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Posted in: High Performance Coaching

The Role Support Systems Play in Athlete Successes

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  • charlesinfurna

    I'm really interested in learning more about the role support system's play in athlete successes.  I recently defended my dissertation (August, 2016) and am graduating in May, 2017.  I want to pursue this avenue of research, specifically support systems in athletics.  I have written some blog posts about it, and have generated some discussion, but nothing of real depth.  

    To those of you that may read this post, how much of a role do you feel support systems play in athlete successes?  My experience is primarily with track & field athletes.  I'm an assistant track & field coach at a small private Division III institution in the United States, and I coach post-collegiate throwers as well.  

    I have noticed that support systems of all kinds have shaped and guided the collegiate throwing careers of many successful individuals, however, after they graduate and leave that "system", most throwers are not heard from again.

    What are your thoughts?  

    I appreciate any comments, thoughts, and suggestions.

    My best-Charles

  • dale_swim

    Hi Charles,

    It was good to read your blog as it can be the same in swimming. 

    We are based in Wales so alot of the support systems are very focused on seeing the athlete through their Long Term Development. I feel this is achievable as we are a small Nation and can monitor our athletes more efficiently. 

    In terms of support systems, are you referring to sport science etc or pathways? 


  • Coach_Browning

    Hi Charles

    I think that they are essential. 

    Even if I just take myself as an example - albeit coach rather than player - I couldn't do what I do without the support of my wife  looking after the kids to allow me to travel around the country, or allowing me time to sit and watch game/practice film.

    As a coach of a women's team their external support networks are, again, vital. With a couple of the players having children of their own they rely on various childcare arrangements to be able to play and train. 

    But, probably most importantly, there is the internal support systems or culture. This may be why some of your throwers are not heard from again. This internal culture and support, I feel, is critical. I have had a couple of my players in the past say that they don't think they could play for some other teams as they don't feel that same environment is there. 

    I personally dont see how an athlete can reach his/her potential without these support systems and this internal culture. To me they are so integral to everything 

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