What is LTAD?
LTAD is Long Term Athletic Development. Long Term Athletic Development is a systemized pathway to develop athletes from birth to the Olympics. This was first created by Dr. Istvan Balyi. Dr Balyi was a Hungarian Olympic coach when he was approached to create this model to develop the best athletes for his country. This was a method that all the Olympic Coaches in the Eastern world used at the time of the USSR and Republic of China. Although no one ever wrote it down to be reused. Since Dr. Balyi’s publishing several countries have adopted this model. Canada is one of the best examples of this option because he helped write programs from birth to Olympics in 61 sports. Canada has now invested its money and its future in this model. Canada is not the only one jumping on this wagon. Australia, England, and many others know of its importance of creating the best athletes.
Long Term Athletic Development basically dummy proofs athletic enhancement and creates an atmosphere of development that helps the athlete to be at peek performance at the right time. In the United States there is no such pathway for athletes and we generate athletes by sheer attrition. Some would say,”why would we as a dominant country have to change anything about athletics?” The answer lies within our youth athletes. Youth athletics is a billion dollar industry. We, the United States, have no governing body that creates plans to help develop our athletes in a healthy way.
- Injury Rates Have Increased 3-5% since 2007 on a yearly basis. There are over 5,000,000 injuries every year that are documented. 50% of these injuries can be prevented.
- The Competition to Practice and Skill Development is backwards. In the US, we play more games than we practice. Therefore the skill development in comparison of other athletes of the same level is way behind other countries.
- Attrition Rates- We lose 70% of the athletes by the time they are 13 years old.
- Physical Literacy in the US is getting worse. Young athletes don’t know how to skip, gallop, hop, throw, run, crawl, roll, and perform basic skills to build athletic development from.
Long Term Athletic Development basically dummy proofs athletic enhancement and creates an atmosphere of development that helps the athlete to be at peek performance at the right time. In the United States there is no such pathway for athletes and we generate athletes by sheer attrition. Some would say,”why would we as a dominant country have to change anything about athletics?” The answer lies within our youth athletes.
Tools for Coaching
4 Reasons Why Competition Slows Skill Development
Tips to help skill development during games
- Don’t take the regular stats Have stats that reinforce the skills that were practiced-Example Quality cuts, extra efforts, and leadership or teamwork.
- Have process goals NOT outcome goals (wins and losses should NOT be a stat that is encouraged)
- Use the games as a practice. Focus on athletic stance, teamwork, positive attitudes, and overcoming adversity. Find things that they enjoy and include it in the games.
The 6 Stages of the LTAD Model
- Active Start– Ages 0-5 years old. Learning to crawl and coordinate feet and hands to improve balance. Exploring and creating are important at this stage.
- Fundamental– Ages 6-9 years old. The FIRST window of trainability is now. Learning to run, skip, crawl, roll, gallop, throw, kick and swim are all important. This is the foundation for the athletic development.
- Learning to Train– Ages 10-13 years old. An ahtlete learns to bend, move, and get better at the skills developed in the Fundamental Stages. Speed development is important.
- Training to Train– Ages 13-16 years old. The US loses 70% of the athletes at this stage. What is the #1 cause of it? Its NOT fun anymore. We have taken their enjoyment. We have tried to make professionals at the age of 13. NOTE- 70% of the Elite and Professional athletes are LATE bloomers!!! How many athletes are we shoving out?
- Training to Compete– Ages 16-19 years old. Athletes learn to compete. The practice: competition ratio is even. More games and strategy are introduced for the competition.
- Training to Win– The elite stages of athletic performance. Less than 1% of athletes
Tips for Coaching
- Testing- Without testing an athlete won’t know the strengths and weaknesses. Testing is a priority. Physical, mental, and psychological testing are needed to help diagnose strengths and weaknesses of athletes.
- Growth Factors- how quickly the athlete grows physically, emotionally, and spiritually are all factors that can help speed or slow the process.
- The 10,000-hour rule- The 10,000 hour rule, 10 years of training orpracticing are all factors that can help. This rule is a deceiving rule for many. Thekey of the 10,000-hour rule is the amount of QUALITY hours of training. Without great coaching and parents this rule can be misrepresented. See Rule 1.
- The 5:1 Rule- For every hour of competition there must be a minimum of 5 hours of practice and training. This rule varies depending on what stage of training the athlete is in. For example, if the athlete is in “Learning toTrain” stage the ratio will be closer to 10:1. In the Training to Train stage the ratio is more in the area of 7:1. The ratio continues to get closer to the 5:1 Ratio as the athlete progresses through each stage.
- Training the 5’s- Is based on assessment and diagnosis of progression of stages which will determine the individual’s strengths and weaknesses.
- FUNdamental- the first of the fives, is making the athletic event fun while learning the basics of the sport and athletic skill. The athlete should not be involved in competitions unless is solely for entertainment.
- Learning to Train- is the time of the athletic life that the athlete learns what makes athletic skill and is based mainly on chronological age.