Preparing for the transition from secondary to tertiary education while managing a changing sporting and social environment are important focuses at this stage.

Preparing for the transition from secondary to tertiary education while managing a changing sporting and social environment are important focusses at this stage.

Building performance as a junior at international competitions, you will be 5 - 8 years from podium at pinnacle events.

Typically a competitive Junior World Championship athlete. If considered as an age group, you will be aged 16 – 18.

You will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Consider the planning that supports the transitions to tertiary education and a performance sporting environment that may include a centralised training environment;
  • Ensure a balance of school/sport/life;
  • Developing the work ethic as part of a planned transition stage to achieve future goals;
  • Understand that you are responsible for your actions and performance;
  • Grow independence of action and thought;
  • Develop an understanding of self-awareness;
  • Build the technical and tactical skills that will ensure future consistency of results and performance;
  • Through the ongoing development of skills, begin to develop the attributes of courage;
  • Develop the ability to consistently make great decisions that improve the position of self and team;
  • Develop the skills to establish realistic performance goals and to reflect on performance;
  • Develop the skills to establish long term goals and enable you to move on from setbacks;
  • Be an active learner.

As a rider beginning to perform at higher levels, you will begin to focus on developing the attributes required to deliver excellent results through your experiences in training, competition and life. The environment that you perform in demands a strong understanding of these attributes which underpin how you operate as an athlete.

The following attributes are seen as key to delivering excellent performances:

Work Ethic

  • Always behave professionally

Professional behaviour means taking pride in your personal appearance, arriving in time to prepare for the session ahead and being courteous to those working with and around you.

  • Organisation & High Productivity

Ensure that requested information is delivered in a timely manner with a standard of accuracy and order. Establishing organisational methods that work for you are key to securing your success in future.

  • Teamwork & Cooperation

Understand that you are part of something that is bigger than yourself, you are part of a team. Make an effort to cooperate with those in your team and foster opportunities for teamwork where possible.

  • Determination to Succeed

To succeed you will need to seek internal motivation, you are in control of the outcome. Search for resources that can help you and try to find remedies to resolve any issues.

  • Consistent & High-Quality Work

Strive to succeed with a high standard of professionalism and relish in challenging tasks that enhance your learning. Use the people around you to seek feedback and act on it to improve.


  • Determination

Always perform to the best of your ability. Never lose sight of your goals even under pressure instead use that opportunity to refocus.

  • Mastery (Self-Confidence)

Back yourself and be confident in your ability to deliver a skill or perform a desired behaviour. Draw on self-confidence gained by impressive performances, achieving goals and mastering skills.

  • Assertiveness

Be assertive and confident in your leadership of others and use your initiative when faced with difficult or potentially hazardous situations.

  • Venturesome (Coping with Fear)

Take calculated risks in the pursuit of greater performance. Remember that those who are courageous are not fearless, instead they are people that face difficult or risky situations in spite of their fear. Take your fear and own it.

  • Sacrifice (Altruistic Behaviour)

Recognise when others need something more than you and compete even when facing the possibility of defeat.

Grit & Resilience

Demonstrate grit, perseverance and the passion to achieve long-term goals. Grit entails working strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years despite failure, adversity, and plateaus in progress. Approach achievement as if it were a marathon, where stamina is your advantage. When disappointment or boredom signals to others that it is time to change trajectory and cut losses, put your head down and stay the course.

True resilience won’t happen overnight, it is built up over time through situations and scenarios which will test you and require you to succeed in the face of adversity. Think about how you cope with difficult situations and develop strategies to help you adapt and overcome, building your mental strength and emotional resilience.

Realistic Performance Evaluations and Reflection

Set goals for yourself and create realistic performance expectations. Spend time honestly reviewing and reflecting on your performances and adjust your goals to reflect this.

Coping & Decision Making Under Pressure

Use your experience and draw on available resources to make good decisions even when under pressure. Strive to constantly improve performance outcomes whether that means performing under pressure or training under pressure.


Be independent and take responsibility for your actions and decisions. Understand that you are in charge of catering to your needs and be considerate of those around you.


