It doesn't matter if you are involved in education, health, municipal recreation or community sports programming, chances are if you have been involved with youth sports for some time, you would have probably heard the term 'Physical Literacy'. 

So what is Physical Literacy?

According to PHE Canada, Physical Literacy is defined as:

"The ability to move with competence and confidence in a wide variety of physical activities in multiple environments that benefit the healthy development of the whole person."

Further to that,
  • Physically literate individuals consistently develop the motivation and ability to understand, communicate, apply, and analyze different forms of movement.
  • They are able to demonstrate a variety of movements confidently, competently, creatively and strategically across a wide range of health-related physical activities.
  • These skills enable individuals to make healthy, active choices that are both beneficial to and respectful of their whole self, others, and their environment.

As youth coaches, we play a pivotal role in ensuring and improving physical literacy of our young athletes that will help them maintain high levels of physical activity throughout their lifetime.  Every child is an athlete and needs the proper grounding in movement in order to devleop an appreciation for physical activity and therefore derive the health benefits.  This will also let them make wiser decisions as to which pathway of sport to choose down the road.

The physically active child is energetic and on the go.  They are able to effectively move their body in all planes.  All participants need to learn basic fundamental movement skills at the early stages of development.  These include the ABC's of agility, balance, coordination and speed.  If children do not learn these at the appropriate time in their development, they might not reach their fullest potential in the future.

There are many educational resources out there that provides great information on how to promote phyiscal literacy and teach fundamental movement skills.  It is crucial that we educate ourselves, our coaches, as well as parents so that these concepts are properly implemented into our sports program.  It is important to note that it is not always about drills.  We must find fun ways to teach these movement skills so that children can learn in a fun and positive environment.


Here are a few good websites to obtain more information on Physical Literacy:
Canada Basketball Athlete Development Model
The Canada Basketball Athlete Development model is based on the Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L) resource paper, which was developed by Canadian world leaders in the area of child and sport development. The model is an athlete centered, coach driven and administration, sport science, and partners supported program. It integrates elite, community, and scholastic sport, athletes with a disability, physical education and the general health of the nation.
Canada basketball and Steve Nash Youth Basketball fully adopts and endorses the concept of the LTAD as it provides the basis on which the future development of athletes is planned and implemented. The main principle behind Steve Nash Youth Basketball is built around the FUNdamentals and Learn to Train stages, as well as the 10 key factors of the LTAD, with the goal to ensure young athletes experience both optimal developments in basketball while maintaining lifelong retention in physical activity for improved wellness.
Long Term Athlete Development is a progressive pathway of development that recognizes the distinct stages of physical, mental, cognitive, and emotional development in young athletes.
  • Ensures physical literacy in all children upon which excellence can be built. 
  • Ensures that optimal training, competition, and recovery program are based on biological development and maturation versus chronological age (i.e. although young athletes may be the same age, their bodies are at very different levels of development.
  • Is athlete-centered and coach-driven.
  • Is designed according to sport science to allow equal opportunity for recreation and competition based on the stages of an athlete's development.
  • Encourages healthy, lifelong activity and wellness, while providing a training path for those who choose high performance competition.
  • Is 'Made in Canada', recognizing international best practices, research, and normative data.
The overall aim of SNYB as it relates to the LTAD is two fold:
  • To allow participants to find fun, fitness, social interaction, and self-fulfillment in an all-inclusive environment through Steve Nash Youth Basketball; and
  • To help children build confidence and positive self-esteem while enjoying being physically active and having FUN!

Drill of the Week:

This week we will be focusing on defense. In this drill it will explain the importance of proper footwork and how to contest a shot properly.
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