The coaching structure we adopt at Target is based on the work of Istvan Balyi's 'long-term athlete development programme'. The model highlights the need to support participants at every level to encourage them to fulfil their potential and ultimately, remain in sport.
It provides a detailed structure for developing individuals, and outlines the key coaching principles and practices relating to the various developmental stages individuals progress through. The stages represent various chronological age ranges (male & female) and are flexible, as progression occurs when a child is developmentally ready and not because they have reached a certain age. Training, preperation & competition must always account for individual differences!
Our coaches understand that their job is to help children develop as individuals and not just as a future sport stars!!
Key Child Development Areas
- Skill Execution
- Consistency & Control
- Individual & Group Practice
- Learning & Exploration
- Confidence & Enthusiasm
- Mental & Lifestyle Skills
- Avoids Anxiety & Boredom
- Goal Setting
- Group Activities
- Stable Temperament
- Motor Control
- Movement Skills
- (agility, balance, coordination, speed etc)
- Strength & Power
- Growth & Body Changes
- Fun & Enjoyment
- Inclusion & Participation
- Safe Environment
- Parent & School Support
- Form Relationships
- Fair Play, Rules & Ethics
- Socially Responsible
Key Child Development Stages
When fundamental movement skills are emphasised and developed in a systematic manner, children at the earliest stages should be:-
- more willing to try a range of sports
- more able to make a successful transition to another sport
- more likely to find at least one sport that captures their interest
- more motivated to make sport a continuing part of their lives.
"I tried various sports as a child and thoroughly enjoyed them all. I didn't realise it at the time but this gave me strong basic skills, which helped me develop as a hockey international when I started to specialise in the sport age 15"
(Jane Sixsmith, England Women's Hockey Captain).
Fundamentals (stage 1)
Age 3 - 6 years
- Sample a wide range of movement activities in fun, playful and creative environments.
- No sport-specific specialisation. A multi-skills approach should be adopted.
- Emphasis on development of basic movement skills, not formal competition.
- Parent support & involvement, encouraging participation in as many differnt activities as possible.
- Speed, power and endurance developed using fun games and challenges.
- No periodisation and....lots of FUN!
Fundamentals (stage 2)
Age 6 - 8 years
- Progress & continue points in stage 1 to a more advanced level.
Learning to Train
Age 8 - 12 years
- Introduction of basic skills & fitness to their preferred activity.
- Reduction in number of sports/activities but recommend at least three.
- Focus on mastery of basic sport skills through regular practice in fun-based environments, using discovery learning.
- Emphasis on learning to train and practice, not on performance outcome.
- Element of appropriate competition introduced (25%)