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Where’s the Money? Incentives, Coaching, and the Long-term Athlete Development Model

Gerrit van Kooten

No 2015-06, Working Papers from University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group

Abstract: The purpose in this paper is to examine the effectiveness of the long-term athlete development (LTAD) model compared to a model based on economic incentives. The emphasis, however, is on the LTAD model and reasons why it is incompatible with coach education, particular the coaching of judo. The major influences on the LTAD approach are reviewed along with recent evidence that leads to questions about its usefulness. While Judo Canada has attempted to implement the LTAD model in its program to train coaches, there remains a great deal of incongruity between the LTAD and the pedagogy that often characterizes judo. As a result,coaches who follow a program of certification do not, subsequently, employ what they have learned but, rather, return to their ‘old ways’. I argue that the incentives for becoming certified are wrong. I conclude that, rather than the attempt to standardize coaching via the LTAD model is misguided because a system that facilitates innovation is desired. Financial incentives whereby coaches and athletes are amply rewarded for success provide a better route to innovation and the Olympic podium than long-term athlete development model.

Keywords: Incentives and sport performance; Pedagogy of coaching; psychology and sport; nurture vs nature; judo; thinking fast and slow (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A12 L83 Z23 Z28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 22 pages
Date: 2015-08
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