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UK Coaching Team
Talent and Performance Organising and Planning

Planning in Performance Environments

Insight into effective planning in the world of high-performance sport, developed in partnership with Performance Pathway Coach Developer at England Netball Sarah Green. Sarah makes key recommendations for each step of the planning process, using her experiences as a coach developer and football coach

Planning is an important part of the coaching process. It allows us to construct a learning journey for our athletes and link that learning together so we can maximise development at every opportunity. 

For me the process of planning is far more important that the resulting plan because, let’s be honest it never really happens exactly like we thought it would. That’s fine though, because that’s what we are there for, otherwise we could just email them the plan! The skill of the coach is to take those planned intentions and share them appropriately in the environment that they are faced with in that moment. 

Why this session?

When I go and watch a coach deliver, I often get to see the session plan beforehand. The details of these vary but what matters to me most is how the coach has arrived at this point. Why this session? Why these outcomes? 

Context is everything, it provides the background story and an insight into the journey the coach and athlete are on. One of the discussions I have a lot with coaches is about the balance of working on a set theme versus preparing for or working on something that happened in the last game. For me, there isn’t a right and wrong, you just need to understand your why. 


However, remember that in training we are trying scaffold opportunities for learning, so that we continue to make progress. Jumping around from topic to topic can make consolidation of learning and therefore progress much harder. Consider a balance in your week (sessions) of long-term learning and game/performance prep.


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UK Coaching Team