Introduction LTAD model there is a long


Long Term
Athlete Development is a road map for physical and mental development. It is a
training, competition and recovery program based on biological age rather than
chronological age. LTAD provides two models, one for early specialization
sports with five main phases and the other for late specialization sports with
seven main phases. According to Robertson and Way in the article Long-Term
Athlete Development state; Individuals who practise and develop through the
LTAD model experience training and competition in programs that consider their
biological and training ages in creating period plans specific to their
developmental needs.

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Literature Review

model covers every aspect of human physical development and it is based
purposely to help youngsters to be prepared for life-long participation in
sport. LTAD helps to inhibit a lifestyle of lifelong participation by
emphasizing sporting values in improving health and well-being. LTAD helps in
creating an environment that makes it possible for participants to achieve
their highest potential, ensuring that everyone have a development continuum
starting from the fundamentals of movement. According to Balyi for one to
follow the LTAD model there is a long list of challenges. Some of the
challenges that I can relate to are: male-focused programs superimposed on
female athletes, lack of career coaches and the most experienced coaches should
be working at fundamental level rather than at the performance level. Balyi,
acknowledge the challenges but insists that some common myths hold us back.


“I agree that it’s not easy, but if we want to develop a sport system,
we must get rid of excuses.”


with the challenges the LTAD model also establishes some benefits. LTAD has
been formulated to provide a passage for athletes from the beginner stage to
performance stage. LTAD uses knowledge of growth and development and their
implications for training to develop a program that helps more athletes reach
their full potential. According to Balyi, the effective development of high
performance athletes cannot be short term. In fact scientific research has
finalized that it takes eight to ten years of training for a talented athlete
to reach elite level.

Since I
work with children the stages that interested me the most are the Active start
and Fundamentals stage. According to Balyi, physical education should provide a
good foundation also known as physical literacy. Physical literacy is the
fundamental movement of skills and the technical and tactical skills for an
active lifestyle. Not being physical literate will limit or delimit your
participation in sport. If physical literacy is established during early stages
of development, children can then choose between competitive and recreational
sports. According to Ford et al, 2011 in the article The Long-Term Athlete
Development model: Physiological evidence and application; argues that the LTAD
model lacks empirical evidence. Supporting this Bailey et al, 2010 also
questions the ‘windows of opportunity’ whether it actually help to better an
athlete or will it help an athlete to reach their full potential at a younger
age. In a study conducted by Graf et al, 2005 showed that a long-term school
based intervention can improve aspects of physical literacy among 6 to 9 year
olds. However in contrary to this in a follow-up study conducted by Barnet et
al, 2009 argues that a year-long intervention during childhood did not have
long-term effects on the average physical literacy. This shows lack of
reasonable anecdotal evidence regarding LTAD. However, more research will help
to evaluate the existence of the ‘window of opportunity’ concept fundamental
movement and if training these in earlier years could help the development of
the later stages of the athletic development model.



Personal Philosophy

teenagers and adults all turn to sport to have fun or for social interaction.
Others may involve themselves in sport to learn physical and mental skills. Since
my everyday job is working with 11 and 12 years old in a school’s setting my
personal philosophy is specific to meet those needs. My personal philosophy is
based on these three following steps:

Have fun while learning something newTaking a break from the classroom environment Take home an activity that you liked and try to practise the sport
after-school hours.

Before I
have started this course I have been already exposed to the Long Term Athletic
Development model. However, since I started the course and have read more in
depth about the LTAD model I have altered some of my lessons to try different
ideas. I must say that it is not an easy task. This is due to the fact that in
a classroom I have students who are physically literate and those who are not. This
creates even more complications and differentiation to teach students a step
further to what they already know. My main aim is that in every lesson all the
students enjoy the lesson, considering the different limitations students might
have. Also during the year I try to let students experience different sports so
that they might join a club or an after-school activity. I have shared my
personal philosophy with my colleagues and together we work together in order
to let students enjoy sports and be active for life.



The Long-
Term Athletic Development model gives a clear guidelines to coaches in order to
facilitate children’s learning. The LTAD model gives clear directions and
specific guidelines in order to help in the stages of children’s development.
Following an LTAD model might help in having more children who are physically
literate. Following this later on, children can choose whether to specialize in
a sport or to be active for life.


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