The Athletic Skills Model offers an alternative to dominant talent development theories in the form of holistic broad-based movement education, focusing on health and wellbeing. It places the emphasis on ‘physical intelligence’ – including attributes such as agility, flexibility and stability – through adaptable and varied training programmes, creating a skilled athlete before introducing sport specialization.

The book sets out the scientific underpinnings of the ASM before going on to offer practical guidance on the content of the programme, how to adapt and vary the programme, and how to apply the approach to different age groups and sports. The ASM’s application in the youth development programme at AFC Ajax is explored in depth, before a future of talent development with an emphasis on athletic, rather than sport-specific, expertise is imagined.

The Athletic Skills Model introduces an important and timely challenge to conventional wisdom in talent development and is a fascinating read for any upper-level student or researcher interested in youth development, skill acquisition, motor learning or sports coaching, and any coaches wanting to refresh their approach to talent development.

part I|83 pages

The foundation

chapter 1|17 pages

The basics of the Athletic Skills Model

chapter 2|28 pages

Talent development

chapter 3|24 pages

Training adolescents

chapter 4|12 pages

Goal-directed motor learning

From theory to practice

part II|138 pages

The Athletic Skills Model

chapter 5|25 pages

ASM building block 1

Basic movement skills

chapter 6|17 pages

ASM building block 2

Coordinative abilities

chapter 7|33 pages

ASM building block 3

Conditions of movement

chapter 8|56 pages

The Athletic Skills Model in the field

part III|30 pages

Introduction to the case studies

chapter 9|16 pages

Case study

The Athletic Skills Model applied to the youth development programme at Ajax Football Club

chapter 10|12 pages

Case study

Designing a landscape of affordances to invite actions – the Athletic Skills Track at Ajax Football Club

chapter |6 pages


The future for talent development – no specialists, but athletes with a specialization?