Micro, Meso, Macro Skills Concepts Applied to Sports Program Planning

Sports Program Planning does not have to be so complex. By breaking up what needs to be covered more, can often be done with less (Photo Source: Justin See)
Sports Program Planning does not have to be so complex. By breaking up what needs to be covered, more can often be done with less (Photo Source: Justin See)

Sports Program Planning can be a very challenging and daunting task. Many coaches, administrators, and managers alike often struggle with the task of sports program planning because of the complexity of linking different aspects together. One area which needs to be considered in sports program planning is the linking of the skills which are sort to be integrated and taught on the court or field. Skills can be broken down into three groups to help manage the planning process. These are Micro, Meso and Macro Skills. By breaking the skills that needed to be included in the sports program planning a coach, administrator or manager can better itemise what needs to be done and map how this will be achieved.


Micro Skills


Micro Skills are those concerned with the individual. These types of skills are focused around the often referred to technical or fundamental skill sets. In basketball, this equates to areas such as dribbling, passing or shooting at the individual level. When examining sport in general Macro Skills are those concerned with the fundamental building of an individual’s skills need to participate in the sports general play competently as an individual.


Meso Skills


Meso Skills focus on the team-based skills involved in the sports activity. Meso Skills however do not necessarily mean the full complement of players being involved, but rather more than one player involved in the tactical element. For example in basketball the activities covered by the term Meso Skills would include tactical breakdowns such as those around the two-man game as well as team based activities which everyone is involved such as half-court offense plays or full court trapping.


In team sports, the Meso Skills involved in sports program planning will be very broad in the number of different tactical elements that can be covered and included within this stage. For this reason when mapping the Meso Skills in team sports this will often be the largest area of detail and subsequent planning.


Macro Skills


Macro Skills are concerned with the entire sports program planning. Macros Skills look at the program in its entirety. When thinking about sports program planning this would be dedicated to the weaving of the different age groups together. There of course can be many different contexts in which the Macro Skills of a program can come into the plans scope. The example of the different age groups would be suitable for a school, college, club or association. But for an elite team the defined Macro Skills will be specific to one team, but from an organisation perspective. These skills might highlight for example a certain style of play that the team is looking to establish or be associated around. Many coaches for example are associated with a certain type or style of play. This is more commonly seen in offensive system, but there are some coaches who are just as equally associated with defensive philosophies.


By breaking down skills into Micro, Meso and Macro categories the task of sports program planning can be simplified into more manageable pieces. This strategy of “chunking” information can also be helpful in allocating different areas of development to various individuals with specialised skills in that aspect. In many team sports the individuals and team coaching is undertaken by separate coaches. It stands to reason than that in undertaking sports program planning that different coaches would be involved in the mapping of the Micro, Meso and Macro skills.

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Coach Riches has been working within the sport, business and education industries for many years. During this time he has built an extensive number of formal and informal qualifications. A firm believer in training and development designed to help people reach their full potential, relevant o their needs and functional to their industry environment.

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