Learn to adapt to new and different conditions by making changes in response to the new environment. In the short term this may mean real time changes to events or training whereas long term changes may affect the environment, events & circumstances.


Take the opportunities offered by your coaches to learn through feedback and constructive criticism of your performances.

Health Performance Issues

Understanding of WADA, Anti-doping

  • Access to DFSNZ education material/presentations
  • Understanding the role and risks of supplements

Education around long game view – winning NOW is not the goal

  • Idea is to develop the athlete’s physical and mental/social abilities
  • This provides a personal platform for world class performances in the future
  • The “future” is likely to be mid to late 20’s!

Keep all providers in a communication loop – eg network athlete’s key providers

  • Importance of a good relationship with athlete’s GP cannot be underestimated
  • Look to integrate providers with face to face contact/activities

Training programme demands to match the athlete’s current physical abilities and stage of physical and mental maturation – requires access to knowledgeable and skilled staff

  • Specificity of cycling training linked to current racing plan
    • And to future cycling desires
  • Strength training appropriate for bone developmental age
    • Open growth plates are at risk of damage with heavy weights/loads and sudden jumps in amount of load
  • Technique focus for gym based activities
  • Importance of adding in arm and leg “impact” training (eg skip rope, jumps, boxing, clap push-ups) for bone development – need appropriate dietary calcium, best to get from dairy products

Work on how to operate effectively when you are uncomfortable and/or stressed

  • Plan for this when training loads are high
  • Accept and acknowledge this when outside stressors impact on athlete life environment
    • Outside stressors often unpredictable
  • NSO to have interviews/sessions specifically aimed at progress in this area
    • Especially before high loading phases and overseas campaigns, to prepare for difficulties, plan to cut down the “outside noise”
    • And after campaigns of what went well
  • Development of a “Battle Mindset” when times are tough

Specific Medical Issues

Athlete’s own medical conditions are well understood and well controlled

Cardiac screening/evaluation

  • Especially if family history of cardiac issues
  • Explore opportunities for access to ECGs/ reports
  • Italy model is all athletes based at any sporting club gets ECG every year, then every 2 years when adulthood reached (whatever that is!) – or something like that

Education material around Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S)

  • Both to the athlete but also to the parents/caregivers
  • screening

Psychological developments and mental skills training

  • Anxiety, tension, uncertainty are all “normal” emotions that need accepting and working “with” rather than fighting/hiding
  • Balance team goals with individual goals
  • Accepting of different athlete personality behaviours – although these need to conform to the teams “Culture”


  • One of the biggest challenges is a delay in appropriate treatment

Need early, honest reporting of illness and injury concerns, and mental well-being concerns

  • You will continue your development & support through school, club & regional activities.
  • Your performances and ability to learn may see you progress into Performance Hub programmes. The focus will be on the development of the attributes that support performance at future pinnacle events.
  • International competitions begin to be an important part of developing and confirming future potential

Your High Performance coaches will be able to read and refine skills within developing high performing athletes.

Coaches will have a focus on:

  • Articulate quality information to programme stakeholders;
  • Lead the learning process for developing athletes;
  • Have a great understanding of the process of skill acquisition, understanding gaps and planning improvement;
  • Seek out and provide clear direction and leadership on technical developments and trends as they develop through the utilisation of critical expertise;
  • Clear leadership and instruction on understanding changing trend and implementing strategies into the programme;
    • Design and implement a long term program that takes into account individual requirements to ensure future performance, whilst delivering shorter term objectives with the ability to engage, lead and influence a variety of stakeholders;
    • Developing campaign and programme leadership across the coaching and support team;
    • Developing the physical requirements of performance at junior U19 level, whilst considering future requirements;
  • Understanding key transitions, your riders will progress through a number of important psychological, cognitive, social and emotional transitions.
  • Have a developing knowledge of physiology, periodisation and training prescription;
  • Have a great understanding of the process of skill acquisition, understanding gaps and planning improvement;
  • Have a working knowledge of nutrition, S&C, mental skills and other athlete services that enables the coach to lead these disciplines.
  • Having strong knowledge of the tactical and technical requirements of competition.