What is the meaning of long-term planning?

Performance-specific performance development requires systematic implementation of specific successive training goals.

If this sequence is omitted, certain stages of performance development deficits are difficult to offset later in the training process.

The long-term coaching goals of basketball developmental coaching are clearly defined goals and have a bearing on their implementation.

Determining them at each stage results the learning ability of each age depending on the maturation of the central nervous system.

One of the most basic principles of coaching is the "principle of individuality and age" according to which training must meet the biological, kinetic and mental-intellectual level of development of each athlete.

This means that the training goals, the training contents, the training methods as well as the training load should be in line with the level of development of the athlete.

When training in childhood and adolescence, one must take into account the fact that the development of children varies and it is possible for two children of the same chronological age to have different biological development and consequently to have a different biological age ( normal, early or delayed biological development).

Early and late biological development is observed in pre-adolescent and adolescent years (12-16 years) where differences of up to 4 years between chronological and biological age can occur.

Performance, chargeability and ability to improve through training are related to the biological rather than the chronological age of the children.

Consequently, due to the different level of biological development of children, the training burden should be based on biological rather than chronological age.

In the context of a long-term training process, the focus should primarily be on prioritizing adaptive abilities, specific technical elements, and physical abilities.

What are the factors that influence sports performance?

Sport performance depends on 3 factors:

  • Physical fitness
  • Technique
  • Psychological readiness

Physical fitness is defined as the body's physiological readiness, that is, its energy reserves or fuel (how much energy can be produced and how fast it can be pumped into the muscular system), so that the body can adapt to its requirements as quickly as possible.

A good physical condition requires regular exercise, which simply means, training. The term training refers to all stimuli / burdens that cause morphological and physiological adaptations to the human body in order to perform.

All the training effects on the human body are the result of stimulating and adapting the body to it, with the ultimate goal of maximizing performance.

If the stimulus is sufficient, but not overly intense, the body adapts by expanding all its functions to cope with the stress of the overload and with time becomes more powerful so that, in an all-in-all effort to maximize its performance, while in a milder in intensity muscular effort to perform the task more economically, that is, with less energy. If the stimulus is overly intense or frequently applied over time, functional adjustments do not occur (overtraining syndrome), resulting in reduced performance.

All functional adjustments of the body are specific to the training stimulus that the human body receives and take place during the time the body rests (between workouts), resulting in improvements in individual or combined fitness elements such as: cardiopulmonary endurance , muscle strength (strength x speed), muscle strength, neuromuscular joint, flexibility, and body composition (muscle mass versus body fat percentages).

The question for scientists when evaluating sports performance is whether we can predict future sports performance in childhood. And if possible, based on the measurements of the various abilities to determine which sport a child will have the greatest sporting success in the future.

Can we predict a future talent?

In predicting future athletes, research has shown that different sports require a certain body type and body characteristics. However, with the frightening growth rate that occurs during adolescence, these characteristics change greatly at different times for each individual. Stature is an important element of success for some sports but you do not need a specialist to know if a tall child is a good fit for basketball.

There is no doubt that certain parameters play an important role in athletic performance such as stature and dimensions of different body parts, skeletal circumference, maximal aerobic capacity (VO2max), maximum anaerobic power, muscle fiber distribution favorable to speed or endurance, adipocyte size and distribution, pulmonary and cardiovascular function, enzyme activity in metabolic function and sensitization to training The resistance depends on genotype.

In general, heredity can explain a range of 30-85% of the phenotype of cardiac and muscular function, physical characteristics and body fat distribution while the effect of genetic factor on a person's response to training impulse to improve endurance is 70-80%.

The phenotype is the information recorded in the genotype that eventually finds the way to express it, so that the characteristic can be visualized by the eye. However, the theory is that such information has a range of expression and the body adapts to the low level.

For example, there is information in the gene for a person's high capacity for endurance, a capacity that is transferred from the mother as the mitochondria inherit it only from her, while other traits are inherited equally by both parents. If the mother who had this ability has further developed her sport in her life, she is able to transfer it quite strongly to her offspring. If her offspring receives athletic stimuli, in her life beyond her hereditary advantage of endurance, she will convey information to her offspring quite powerful.

If, for some reason, factors contributing to the enhancement of a genetic trait, such as good health, training, adequate nutrition are absent, the quality of information will remain in the low range and thus weaken over time.

Heredity influences athletic performance by affecting specific physiological parameters that play a part in one's ability to exercise and, on the other hand, the ability of each individual to accept coaching stimulus. But the environment has a catalytic effect on the peak of expression of these characteristics.

From what age can a child begin to systematically exercise and what does motor development means?

Motor development is the lifelong progressive change in motor behaviour that occurs under conditions of interaction between the requirements imposed by the actions of the individual, his or her individual biological abilities and environmental conditions.

It is the process by which the child acquires kinetic patterns and develops his or her abilities.

These abilities are enhanced by the physical development of the child, the biological maturation of the child, the development of the neuromuscular system, previous motor experiences and the new stimuli it receives.

