LTAD in Athletics
LTAD or Long Term Athlete Development is a global movement that has two main objectives. The first objective is to create a program that fosters life-long involvement in activity based programs. The second objective is to create a program that trains athletes to successfully compete at the World level. It is the second objective that is of most interest to Athletics Canada given its mandate to produce a continuing stream of successful high performance athletes. In order to meet this objective a fully functioning LTAD program needs to be in place and operational.
The LTAD program for Athletics is stalled at its originating level. The LTAD program is supposed to provide the pathway for the development of athletes through the Athletics program in Canada. Only the very outer shell of a full LTAD program has been established to date and only the originating level, Run Jump Throw, can be actively implemented. The RJT level has been immensely successful and was relatively easy to implement because there was no program in place that served this developmental level. Changes to other developmental levels will be more challenging because they will need to displace existing practices.
Developing any National program is challenging in Canada and LTAD is not exception. To properly implement an LTAD program in Canada change is required. In order to create change there needs to be a will and motivation to change. I’m hoping that, by presenting a thought-out program for LTAD in Canada I can initiate that will to change and establish some motivation to put the changes into practice.
I would appreciate it if you would read the attached paper and add to the discussion by providing your comments. I’ll publish comments as they come in and we can perhaps create some traction for establishing a fully formed and functional LTAD program in Canada.