Todd's point make sense to me too, and I've seen it work in practice. Novice athletes usually can stay on a linear progression for the 10-12 weeks of the season. It seems to me that the athlete needs to be able to create a significant training load before they need to unload in a comp/peaking phase, and novice athletes usually can't do that, especially in their first year of training.
With the kids coming from other sports, you have to evaluate where they're at and address what they need. For our kids coming from soccer, the level and kinds of fitness has varied from team to team, with amazingly some of the younger kids being fitter than some of the older. The basketball players and all over the place, too. One of the girls from JV hoops came to us last week with completely dead legs and almost no power in her hips. Really makes me wonder how they were trained. We've given her a reduced schedule, and so she'll need stay with general prep work for two weeks longer than the two weeks we planned for the winter sports athletes.