In the essay one will compare and contrast the traditional model of sports development with Cote and Hay’s theory of socialisation into sport using data gathered from appropriate literature. One will critique each model and discuss how it is applied to a specific sport, drawing on strengths and weaknesses. The researcher will also use Cote and Hay’s theory and see how it reflects the current sports development agenda, critically evaluating it and drawing on other models of sports development to see if they further reflect the current agenda.
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Sport development models are there as a basis to provide some means of identifying the different roles and responsibilities for those involved in sports development, from the lowest to the highest levels of achievement (Hylton et al., 2002). The first continuum to be discussed is the Traditional sports development continuum (see figure 1.1), which Hylton (2002, p. 3) states that some argue is the clearest, locates development on a hierarchal basis from foundation, participation, performance and excellence.
Figure 1.1 The Traditional sports development continuum. (Sports Council, 1988; Eady, 1994)
Each level of the continuum compromises of 4 stages, firstly foundation focuses on the acquisition of basic skills e.g. Body literacy, Hand eye coordination, developing positive attitude to physical activity. The second stage Participation focuses on taking part in defined activities for a variety of reasons, recreation, health, fitness and fun. The third stage performance is a good club level and athletes/ players striving to improve through quality coaching, the highest level in the continuum focuses on achievement at the highest level e.g. International and elite players. The traditional sports development continuum has been further modified and refined to fit in with new policies and agendas, these are the House of sport Geoff Cooke (1996), and The active framework: Sport England (see figures 1.2 and 1.3.). Hylton and Totten (2002) explain that The House of sport model was built on the foundations of ‘sport for all’ which has always been an ideal rather than a coherent realisable object.
Figure 1.2. The House of Sport Geoff Cooke (1996)
Figure 1.3 The active framework: Sport England
When the researcher evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the continuum, one concluded a number of findings. Firstly the triangle shape is a simplistic model that shows the bottom to be broader, thus showing that the foundation level is bigger in terms of participation e.g. primary school children across the UK partake in sport or physical activity in school or in local athletics clubs. As the triangle gets narrow participation decreases, the weakness to the continuum would be that it is one dimensional, no indication to drop out or step down a level. The clearest strength to the continuum is that it is clear in what it takes to get to each level e.g. participation requires taking part in defined activities for a variety of reasons.
The next model one will look at is the Cote & Hay’s theory of socialisation into sport (see figure 1.4.). According to Cote and Hay (2002) young people’s socialisation into sport follows a general pattern: sampling, specialising and investing. The key features of the ‘Sampling’ phase are that children participate in a range of sports, Macphail et al., (2003) state that a key feature of the sampling phase appeared to be an ongoing shifting of priorities as young people literally sample the sports available to them and that their key motivation is fun and enjoyment, and that the emphasis is on structured or deliberate play rather than training or deliberate practice. Cote and Hay define deliberate play as organised activities designed to provide enjoyment through active and pleasurable participation, Macphail et al., (2003) further support this by defining deliberate play as activities that are structured yet do not focus overly on technique. Deliberate practice involves activities specifically designed to improve the current level of performance and are not inherently enjoyable (Macphail et al., 2003).
According to Cote and Hay (2002) from the sampling phase, young people may either drop out of a sport, move into the ‘recreation years’ or move into the ‘specialising’ phase. The recreation years are where young people participate regularly in sports without aspiring to reach an elite level of performance while the specialising phase involves more deliberate practice and a reduction in the range of sports activities, According to Macphail et al., (2003) when people start specialising there is evidence to suggest that fun is more closely related to the excitement of competition and performing. From the specialising phase Cote and Hay suggest a young person has three options. The first is to drop out of a sport, the second is to enter what they call the recreational phase where sport is played relatively informally and for fun, and the third is the ‘investment’ phase. Entry into the investment phase usually signals a focus on one activity and a commitment to intensive training and competitive success. These three phases of sport participation are outlined in Fig. 1.4.
Figure 1.4. Cote and Hay’s Three Phases of sport participation. Source: Cote and Hay (2002a, p.488).
Strengths of the Cote and Hay’s socialisation into sport model are that it accommodates a progression from the ‘sampling phase’ to the ‘specialising years’ and then to the ‘investment/recreation phase’, it also acknowledges that at any stage of involvement young people can choose to move to take part on a recreational basis or drop out (Macphail., et al., 2006). One considers a weakness to the model to be that it only considers children.
When one compares the traditional sports development model with Cote and Hay’s theory of socialisation into sport, there are numerous differences. Where the traditional continuum is very direct and only has an arrow pointing upward, Cote and Hay’s theory shows that it allows movement freely between stages, particularly the investment years and recreational years. The traditional continuum does not show drop out, as the Cote and Hay’s theory shows that drop out can happen at any stage. The similarity between the two models is that it shows clearly what it takes to be at each specific level.
