their peak.
The younger players being brought through the ranks are gaining more experience, however. And veteran skipper Kevin Sinfield, who plays his 500th game at London Broncos in a Sky match tonight, remains as motivated as ever and his kicking as consistent. Against a team demoralised by the 70-0 humiliation from Wigan in the Challenge Cup last week, a price of 1.855/6 to overcome a 29.5 points handicap looks worth taking. The fact that McDermott is telling his side that he wants them to be ruthless is an encouraging omen that he's bringing them to the boil for when it matters most.
The good news is that, just as in the last two years, a main season that's only average means the Rhinos are under the radar in the betting again - they are currently spread between 5.04/1 and 8.07/1 to be Grand Final winners. That's well worth taking a punt on.
That brings me back to the other Brian McDermott, who showed when he won promotion at Reading that he understands the principle of pacing a team across a season. He got that side, with far from the biggest budget in the division, to peak after January and win 15 of their last 17 matches. There were signs that he was producing a strong second half to his Premier League campaign, too, before he was unceremoniously sacked.
Now at Elland Road he'll have a good opportunity to show it was no fluke, and ahead of Saturday's opener against Brighton Leeds are a generous 6.25/1 to win promotion.
In fact how about a Brian McDermott double? Using your betslip you can put together a multiple of Leeds Rhinos to be Grand Final winners and Leeds United to earn promotion that pays 38-1. Now that would bring an exciting climax to the season.