The importance of developing athletes and players

As we can see from both the research and maybe also a little commonsense that it is an important component of a coach’s role to ensure every athlete in their team or under their care develops their own skills and ability.

While it sounds logical it is not as easy as it seems. Where do you start? What skills do participants need at each stage or level of competition and to what degree of proficiency?

To assist coaches answer these often daunting questions, the Australian Institute of Sport developed a participation pathway framework called the FTEM framework, representing the different levels of participation:

  • Foundations
  • Talent
  • Elite
  • Mastery

The FTEM framework has as its foundation the three key outcomes of sport participation being:

  • Active lifestyle
  • Sport participation
  • Sport excellence

How is the FTEM framework relevant to you? As a club, a member, a volunteer, a parent, a coach?

The Australian Institute Sport believe the FTEM sporting pathway will help us improve the experiences of more people, at more levels, more often. It provides stakeholders such as clubs, and a particular feature reinforces the need for the right support at the right time and with the right athletes.

Many sports, such as hockey, have adapted the FTEM player framework specifically to their sport, so go to your sport’s national body website and have a look at the resources they have created for player and coach development. Also have a look at the resources on the ASC website at:

FTEM Player Development Framework Case study: Hockey Australia

On first observation the detail of the FTEM may seem overwhelming, however let’s look only at the ‘F’ of the FTEM Framework, the Foundation level of participation, where most start on the...