According to Keech (2010, p. 3), Sports development is about attracting and nurturing sports participants in the community. It is a way of ensuring that sport is accessible by all members of the community. It focuses on removing the barriers that prevent an individual from participating in the sport. To ensure this, they identify the barriers and consult with the affected individuals. This helps in determining the affected individuals’ needs and, therefore, enhances their participation in sport. Therefore, the main aim of sports development is to encourage the participation of the entire community in the sport.
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Cote’s Development Model of Sports Participation (DMSP) better reflects the reality of participation in sport than the Traditional Model of Sports Development in that it enables incorporates both deliberate play and deliberate practice. It gives the participants the freedom to choose the category they want to be in as opposed to the traditional model. The deliberate play is enjoyable, motivating and requires no adult involvement. On the other hand, deliberate practice is vigorous, not enjoyable and requires adult involvement. It’s done with for a purpose for instance; one may later become an elite athlete upon specializing. However, the participants are allowed to quit at any stage of the development.
Traditional Model of Sports Development deters sports participation through the pyramid thinking model in which players are excluded in every transition creating a feeling that even some of the good players are left in the early stages. Furthermore, the approach assumes that the qualities of the players are determined by the experience and resources offered at the early stages implying that a poor foundation cripple the whole system. It further presumes that the progression to the next level indicates emergent ability in the later stages which in most cases is not the case (Wolstencroft and Abbott et al 2002, p. 23). Besides, the approach selects those who succeed to higher levels based on merit regardless of the psychological and environmental factors that include the ability to participate. Several factors such as the quality of coaching, parent provision and participation affect the performance of players at the higher levels. This implies that those who come from wealthy families are likely to score high as opposed to the less advantaged ones.
The effect of relative age is also not taken into consideration when it comes to this model. Musch and Grondin (2001, p. 147-167) discovered that players born earlier in a selection year are more advantageous than those born later on. Their physical size, strength and mature coordination of the game can render them better than the younger ones. They are much likely to be selected as the talented to proceed to the next level where they will get better coaches and more advanced training equipment to become better players. This means that through this model, majority of the young people identified as talented do not get the chance to become elite, conversely, many elite adults were not selected through a standard talents ways or rather they were not gifted with young children.
The above disparities associated with the Traditional Model of Sports Development makes Cote’s Development Model of Sports Participation (DMSP) more efficient in promoting sports development. As it incorporates the gaps left by the old model such the failure to administer better grouping and limiting the adult involvement at its initial stages.
KEECH, M. (2010). Sport development. Exeter, Learning Matters.
WOLSTENCROFT, E., & ABBOTT, A. (2002). Talent identification and development: an academic review. Edinburgh, sportscotland.
MUSCH, J., & GRONDIN, S. (2001). Unequal Competition as an Impediment to Personal Development: A Review of the Relative Age Effect in Sport. Developmental Review. 21, 147-167.
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