Tag Archive for 'LTAD'

Courses to understand the athlete development

Long Term Athlete Development promotes sport professional culture and science in sport experts (coach, psychologist, physician, manager).

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Mind skills in gymnastic over 14

  • Routine: Total command of the routine, regardless of competitive environment and situation.
  • Recovery: Focus on recovery and regeneration strategies
  • Mental skills: Imagery, concentration, emotional control, positive self-talk and relaxation, self-regulation, adaptive perfectionism and self-confidence
  • Team: Team competitive events bring different pressures, and require development and management of team work skills
  • Media: Managing interviews and media events
  • Training: Managing distractions and interruptions in training, while maintaining peak performance over the long term
  • Coach: Takes a stronger role in decision-making, working in partnership with the coach
  • Ethics: relating to competition and social maturity
  • Life: Balance through outside interests and friends, education
(Source: Adapted from http://www.gymcan.org/uploads/gcg_ltad_en.pdf)

Coach the mindset to have success in sports team

Da tempo le nazionali degli sport di squadra non vincono più e presidenti di federazione e club si accusano vicendevolmente di fare poco per affrontare seriamente questo problema. Al di là di questa lotta sterile che evidenzia paradossalmente la difficoltà a ‘fare squadra’ per un interesse superiore alle singole esigenze, ciò che manca è il sapere come si sviluppa a lungo termine l’atleta. Sappiamo per certo che ci vogliono anni d’investimento, probabilmente almeno 10.000 ore di allenamento dall’inizio della pratica dello sport scelto sino a diventare giocatori esperti e maturi per affrontare eventi di livello internazionale. Abbiamo tanti presunti campioncini che non diventeranno mai giocatori di prima fascia per un eccesso di valutazione positiva quando sono adolescenti mentre i genitori si gratificano pensando di avere scoperto in casa un Totti, solo perché il loro figlio è più bravo dei suoi compagni o nella pallavolo e basket solo perché a 13/14 anni è più alto degli altri e allora ha vita facile a fare i punti. I genitori si entusiasmano, i club li sfruttano e l’anno successivo un altro diventa più bravo di loro e così avanti, il risultato è che si rovina l’autostima dei ragazzi che non sanno a cosa credere: ‘sono bravo oppure no?’.

In Italia la ricerca psicologica in questo ambito non è sviluppata perché difficilmente le squadre mettono a disposizione i loro giocatori per indagare sullo sviluppo psicologico di questi giovani. Non è lo stesso in paesi come il Regno Unito dove molte Football Academy hanno adottato un sistema denominato 5C’s che è un modello per sviluppare le abilità psicologiche (concentrazione, impegno, comunicazione, controllo e fiducia) durante le sessioni di allenamento. Lo stesso vale ad esempio in US per la Little League di Baseball, dove da 40 anno si utilizza sul campo un sistema per monitorare il comportamento dell’allenatore, il Coaching Behavioral Assessment System, che ne permette l’esame e fornisce al tecnico informazioni utili per migliorare professionalmente, tratte direttamente dal suo modo di lavorare con i giovani. Esistono, inoltre, sistemi per il miglioramento della concentrazione nelle abilità di precisione, trasversali a tutti gli sport di squadra come sono i calci di rigore, la battuta nella pallavolo, il tiro libero nel basket e i calci nel rugby, che potrebbero insegnare ai giocatori come affrontare queste situazioni, che dipendono in larga parte solo dalla convinzione che hanno in quel momento di fare nel modo migliore la cosa giusta.  L’utilizzo di questi approcci integrati nell’allenamento determinerebbe un migliore sviluppo dei giovani negli sport, potenziando in loro le competenze psicologiche di base, che saranno certamente utili anche nella vita di tutti i giorni ma che sarebbero di grande sostegno alle loro prestazioni che non sono mai solo tecniche. Rappresentano invece l’espressione massima del giocatore nella sua globalità fisica, tecnico-tattica e psicologica. Senza questo tipo di sviluppo personale e di gruppo sarà sempre difficile, al di là di qualsiasi forma organizzativa venga adottata dagli organismi sportivi, allenare futuri giocatori di successo.

Who is accountable of the long term athlete development?

Confidence is a relevant topic for the psychologists and very often the coaches use it to point out the errors of their athletes are caused by a deficiency in this psychological dimension. Sometimes this explanation is used to hide the coaches’ mistakes but other highlights limits in psychological development.

On this topic we can say a lot. One such example comes from the interationist approach to the study of personality, it explains the behaviors are derived from the relationship between the personality, the situational challenges, the specific skills and expectations of the social environment.

