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Long-Term Athlete Development

NWT Taekwondo endorses and promotes Taekwondo Canada’s Long-Term Athlete Development program.

The following is an excerpt from Canadian Sport for Life which explains the Canadian LTAD philosophy:

Science, research and decades of experience all point to the same thing: kids and adults will get active, stay active, and even reach the greatest heights of sport achievement if they do the right things at the right times. This is the logic behind the Long-Term Athlete Development model (LTAD).

There are seven stages within the basic LTAD model:
Stage 1: Active Start (0-6 years)
Stage 2: FUNdamental (girls 6-8, boys 6-9)
Stage 3: Learn to Train (girls 8-11, boys 9-12)
Stage 4: Train to Train (girls 11-15, boys 12-16)
Stage 5: Train to Compete (girls 15-21, boys 16-23)
Stage 6: Train to Win (girls 18+, boys 19+)
Stage 7: Active for Life (any age participant)

Stages 1, 2 and 3 develop physical literacy before puberty so children have the basic skills to be active for life. Physical literacy also provides the foundation for those who choose to pursue elite training in one sport or activity after age 12.

Stages 4, 5 and 6 provide elite training for those who want to specialize in one sport and compete at the highest level, maximizing the physical, mental and emotional development of each athlete.

Stage 7 is about staying Active for Life through lifelong participation in competitive or recreational sport or physical activity.

Ten Key Factors

Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) is based on sport research, coaching best practices, and scientific principles. LTAD expresses these principles, research, and practices as 10 Key Factors essential to athlete development.

To optimize the development of our athletes, we need to take advantage of the best sport science and best practices in coaching and training. Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) does this by codifying important elements of sport science and coaching practices into the 10 Key Factors of LTAD:

Physical Literacy
Specialization
Developmental Age
Sensitive Periods
Mental, Cognitive and Emotional Development
Periodization
Competition
Excellence Takes Time
System Alignment and Integration
Continuous Improvement – Kaizen

Along with sport science and coaching, the 10 Key Factors include broader principles behind the way we organize and manage sport. For example, competition scheduling to optimize athlete development, organizational alignment of different groups and agencies that make up the “sport system”, and the philosophy of Continuous Improvement so we always work to make our science, coaching, and system of athlete development better.