ATHLETE development is a must – the benefits last a lifetime.
Think about how coaches and parents could enhance their kid’s experiences if they invested in athletic development training in the off-season rather than playing more games and having more practices.
Would it help decrease the drop-out rate of females at an early age?
If men and women had been taught to run, jump, and throw, would more of them join local league netball, play recreational 5 a-side, play vets rugby, or pick up a golf club or tennis racket at a later age?
Would we see more parents, especially mums, happy to participate in a kids vs. parents game at the end of the season if they had the agility, balance, coordination, or speed to at least avoid being embarrassed or getting injured?
As John O’Sullivan from Changing the Game Project says, “We have the opportunity to serve our children better. We have the responsibility to help them become better athletes by encouraging them to become all-round athletes.”
Why can’t ‘all-round athlete’ last from primary school to adulthood — from youth leagues to adult leagues?
The reality is that athletic ability trumps skill.
If we teach and train our kids and our players in the fundamental movement skills and ABC’s, that will help them score more points/goals and help coaches win more games.
A better athlete will always find a way to shut down a great striker and a great athlete will be able to slice through any defensive strategy a coach has implemented.
• pick up new skills quicker and are easier to coach
• are much more resilient to injury
• transfer skills to a variety of sports
• are less likely to drop out of sport
• perform with greater consistency
These factors remove much of the stress felt by young sports people and thus allows them to enjoy their sports much more.
The ‘all-round athlete’ lasts from primary school to adulthood — from youth leagues to adult leagues.
If we invest in developing all round athletic ability, we have an opportunity to enhance the enjoyment of sport for all kids, not just the superstars. And last time I checked, there is no reason to put an expiry date on enjoyment.