Participant Modelling

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Why is participant modelling important for coaching?
Understanding what participants want and need from their sporting experience allows you to shape the development of coaches and coaching to deliver a participant-centred experience that will support:

  • participants to follow their dreams, have fun and fulfil their potential
  • increased participation by making sport attractive to new participants
  • enhanced satisfaction through a tailored delivery of your sport
  • retention of people in your sport through a quality experience
  • improved levels of performance by increasing the talent pool
  • a greater return on investment through more effective use of resources
  • a fit-for-purpose coaching workforce

What is participant modelling?
Participant Modelling uses principles of modelling to help a sport:

  • identify their key participant groups, now and in the future
  • identify what motivates people to take part in their sport
  • identify the development ‘needs’ of participants
  • think about the structures, environments and people around the participant
  • design fit-for-purpose ‘products’ and services
  • develop an effective coach/delivery workforce
  • deliver short-term impact and longer term sustainable change

What is a Participant Development Model (PDM)?

A PDM shows the current and potential participant populations and segments in a sport, underpinned by a set of principles.

sports coach UK has produced an evidenced-based generic PDM to support sports to develop their own PDMs. The model incorporates participant populations, participant pathways and 11 participant segments within the four participant pathways identified in the Participant Development Model (Introductory/Foundation; Participation; Performance; High-Performance/Excel pathways). Click here to view an interactive version of the model.

Identifying and profiling participant segments enhances understanding of the development needs of participants to meet their sporting wants and expectations – in turn enhancing satisfaction, retention and progression.

This understanding can be applied to ensure the development of your sport’s coaching system and coaches supports participant needs and wants, informing your Coach Development Model.

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