We have completed an entire article series about a useful tool for junior performance development. Taking all the articles together, it is equivalent to an over 30 page manual!
The concept is to harness the power of vision and mission statements (just like successful companies) to inform performance development. The vision statement provides a compelling target to work towards by giving a picture of what a performance player could look like. Mission statements describe how the vision will be attained and the purpose in developing specific areas.
The vision and missions are a useful way to deal with the 4 Performance Factors of Psychological, Physical, Tactical & Technical development.
The vision statement reads:
‘A Performer who is an Athlete that Plays Smart with Functional Shots.’
My version is based on the original work of top International Coach Louis Cayer.
With this vision, our coaches have a destination to build towards to develop an ‘integrated’ player. Each keyword in the statement also has a mission statement that informs how we get there.
What about individualization?
The vision statement should be considered a ‘general’ goal that every player needs to move towards. The principle is, ‘Diversification before Specialization’. Even if a coach was prioritizing individualization, would that ever mean their player shouldn’t be a performer, an athlete, smart, etc.?
Individualization means taking those vision components and expanding them in a tailor-made way for the player. The individualization would be more about the specifics. For example, ‘Smart Play’ for an aggressive baseliner would mean tactically setting up points to finish by using their big FH. The All-court players could finish at the net, etc. Each player would make their respective decisions to give more opportunities to use their strengths, etc. The vision statement is the foundation that informs and complements individualization (not contradicts it).
Below is a link to a chart that can be used to observe your players in match play. It provides a checklist of the key qualities for each of the vision statement components.
The player vision statement helps coaches to develop a complete player by integrating the 4 performance factors of Psychological, Physical, Tactical and Technical. It gives them a clearer picture of the future. It provides a ‘big picture’ goal to powerfully direct all of the development work they do.