At preschool age (up to 6 years) 90-95% of the final brain mass is formed. It is an important period of cognitive development and fundamental motor activities (running, jumping, flying, grabbing, climbing)

The physical development of children should not be left to chance, especially in the first six years of elementary school, as this period is decisive for their normal development. Exercise at developmental age must be systematic and well-organized, take into account the normal development of children and be carried out with knowledge and experience.

At developmental ages, exposure of the child to a variety of sporting activities should be sought in order to gain the potential of many motor experiences aimed at diverse motor learning and subsequently to various motor choices.

What are the stages of motor development?

The stages of motor development refer to:

  • Reflective motions (0-1 years)
  • Elemental movements (1-2 years old)
  • Fundamental movements and fundamental kinetic patterns (2-7 years old)
  • Sports activities (8 years old and up)

Elemental movements (1-2 years old)

Neuromuscular maturation signals the appearance of elemental movements.

There are two stages

  • Suspension of reflexes from 0 to 1 year, separate phase because this signifies the replacement of involuntary by voluntary movements
  • Incomplete control from 1 to 2 years old, rapid neuromuscular maturation results in gradual control in the three areas of mobility: balances, movements, manipulations.

Fundamental Motions & Motivational Templates (2-7 years old)

The conquest of fundamental kinetic standards and the improvement of kinetic control characterize this phase. The result of the gradual improvement of motor control is greater confidence in movement, greater activation and ultimately greater experience and enrichment of motor repertoire.

There are 3 stages

Early stage (2 -3 years old) deliberates movements characterized by a lack of motor control justified by a lack of experience in general and asynchronous movements, movements

Basic stage (3 -4 years) Improved motor control but not particularly good muscle group specialization. Children with ID disorders are not able to develop beyond the early stage

Mature stage (4-7 years) Characteristics of this stage are good motor control and muscle fitting and accuracy and stability in execution. The most important feature is the necessity of educational intervention by providing many and varied experiences in order to complete the stage.

In particular, at the age of 3-6 / 7 years, children are particularly keen on movement and play, have developed imagination, but have a reduced ability to concentrate and get bored quickly, which is why frequent activities are required and the acquisition of motor experiences should be sought. The variety of fundamental movements is given through play and at the same time the arousal of interest and the joy of engaging children in activities that develop a sense of autonomy and initiative are achieved.

Special moves (8 years old and up)

The mastery of fundamental kinetic models results in the performance of complex skills and games. Characteristics of this phase are the hierarchy of known motions and stable performance

There are 3 stages

Transitional phase (8 -10 years old)

Fundamental kinetic patterns are applied to complex movements that are performed with control and precision.

At these ages, children show great interest in sports. It is a very good stage of kinetic learning and the development of adaptive abilities (kinesthetic differentiation in space and time, rhythm ability, complex reaction ability, spatial and temporal orientation, dynamic and static balance) and the learning of a large number of basic skills must be sought. Children are eager to learn new skills and apply them to a variety of sports, which requires a lot of sports. However, at this age there is a reduced ability to stabilize new movements (the 'progress barrier'), so the aim is to assimilate as many motions as possible rather than specific training. Contact with technique, not exhaustive persistence. The game not only in the sense of sport but with the inspirational choice of motor displacements, adapted to the needs of children. The training program should provide games that ensure continuous movement, without much intensity for indirect improvement.

Special motor skills (11 -13 years old)

The child's conscious involvement in sports at this stage signifies participation in organized training and exercise or training results in learning skills for the sport.

At this age, children are predominant in their body and choose types of recreational or competitive sports. They are characterized by an increased desire for discrimination and are ready to apply basic skills to organized sports. It is the best age of motor learning, so the development of adaptive abilities and the learning of a large number of basic sports techniques should be sought. But motor skills need to be learned properly so that wrong motions are not automated.

Specialization stage (14-18 years old)

Here a specific kinetic activity is finally selected and the training of quantity, intensity and frequency is specialized to maximize performance.

Why is it important to develop and evaluate adaptive and physical abilities from an early age?

The development of adaptive abilities occurs much earlier than the development of physical abilities. This is due to the fact that the central nervous system (CNS) and the brain that determine the level of development of adaptive abilities mature very early in contrast to the evolution of biological parameters that determine the development of physical abilities.

Assessment of adaptive abilities is particularly important for two reasons:

  • It provides information on the level of performance of children with specific adaptive abilities.
  • It enables continuous monitoring of the effectiveness of training and thus contributes to increasing this efficiency.

The key elements of the adaptive capacity development program are:

  • The evaluation
  • Design based on the psychomotor philosophy (personalized and participatory method)
  • Each training unit aims at an adaptive capacity, and depending on the level of development, training content of combinational capacity is provided.

Assessment of physical abilities gives useful information on the physical condition of children in a range of health-related parameters (endurance, strength, flexibility, body composition) and performance-related parameters (agility, balance, resonance, reaction time, maximum power, speed).

The main goals of the Physical Fitness Development Program in developmental ages are:

  • Improving aerobic capacity
  • The overall improvement in strength and muscle performance, torso support muscles, and upper and lower leg muscles.
  • Improving functional flexibility, that is, flexibility of the joints and flexibility of the muscles.
  • Learning motor skills to improve the ability to guide and adapt movements.
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