The Three Pillars of development at Advance
Ever since we started training our first athletes over six years ago, our philosophy has been built on an athlete-centered approach. To envision the Advance Lab philosophy further, we created 3 pillars, Prepare, Progress and Perform, which are also the foundations of a Long-term athlete development (LTAD) programme.
Training young athletes is really a learning and educational cycle, just like attending school or college, and developing reading, writing and mathematics, learning to be an athlete takes time and effort, but the rewards are both life-long, and even life-changing.
A long-term athletic development programme isn’t strictly linear, which simply means, that development both increases and decreases as you become older. Understanding this concept, both you, as the potential and growing athlete, and your Advance Lab coach can constantly monitor and review your development, which will reduce frustration, overtraining and possibly injuries.
The three Pillars should be viewed as steps and building blocks; however, all three pillars are being developed simultaneously. It’s just a change of focus or emphasis.
Starting your journey.
Its starts in the Prepare Phase, building an athlete profile, learning lifts, understanding what strength training actually means and a host of general skills. Interestingly when you’re in the Prepare Phase, you will also progress and may even feel like you perform slightly better when playing your sport; that’s because athlete development is integrated. Eventually, you will be hitting targets in your lifts, strength and skills, so naturally you are developing into the next Phase – Progress. In this phase, you are still working and maintaining your preparedness, but the lifts and strength training maybe tweaked to help deliver a specific outcome(s). Again, working through this phase, you will notice that your strength is improving, your power is developing, your speed and skills are synchronizing – you are now ready to Perform!
To set a standard and framework for supporting each athlete we have based our approach on 3 core values:
Leadership - Clear and open communication to all athletes, their sport coaches and other professionals.
Integrity – Honest, humble coaching based on trust in an athlete centred environment.
Commitment – A commitment to develop every individual athlete and their health and wellbeing.
We believe that these 3 core values are what sets us apart. We are not interested in winning and losing, but personal growth and development backed up by the available evidence.
We strive to create a community that understands that being an athlete does not simply stop when your training session finishes, it’s a lifestyle choice. We are honest with the fact that the cardinal rule of training is consistency. Consistently turning up to training, consistently following the same routines, consistently eating/sleeping/recovering well and repeating the basics, over a long period of time, until mastery is achieved. There is no magic exercise, routine or 3-week plan that is suddenly going to change all your fortunes, the reasons that you may hear different from certain media sources are that being consistent and training hard, doesn’t sell products or magazines.
However, those athletes that understand this process are the athletes that invest more of themselves than the others, they are the ones that are consistently at training, doing the right things, listening to their coaches, going to bed early, bringing a pre-prepared snack, essentially committing to the process. These are those annoying guys and girls out on the field that make things look easy and effortless; all because they’ve put the effort in away from the pitch to build robustness and efficiency. The game should never be the hard part, it is easy and fun, if you are prepared.
All too often we meet athletes at 18 or 19 years of age, that haven’t followed a long-term development plan and simply hoped that playing their sport is enough to prepare them. Let me tell you know it isn’t, even for those that have never lifted a weight in their life yet have fantastic genetics, they still could not know what more could be achieved if they had put the time in to prepare themselves physically. Not only have they missed a whole chunk of learning that they may never get back, they are also at risk of not reaching their genetic potential.
If you’re reading this and thinking that a lot of these points resonate then drop us a line. Our passion is helping young athletes develop at their own individual rate, so we're more than happy to help get you started on your athletic journey. Give us a call, email or message through one of our social media platforms.