Our Coaching Philosophy
As part of embracing the Little Athletics mantra of Family, Fun and Fitness, our coaching philosophy is to develop in our athletes a love of physical activity that will encourage them to play for life.
At USCLAC we are working to create an environment that allows for a fun, safe, inclusive and challenging environment where children can achieve success while developing their skills and an understanding of sports particularly athletics.
We know that it takes a long time for young athletes to develop and it is important to let the athletes grow properly.
With this in mind, we have developed the following Coaching Policy
We are often asked what coaching is available at the Centre. Below is our policy in relation to coaching from the beginning of the 2017_18 season.
Our policy covers 2 different levels of coaching:
- Skills Development which involves teaching athletes the basic concepts of an event. This is a mix of activities to improve their movement skills as well as learning how to perform attempts at the event and minimising fouls or disqualifications, and to also minimise their risk of injury. This level applies mostly to Field Events where this is considered most necessary.
- Performance Development which involves higher level coaching of athletes in each discipline to continue to develop their technique, strength and skills and to maximise performance.
(recommended for all athletes)
Our website (usclac.com.au) has some useful resources demonstrating the basic rules and techniques and this is particularly useful for beginners and younger athletes. Event specifications and basic rules/instructions can be found under the ‘Events and Competition’ tab and Instructional videos can be found under the ‘Resources’ tab
It is our intention that a level of skill instruction will be conducted during Friday night competition and this will be provided in 2 phases:
- During the first 6 weeks of competition, one field event each night will be designated as ‘training’ in basic movements and techniques, to be conducted by senior mentor athletes and club coaches. All athletes (especially those new to athletics) are encouraged to ensure they come to as many of the first 6 competition nights as possible.
- After this initial phase, senior mentor athletes should be available at field event locations on Friday nights for further skill development.
- Starting and running skill instruction will be provided by our coaching team and senior mentor athletes as time permits.
Our capability to do this to the standard required will always be underpinned by the level of parental and athlete assistance that is provided on Friday nights.
(recommended for older athletes)
It is the policy of USCLAC that further specific performance development is not recommended for younger athletes (Under 6 to Under 11 Age Groups). We base this on several factors including:
- The focus of Little Athletics in these age groups should be on participation to have fun and learn. It is our observation that athletes who push their development too early often ‘burn out’, due to loss of enjoyment. This is in line with the policy of many local coaches, who specify a minimum age for athletes in their sessions.
It is the policy of USCLAC that further specific performance development is recommended for older athletes (Under 12 to Under 17 Age groups) should they have the desire to do so
- USCLAC does not provide this level of performance development coaching, however athletes who wish to do so can be provided with a list of local qualified coaches on request.
The centre does not conduct training sessions during the week except for Relay practice as below.
Relay running requires the development of specific skills and teamwork, and requires training and practice. Athletes participating in track events at Regional Relays in November and those qualifying for State Relays in December will be strongly encouraged and expected to attend training sessions for Relay Practice offered by the Centre.