The High Performance Model is an effective sports management system that has received significant attention in the multifaceted business of sport across the United States of America.
US National Governing Bodies under the United States Olympic Committee have been using the high performance conceptual framework in an attempt to organize and deliver a coach and athlete development program. The US Ski and Snowboard Association has utilized its Elite Performance Model since 2001. This model incorporates the use of advanced scientific research to help athletes and coaches in the areas of applied sports science, medicine, management, pedagogy, as well as sport-specific skill development and training.
Strength and conditioning is a fundamental component of this model while physiological monitoring systems guide the implementation of training protocols for every athlete. USA Hockey has adopted the Long Term Athlete Development Model, employed by Canadian National Governing Bodies, in order to create the American Development Model (launched in 2009). This model is the hallmark of athlete development process that leads to high performance.
The University of Northern Iowa adopted the High Performance Model in an effort to reap the benefits of applying a highly integrated sports management system in university sport. The High Performance Management system coordinates the areas of medical service, athletic training, strength & conditioning, sports psychology, sports nutrition, coaching development, and external specialists into a cohesive supportive system for athlete development.
Premier League created the Elite Player Performance Plan, a long-term plan that targets the development of athletes from grass roots to professional sports. This plan offers a holistic approach to developing a system of Sports Academies, whereby athlete development is of paramount importance. Athlete development is safeguarded through systematic measuring, monitoring, and adjusting.
The Long Term Athlete development and High Performance models date back to USSR and Eastern European sport development mechanisms, which greatly contributed to the development of training and periodization methods.
The aforementioned framework guided the Office of Athletics of Deree – The American College of Greece to initiate its own Sports Development & Performance model in an effort to support the technical, tactical, physical, mental, lifestyle, and welfare development of its athletes. This model aims to provide aspiring athletes with a unique opportunity to benefit from a comprehensive approach to long-term athlete development regardless of whether they are willing to enter the world of professional sport or not.
The programs of the Office of Athletics and the Deree Sports Academy will be enriched by the application of rigorous scientific research in selected areas with the ultimate goal of improving performance and minimizing injury risk within a safe and respectful environment that acknowledges and caters for the intricacies of youth sport development.
The Sports Development and Performance model incorporates strength and conditioning as a vital tool to enhance physical preparation and prevent injuries. Physical fitness variables are prioritized according to a comprehensive analysis of the physiological demands of each respective sport provided by the Office of Athletics and the DCAC. Strength, power, agility, speed, anaerobic capacity, aerobic power, flexibility, mobility, injury prevention, proprioception, and neuromuscular training have their share in physically preparing an athlete for the high demands of sport participation. Moreover, athletes will systematically undergo physiological monitoring and assessment in order to determine their current state of physical preparation, areas of improvement, progress, injury risk, and overall fitness status. The aforementioned monitoring will serve as the basis for talent identification and development.
The program fosters the development of habitual, systematic exercise habits that can be sustained through lifetime. Some athletes may reach the elite level while others may not advance their sporting potential to such a high extent. Beyond the journey of an athlete in the world of sport, sport and exercise are of utmost importance for health, longevity, and prosperity. The establishment of sustainable exercise habits are a major goal of this model.
Another major tenet of the Deree Sports Development and Performance model is the protection of athletes from drug abuse and from potentially hazardous supplements and unsubstantiated claims made by providers. Anti-doping education will be provided on an ongoing basis so that athletes are cognizant of the hazards associated with drug abuse and familiarize themselves with the use of safe and effective supplements that may be prescribed by professionals when the need arises.
A last constituent of the Deree model is the systematic training and development of the coaching staff in the areas of strength and conditioning so that they are able to supervise the training protocols provided by the Sports Development and Performance team. The end result of this process will be the incorporation of strength and conditioning protocols within the sport training practice for all age groups across all sports. The long term goal of the program is to support athletes in all areas of sports performance and welfare from the very first steps of their sporting endeavors.
The DCAC sports development and performance model will be managed, delivered, and communicated to all relevant parties by the Sports Development & Performance team comprised of the Head of the Sports Development & Performance program Mr. Liossis Loudovikos-Dimitrios, and the Assistant Head of Sports Development & Performance program Ms. Katsafadou Andromachi.
Liossis Loudovikos-Dimitrios holds a Master’s Degree in Sport Management from Loughborough University with specialization in Strategic Management-Analysis of Fitness Centers, as well as a Master’s Degree in Applied Sports and Exercise Science from Staffordshire University with specialization in sports physiology and power output maximization-Distinction. Moreover, he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with specialization in marketing communications with Distinction. He has been working for the Office of Athletics since 2010, and as a strength and conditioning coach for the DCAC Sports Academy program from 2014.
Andromachi Katsafadou holds a Master’s Degree in Strength and Conditioning from the University of Edinburg. Moreover, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and Sports Sciences from the University of Athens with specialization in Coaching running events. She has been working for the Office of Athletics since 2008, and as a strength and conditioning coach for the DCAC Sports Academy program from 2014.