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Athlete monitoring & Long term development

At the Advance Performance Lab we follow a simple, yet comprehensive, long-term athletic development model (LTAD), built around three phases; Prepare, Progress and Perform (see figure 1).  This simple model helps to create an athlete-centred approach, empowering the athlete, the coach, sports coaches and parents.  
 
Figure 1. Long term atghletic development through our three phase model.
 
A vital component of the LTAD model/athlete-centred approach is the on-going monitoring/profiling of each athlete. The benefits of creating individual profiles are endless, it encourages young athletes to learn about themselves & to ask key questions, which is great in developing communication and listening skills, along with lifestyle factors that will benefit each athlete in their sport and general life. Lastly, and perhaps more importantly, each athlete feels connected and involved in their development, more than just being told what to do.  
 
The stigma attached to any kind of profiling or testing is one of judgment normally through pass or fail, good or bad, right or wrong. However, at the Advance Performance Lab, via an athlete-centred approach our culture is built around fun, enjoyment, inclusion and hard-work. Each young athlete understands that they are working to develop themselves, with the Advance Performance Lab coaches, their young athlete peers and family making up a support network and community. 
 
Having a well thought through LTAD model with clear profiling also helps to challenge the thinking around performance and progression. Yes, of course, we all want our athletes to perform and to progress, however, consider that the athletes are in a LTAD model, emphasising the word development. We need to appreciate that development is not linear and performance is unstable and inconsistent. The beauty of a LTAD model and athletic profiling, is that we (strength coaches, athletes and sport coaches) can reflect on where the athlete is, what changes maybe occurring, and consider their relative effect. For example when athletes approach a stage known as peak height velocity (PHV – see figure 1), a visual and quite apparent change in their bio-abilities will have dramatically altered their speed, change of direction, coordination etc.  This period of quite rapid decline in their physical output can be explained through the stage of peak height velocity such as a sudden increase in height, body mass, and further changes in connective tissue; muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These differing rates of growth can explain why several athletic movements and well coached motor skills can suddenly look slow and awkward. The new limb length, increased body mass (change of centre of mass) coupled with connective tissue changes are directly influencing the way the athlete moves, consequently the athlete is relearning the fundamental movements, motor skills, force production and other factors of the sport. 
 
Figure 2. Speed testing at the lab using our speed gates.
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By profiling the athlete, strength coaches and other professional members can reassure and mentor the athlete through this phase, reducing frustration, possible overtraining and injury rates. Furthermore, we are able to make informed decisions around certain aspects of their strength and conditioning along with their technical development, for example day to day training loads, total training volume and ratios of different training modalities such as sprinting, strength training and plyometrics. 
 
From working both with individual athletes and in professional team settings, it is primary to profile and monitor athletes, and for this information to be shared, so we create a complete and integrated athlete-centred approach. 
 
For an in depth opportunity to experience our training, we are running our popular half term training camps at the Advance Performance Lab during October and February. To book your place or find out more information visit our website https://advancesport.co.uk/camps 
 
If you have any questions or require any aditional infortmtion feel free to get in touch Talent@advancesport.co.uk
 
Many thanks, 
 
The Advance team 
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