What Is a Sports Development Plan?

A sports development plan is a comprehensive plan that plots the agenda, goals and progress of a particular sports program. The development plan is typically used in the context of schools and similar institutions, but it can apply to other areas as well.

According to an online article by Education Week, around 57.4% of all high school students engaged in at least one school or community sports in the past year.  The most popular sports for girls was outdoor track and field. As for boys, football ranked the highest. 

Benefits of Engaging in Sports 

The positive reasons and advantages of playing sports has been well documented. Like with a healthy diet, engaging in sports is one form of exercise that comes with all kinds of health benefits. The following examples are just some major reasons why you should consider engaging in sports and other physical activities.    

It promotes physical health and well-being. As mentioned above, sports is a way to get into exercise and fitness. You do not not necessarily have to apply for a gym membership to get fit, engaging in a sport that you enjoy doing can already serve as your workout routine. Since exercise and a healthy diet go hand-in-hand, both are necessary for overall well-being. There may be a lot of different sports and options to choose from nowadays, so you just have to find a physical activity that suits your needs and your schedule. It is important to find a sport that you can truly commit to. This is especially true for young people. Physical education is an important component in a basic education curriculum. Academic life should not only revolve around intellectual and cognitive development, but the overall growth of a student- and that includes physical development and health. It promotes teamwork and camaraderie. Team sports have become embedded in popular culture because they are well-known and well-loved around the world. Basketball, football and baseball are some of the most popular and universal sports. Not only do team sports help promote physical fitness and health, they also help develop your social and interpersonal skills. Playing a team sport helps you function within a team. You learn all kinds of values and skills when you are compelled to work as one to achieve a shared goal. Unity, participation, solidarity and camaraderie are emphasized in team sports. You learn to set aside your personal and individual interests in favor of what’s best for the entire team. Of course, there are individual sports too; but being part of a team and sharing a common vision just brings a whole other dimension and meaning to sports. It helps build confidence. By engaging in an activity and learning how to become good at it, you build confidence as you progress in that activity. Playing an individual sport or participating in a team sport can build your skills and in the process, your confidence and self-esteem may improve as well. Because by developing and sharpening your craft, you realize you have the capacity and ability to do it. This process does not happen overnight. Confidence is gradually gained when you invest and stick to a sport, and eventually get better at it with practice. It is by slowly building and mastering your skills in sports that you gradually acquire the confidence and belief in yourself. For instance, the more you practice golf, learn more about it and challenge yourself each time you play, you will eventually have more trust and confidence in your abilities. It is an excellent form of stress relief. Another key benefit of playing sports is that it helps relieve stress and anxiety. Engaging in any physical activity helps you channel your energies in a healthier and more productive way. Whether these are negative or positive emotions, it is crucial to have an outlet wherein you can release all that pent-up energy. Since sports is a form of exercise, you are able to release endorphins that can significantly affect your mood. Sports, in one way or another, can help you cope with internal stress and get your mind off certain problems albeit temporarily. When you are in a better state of mind and mood, you can think and judge situations more clearly. It’s been said that people make better decisions and objective choices when their thinking is not clouded with emotion.

Tips for Creating a Sports Development Plan

A sports development plan is necessary if you want to really optimize the learning and growth of an individual or team. But creating a comprehensive development plan takes time and investment. Careful planning and preparation are required. The next time you are tasked to draft a sports development plan, keep in mind the following tips:   

