Young athletes on the Performance Pathway have been reflecting on how the BetterME programme has helped them to be better equipped to handle the demands of high performance.

The four-month initiative is in its final month, when the topic is physical wellbeing. This follows psychology, lifestyle and nutrition as the three previous monthly themes which players and their parents have been learning about.

Players and parents took part in a session with strength and conditioning lead Anna Nelson on how to appropriately structure the training week to enhance player development.

Emma Vickers, Head of Pathway Development, said: ““The final focused month is centred on physical development and has a more practical element.

“It’s important that our players at an early age have the appropriate knowledge around how to warm up and cool down and the types of training they can do at home or in their clubs that do not require much equipment.

“On the final Futures camp of the year, there will be some education on the new national warm-up and a fun fundamental skills session with Gordon Fearn.

“Gordon has been working with our Futures squad across this year to develop their foundational physical skills before they move onto a more enhanced physical programme when they move up an age group.”

Across the four-month programme, 15 educational and practical sessions have been delivered to squad players and parents.

Emma added: “Our commitment to supporting the holistic development of players and education of parents to support the player journey will continue in 2024.”

Here’s what some of the players said about the programme.

Sienna Jetha

“I think the sessions are really great and helpful because they’re interactive and they give me a better mindset going into training and competitions. I really learned a lot in the nutrition session, it’s given me great help to know what to eat and what’s good for my body before training, competitions and even when I’m resting.”

Abraham Sellado

“The psychology sessions have been really helpful, they’ve helped me prepare mentally for matches and training and given me a better mindset overall.”

Kacper Piwowar

“My favourite session was the nutrition one because it helped me prepare for tournaments and taught me what to bring to them also, so before a match I knew what to eat to get lots of energy.”

Peadar Sheridan (Ireland)

“I think the BetterME programmes are very informative and are making me learn a lot more and I’m getting a better understanding of what I need to do to become a better athlete.”