Appendix 1. Table of the themes, sub-themes and codes to participation and progression along the recognised sporting pathway.
|Competing Priorities||Education||Lack of time for schoolwork|
|Prioritise education over sport|
|Parents influence prioritisation of education|
|Teachers compete for attention|
|Sport Commitments||Desire for multiple sporting interests|
|Clash in scheduling of sports|
|Difficult to choose between sports|
|Enhanced connection in other sports|
|Established friendships in other sports|
|Parental preference for other sports|
|Increased risk of injury in other sports|
|Coaches compete for attention|
|Other Interests and Commitments||Part-time jobs|
|Volunteering / coaching|
|Fear of missing out|
|Logistical Challenges||Transport||Distance from facility / opportunity|
|Transport’s impact on parents|
|Alternative modes of transport|
|Safety concerns with alternative modes of transport|
|Travel logistics a distraction|
|Inability to capitalise on opportunities|
|Financial||Acute awareness of financial requirements|
|Financial burden on family|
|Absence of Coping Skills||Harnessing Motivation and Commitment||Motivation and commitment as non-negotiables|
|Commitment especially needed on ‘bad days’|
|Lack of motivation / commitment forces removal from sport|
|Dealing With Pressure||Dislike feeling of pressure|
|Pressure reduces athletic performance|
|Pressure eventually causes removal from sport|
|Varied sources of pressure|
|Dealing With Poor Performance||High and lows experienced in short amount of time|
|Perceived lack of improvement|
|Disappointing results / performance|
|Comparison with other athletes|
|Dealing With Physical Demands||Balancing various commitments|
|Gradual increase in physical demands|
|The impact of injury|
|Unfavourable Perceptions||What the Sport Can Offer||Status of the sport|
|Uncertain future in the sport|
|Lack of career opportunities|
|Involvement to facilitate participation in other sports|
|Pathway Perceptions||Perceived challenges|
|Perceived time commitments|
|Perceived ‘intensity’ of pathway|
|Perceived age restrictions|
|Pathway Awareness||Knowledge of the pathway|
|Lack of pathway awareness - stages|
|Lack of pathway awareness - detail|
|Lack of information about pathway provided|
|Comparisons / assumptions of other sport(s) pathways|
|Lack of publicity / discussion of pathway|
|Disagreeable Experiences||[Lack of] Enjoyment||No point taking part in sport without enjoyment|
|Factors contributing to lack of enjoyment|
|Various consequences of lack of enjoyment|
|Sport Culture||Feelings of isolation within certain sports|
|Lack of understanding outside of sport|
|Over reliance on competition|
|Growing pathway intensity|
|The Physical Environment||Lack of local facilities|
|Poor availability of facilities|
|Lack of specific equipment|
|Personal Relationships||Lack of friendships / social cohesion|
|Too much variation in ability / ages|
|Poor coach-athlete relationship|
|Poor coach-parent relationship|
|Unfavourable coach attributes and behaviours|
Appendix 2. Extended list of considerations.
[Lack of Enjoyment] / Sport Culture / The Physical Environment / Personal Relationships
- How open minded are you about the delivery method?
- Do you have the right balance of fun, training, and competition opportunities?
- Do you have insight regarding what type of activity and experiences that young people with sporting potential want to engage with and are most likely to respond to?
- What are the key learning experiences that you are seeking to provide through your competition programme and how does your competition programme support development?
- Are the needs of young people at the centre of your provision?
- Do you actively consider generational cultural trends – e.g., free-spirited nature and a greater focus on personal relationships?
- Are all stakeholders working towards a shared vision of athlete experience?
- How can you create an environment across your pathway where athletes feel they can talk openly about how they’re feeling / challenges they are facing, without fear of judgement?
- Do you foster a “community feeling” within a sport environment and across the sport culture?
- Do you provide parents / families / the support network with information on how to enhance the sport experience for their young people?
Education / Sport Commitments / Other Interests and Commitments
- How flexible is your offering based on different athlete needs and competing demands?
- Are your coaches and decision-makers empathetic to the challenges and responsibilities young people have outside of their sport?
- Do you work with athletes and educators to understand the various challenges that they face, and how sport(s) can help them best manage those challenges?
- Does your performance pathway and programme have multiple entry / exit points to cater for the various routes athletes may take as they progress on their sporting and educational journey?
- Are your Pathways considerate of non-linear progression? How do you create space for outliers?
- Have potential risks around current selection / identification methods been acknowledged and managed?
Transport / Financial
- Do you actively consider accessibility of opportunities to overcome logistical challenges?
- Do you provide up-to-date information to athletes / parents / educators to raise awareness of accessible opportunities?
- Do you continually evaluate the impact of inequality of access to pathway entry / progression and the implications for not being able to grow and diversify your talent pool?
Absence of Coping Skills
Harnessing Motivation and Commitment / Dealing with Pressure / Dealing with Poor Performance / Dealing with Physical Demands
- Do your pathways, sessions and coaches look to develop the person and their wider skills, as well as performance?
- What opportunities and challenges can be created within a safe environment that enable athletes to develop and support their motivation towards training and competing?
- Is information available to athletes / coaches / parents to support coping with pressurised events and managing potential setbacks?
- How could you best design and manage competitive experiences to maximise growth and increase understanding of athlete potential?
- How could you track progress and rate of learning (future potential) rather than absolute measures or measures of performance (performance now)?
- How could you go about working with more athletes over extended periods to better understand athlete potential?
What the Sport can offer / Pathway Awareness / Pathway Perception
- What do you think is the external perception of your sport and performance pathway?
- How easy is your pathway to understand for those new to the Sport’s community?
- Is all relevant information relating to your pathway readily accessible through various and appropriate means for a variety of audiences (e.g., athletes, parents and coaches)?