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Elite player development

The Elite Player Development (EPD) is a specifically designed programme to nurture aspiring athletes at Woodlands School in a range of different sporting disciplines.  There are seven EPD programmes, which include Rugby, Boys and Girls Football, Basketball, Dance, Athletics and Netball. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to develop as players in their chosen sport as they will be given time to attend quality and intensive training sessions led by coaches that are specialists in their field.

The expectation is for athletes to attend three compulsory training sessions per week (twice before school and one after school) with each session having a different focus on an aspect of their sport. The training will develop a player’s game awareness, fundamental core skills, position specific skills, as well as improving an athlete’s fitness. Specific fitness sessions throughout the year will improve an athletes speed, agility, power and strength with sessions taking place in the fitness suite as well on the training pitch. Pupils will also be mentored academically by the lead coach to ensure players are achieving their potentially in the classroom. Regular analysis of pupils data will be shared with coaches and pupils to ensure progress of academic achievement is maintained throughout the year. This will make sure there is a healthy balance between academic attainment and athletic progress. Therefore, this programme is physically and mentally demanding and athletes will be expected to have excellent organisation and time management skills to ensure they do not fall behind.

Pupils will be encouraged to attend county and national competitions or academy trials where possible to ensure they excel in their chosen sport. Pupils will also be given the opportunity to achieve coaching qualifications or officiating awards where possible. In turn, pupils will be expected to help with primary school competitions and lower school fixtures. As a reward for the player’s dedication to the programme, they will receive a training kit after the first half term of training which they can wear for training and PE lessons.