Category Archives: Factors

Physical Literacy

Physical literacy is the cornerstone of both participation and excellence in physical activity and sport. Individuals who are physically literate are more likely to be active for life. • Becoming physically literate is influenced by the individual's age, maturation and capacity. • Ideally, supporting the development of physical literacy should be a major focus prior…
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Specialization

Sports can be classified as either early or late specialization. Well-known early specialization sports include artistic and acrobatic sports such as gymnastics, diving and figure skating. These differ from late specialization sports in that very complex skills are learned before maturation since they cannot be fully mastered if taught after maturation. Most other sports are…
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Developmental Age

Children of the same chronological age can differ by several years in their level of biological maturation. Growth, development and rate of maturation is the result of a complex interaction of genes, hormones, nutrients and the environments (physical and psychosocial) in which the individual lives. This combination of factors regulates the child's physical growth, neuromuscular…
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Sensitive Periods

A sensitive period is a broad timeframe or window of opportunity when the learning of a specific skill or the development of a specific physical capacity is particularly effective. The entire period of childhood can be viewed as a sensitive period for mastering fundamental movement skills. Trainability during the sensitive periods of accelerated adaptation to…
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Mental, Cognitive and Emotional Development

Mental, cognitive and emotional factors are essential to each athlete's development. Not only is holistic development - which encompasses all of these factors, in addition to physical development - beneficial to the individual, but all of these skill sets are interlinked. Just as physical and technical skills require long-term and sequential development, so too do…
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Periodization

Simply put, periodization is time management. As a planning technique, it provides the framework for arranging the complex array of training processes into a logical and scientifically-based schedule to bring about optimal improvements in performance. Periodization sequences the training components into weeks, days and sessions. Periodization is situation-specific, depending upon priorities and the time available…
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Competition

Optimal competition calendar planning at all stages is critical to athlete development. At certain stages, developing the physical capacities take precedence over competition. At later stages, the ability to compete well becomes the focus. Stages & recommended ratios: Active Start - No specific ratios - all activity based on developing physical literacy and child's passion…
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Excellence Takes Time

How long does it take for athletes to reach the top of their game? About 10,000 hours of training and competing. For most athletes, that translates into about 10 years. Other evidence indicates that elite athletes require 8 to 12 years of practice to reach levels of excellence. The essential lesson is the same: there…
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Continuous improvement – Kaizen

The Long-Term Athlete Development framework is based on the principle of continuous improvement, both in its dynamic evolution and in its application. The concept of continuous improvement is drawn from the respected Japanese industrial philosophy known as Kaizen. We never assume that Long-Term Athlete Development in its current form is ever complete or final. We…
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System Alignment and Integration

Based on Sport for Life principles, Long-Term Athlete Development promotes system alignment and integration between sport clubs, provincial/territorial and national sport organizations. Sport for Life addresses the overarching system and structure of sport and physical activity in Canada, including the relationship between school sport, physical education and high performance sport at all levels from policy to program…
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