R M Cullen
MD MSc MFM BA DipStats DipProfEthics
|elite athlete development||diabetes reversal||genome topology||evolution|
|tamaki sports academy||diabetes blog|
A colleague and I have developed Pro-Pare™. In its full form this is a modular one year programme designed to prepare talented young players for a career in professional rugby (union or league). It is equally able to be used as the foundation for a youth development programme for at-risk 16-18 year olds who dream of a professional career. The modular nature of Pro-Pare™ means that parts can be used as the basis for short one or two day workshops.
Pro-Pare™ was developed to meet the needs of talented South Auckland based 16-18 year old rugby league players. Almost invariably these are at-risk youth. They are big, brown, and not afraid of physical confrontation. They do not do particularly well at school, do not have a driver’s license, and have family members involved in crime. They are regularly exposed to drugs and alcohol, and have few problems attracting sexual partners.
These young men are not work-ready. From the perspective of an employer or professional sporting organisation there are problems with attitude, attendance, commitment, and perceived effort.
At the same time, these young men are entering a funnel or filter, a period during which they will be looked at by professional clubs, and most will be discarded. They come to the attention of selectors and scouts because of their natural athleticism and talent and suddenly they are surrounded by other equally athletic and talented lads. It is now time to pay attention to developing the footballer or sportsperson. In footballer development Pro-Pare™ supports athletes to increase size, strength, speed, and skill with mentors acting as athlete advocates to the player’s club or regional/national organisation.
Tutoring is provided or arranged to assist athletes through NCEA. There is an acceptance, perhaps even an expectation with Pro-Pare™, that athletes will enrol over summer at the correspondence school, and that Year 14 may be a transition year with enrolment at correspondence school (which is free up to and including the year in which a teenager turns 19) or in part-time tertiary study. Education services will seek to ensure that educational achievement is aligned with career aspirations.
Several times a year athletes are asked to complete a well-being assessment and this will be used, in conjunction with input from the athlete, to plan a programme that increases life-skills
The ‘Player Development Matrix’ is used to identify obstacles to an athlete playing professionally. The tool has been used for a number of years to predict what level in the game a player will reach.
The three modules (athlete development, education, and life-skills) are co-ordinated through an Individual Development Plan, which is regularly reviewed.
The acronym POPPAR describes the approach used in Pro-Pare™: Process, Outcomes, Positive, Professional, Advocacy, and Review.