The Learning Process
San Diego Figure Skating Communications
a non-profit educational organization
Long Term Athlete Development
The Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model is a framework for an optimal training, competition and recovery schedule for each stage of athletic development. Coaches who engage in the model and its practices are more likely to produce athletes who reach their full athletic potential.
The principles of this research have been adopted as the framework for the proper management of youth and adolescent growth and development processes, and identified the critical periods of accelerated adaptation to training
Through the improvement of physical literacy (fundamental skills such as running, jumping, and throwing), the LTAD model will help develop a lifelong involvement in physical activity and sport participation as well as producing future athletes.
At the early stages of development, it is imperative that sport development programs are designed around critical periods of accelerated adaptation to training. These periods of development represent the time when children are ready and able to develop fundamental sport skills and abilities such as running, jumping and throwing. In addition they are able to improve their speed, agility and balance, which are related sport skills that will serve them well in track and field as well as in other sports.
Children who do not develop their fundamental motor skills by age 12 are unlikely to reach their genetic athletic potential. A lack of fundamental motor skills may mean the difference between a day on the couch versus a day at the soccer pitch or the difference between a gold medal performance and a 16th place finish at the Olympics.
Establishing a core set of motor skills early in life enables children to gain a sense of achievement and establish a positive relationship with sport and physical activity.
Successful and positive experiences with sport at a young age, coupled with the acquisition of transferable sports skills, will enable children to become proficient in a number of different sports.
Proficiency in many types of physical activity may increase the chances of lifelong participation in physical activity, which could increase longevity and overall quality of life. The LTAD framework ultimately strives to produce elite and consistent performers; however, it also seeks to provide opportunities for all children to grow into confident, healthy and active adults.
Long Term Athlete Development
Developing fundamental skills at a young age and refining competitive skills at higher levels of development are important for able bodied athletes as well as athletes with a disability. This document is designed to be generic in nature and therefore does not delineate between able bodied athletes and athletes with a disability as the athlete development continuums do not differ significantly.
The multi stage approach employed by the LTAD model draws attention to the length of time required to develop an elite athlete. Research has shown that it takes between 8 and 12 years of training for a talented athlete to reach elite levels. This has been summarized by the “10 year or 10,000 hour rule” and equates to approximately 3 hours of practice each day for 10 years.
The US Olympic Committee (2001) surveyed US Olympic athletes from 1988 to 1996 and concluded that it took between 10 and 13 years of practice or training just to make the Olympic team and between 13 and 15 years for those athletes who won a medal.
While the intensity required at the outset of the athlete development continuum is not the same as the intensity required at the end, the common thread among all stages of development is the coach. More specifically it is the coach’s attention to the rate at which athletes grow and develop and their ability to make adjustments to the overall training program that contributes to success.
9 Stages of Long Term Athlete Development:
Career Challenges for Olympians After Competing at Olympic Games Olympian Career Study finds that many U.S. Olympic athletes are concerned that their athletic commitment delays their long-term career aspirations and advancement. More than two-thirds (70%) of current and hopeful Olympians reveal that the time spent "going for the Gold" creates a unique set of challenges regarding their future career success.
Long-term Athlete Development: Trainability in Childhood and Adolescence Scientific research has concluded that it takes eight-to-twelve years of training for a talented player/athlete to reach elite levels. This is called the ten-year or 10,000 hour rule, which translates to slightly more than three hours of practice daily for ten years (Ericsson, et al., 1993; Ericsson and Charness, 1994, Bloom, 1985; Salmela et al., 1998).
Unfortunately, parents and coaches in many sports still approach training with an
attitude best characterized as "peaking by Friday," where a short-term approach is
taken to training and performance with an over-emphasis on immediate results. We
know that a long-term commitment to practice and training is required to produce
elite players/athletes in all sports.
"It takes 10 years of extensive training to excel in anything" Herbert Simon - Nobel Laureate
2001 - USOC Olympic Coach E-Magazine, Winter Issue By Tim Gibbons, Researcher and Tammie Forster, USOC Athlete Development ... Olympian survey was completed by Olympians competing in 1998 or before.
2007 - USOC Olympic Coach E-Magazine, Winter Issue By Doug Ingram The year was 1988 and USA Swimming had just experienced a team performance that was not at an acceptable level for them.
Olympic Coach Magazine, Spring 2008 - Asiaing.com: April 1, 2008 ... Olympic Coach Magazine, Spring 2008, Asiaing.com delivers the latest news on free eBooks, free magazines, free magazine subscriptions.
Olympic Coach Magazine, Winter 2009 - Asiaing.com: Oct. 14, 2009 ... Download free magazines: Olympic Coach Magazine, Winter 2009. The US Olympic Committee's quarterly magazine, Olympic Coach, is now available.
USOC Olympic Coach E-Magazine - Periodization
Complete archives Olympic Coach Magazine
Developing Training Plans
Physical and Mental Training Considerations
Developing Course Materials
Principles of Sports Training
The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:
All materials are copy protected.
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.