An Introduction to Long-term Athlete Development Workshop Case Study
How Attending the ‘An Introduction to Long-term Athlete Development’ Workshop Benefited Peter Jones’ Coaching
"I would definitely recommend this workshop. It gives you a template to work with, rather than having to design each session around the children. There is a well researched and well thought out programme in place to work with, and the impact on the club and our young players has been enormous."
Peter Jones, Head Coach, Bidston Badminton Club, Wirral
Who: Peter Jones
Where: Bidston Badminton Club, Wirral
Why I Chose to Attend this Workshop:
"I’d been told about ‘An Introduction to Long-term Athlete Development’ by our Sports Development Officer at Merseyside Sport, and after looking into it a bit more myself, I realised that the workshop aligned with what we were trying to do at Bidston Badminton Club."
How the Workshop has Impacted on my Coaching:
"The workshop has had a significant impact on my coaching, and also on the way we structure the sessions at the club. As I work primarily with children aged 8–16, it encouraged me to think about the different stages of development they go through, and how we could focus on these stages to ensure the children are working with young people within their age range, and therefore at the same development stage as them. This meant changing our sessions from having one or two large groups of children to having more groups with fewer children in – only six or seven per group. The result was that each group only covered an age range of one or two years and allowed far greater focus on the specific developmental needs of the children."
How the Workshop Helped my Club
"It’s been really beneficial in helping to get our message across to the parents of the players, particularly what I’d call ‘pushy parents’. They can now see what the club are trying to achieve in advance and they sign their children up on that basis. This helps us avoid having to push them into a higher age group simply for competitive reasons as their parents can see what the club is all about which is coaching, playing and having fun in sport."
Why I Would Recommend this Workshop:
"I’m really pleased with the impact this workshop has had on the club and my coaching. Following the implementation of the smaller, more age-focused groups, we have seen big improvements. The children get more out of the sessions and feel that they are able to compete better as they are more suitably matched in terms of skill and strength to the others in their group; they aren’t intimidated, playing against older children, or nervous of defeating a younger child.
"As a result, we have seen:
- an increase in player retention
- improved commitment
- more involvement with the club from many members, for example attending local tournaments and social events.
"Perhaps most importantly, we’ve also seen our members more engaged and staying in the sport for longer. We don’t have the high drop-out rate of 16–18 year olds that many clubs and sports suffer from; children are playing into adulthood and becoming involved with the senior side of the club."