Long Term Athletic Development – Some Thoughts


The Long-term development of the athlete is a process not a model. The following model by Balyi has been repeated ad nauseum all over the world but I never see how it is practically implemented.

Initiation Stage

FUNdamental Stage

Training to Train

Training to Compete

Training to Win


In my estimation it looks really neat and clean on paper, but how do implement it? This is a model not a process, it is not the answer, it raises many valid questions that serve to get us on a better path, but we must work out criteria for the various stages and specific plans for their implementation. I would propose the following as a process to consider:

Identify the athlete – This should be generic

Track – Observe & Guide

Develop – Give them the tools

Recognize & Account For:

Fast Adaptors

Slow Adaptors

Direct & Redirect – Must not lose talent


Discuss entry

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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