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Athlete Development

FTEM framework

The AIS has developed the Foundations, Talent, Elite and Mastery framework to capture different sporting pathways.

We all participate in sport for many different reasons:

  • some are interested in maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle;
  • others love the thrill of competing with their friends; and
  • a rare few set their sights on winning medals for their country.

Whatever the motivation, we are on a pathway, although sometimes the pathway chooses us. The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has developed the Foundations, Talent, Elite and Mastery framework (FTEM framework) to capture these different pathways.

FTEM provides a practical tool to assist sporting stakeholders (National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) and their personnel, coaches, teachers, parents etc.) in reviewing, planning and supporting athlete pathways. The framework consists of four macro phases of athlete development, Foundation, Talent, and Elite/Mastery which are further differentiated into 10 micro phases.

FTEM integrates three key outcomes of sport participation:

  • active lifestyle;
  • sport participation; and
  • sport excellence.

By categorising the key features of a sportsperson or athlete within each of these pathways, we can encapsulate the relevant research and expectations of athletes throughout their sporting journey.

It also provides practical methods to assist sport stakeholders managing an athlete's career and those who work in developing sport systems.

This enhanced understanding of sporting pathways will help us to improve the experiences of more people, at more levels of the pathway, more often.

Who can use the FTEM framework?

The FTEM framework is a practical planning and review tool for a broad range of sporting stakeholders including:

  • parents
  • teachers
  • clubs
  • coaches
  • sports science and sports medicine personnel and
  • national and state sporting organisations.

Underpinning all of this love for sport and physical activity is physical literacy - a key element to any child's development with sport.

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has developed a framework to capture these different pathways and address the current shortfalls in applied research and practice specific to athlete development. It's called FTEM.
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