Tools For Sport
Do you remember pretending to be your favourite football player, or sports star in the school playground?
Those who love their sport have all done it – you see your hero score a great goal, play a great pass, smash an Olympic record and the very next day you are trying to recreate it?
For many of us, this was the start of an unfulfilled dream, to follow in the footsteps of our sporting role models and make it to the very top, but for the lucky few – they make this dream a reality.
Just think about it, Ronaldo, Messi, Bolt, Asher-Smith, Joshua; they were all in the playground doing the same thing growing up, but they beat the odds! Not only did they follow their dreams, the footsteps of others, they have recreated history themselves… but how?
Unleashing your potential will not happen overnight, it takes years of practice to master skill and become physically ready, this journey is often referred to as Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD). You may have seen us mention this on our website and in recent blogs, but what exactly is it?
We see it as the basis of success, it allows athletes to develop all of their skills and qualities in a methodical order that not only supports skill acquisition and physical development but also reduces the risk of injury.
We are not saying that a period of LTAD can turn you into the next Ronaldo, but we are saying that it will certainly help you to become the best athlete that you can be, just taking part in sport specific training is nowhere near enough if you want to become great!
FILL YOUR TOOL BOX
Consider a tool box, full of hammers! No other tools, just hammers. Use this toolbox to put up some shelves – it might be possible, but it’s going to create a mess, the shelves might not be straight and it’s going to take a lot of time and patience.
Now consider, a toolbox full of different tools, drills, screwdrivers, spirit levels etc. The job becomes much easier as you are prepared for every eventuality and can do the job properly!
This is the same for sports performance, just filling your sports toolbox with technical ability will only get you so far, to increase the chance for success you may need to add some physical capabilities, a psychological mindset and the knowledge to help you refuel and recover.
To be a successful athlete you must have all the correct tools!
BUT WHAT ARE THESE TOOLS?
Below, we have provided an example for Football, but this can be transferred into any sport.
Most coaches identify the technical skills required, in this example, Ball Mastery, Beating the Player, Turning, Passing, Receiving and Finishing. Coaches will also develop tactical component of the game, e.g. Defending. Although coaches will identify the Physical Components required, arguably, very few train these elements effectively. Speed, Endurance, Strength and Power can often be left untrained especially in young athletes and when these are equally as important to help players unleash their potential, it is our target to help coaches, support their athletes, become the best.
OUR LTAD MODEL
Develop the Fundamentals: Pre-Peak Height Velocity (Younger Children), we focus on developing the Fundamental Movement Skills, through unstructured activity to encourage children to develop a huge range of skills and abilities to help them become ready for sport. Focusing on running, jumping, throwing and catching skills at this age, will encourage basic strength, power, speed and agility development but will also support children to develop a wider skill set, than if they just concentrate on single sport activities. We encourage children to try different sports at this age, but focus on fun, enjoyment and creating healthy habits to create a life-long love of sport.
Development Stage: This comes when children and young players become slightly more experienced but fun should still be the most important aspect of training.
At this staged developing fundamental movement skills and basic physical components should come through structured activity and should be based on a need’s analysis. This is an opportunity to ‘plug holes’ in an athlete’s development. E.g. If children are struggling to throw and catch effectively, this is the chance to develop these skills. There is research that suggests that these development windows are vital, should they be missed, athletes find it more challenging to plug these gaps at a later stage.
Through all of our development portals, for schools, clubs, coaches and athletes, we provide the opportunity for assessment, so that an athlete needs can be easily identified so training programmes can be informed.
Mastery: As athletes become more experienced, training can become more specific. In many cases this is post peak height velocity, but not exclusively, training should be adapted to meet the needs of the athlete. At the mastery stage, performers start to focus on Sport Specific skill training through structured activity, e.g. Footballers will develop Mastery of the ball, develop dribbling, passing and shooting skills etc. It is at this stage that the Physical Components often get forgotten about, but they are as equally important to train and develop (add the right tools to your toolbox). At this stage, physical training should not only be sports specific, but position specific with the aim of preparing the athlete for competition, ensuring they are sport ready. At this stage it is about developing the body to limit the risk of injury and to allow the body to perform.
Advanced: Following on from the Mastery Stage, at advanced level training should continue to be specific to the athletes needs and are often sport specific and position specific. At this stage of training, athletes train for improved performance. E.g. A batter that needs to be quicker between the stumps will look to develop speed, whilst maintaining and improving the other technical and physical aspects of their game.
Elite: For those athletes that make the very top, their aim is to stay there and to dominate in their sport. At Elite level, training is very, very, specific and can often be centred around maintenance and marginal gains, ensuring that athletes have the edge over their competition.
All our services and Sports App’s are built with the basis of LTAD at its core to ensure that we can provide the best possible support for all of our partner coaches and athletes, we even support athletes with information on the Psychology of Champions, Healthy Eating and Refuelling for Performance and advice on rest and recovery, giving them the ability to unleash their potential and become the best possible version of themselves.
To find out more, please visit our website or check out one of our Sports Apps below.
Want to become a better footballer?
Our Sports Apps below can help
The Total Football App, is designed to support players of all ages and skill levels. It is the only Football Coaching App that integrates 5 phases of skill acquisition and long-term athletic development, meaning that all sessions and activities are designed to meet your current skill level whether you are just starting out, or are an experienced academy player. All our turning sessions are designed by UEFA Qualified Coaches and are supported by further sessions in:
Ensuring that players aren’t just practicing but are practicing with the highest quality. We also have a range of physical development practices, healthy lifestyle sessions, and psychological tips to help develop the total footballer. If your child needs help developing their turning, or any part of their game, you can try the app for free now!
Strength and Conditioning Platform for Clubs and Academies
Our Total S&C platform helps coaches to deliver a LTAD and S&C programme efficiently to a large number of athletes across all age groups playing different sports.
Our Strength & Conditioning platform consists of a Portal for the coaching team, enabling them to modify training sessions, monitor players training history, input test results and identify players who are sports ready. The athletes are provided their own S&C Player App which allows them to take control of their own training, self-test, log exercise history and track progress.
We get athletes sport ready. We reduce overuse injuries and burn out. We help to develop independent and healthy athletes.
- Automated session generator saves time
- Monitor athlete adherence and progress
- Online management portal for coaches
- Training App for all athletes
- Testing and profiling to identify sport readiness