LTAD SOCCER PDF

The Canada Soccer Pathway provides a roadmap for players of all ages and aspirations who want to play soccer at the recreation, competitive or high performance EXCEL levels, with the aim of encouraging lifelong participation. What is LTPD? LTPD is a model of athlete development that parallels what doctors and psychologists have long used to better understand human development: as a series of distinct stages, which takes us from infancy through to adulthood. Similarly, experts in sport science have identified seven stagesof development — each with its own physical and psychological characteristics —that form the basis for LTPD. In other words, LTPD is designed to give players an optimal soccer experience at every stage by putting their needs front and centre.

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Almost 40 years ago, he also used some astute observations to spearhead tremendous growth and development of the game in North America. While our Canadian team eventually prevailed in the Series, Vanderkolk, an immigrant from the Netherlands, could not help but notice certain aspects about the way his fellow Europeans, the Soviets, moved and coordinated their bodies on the ice, aspects he was convinced could only have come from one source — a history and background playing soccer.

Having been involved in media and public relations here in Canada, he got in contact with his colleagues at the Toronto Star, Rex MacLeod and Jim Kernaghan, each of whom wrote separate articles in that included interviews with Vanderkolk, espousing a similar message — that young athletes, regardless of what sport they want to specialize in or what level they intend to reach, would all benefit from participation in soccer.

It is great for the legs. You pass, you score, you have 2 two-on-ones, you stop, start, accelerate, fake — just like hockey. But, you can kick a soccer ball. It is the first sport that develops foot-eye coordination, which I believe translates directly into hand-eye coordination as those motor skills become available to kids in later years.

Ultimately, the agility, footwork, and even the decision-making skills you pick up from playing soccer will make you a better athlete in any sport you go on to play later. As a fitness coach and sports scientist who has spent the last 15 years of my life working with youth soccer players at every level, from house league to the elite youth National Teams and professional academy players, it was very refreshing to meet John and hear him tell his story, and especially to hear what he had to say about the role soccer can play in the development of athletic skills in young children.

Interestingly, Canadian soccer has adopted the Long-Term Athlete Development LTAD model, one of the tenets of which is that young children should participate in a variety of different sports — not specialising in any one sport until the age of — in order to facilitate the development of well-rounded athletic skills. If — as per the guidelines of LTAD — we want our young children to participate in sports that develop a wide variety of athletic skills, and also — as per the new Sport for Life programming guidelines — we want to teach and develop athletic skills to young children and athletes to help them perform better and prevent injury in the long run, then it may be possible that John Vanderkolk came up with a strategy that solves both of these problems almost 40 years ago — just play soccer!

I, for one, would not be opposed to this strategy. Drop me a line here to get the conversation started! Like this: Like Loading

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