There are numerous sports development agendas, one will discuss the key agendas and how Cote and Hay’s theory reflects on these. Participation in sport is the basis of all government policies, increasing participation in sport can have effects on the governments cross cutting agendas e.g. improving health. Cote and Hay’s theory reflects this as it caters for young people, increasing participation in young people can only have a positive effect on health agendas, Siedentop’s (1995) supports this as he suggests that junior participation in sport can achieve a public health goal, as does (sparling et al., 2000) they suggest that Physical activity has enormous potential for improving the health of the public. The key part of health issues is obesity amongst children, Evidence regarding the increased prevalence of obesity amongst children and young people in the UK is mounting (NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, 2002). As Cote and Hay’s theory considers children’s participation in sport and that the sampling phase is designed for deliberate play that provide enjoyment in a range of sports and activities, health will be improved in later life, as (Biddle et al., 2001) suggests that promoting physical activity in children is seen as important in encouraging them to adopt lifestyles which will be maintained into adulthood, thus lessening the risk of chronic diseases later in life, thus reducing pressure on the National health service.
Developing wider community issues using sports and physical activity is widely used across the country, Long and Sanderson (2002) have proposed that community development approaches aim to mobilise local people and resources by enabling individuals and groups to develop through participation in sporting activity, which is therefore seen as playing a role in developing community identity and capacity to take action and change. Using sport to deal with community issues is one way of diverting children from a life of crime and drugs, the sampling phase caters for young people to diverse in a range of sporting activities, and by entering young people in as a means of reducing crime, can have benefits on society, an evaluation of the west Yorkshire sports counselling project (1991) supports this as it suggests using sport to reduce rates of re-offending by probation service clients, found that those who completed eight weeks or more of their sports counselling programme were significantly less likely to be re-convicted than a control group. Whilst reducing crime through sport, the regeneration of local communities will benefit Pack (1989) argued that sport”…can, in conjunction with other social and economic policies, make a positive contribution to urban regeneration.” Long and Sanderson (1996) conducted a survey amongst sports development officers and sports centre managers, they noted that while all our respondents were able to cite a range of benefits to individuals: “…they found it harder to identify those occurring at the community level, and when addressing the contribution to regeneration, were more likely to return to high level sport – prestige facilities and elite performance (cups and Olympic medals). The responses relating to community development clustered strongly around interaction/cohesion/ community spirit, whereas those relating to urban regeneration tended to focus on civic pride and improving the profile of the city.” This supports Pack (1989) statement and clarifies that urban regeneration can be improved through sports.
Coaching is central to the development of sport at every level, with regards to cote and Hay’s theory, with the development of sports programmes designed to tackle wider social issues at the sampling phase and at the specialising and recreational years, the development of coaches is highly important. The Coaching Task Force Report (2002) explains that there will be a massive increase in after school sport and inter school competition creating an increased demand for ‘sessional’ coaches on school sites. There is a growing demand for volunteer coaches at the grassroots level of sports to work with young people in their sampling years and in the investment years there will have to be increased commitment and skills from coaches at local, regional and national level to work with talented and gifted young people.
Other Models of sports development are the Long term athlete development models, First LTAD Model, Balyi (1998), as shown in figure 1.5.
Figure 1.5 LTAD Early specialization model
The second LTAD model (2001), and the third LTAD Model (2003). The second model had been changed to consider late specialisation sports, such as athletics, combatitive sports, cycling, racquet, rowing and all team sports, the fundamental stage was added at the first stage to consider this. The third model considers changes to the late specialisation into sport and has a sixth stage as outlined below.
Four stage model:
Training to train
Training to compete
Training to win
Six stage model:
Learning to train
Training to train
Training to compete
Training to win
When one considers if the LTAD Models cover the government agendas better than cote and hay’s one believes that the early specialisation and late models clearly define each stage of development more accurately. Whilst cote and Hay’s theory and LTAD is very similar, preference would be given to the LTAD as it clearly shows what age it takes to be at each level and at what ratio of training it takes to be at each level. This would help whilst comparing the agenda with the model, for example taking into account the age range of communities whilst creating initiatives.
The researcher has concluded a number of findings throughout the assignment, after critically evaluating the traditional sports development continuum and Cote and Hay’s theory of socialisation into sport one concluded that cote and hay’s theory further reflects sport and is more suited to sports development, as it allows room for drop out and movement between is stage.
Whilst researching the current government agenda and how Cote and Hay’s theory reflects this one found evidence to show that current sports programmes are beneficial and important to improving health, decreasing obesity and health related issues later on in life. These programmes further help the governments attempt to use sport as a cross cutting agenda, as crime and drug use is decreased, this has proven to aid urban regeneration, by increasing community interaction, cohesion and community spirit. Coaching is improved at all levels of the cote and hay’s continuum, through sports programmes and this can only help future sporting talents as London 2012 is fast approaching.
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