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Sports development continuum: this is a four stage pyramid that explains the stages of becoming an athlete. An athlete will start at the bottom and work their way up by placing motivation and consistency into the sport that the player is using. it is an explanation of how participation and ability can be quanitfied in sport and is typically illustrated with a triangle shape: foundation at the bottom having the largest participation, less taking part in participation, then performance and the top of the triangle is excellence.
There are four levels:
Foundation-basic level, includes basic skills; catching, throwing, movement of the body Participation-playing sport for fun, enjoyment, health and fitness Performance – club and county/regional level in your given sport Excellence – national and international standard.
This level provides the base of the pyramid. During this stage there should be more participants learning/experiencing basic sporting skills. Examples of activities which contribute to this stage are: Primary PE lessons, Top Play activities (sports development), multi sports sessions (sports centres).
The acquisition of good exercise/skill habits provides a basis for personal development and future participation in the sport of their choice.
This stage is when children begin to participate in specific activity on a regular basis for enjoyment purposes. Sports development contributes significantly to this stage with its community tops programme (after school coaching), school festivals, multi skills clubs and providing club/school links. Sports clubs become important at this stage as they make the link to the next stage of development.
During this stage young people begin to concentrate on sport specific skills and begin to develop talent in specific sports. Quality coaching is an essential part of player development at this level and the following schemes
contribute to this: Organised by sports development-coaching weeks, Shropshire youth games. Other: Active sports, club activity.
The excellence stage provides the peak of the pyramid, and demonstrates the level where individuals reach sporting excellence. Obviously the pyramid narrows here as the number of players will reduce at this stage. Governing bodies of sport are responsible for development at this level as players pass from county to regional to national squads.
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