Changes to Junior Athlete Development

A big change to our Junior Athlete Development is going to take place after the school holidays. Since its inception, we have battled with identifying the best way to get the kids in to make it worth-while and making it cost effective for both you the parents and us the business.

To be honest, we have no idea what the best way is forward to make this effective for every party involved. With the number of commitments that each child has from both the school environment as well as their sporting environment, it can be difficult trying to manage and balance each of these factors without one getting compromised.

Whilst we aren’t the coaches who are selecting the teams, we are the specialists in the field of exercise and sports science who are aiming to help build a strong foundation for each child. As children age and mature it is extremely vital that their physical literacy is built upon and their understanding of appropriate strength training is addressed in order to avoid unnecessary injuries as they progress in their sporting endeavours whether it be professional or recreational.

Due to the factors mentioned above, we have decided that the current format of the LTAD program will change in order to accommodate the limited time and numerous commitments that the children have. The changes that will be made are providing two coached sessions as opposed to one, with the first session addressing strength and the second involving more sports/field involvement.

However, we are fixing the time they are on. After conferring with the kids and what they have on, usually Monday, Tuesday and Thursday seem to be the busiest for club and school. We have decided to have group strength sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday at 430pm. Remember the membership only allows them to do one of these coached sessions (you must book in as well). However, we have added a field session at 4pm Thursday afternoon.

The age bracket that the children fall in is an important time frame for the development of their motor synchronicity which aids in their ability to produce efficient movement and force. Without actually having to perform each individual sport, the essence of our program is similar to that of Little Athletics where we look to develop a plethora of skills that are present in a variety of sports e.g. working on change of direction, acceleration, velocity and running efficiency.

The better they are at this, the chances of developing an injury are reduced. With the combination of this skill aspect as well as the ability to absorb and produce force (strength training), we are aiming to bulletproof these kids for their chosen sports.

In time we want to be able to monitor the kids with our training load software to have an extra level of care when it comes to identifying burn out. However, before we implement this software we need to ensure that the kids are educated on its application as well as needing to ensure that we have the numbers to make it possible.

To recap

  • NO more Monday sessions.
  • There will be coached sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday 430pm (strength) and Thursday 4pm (Mvt Efficiency)
  • All Junior Athlete Development Subscriptions will have the same access to open gym for their other programs.

We understand that this may not work for everyone, but I think this may be the best way to move forward. This new format starts in the first week of the 3rd term on the Monday 15th of July. Up until then, we will keep the original format until the first week of school.

For anyone who doesn’t understand, or this doesn’t fit please contact us as we can sort out other arrangements to get your kids in. We don’t want to see them stop and lose all that they have achieved so far due to changes in scheduling. Also, as usual numbers will dictate how this pans out so the more the better and the more flexibility we may have. We are going to trial this for this whole term and reassess at the end of it.

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