The Targeted Athlete Strategy (TAS) is a national program that provides identified Canadian athletes with the individualized support that they need in their development to enhance what the team-based system already provides.
In a team sport such as basketball, many of the training and competitive opportunities that exist within a team’s season are focused on the development of the team unit. Often times, individual athletes at key stages of the Long-Term Athlete Development Model (LTAD) are not given the attention they need from their team coaches to focus on their development as an individual skilled athlete.
TAS is designed to provide athletes with an individualized training and development program that will maximize their growth as a skilled athlete over the long-term. The strategy is based on two fundamental factors of LTAD, periodization and calendar planning, which are used to design a plan for athletes that provides them with the resources they need to ensure they develop holistically as an athlete. The goal is for athletes to maximize their potential and attain the highest level of achievement possible in thier post secondary and professional playing career.
TAS-Ontario (TAS-ON) consists of the top 20 targeted male and 20 targeted female athletes in Ontario (ages 16-18) identified through Ontario Basketball league, provincial cup and centre for performance centralized sessions and ultimately added to the national team program’s depth chart. Through individualized meetings with the athlete, family, and team coaches, Ontario Basketball staff assess these athletes to determine their individual areas of need in the following core areas of development:
1. Basketball Skills and Concepts
2. Physical Development
3. Mental/Social/Emotional Development
4. Life Skills
5. Professional Playing Career
A personal improvement plan (based on the principles of periodization and calendar planning) is designed and the necessary resources (coaches, tutors, etc.) are put in place to work one-on-one or in small groups with the athlete.
Ontario targeted athletes compete in the OSBA and converge four times a year to train in a centralized "large pod". In addition to receiving basketball technical training these athletes receive physical testing twice a year, as well as nutrition and medical support throughout the year.