NEW WEB-BASED TRACKING SYSTEM TARGETS GIFTED & TALENTED SPORTS PUPILS
A former Dutch hockey player, who has coached at the highest level - including some members of the GB Olympic Squad - has turned his attention to deploying the techniques he has used with elite sportsmen to school pupils who have been designated as ‘gifted and talented’ sportsmen. Bram Van Asselt’s company, Sportplan, the online sports resource specialist, is launching a web-based Elite Tracking System for schools, based on one already in use by professional sportsmen and women, in response to a government initiative to increase the standard of gifted and talented athletes in UK schools.
[UKPRwire, Sun Nov 18 2007] A former Dutch hockey player, who has coached at the highest level - including some members of the GB Olympic Squad - has turned his attention to deploying the techniques he has used with elite sportsmen to school pupils who have been designated as ‘gifted and talented’ sportsmen. Bram Van Asselt’s company, Sportplan, the online sports resource specialist, is launching a web-based Elite Tracking System for schools, based on one already in use by professional sportsmen and women, in response to a government initiative to increase the standard of gifted and talented athletes in UK schools.
The Government’s White Paper, entitled: Higher Standards, Better Schools for All sets out a vision that every pupil, whether they be gifted and talented, struggling or of average ability, should have the right to personalised support. The Sportplan Elite Tracking System is a collaborative online diary that monitors personal sporting and lifestyle development.
The software is designed to strengths and weaknesses in lifestyle and training to make the most of a pupil’s performance so that personal development plans can be tailored for their individual needs in a way that challenges strengthens and excites them on a daily basis. Schools that subscribe to the package also get access to Sportplan’s wide range of essential coaching resources that enable teachers to manage their classes and add value to the National Curriculum.
The tracking system gives early detection of injury and prevention for over-training or targeting areas of fitness that may be lacking, such as agility or flexibility. It also recognises correlations between sleep and nutrition to sporting and mental performance, and gives athletes and coaches the ability to feed back to each other on training, lifestyle and game performance.
One school that is benefiting from the system is Benfield School in Newcastle. Helen Pringle, the school’s Talent Mentor, said:
“I was surprised how easy online mentoring was to use. I log on everyday after school in order to analyse pupil performance and can see at a glance if anyone needs individual support. I use e-messaging a lot because there’s rarely time to talk to everyone during a busy school day. It really takes the pressure off.”
The system greatly enhances the relationship between school and parent, enabling the parent to be involved with the athlete’s development and have a direct line of communication with the members of his support team, particularly in monitoring injuries and ensuring the youngsters get adequate rest and don’t over-train.
The Elite Tracking System has been already been successfully implemented by a number of professional sporting institutions, including: England & Wales Cricket Board Academies, the Rugby Football League and England Netball, as well as individual club academies including Wasps, where Rob Smith, Player Performance Development Manager, believes it has done much to improve coaching practices:
“We have been really impressed by Sportplan’s Elite Tracking System. It was implemented 3-4 years ago and is an evolving resource. The more we use it the more data we capture, the more useful it becomes.
“Previously, we had no way of monitoring the lads’ performance so effectively. Sportplan’s technology allows us to collate personal information wherever they may be. It’s a really good communication tool and the lads enjoy using it.”
Commenting on the prospects for the system’s use in school, Sportplan director Bram Van Asselt, said:
“Sportplan is committed to helping the Government and teachers achieve an in-class-on-field environment that celebrates excellence. London 2012 may be a little premature for some pupils but, in years to come, we will see the benefits of tailoring personal development to suit the individual.”
Sportplan’s coaching resources include over 4000 exercises across 12 sports: Basketball, Cricket, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Hockey, Netball, Rugby, Swimming, Tennis and general agility, which is designed to challenge the personal development expectations of pupils in every classroom throughout every school with opportunities to further their particular talents outside school at a local and national level.
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Sportplan offers a range of interactive online sports coaching programmes for use from school through to elite athlete level. The resources enable coaches and teachers to achieve the best for their players and teams through use of online libraries incorporating thousands of Flash animated practice drills, from which teachers can create, save and edit their own coaching sessions or lessons.
In addition, Sportplan has also developed Health Passport, a data collection system created to assist teachers and schools in the delivery of, and demonstrating evidence for ‘Healthy Schools’ and ‘Every Child Matters’ programmes. It is designed for use with children aged six years and older to promote PSHE, physical activity, healthy eating and emotional health and wellbeing in the school setting.