Long Term Athletic Development – Some Thoughts

The Long-term development of the athlete is a process not a model. The following model by Balyi has been repeated ad nauseum all over the world but I never see how it is practically implemented.

Initiation Stage

FUNdamental Stage

Training to Train

Training to Compete

Training to Win


In my estimation it looks really neat and clean on paper, but how do implement it? This is a model not a process, it is not the answer, it raises many valid questions that serve to get us on a better path, but we must work out criteria for the various stages and specific plans for their implementation. I would propose the following as a process to consider:

Identify the athlete – This should be generic

Track – Observe & Guide

Develop – Give them the tools

Recognize & Account For:

Fast Adaptors

Slow Adaptors

Direct & Redirect – Must not lose talent


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