Since the question is so complicated, no one among athletes, coaches and staff, sports organizations and parents can shirk their responsibilities, which determine the athlete long term development.

How many address the issue of poor performances with this vision? How many clubs are organized to meet this need, taking into account these variables?

Youth sport: problems and solutions

Youth sport is becoming a great problem and an article published in the magazine of US Olympic Committee helps to understand what might be the reasons and proposals for solutions. I wrote in a short summary but the  article by Christine M. Brooks (Summer 2016) is certainly wider and interesting to read.

  • There is a high pediatric dropout rate from sports (between 2008 and 2013 there were 2.6 million fewer six to twelve year-old kids participating the six traditional sports).
  • Coaches are using higher training intensities at younger ages than ever before possibly causing long-term harm to young athletes (the LTAD model attempts to guide coaches about the appropriate training for children who are at different maturational phases).
  • There is an increase in childhood obesity and subsequent health problems (in the United States, 17 to 31 percent of children and adolescents are obese).
Goals
  • The principle of enjoyment embraces Mihály Csíkszentmihályi’s notion of ‘FLOW,’ that in turn, explains why individuals enjoy an activity. Approximately 40 percent of pediatric athletes in one survey claim they dropped out of sports because they were not having fun. The coaching goal is to train athletes in small, manageable learning steps so they remain in the zone of FLOW. Research indicates that educated coaches lower kids’ anxiety levels and lift their self-esteem.
  • The principle of striving for improvement involves enticing young athletes to constantly strive for the upper limits of their genetic potential while concurrently keeping them in FLOW. If they are out of ‘FLOW,’ it is theoretically impossible to motivate ongoing practice and striving, and therefore progress toward full genetic potential will be blunted.
  • The principle of appropriate training goes hand-in-hand with the child’s growth and maturation. The LTAD model attempts to match structural growth and maturation to the appropriate motor skill complexity and intensity of physical training.
  • The principle of doing no harm is at the basis of coaching. Four million school-age children in the US are injured while playing sports every year. The reason can partly be attributed to stressing a body that has immature balance and coordination beyond its capacity.

Athlete development is a long term process

Do you train to win?

We always talk with the expert athletes and their coaches about the relevance to repeat in the competition as they did in training. Thus the training prepares the athletes to develop and refine the skills necessary to successfully address the sport events. In this stage, the training relates only to a lesser extent on the technique acquisition, because this goal has been carried out in previous stages of the long-term athlete development (LTAD). What it’s then the training to win, following one of the best descriptions of this stage of the athletes’ sport career, by Canadian Sport for Life.

At the Train to Win stage of LTAD, training plans require double, triple or multiple periodization to accommodate the extremely high training volumes. Carefully designed periodization plans allow the high performance athlete to be able to express their full potential on competition day.

General considerations during Train to Win

  • Train athletes to peak for major competitions.
  • Performance outcomes take first priority.
  • Athletes must develop the ability to produce consistent performances on demand.
  • Coaches must ensure that training is characterized by high intensity and high volume.
  • Coaches must allow frequent preventative breaks to prevent physical and mental burnout.
  • Training must utilize periodization plans as the optimal framework of preparation, according to the periodization guidelines of the sport-specific LTAD plan.
  • The training to competition ratio should be adjusted to 25:75, with the competition percentage including competition-specific training activities.
  • Training targets include the maximization and maintenance of all athlete capacities.
  • Athletes must learn to adapt to different environments to perform their best.

The athlete development is a long term process

How many of us know that these are the phases of the athlete development from the very beginning to the adolescence, the years of the athlete activity and the retirement.

Tennis player development

Stage #4 CONSOLIDATING   in tennis - Ages: Girls 12-14, Boys 13-15
Psychological factors:

  1. Maintaining enthusiasm and enjoyment  both in practice and competition despite  the ups and downs experienced during this  stage.
  2. The development of an identity as a “tennis  player”. intrinsically motivated to train and  compete.
  3. Becoming resourceful in competitive situations.
  4. Developing a “going for it” mentality “ hitting the right shot under pressure” regardless of the score or situation.
  5. Enjoys the pressure of competition.
  6. Has an awareness of the importance of different situations and what is required.
  7. Developing a “no excuse” style – always tries to find a way to be competitive mentality.
  8. Developing an understanding of the critical factors that effect the ideal performance state.
  9. Developing the ability to manage arousal levels through proper breathing and relaxation techniques.
  10. Acquiring the skills to control the pace of the match via both an understanding of match momentum and the use of routines and rituals.
  11. Displaying positive self-talk, belief, thinking and body language.

To become top athlete is a long journay: are you ready?

To become an international level athlete needs a very long journey: are you ready?