Be specific. As with any formal plan, it pays to be specific and focused. You want to avoid creating a plan that is too vague or too general. It is important to have a clear vision and target for your sports development plan. This means enumerating concrete programs or strategies that truly meet your needs and objectives. The language you use and your choice of words should be action-oriented. One tip is to use active voice instead of passive voice. Moreover, being specific also entails promoting accountability in your plan. Make sure to assign a point person for any task or function. This way, there is a sense of responsibility and accountability in your development plan. For instance, if one of your sports programs for youth development is a bi-weekly basketball game, then your plan should indicate the officer-in-charge (or officers) of the program. Be realistic. A good plan is not just specific and concrete, but it ought to be realistic as well. There is no point in sugarcoating development. The point is to improve and strive to be better, hence the word development. In order to get to where you want to be, you need to have a realistic and honest assessment of where you currently stand. In other words, that means not filtering even the negative or poor aspects of your current situation. In addition to having clear goals that are future-oriented in nature, you must also assess the present situation in your school or team. If you want to build a better sports development program, you need to acknowledge and address the areas that need improvement. Plotting the past, present and future can make your development plan more solid and comprehensive. Keep your audience in mind. Another way you can make your development plan more effective and impactful is by keeping your audience in mind at all times. In other words, try to put yourself in the shoes of those who are at the receiving end of your development plan. Who are the primary beneficiaries of your sports development plan? You need to be able to identify the individuals and groups that stand to gain the most or are the most affected by your different plans. For example, if your development plan’s main objective is to foster youth participation and engagement through sports activities, you have to consider their needs. By visualizing and prioritizing their interests, you will be in a much better position to craft your development plan.

How to Create a Sports Development Plan

To create a sports development plan, you need to have the capacity for vision and execution. But if you need quick and convenient templates to use as a guide, the wide collection of editable plans above will save you a lot of time and effort. Simply choose one that suits your needs and follow the basic steps below.   

Step 1: Give an Objective Overall Assessment

Before you can be forward-thinking, you must first learn how to acknowledge the past and the present. This is important especially in the case of a sports development plan. You cannot move forward without learning from and addressing what already exists. This can be viewed as a sweet spot for growth because you are able to build on and improve on what is already there. To illustrate, your objective is to create a sports community center for students to train in athletics; but before you initiate plans and strategies, you must conduct an objective and comprehensive assessment of the current or existing sports programs.   

Step 2: State the Goals 

Once you have an adequate understanding of what has already been done, you can then proceed to brainstorming potential improvements. For any plan to work in the long-run, there has to be a clear statement of goals and objectives. Goals help you envision where you want to be from the standpoint of where you currently are. In the case of a sports development plan, it helps to be specific and concrete when naming your goals. For example, what kind of sports initiatives or programs will best meet your objectives? Be sure to specify the kind of sport, its mechanics and other fine details.  

Step 3: Identify the Resources 

The next step is identifying the resources needed to implement your development plan’s goals. Whether these resources are already available or have yet to be acquired, it is crucial to have a solid assessment of all of these because it will enable you to make more informed decisions moving forward. There can be all types of resources that you need depending on the sports programs or development initiatives in your plan. Examples of basic resources include manpower and logistics. Funding and support are also essential resources that you need to plan and prepare for.      

Step 4: Establish a Timeline 

Lastly, every development plan needs a timeline to put the plan in motion. Having a clear timeline promotes accountability and in one way, a sense of urgency as well. It is important to plot a timeline that will allow you to execute each phase of your sports development plan accordingly. Make sure you provide a reasonable timeframe for each initiative or task. Because more than just deadlines and due dates, a timeline ensures that there is order and flow in the implementation of your development plan.      


How can we develop sports?

Sports initiatives and programs are the responsibility of administrators of institutions and organizations. Those in positions of power have the opportunity to propose and implement viable programs that encourage participation and physical fitness through sports.

What is the plan of action in sports?

A sports action plan is a comprehensive action plan that essentially aims to meet the different objectives of a sports team, club or organization.

What is the aim of a sports development program?

The aim of a sports development program would greatly depend on the organization or institution’s individual objectives and needs. But in a general sense, the overarching aim is to advance the values that various types of sports promote including solidarity, physical fitness, and discipline.

A sports development plan should be comprehensive, focused, and feasible. But most of all, it should have the beneficiaries’ best interests in mind. Browse the wide selection of sample templates above and start drafting your own sports development plan now!