Introduction to youth programmes

Marshall Milton Keynes is committed to a policy of long term athlete development. This is a long term approach to maximising individual potential and encouraging long term involvement in sport. Amongst other things this means:

  • The nature of the growing child and early stages of development are central
    considerations in our approach to coaching
  • There is an early focus on mastery of fundamental movement skills and broad
    athleticism. This is introduced in a fun way, relevant and accessible to this age
  • The focus of coach education is to equip coaches to design and deliver sessions and programmes appropriate to youngsters. We seek to avoid the pitfalls of premature, narrow specialisation and delivering adult style sessions

A key tool in this is the Athletics 365 curriculum developed by England Athletics for young athletes.

We run sessions on Sundays during the winter at 11am in Ashurst Hall for athletes from ages 5-8 years and
encourage membership from 9 years old. This is the stage when we believe we can offer appropriate support and training and, in particular, can start encouraging progression based on mastery of defined skills (using the Athletics 365 framework).

The youngest athletes will join the Induction Group. This provides a broadly based introduction. The time in the Induction Group may vary, but we are actively looking for opportunities for members of this group to progress when basic skills are in place.

The next stage will be a move through to the Youth Development Programme. This is designed to continue the broadly based training, but provides progressive introduction of physical conditioning and event specific training. There is a lot of choice in terms of event focus. However, pursuit of a range of disciplines is encouraged and rewarded.

Once in the programme athletes are encouraged to gain mastery of skills that are important to performance in athletics and, indeed, other sports. Athletes and parents have the option to track progress using Athletics 365.  Progressively, there will be the opportunity to work with an increasing range of coaches and move towards increasingly individualised training.

From an early stage we aim to provide you with a link to a specific coach who will help guide you through this process.