Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD)

"From Playground to Podium"

Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) or Canadian Sport for Life and No Accidental Champions, are initiatives of Sport Canada that focus on the general framework of athlete development with special reference to growth, maturation and development. They set out a progressive pathway that recognizes the distinct phases of physical, mental, cognitive and emotional development based on the maturation or development of an individual rather than chronological age. LTAD addresses the needs of those who are able-bodied and those who have a disability.

The Canadian Sport for Life model identifies the needs of athletes at various stages of their development, including coaching, training, equipment, and competition needs. It addresses the appropriate stages for the introduction and refinement of technical, physical, mental and tactical skills. Federal, provincial, and territorial Ministers of Sport endorsed the Canadian Sport for Life concept in 2004 and are working towards implementing the principles of LTAD within their jurisdiction.

There is a standard LTAD framework that forms the basis for sport-specific models developed by National Sport Organizations. This has been supplemented with additional information for athletes with a disability.

For more information on sport-specific models for both able-bodied athletes and athletes with a disability, contact the appropriate National Sport Organization.