Ready To Act
This tool assists to support an athlete in developing an action plan at the end of a counselling session. By using the tool, athletes can outline and prioritise clear tasks that need to be completed by specific timepoints.
The greatest dual career plan is nothing without its succesful transformation into effective action. In this respect, especially young athletes often find it difficult to define goals, and then, structure corresponding goal-oriented activities. Given the strict regime of competitive sport, this can come with a loss of time, energy and performance.
Developing an action plan is an important step in any process, as it can increase the likelihood of objectives being achieved. No matter how effective a counselling process may seem, without a clearly outlined action plan, the impact of the process may be lost.
This is where the tool Ready To Act comes into play. It helps athletes identify their objective and identify the steps that are required to fulfil this objective, including what support they may require and a clear timeline for when the steps need to be achieved.
Follow the instructions to apply this tool and browse our manifold resources to find out more about the addressed topic.
The Action Plan (pdf) represents an easy-to-use template that dual career practitioners can apply with an athlete to conclude a counselling session. There are a number of steps within the process. When conducting a session with an athlete, you may want to leave approximately 15 minutes at the end to complete this template.
- Hand out the Action Plan (pdf) to the athlete.
- Help the athlete identify their objective(s). There may be multiple objectives that come from the counselling session. Therefore, the athlete could identify a (1) primary objective, and (2) secondary objectives, however, this is not compulsory. (An example primary objective would be to choose a university option, and an example secondary objective would be to choose an optimal university course.)
- Help the athlete identify how they should prioritise their objective(s), i.e., how important each objective is. Engage in discussion with the athlete and come to a mutual agreement. (You may find that there are conflicting views on which objective is the most important.)
- Instruct the athlete to list the tasks they need to do to fulfil the objective(s). The athlete should try to make these as detailed as possible, so that they do not forget any important information. The template enables the athlete to list up to 7 tasks.
- Let the athlete identify whether there is anyone in their close or wider network that may be able to support the implementation of the task (e.g., parent, teacher, coach). The athlete may contact this person to gain more information or have a personal discussion about their options.
- Advise the athlete to write a date that they want or need to have completed the task by. Ideally, the athlete should avoid completing the tasks at the last minute and should be encouraged to complete tasks in advance of the deadline. The athlete should tick the “done” box when the action has been completed.
- The final step involves completing the two boxes at the bottom of the template. Help the athlete identify what they have learnt from the counselling meeting. Ask the athlete to write down any areas that stand out or any other important notes in this section.
- Conclude the tool together with the athlete by identifying any additional next steps in the process (e.g., arranging a date for the next meeting).
- Believe Perform (2013): The athlete and academics
- Gold in Education and Elite Sport (2016): GEES Handbook for Dual Career Support Providers (DCSPs)
- Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS): Counselling Practice
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The tool "Ready To Act" in action: See real-life examples of its application in EU dual career practice.