The Elite Athlete

Are you an Elite Athlete?

If you are a currently below 20 years of age as at 31st January 2018, whether you have been representing Nigeria or not, preferably, you must have been an athlete, especially in any of the sports, you can be on our programme;

What is the Elite Athlete Program?

Our Elite Athlete Development Programme (EADP) is a four year programme (2020 to 2024) meant to give athletes the best of everything they require to be able to make podium success in the Olympics. We have minimal provisions for you to compete in the international circuit as part of the growth plan.

Benefits of joining the programme

We understand that every Elite Athlete’s situation is unique. If you are already in school as at when you join our programme, we will help you achieve success in both sport and studies or if you do not intend to go back to school, we will help you succeed in sports and a vocation of your choice. For those not yet in school, we will assist you in:

  • Course entry
  • Academic planning
  • Flexible study options allowing you to adjust your academic study load to meet academic objectives and sporting commitments
  • Deferred assessments and assignment extensions. Elite Athletes are eligible to defer assessments and exams due to sporting commitments or if competing inter-state or overseas.
  • Flexible attendance throughout the academic semester. We are still working to get our student athletes to be exempted from specific attendance requirements due to sport related travel commitments.
Having a short memory and identifying with past successes helps athletes maintain a high level of performance, even after major setbacks - NSDFI

Financial assistance for Elite Athletes

Elite athletes are eligible for funding benefits through the Elite Athlete Scholarship Programme. Our plan is to have 100 such athletes in Nigerian higher institutions of learning.

  • Elite Athlete Scholarships are awarded annually to promising new and continuing University, Polytechnic or College of Education students. So long as you meet our minimum sports standards and a basic academic performance; Or if you have been on our programme from secondary school;
  • Funding support will also be available to compete at the World University Games for those who meet our standards for each of the five sports and other world Championships in your sports discipline.


Elite Athlete Scholarships

Elite Athlete Scholarships support elite athletes in attaining excellence in their chosen sport whilst maintaining high academic achievements. A total of N45m is planned for each of the 180 elite athletes in the six centre for a period of this four-year (2020-2024) tranche.


What we are seeking and looking for in our stars

Coach Tobias ‘Toblow’ Igwe threw the question at me when I told him I want him to work for one and a half year with 16 quarter-milers we want to experiment towards the Tokyo Olympics. Meanwhile, his preliminary question is, what am I eyeing. I told him gold but bronze can be good for me given when we are starting. My part B answer are:

1. Mental toughness: Most great athletes in the world recognise that a significant proportion of performance is mental. Yet it’s uncommon for most men to spend any time on mind training and preparation. Elite athletes frequently report visualising their success before it happens.

By playing a “mental movie” of their conquests of upcoming competitions, they not only improve their performance, but also pre-emptively calm their nerves. The clearer the visualisation, the more powerful the impact.

2. Confidence: Nothing will cripple performance like damaged confidence. Every mistake holds a lesson, but dwelling on mistakes will inevitably lead to their repetition. When athletes make mistakes, they try to learn from and forget them instantly so they don’t linger. Having a short memory and identifying with past successes helps athletes maintain a high level of performance, even after major setbacks.

3. Personalised training programme: Most high-level athletes benefit from training under the supervision of a strength and conditioning coach. While some of these professionals are better than others, athletes will get better results following a structured programme than they will achieve on their own. It’s human nature to focus on what you’re good at, which isn’t always what you need.

By following a professionally designed training programme with components of individualisation, athletes are more likely to improve their weaknesses and overall performance and decrease their injury risk. Quality training often allows less-skilled athletes to compete at higher levels and can add years to a career.

4. Co-terminus personal goals: Nothing ensures success like setting goals and constantly working toward them. Athletes do this on a regular basis. Goals can be performance or habit-based. Performance goals could be something like, “I will complete 75% of my passes today.”

While completing a pass is dependent upon a teammate catching it, habit goals are less dependent on external influences. As an example, a related habit goal could be, “I will make sure my head is up before making every pass.” Other habit goals can be things like always drinking a post-workout shake or always going to bed at a specific time. Setting goals provides athletes with structure and constant motivation, which ensures continual progress.

5. Coaching with separate style: Athletes are fortunate to work with a variety of coaches invested in their success. In many cases, coaches are what make everything else on this list possible. A strength coach can help design an individualised training programme, a nutrition coach can make specific pre and post-workout recommendations and a sports coach can help the athlete set performance and habit goals.

Coaches help athletes stay focused and keep progressing. They remove many of the “planning” stresses from the athlete and allow them to focus more on the implementation side of things.