Over the last 10 years, APEX Global Sport Group has worked with different sport organizations to develop effective long-term strategic plans, practical implementation practices (‘planning to practice’), and honest and objective outcome reviews.
Every organization is slightly different from others, so we always customize the process for every client; to be tailored to their specific needs. But the principles and macro-processes are essentially the same.
One element that we want to highlight here is the ‘300 Day Micro-Plan”, in the lead-up to major significant competitive events. Keep in mind that we have done this as a 400-day plan, and even a 100-day plan – but for the sake of consistency we will use 300 days in this description.
It is a relatively simple concept and process, but ironically most organizations don’t do it well, or do it and then put it on a shelf, or don’t do it at all. We have done this with great success – nearly every client we have done this with has achieved their best Olympic and/or Paralympic results ever.
So how does it work? Without going into too much detail here, we typically facilitate a process whereby the organization works through the following steps:
Assemble the key personnel in all the key departments or activities or elements of your organization. and your performance program
This should include stakeholders such as coaches, athlete representatives, Sport Sciences leads, sports medicine leads, representatives from the key “umbrella” sport organizations (e.g. Olympic Committee, Paralympic Committee, Sports Commission or Sports Council (or equivalent), marketing people, Board members and so on,
Task every participant to identify the critical events that need to happen in the 300-day period (or whatever timeline you choose to work on) and the event,
Have every participant list their key events on a calendar – divided by weeks - either on a very large whiteboard or “butcher paper” wallpaper, or directly onto an online shared spreadsheet calendar. If you use a whiteboard (s), or paper you will need to transfer it to a shared electronic version later)
Color any critical deadlines as red,
Draw links/lines between events or tasks that need to happen before a critical deadline,
Under each week’s activities identify the people tasked with making each event or item happen each week
Identify when small-team or whole-team meetings are scheduled to review progress
Identify parts of the schedule that are packed with events, or can be classified as “high risk” periods, where problems might occur – e.g. staff burnout, athlete injury, sickness/illness
Once it is completed to everyone’s satisfaction it can be shared on a shared folder and alarm/notifications can be set up to notify stakeholders that a key task(s) are coming up next week or month.
This sounds very simple and logical, but as we have seen, and have mentioned above, many organizations don’t go into explicit micro-planning before major events, and a lot of important steps fall through the cracks or are missed completely. This could have big repercussions when the pressure of a major event increases.
It sounds like a lot of work, but every time we have done this participants ALWAYS say how valuable (and satisfying) it is. Everyone sees the big picture, and everyone knows when and where their pieces fit.
If you are interested in having APEX Global Sport Group facilitate a 300-day (or 400-day or 200-day) plan, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.