This is where you will first engage with cycling, where the passion for the sport will develop from. Ensuring an environment of balance and diversity will enable future goals to be met.

This is where you will first engage with cycling, where the passion for the sport will develop from. Ensuring an environment of balance and diversity will enable future goals to be met.

You will likely be under 14 and beginning your journey as a young rider. Learning the fundamentals of movement & control through numerous activities. All sport should focus on basic skill development. Participation across a number of sports & activities will assist with this development.

You will be growing and developing the ability to:

  • Engage in an enjoyable environment that teaches all aspects of cycling, where improving skills will ensure a gain in confidence;
  • Build connections through cycling;
  • Maintain other interests, hobbies, and passions, including time away from sport to recharge your batteries, heal up physically, and refocus;
  • Thinks long term and focus on the development of skills rather than the volume of training;
  • Develop decision maker by participating in a variety of sports and disciplines that encourage a the ability to learn & think;
  • Understand the fundamentals of cycling through the rules, techniques and tactical & technical attributes of the disciplines;
  • Ride & compete safely on roads, trails and tracks;
  • Develop autonomy, the experience must be yours.

At the foundation level of cycling it is important to begin making a conscious effort to develop personal and interpersonal attributes of performance, all of which are vital to future success in sport, studies, careers and life. By taking the time to develop these attributes now, you are giving yourself the best chance at finding success, no matter where you focus your efforts. 

Enjoyment is the cornerstone of long term participation and as a foundation level cyclist, it is important to find and retain this enjoyment and passion for the sport. Doing something out of love and enjoyment rather than obligation will ensure you develop a strong work ethic that supports quality performance.

As a new rider it is exciting to see and feel yourself improving, developing competence or getting better and is certainly a contributing factor to having fun while riding. Focusing on learning the skills and attributes of cycling will see you on the path to improvement and mastery which is an important aspect to developing courage and confidence in the sport.
Confidence is another pillar that supports long term engagement in sport and will come as you develop and improve your skills.  At this level it is important that coaches and parents are ensuring that you grow in confidence through reinforcing the process of improvement.

Cycling is a unique sport with a dynamic blend of individual and team engagement. The ability to connect with others and contribute to the culture of the team will make the experience more fun and engaging for everyone.

Autonomy is also an important attribute to begin developing at the foundation level of cycling. The sense of ownership over an experience or goals will drive to you to continue riding and improving your skills. This will equip you with a higher level of independence which is important in high performing athletes.

As an athlete with high performance aspirations, grit, resilience, integrity, empathy and respect are all characteristic traits that will not only drive you to reach those higher levels but will also factor into selection processes across all aspects of your life. It may feel like harsh criticism at times but know that it is all in an effort to build you into a strong, confident athlete.

We know that when people with developing or little experience go through the process of making decisions, they do not always get it right. With that in mind it is important that you, as a foundation rider, have the opportunity to make and reflect on decisions living with the consequences whether they are positive or negative.
Receiving feedback and reviews of these decisions from coaches and parents with support to progress will lead to higher levels of decision making.


Well-rounded sporting experience

  • Build a culture around the “enjoyment of the sport” rather than a need for wining right here and right now!
  • Develop an attitude of celebrating the success of teammates and work to contribute to that success
  • Work on mental skills within a sporting setting
    • Cooperation
    • Communication
    • Leadership
    • How to deal with below par/expected training and racing performances
    • How to deal graciously with success!
    • Concepts of periodisation
      • For on-bike training
      • For gym work
      • With nutrition
    • Injury and illness challenges – dealing with setback in training/races

Encourage interests outside of cycling

  • Athletes who base their identity and self-confidence upon their sporting status can get into emotional and mental health difficulties if/when their performance is compromised
  • Develop connections to other aspects of society
    • Eg schools; volunteer work
  • Further study – ideas of life after cycling
  • Another “passion” – support from sport for this – eg PM Scholarships

Delay specialisation into cycling until at least 16yo

  • Early cycling (and swimming) specialisation can inhibit appropriate bone development
  • Encourage participation in limb loading sports
    • Lower limb bone development – running and jumping sports
    • Upper limb bone development – gymnastics, boxing, sports with regular falls – eg rugby
  • Encourage participation in team based sports
    • Develop communication/compromise skills

Connection with family

  • Keep family contact an important part of athlete’s development and progression

Invite families to see training at the velodrome during “block” training camps

  • Family and friends play a major part of your early development;
  • Clubs and schools will support access to local facilities, tracks and trails that provide the opportunities for development;
  • Competitions organised by schools and clubs are an important aspect to enhancing skills;
  • Enjoying multiple sport and recreational activities supports long term development and participation in sport;
  • Balance between school, sport and life are important considerations for young riders.

Create an engaging environment where young athletes can develop their love of the sport in a safe, enjoyable learning environment where fun is the cornerstone of long term participation.

Coaches will have a focus on:

  • Ensuring the development environment has at its core a focus on balance that is managed through sampling and diversity;
  • Creating a safe, balanced and fun learning environment that ensures long-term participation in sport;
  • Ensuring an environment where riders see themselves “Getting better”, this is one of the primary ways children describe “fun” in sports. An athlete who works hard and sees themselves improving gains confidence;
  • Building connection;
  • Enabling autonomy, provide the space and time to make their own decisions, to learn to problem solve;
  • Ensuring your riders get time away from sport to recharge their batteries, heal up physically, and refocus. It also allows them to pursue other interests, hobbies, and passions;
  • Developing character. Sports help develop grit, resilience, integrity, empathy, respect, and other traits that help them find success;
  • Identifying and building fundamental movement patterns within technical skills;
  • Have a functional knowledge of training prescription relating to the developing athlete.