Friday, January 11, 2008

Attention Youth Coordinators.. Mainstream Development


It seems that some of the successful ultimate leagues in this country and our neighbors of the south are implementing more structured youth programs.

This is generally a very good idea.

One of the things we notice about the makeup of boards and staffs with ultimate groups is they are usually volunteers from all walks of life. Usually none of them have any sports management background. This is both good and bad. Non sport ultimate leaders can bring fiscal responsibility, innovation and are free of some of the conventional wisdoms of sport management. I won't bore you with the things National Sport Organizations face.

One of the major drawbacks of the non professional in ultimate leadership is a lack of technical direction. Specifically to youth, we're not taking advantage of the research and information available to us on athlete development.

Take a look at this site. There are a lot of things to peruse and discuss regarding the document. I think it's very important to have a system for basic development of athletes within a sport system. Being cognizant of this system and implementing the valuable parts will help attract more credibility to the sport.

It's reassuring to parents and sport administrators that ultimate has a plan that is inline with Sport Canada, and that makes the game easier to sell. Let's not fall into the "It's cheap to play" and "It's fun" sales pitches.
Off of the youth point, I want to look at the suggested levels of training for serious athletes.

One key thing that I discussed with a close associate (Hell, let's call him a friend :))
  • According to the hard copy document of this program, it is suggested that athletes located in the training to train and training to win stages of LTAD should be doing sport specific technical, tactical, and fitness training anywhere between 9-12 (training to train) to 9-15 times per week.
I think this gives you an idea at the level of effort our Olympians and national representatives in sport give. I think it also sets a new bar for me in terms of training for the summer. Sadly, we're not carded athletes with time to train, but it gives a new perspective on where the dedication/effort to ultimate is headed as the quality of the sport improves.

So, they poll question today seeks to get a sense of who trains (play, practice, train) more- college players, open players, or recreational players.

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