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UK Coaching Talent and Performance
Children Young people Talent and Performance Improving Physical Ability

Understanding Balyi’s Long-Term Athlete Development Model

Insight into Balyi’s Long-Term Development Model, which proposes that talent development takes place over a series of stages

The Long-Term Athlete Development Model, associated with the ideas and theories of Istvan Balyi (first published in 2001), proposes that identifying and developing athlete potential takes place over a series of stages, corresponding with participant age ranges.

The time spent in each stage – and how they are structured – is largely determined by the kind of sport that the participant engages in.

During the 2000s, the Long-Term Athlete Development Model was arguably the most influential model of talent development in the UK. All the main national governing bodies for sport have been required to adopt and adapt a version of it – and to promote it among their members.

The model is intended to produce greater numbers of participants capable of entering and succeeding in high performance sport. However, it has also been claimed that it can help coaches and participants at any level – and who may participate for a wide variety of reasons – to fulfil their potential and stay involved in sport long-term.

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UK Coaching Talent and Performance