Playground to Podium

Planning for the sporting excellence and well-being of Canadians.

The 7-stage Canadian model of Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) is a
training, competition, and recovery program based on developmental age
- the maturation level of an individual - rather than chronological

It is athlete centered, coach driven, and
administration, sport science, and sponsor supported. Athletes who
progress through LTAD experience training and competition in programs
that consider their biological and training ages in creating periodized
plans specific to their development needs.

  1. is based on the physical, mental, emotional, and cognitive development of children and adolescents. Each stage reflects a different point in athlete development.

  2. ensures physical literacy1 upon which excellence can be built and

    • builds physical literacy
      in all children, from early childhood to late adolescence by promoting
      quality daily physical activity in the schools and a common approach to
      developing physical abilities through community recreation and
      elite sport programs.

    • recognizes the need to involve all Canadians in LTAD, including athletes with a disability.

  3. ensures that optimal training, competition, and recovery programs are provided throughout an athlete’s career. provides an optimal competition structure for the various stages of an athlete’s development.

  4. provides an optimal competition structure for the various stages of an athlete's development.

  5. has
    an impact on the entire sport continuum, including participants,
    parents, coaches, schools, clubs, community recreation programs,
    provincial sport organizations (Basketball Manitoba), national sport organizations
    (Canada Basketball), sport science specialists, municipalities, and several
    government ministries and departments (particularly but not exclusively
    in the portfolios of health and education) at the
    provincial/territorial and federal levels.

  6. integrates elite sport, community sport and recreation, scholastic sport, and physical education in schools.

  7. is ‘Made in Canada’, recognizing international best practices, research, and normative data.

  8. supports
    the four goals of the Canadian Sport Policy — Enhanced Participation,
    Enhanced Excellence, Enhanced Capacity, and Enhanced Interaction — and
    reflects a commitment to contribute to the achievement of these goals.

  9. promotes a healthy, physically literate nation whose citizens participate in lifelong physical activity.

1Physical literacy refers to competency in fundamental motor skills and fundamental sport skills.


Parents - Read the LTAD for Parent Guide Here (PDF)    


Canada Basketball Long-Term Athlete Development Model

The Canada Basketball Long-Term Athlete Development Model provides a consistent framework from which coaches can work. This
document has been designed with the input of sport scientists and
coaches from across the country. It is a long-term player/athlete
development model that illustrates to
coaches, parents, volunteers and administrators at the local,
provincial and national levels, the importance of a systematic and
consistent approach to the development of athletes. It also recognizes
the importance of participation in securing the health of the nation.
To view and download this document...



The model is to be used as a guide for coaches and administrators. This
will Assist them in understanding the importance of teaching particular
aspects of the game to athletes at specific stages of development. It
is hoped that with this systematic approach, skills and abilities
needed to achieve excellence in basketball will be reachable. It will
also ensure that all participants will receive the appropriate training
that will produce well-rounded people and maintain a lifelong passion
for the sport.

View the Canada Basketball

Long Term Athlete Development Model (PDF)



Developing Young Athletes for the Long Term Article


Canadian Sport for Life and Physical-Health
Education Canada
are getting onto the same "Physical Literacy" page



"Physical Literacy"
serves as the foundation for not only participation in sport, but also for
lifelong participation in physical activities and recreation. Canadian
Sport for Life (CS4L) and the  Long Term Athlete Development
Plan (LTAD) recognize physical literacy as the foundation for developing the
skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed for Canadians to lead healthy active
lives. The CS4L - LTAD define physical literacy as: "...the
development of fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills that
permit a child to move confidently and with control, in a wide range of
physical activity, rhythmic (dance) and sport situations".

CS4L - LTAD promotes physical activity for all
based upon a developmental progression. By encouraging a positive physical
activity experience at a young age through active play and games (i.e., Active
Start) and fostering the development of a variety of well-structured activities
that develop basic skills (i.e., FUNdamentals), children begin to develop the
physical literacy skills that will enable them to move with poise and confidence
across and within a wide variety of physical activities.These basic skills then
form a solid platform to learn overall sport skills which can be transferred
across a number of different types of sports in the Learning to Train phase. By
the time adolescents (12 – 16 yrs for Males / 11 – 15 yrs for Females) reach
the Train to Train stage, they are ready to consolidate their basic
sport-specific skills and tactics into more specialized forms of physical
activity. For those who choose to remain in the competitive stream and have
developed a high level of ability, athletes can then specialize in one sport
and Train to Compete and subsequently Train to Win at major national and
international competitions.

Quality physical education programs can
play an important role to support the CS4L
where students develop the physical literacy skills that are
necessary for the Active Start, Fundamental, Learning to Train, Training to
Train and Active Life stages. Quality  programs will also provide a
solid foundation for students and provides further support for those who wish
to continue into the Train to Compete and Train to Win stages.

In an era where physical literacy programs have
become a priority for provincial Ministries of Education, National and
Provincial Sport Organizations and many Community and
grassroots recreation programs across Canada, it is vital for the various
partners in sport, education and recreation to demonstrate their
collective roles in helping to foster strong literacy skills
for children now and into the future.

By fostering physical literacy children
continually develop the motivation and ability to understand, communicate,
apply, and analyze different forms of movement. They will learn and be
able to demonstrate a variety of movements confidently, competently, creatively
and strategically across a wide range of health-related physical activities.
These abilities enable individuals to make healthy, active choices throughout
their life span that are both beneficial to and respectful of themselves and


Additional and more detailed information is available by accessing the Canadian Sport For Life LTAD web site at: www.ltad.ca


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