Rising Stars is a weekly athlete development initiative delivered by Athletics NI across 8 regions.  The initiative focuses on delivering a sound physical preparation programme and a multi event approach to athletes aged 12-15 years old.  Many of these young athletes are identified through school taster sessions and have limited previous exposure to athletics.  Athletics NI work with local clubs to provide coach development opportunities within the Rising Stars programmes and to signpost these new athletes into clubs.

Rising Stars Athlete Development Squad & Apprentice Coach Programme

Rising Stars Athlete Development Squad & Apprentice Coach Programme

Event progressions and coaching cues used in the Rising Stars beginners programme (Week 1-6) are outlined below.  Rising Stars coaches progress athletes according to their competency levels often spending at least 6 weeks on each of the progressions shown in the resources (which are available for download free of charge.)  Each 90 minute Rising Stars session includes…….a dynamic warm up focused on movement competency , a running component with an acceleration, maximum velocity or hurdling focus, a push or pull throw progression and a long or high jump progression.  Click here for a video of Rising Stars week 1-6 Dynamic Warm Up with Introduction to Jumping and Landing

Beginners Week 1-6 New athletes in every region follow the programme below
Warm-Up (In lanes over 20m) 20min

Easy Skip

Walking Knee to Chest Squeeze x10

Easy Skip

Split Lunge (Arms Up)

Lateral Skip

Hands Ahead Squats (Arms Out) x10

A Walk

Hip Hinges (Hamstrings) x10

A Skip

Reverse lunge x10 e/s

Calf Smashers

Over Ankle/Calf/Knee Dribbles

2x10m each


Opposite arm/opposite leg/knee up toe up

Stable stance leg/chest up

Opposite arm/opposite leg/knee up toe up

Upright torso/back knee towards the floor

Hips aligned/feet don’t tap together

Heels down/sit back

Stable stance leg/knee up toe up/opposite back

Unlock the knees slightly/push the hips back/flat back

Knee up toe up/hips level/stay on balance

Keep the torso upright/step over the opposite knee

Knees up/heel under hip/smash the calves into the hamstrings

Dorsiflexed ankles/contact on ball of foot/cyclical leg action

Jumping & Landing 10min

Pogos in place 2×8 sec

Rocket Jump & Stick 2×6

Line Jump & Stick 2×6

-Ball of foot contacts/stiff legs/jumping from the ankle

-Start from static squat position-jump up-land and absorb forces in squat position

-Start from squat position with hands back/hips back fully extend to jump forward across 1 lane line/ land and absorb forces in squat position to prepare for next jump

Accelerations 10-20m 20min

Split Stance Start x2 e/s

Split Kneeling Start x2 e/s

Wall Drills (Walking) x30s

Split Stance Start


See Acceleration resource card

-Weight over from leg/shin angles/push off front leg/no false step

-Start from a kneeling split lunge to establish push off front leg and triple extension

-establishing forward lean/neutral pelvis/shin angles

-3x20m starting on preferred leg

Hurdles Matrix  20min

6″ Hurdle Runs x3 (close)

6″ Hurdle Runs (Spaced Out) x3

12″ Hurdle Runs x3

-Focus on 123H Rhythm

See Hurdles resource card

-Lead Leg Focus/Rhythm focus/3 strides between, running over 3 hurdles 1-2-3 H rhythm

-3 runs over 3 x12 inch hurdles leading with right and 3 leading with left.

S&C Circuit in last 15min

-medicine ball partner squat-push throw 2×10 – 2kg MB   (see Shotpush throw resource card)

-alternate shoulder tap in push up position 2x30sec

-side plank on bottom knee 2x30sec each side