Athlete Pathways and Development

Athlete Pathways and Development  
Prepared by  Prepared by: Don Cameron and Courtney Porter, Athlete Pathways and Development, AIS (January 2017)
evaluated by  Evaluation by: Juanita Weissensteiner, Head of Athlete Pathways and Development, AIS (January 2017)
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated: 6 February 2019
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Community Sport Coaching


An athlete pathway spans the entire continuum of athletic development – from initiation of fundamental movement and participation in physical activity through to lifelong engagement and proficiency at a senior, elite, and/or international level.

A challenge for national and international sporting agencies and organisations is deciding which framework or model they should subscribe to, to effectively guide and inform the development and support of their sport participants and athletes. 

Key Messages 


An athlete development pathway describes a continuum that begins early in life with the acquisition of movement skills through to lifelong engagement and proficiency at senior levels.


Athlete development pathways are fluid; participants enter, leave, progress, or remain at a particular stage according to their ability, maturation, interest, opportunities, personal circumstances, and goals.


Sport organisations can identify preferred development pathways in their own sport, and then build programs and implement strategies to encourage participation and promote excellence.

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