Long Term Athlete Development – planning

Athlete development is a journey consisting of a number of plans…

IDP…forms part of the following….

  1. Athlete specific IDP
  2. Session Plan
  3. Weekly Plan
  4. Half-Term/Termly Plan
  5. Season Plan
  6. Ten-Year Plan (eg. U8-U18)

These can be summarised as below

  1. Individual Development Plan
    Critical that this is done WITH the athlete – it needs to be co-owned. It is strong suggested that you should include any support staff, parents and co-coaches.
    It needs to be measurable and reviewed regularly
  2. Session Plan
    This is the session plan for the 60-90 mins of that particular session. Covering all aspects of technical, tactical, physical, psychosocial development.
    Influenced and shaped by the IDP’s, what players want and what you think they need.
    This can get into the detail of the practice design and the mechanics of how the session works, the questions you want to consider asking, the specific players you are going to bullseye in that session linked to their IDP etc.
  3. Weekly Plan
    If you have more than one session in a week, think about how these link together. Is there a particular theme you are working on or are you interleaving practice? How can you “catch in” all individuals over the course of a week and spot stuff they do from IDP’s?
  4. 6-8 week blocks or Half-Term/Term reviews
    Use blocks to review how things are going. Identify the session plans and their content and do some retrieval practice with the athlete.
    Review their plan and how they are achieving against their objectives.
  5. Season Plan
    It’s worth thinking about the whole programme of a season. Do you have a curriculum how does their plan gel specifically for skills training bearing in mind that most activity these days is game related
  6. Ten-Year Plan
    A season doesn’t exist in isolation; it’s always part of a bigger developmental journey for an athlete. It’s worth considering what they/teams need across the whole of that experience in readiness for senior sport.

In conclusion…

It is generally easy to deliver a great session BUT there are so many opportunities (with a bit of planning) to maximise the long-term development of an athlete.