Levels of Performance

Andrew Hurrell


There are four types of levels of performance which are:

Foundation Level

Participation Level

Performance Level

Elite level

The two levels that I am focusing on in this leaflet will be Foundation and Elite Level.

Foundation level

At foundation level focus is on the participants learning and understanding basic movement skills and developing a positive attitude to physical activity. This level is concerned with giving school children positive and meaningful experiences of sport.

Participation Level

Participation Level is where a basic understanding has been formed and are starting to put advanced techniques into a game situation. However people who come under this level are usually playing for fun and not to win. People who are in this level would usually play for a Saturday or Sunday league team.

Performance Level

Performance is the third level within sport and has been built around players that have a great understanding of advanced techniques and exucute them within a competitvie match effectivley. These players would usually be better than others around them. The players that are in Performance Level usually represent their County or Nation within their sport.

Elite Level

Elite and excellence levels involve the participants reaching national standards of performance up to Olympic or world-class performances.

At elite level every aspect of the athletes performance is analysed to the smallest degree as they seek to gain all the advantages the possibly can to improve their chances of success. At this level aspects of health, fitness and performance are analysed on a daily business


Monitoring current fitness level - At foundation level this would not be used because they are very young and will be just learning the basic skills of the sport. At elite level this would be a big thing because your fitness has to be very good. If you are not fit enough to play your performance will drop and you will make mistakes. For example at Foundation Level you wouldn't need to monitor fitness level because they don't play matches. But at Elitle level they need to monitor their fitness, if they didn't do this players may not have the cardiovascular endurance to finish the match, or their performance could drop because they are becoming lazy.

Squad selection - At foundation level they are just learning the basic skills of the sport so they won't have matches to play, this is why squad selection wouldn't be used. At elite level the squad selection is very important, you are playing to win and picking your best team will give you a chance of winning the game. But if you picked worse players then this give the opponents a better chance of winning. For example at Foundation level they wouldn't use squad selection because they don't need to pick a team. At Elitle level it is vital they pick the best squad otherwise they could get beat and it could have a big effect on the leauge. If the opponents have a slow right back they may play a fast winger so he can take the player on and get the ball in the box.

Talent identification - At foundation level they won't really be looking at talent identification, the only thing they may pick up on is if they have mastered the basic skills and stand out from the rest of the group, this shows that they are ready for the next level. Although Elite level is the highest you can go, professional scouts or managers may identify that you are ready to go on to play for a bigger club, and also maybe going on to play for their country.

Recovery from injury - At foundation level they shouldn't be playing competitively so no-one should be getting injured. At elite level this is very important. If a player has been out through injury they wouldn't put them straight into a match, they would have to ease them back into the sport so they don't irritate the injury. At foundation level they shouldn't be getting injured and if they did the parents would take care of that. At Elite level they have the equipment to get fit again and also have the best physio's at the club which will speed up their recovery.


Facilities - Foundation level won't have the best facilities they will normally just have the basic sports hall, but they won't have anything to analyse performance. Whereas at the elite level they will have the best facilities they can such as a stadium that a groundsman looks after and a stand where the fans can go and watch. Also at this level they would have an environmental chamber. For example England are going to Brazil for the World Cup, so they would use an environmental chamber so they can get used of the climate they will be playing in.

IT Software - Foundation level don't have IT software at all because they don't need it to analyse performance. But at elite level they need IT software too look at an athletes performance. For example there is something called Prozone and what it does is count how many passes a player has made then will put that into a percentage, then they will be able to look back at the data they have collected and see what the player has done well and what they have done wrong.

Scientific support and equipment - Foundation level don't have this equipment because they don't need it and it also costs a lot of money. At elite level they can afford this equipment and it is very important. For example instead of having a stopwatch they have timing gates which will give a reliable result. Another example would be a psychologist, this is someone who studies how we think, feel and behave from a scientific viewpoint and applies this knowledge to an athlete to help them understand, explain and change their behaviour.

Time - At foundation level they don't need to use their time to analyse a players performance, they would usually just be standing watching which won't take much time at all. At elite level they take their time to analyse what a player has done during a game. This could be done watching video analysis, and looking at what the player need to do to improve their game. For example the Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers gets the players in a room and puts on a video of the team they will be playing next game. So they may look at what tactics the opponents use off a corner and will try and come up with a plan how they can stop them from scoring from the corner. Also a goalkeeper, days before the next match will look at the player that takes penalties for the opposition and see where they put the ball on a penalty, this will give them a better chance of saving the penalty and that is very time consuming.