Individual Athlete Development Plan


(please note – this page is being updated and added to in response to athlete feedback)

If you know what an IADP is and you just want to start completing one please go to IADP Resources (templates and guides to completion)

On this page:

  • What is an IADP?
  • Why do I need an IADP?
  • When do I need one?
  • How often should I review my IADP?
  • IADP and the ADP programme
  • IADPs and Selection
  • IADPs and Funding


What is an IADP?

An Individual Athlete Development Plan is a personal development plan owned by an athlete. It helps direct and inform training, competition and lifestyle management to accelerate achievement of an athlete’s goals.

IADPs are based on the BF Pathway Model, with different templates available for each stage (T1-T4) allowing athletes to self-assess against the relevant stage.

All IADPs (pathway stage T2 and above) should have the following foundation elements developing over the season:

  1. Pathway Self-Assessment (based on Pathway Stage)
  2. Goals
  3. Competition Plan
  4. Improvement Plan (based on Pathway Stage T2/T3/T4 etc)
  5. Training Plan/Training Blocks
  6. Multi-Season Performance Data (end of season year ranking and major event results)

In addition to the main elements of an IADP there are a series of additional tools that can be used by an athlete and their personal coach to support and input into the main elements. These include:

  1. Lifestyle Review (template coming soon)
  2. Strength & Conditioning Record (template coming soon)
  3. Pathway 360 Assessment (required for athletes seeking Major event selection)

Why do I need an IADP?

Development plans are important for a number of reasons, helping:

  1. Athletes to identify development areas, and create training and competition programmes designed to accelerate athletes through the pathway and increasing likelihood of achieving goals
  2. Those supporting athletes – coaches, parents etc – to plan, saving time and money and to identify opportunities to contribute positively to the athlete development experience.
  3. BF ensure that the ADP offerings meet the development needs of the  athlete, including allocation/selection of athletes for discretionary places at competitions. (bringing to life the ADP principles of “fencer centred, development driven, competition supported”)
  4. Athletes prepare for funding applications (now or in future) – an IADP provides evidence of an athlete’s ability to a) meet performance standards agreed with and expected by our funding bodies and b) be personally accountable for a personal performance improvement process.

When do I need an IADP/where do I start?

All athletes in the ADP should as a minimum have a self managed Pathway Self Assessment (previously known as an Athlete Profile) and for this over the season to build into a full IADP.

As an athlete joins the pathway, they should use the pathway model and performance/results to identify which pathway stage is likely most applicable (most athletes typically enter the ADP at T2). Note that performance/results is just one of the 10 pathway stage components and is only an indication of where to start.

Using the Pathway Stage IADP template for the first time an athlete should:

  1. Pathway Self Assessment – complete a Pathway Self Assessment to identify strengths and areas of development need. (Where am I now?)
  2. Goal Setting – start by setting short term goals to address those areas of development need (identified in the step above). As athletes move up the pathway we would encourage medium and long term goal setting (What do I want to achieve?). More information on goal setting and completing this element of the IADP can be found here.
  3. Competition & Training Plan – Create a basic outline competition and training plan for the season based on the short term goals. (What will I do?). More information can be found here.
  4. Improvement Plan – With support from the personal coach, and in consideration of 1-3, complete the improvement plan by identifying those areas of focus that will accelerate development and hence performance. (How will I improve?)

How often should I review my IADP?

IADPs are designed to be reviewed with personal coaches (and parents if U18) and updated on a regular basis, at a minimum:

  • Entry level T2 IADPs – pre-season, mid-season and after each milestone event.
  • T3 and above – once every two months and after every significant competition.

For ADP fencers, IADPs will be reviewed by BF on a regular schedule.  As fencers go up the performance pathway the expectation is that these reviews become more frequent and more detailed (T4).

Updated IAPDs can be submitted to BF here.

Reviews do not necessarily require all aspects of the IADP to be reviewed. It will depend on how well the improvement plan is going and whether any adjustments need to be made.

IADPs and Selection

It is expected that all athletes wishing to represent GBR from Cadet to Senior level an have an active Self Assessment (Athlete Profile).

By the time an athlete is looking for selection for Major Events (European & World Championships) at Junior, U23 and Senior level the expectation is that the foundation elements are in place alongside a 360 Pathway Assessment.

Information in these profiles will be used in consideration of discretionary cases. An example might be that an athlete has identified an area of personal  development and selection to a competition would allow the athlete the ideal opportunity to develop which in turn would accelerate performance improvements.

A good IAPD is an IADP where an athlete (and their personal coach, supported by their parent if U18) shows genuine insight into the development needs of the athlete. An IADP is not a one-off self assessment ‘test’ to demonstrate an athlete is at a stage of the pathway and therefore ‘deserves selection’.  For selection, athletes should be focusing on meeting qualification standards.

IADPs and Individual Athlete Funding

Athletes looking to access public funding will be expected to have comprehensive and detailed plans in place, understanding that these will form the basis of decisions to invest in fencing and fencers, in comparison to other sports.  (for more information about how the ADP is funded please see here).

IADPs is an important way to demonstrate to funding bodies what they are investing in when they fund named/identified athletes. In the same way that a businesses are invested in on the basis of a good business plan, a good IADP should demonstrate why an athlete is worth investing in. The IADP shows what the athlete will achieve and how, based on a realistic assessment of where they currently are and what they will be doing as a result of that assessment. Individual athlete funding is not a reward – whilst an entry criteria to funding may be a specific performance, funding is given based on management and delivery of an IADP.


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