Levels of Performance

Dom Bailey

Introduction

There is 4 levels of performance. This is foundation, participation, performance, elite. The 2 levels I'm comparing are foundation and elite.


Foundation

This level is focused at young children. The main purpose of this level is to introduce children to a sport and to get them interested so that they are motivated to carry on with the sport and to progress on to the next level.


Participation

This level is focused on talent identification. The people taking part will be in secondary school or college. compared to foundation this level gets a lot more competitive. the type of analysis that would be happening will general observations and this will be for squad selection.


Performance

This level is the second highest and is very competitive. The athletes at this level want to progress on to elite level so it is very competitive. The analysis isn't anything like elite level but athletes do analyse their performance in their attempt to progress on to elite level. The athletes at this level will be county and national level.


Elite

This level is the top level and all of the athletes are world class. all the athletes at this level train most days and are funded. Time and money are put in to their training and analyses to improve their skills.

Purpose

Foundation

The only type of analysis at this level is talent identification.

  • Talent identification is used at this level to motivate the participants to progress to the next level. It is also used to pick out the naturally good players who will progress quickly with coaching. This is important to pick out quickly and at a young age so that the participant has a better chance to progress on to further levels including elite level. Another reason why would try and spot this talent as early as possible so they are able to progress on to elite level. coaches and parents will try and spot the talent that is similar to some of the proffesional from when they were children.


Elite

This level has a lot more purposes than Foundation:


  • monitoring current level of fitness- this is important at this level as the athletes need to maintain a good level of fitness. This will reduce any factors that might contribute to the athlete failing in their giving sport or event. foundation doesn't monitor the current level of fitness as that isn't the purpose of that level. one example could be that all elite athletes have a lot of tests conducted on them such as VO2 max. They analyse the current level of fitness so that they can be ensured that they won't fail when they go to compete in different environments. such as the football world cup in Brazil.
  • identification of strengths and weaknesses- elite athletes need to identify their weaknesses as they are always looking for ways to improve their skills. elite athletes look to improve their over all performance so that when it comes to the Olympics or world championships they know they are at their best possible standard. they also need to know their strengths so that they can play to their strengths. they also need to know their weaknesses so they are able to improve upon them. in comparison foundation isn't as competitive so strengths and weaknesses isn't analysed. The backroom staff will analyse the athlete and they will suggest ways to improve. This will happen alot in all sports. in Rugby a lot of money is spent on analyzing players so they can play to their strength and improve upon their weaknesses.
  • recovery after injury- at elite standard it is important for an athlete to be able to recover quickly from an injury. This is because it is there job and they can't afford to put their career on hold if they get injured. Sponsors won't be put off as well as they know if the athlete is able to recover quickly from an injure. It is very important that an athlete is able to get back to their original standard. For analysis purposes monitoring the recovery rate in sports such as rugby were injuries are likely to happen is very important because if a player is out of the game for an extended period of time they would be likely to be replaced and not get back on the team if they can't get back to full strength.
  • squad slesction- this is important as at higher level teams such as the england rugby team, all the players need to be reliable and need to work hard and as a team. if a player isn't training as hard as the rest and has little motivation to challenge themselves. then they might take the same attitude on the pitch and effect the rest of the team. there is a number of ways squad selection can take place. for example in rugby the players have GPS's in thier shirts. this tells the coach who working hard and whos not. this could then be used to select the team for the next game or make subtisutions.


The picture below shows the GPS device in the back of the shirt.

Resoursces

Foundation

At this level the only analysis will be general observation which will come under time and human. but even this won't be taken seriously as it is at a young age. Any serious analysis might even put the children off their sport. this is why it is important for the coach only to make mental notes instead of putting them through a number of drills, which might happen at a higher level. However at elite level athletes are under constant analysis even more so in sports such as bobsleigh and the skeleton. constant analysis happens in these 2 sports because in the uk they can only work on certain aspects of the sport it which is mostly the run. The time spent is unrecognizable until the first runs of the session.


Elite

compared to foundation elite has a lot more funding and the athletes are a lot more competitive. this means that analysis gets a lot more important and serious.

  • Fiscal- this means financial, and at elite level they get a lot of funding. funding is important as it pays for the athletes training and their equipment. on the analysis side of things allot of money is also spent on them. in some sports such as the skeleton money is spent on them perfecting and analyzing their position on the skeleton. However it is known that bobsleigh, skeleton and luge team have to develop and analyse their equipment such as sleds. This can also be seen on other sports such as rugby as they spend allot on backroom teams that analyse the performance of each individual on the team. it is unknown how much money is spent in rugby but a lot of money is put in to new technologies such as the gps device in the players shirts. the financial cost of these technologies is unknown however the other levels don't get this type of funding.
  • Facility- at elite level the athletes have access to some of the most expensive facilities in the uk. The athletes have access to laboratories and gyms which allows them to be analysed by their teams to a standard that will be unmatched by the other levels. This gives the athletes the information they need about their own performance. The type of analysis that is conducted at elite level needs to be at the highest standard so money is spent on the facilities to ensure that the athlete gets the highest amount of detail possible. One example of this could be British skeleton. every year before the season starts they take the athletes to a wind tunnel to perfect their positions. Only elite athletes get this type of facilities.
  • Scientific support and equipment-in comparison to foundation, elite put a lot of time and effort in to scientific support and equipment which will allow the athletes to be analysed in detail giving them the all important edge and the best chance of winning over other components. One example of this type of analysis would be British Skeleton. who put their athletes through a lot of tests analyzing everything from their their sprint start to their position on the skeleton, using cameras and lasers to get the understanding of how aerodynamic they are as shown in the picture below.