Introducing The Right Things At The Right Time
Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) is the smarter and healthier way to set athletes on the path for success. We focus on developing the athlete first, followed by sport-specific attributes in a progressive and effective manner. Using this approach for our players enables us to focus on each individual, introducing the right things at the right time.
By taking into consideration an athlete’s biological age verses chronological age, for example, we’re able to identify the key windows when he/she should be training for speed and agility, emphasize the fundamentals and address any needs necessary along what we call the Functional Continuum.
It’s common knowledge that well-rounded multi-sport athletes have an advantage. Ask a Division 1 coach if he or she would prefer a one-sport athlete or a multi-sport athlete that can effectively adjust to different positions easier. The reason being is that their bodies are developed to have more physical literacy to sustain what is being asked of them.
In addition to physical preparedness, players must also be ready for the mental challenges. The ability to maintain high levels of concentration, yet remain relaxed with the confidence to succeed, is a skill essential to long-term performance in sport — not to mention, transcend sport and affect everyday life. To develop the mental toughness for success at highest levels, training programs are required that address the specific gender and LTAD stage of players.
Evolving from having fun and respecting opponents to visualization and self awareness, to goal setting, relaxation and positive self-talk, mastering the mental challenge of sport are tested in increasingly difficult competitive environments. Ultimately, the planning, implementation, and refining of mental strategies for high-level competition will have a large impact on podium performances. (Wellness to World Cup 2008)
When you or your growing athlete are ready to put a plan into action for dreams to become reality, we encourage you to give us a try. The result could be light years ahead of the competition. The best part? You don’t have to have it all figured out. With LTAD in place, when the time comes to specialize, the infrastructure will already be rock solid — ready to support the load it will need to sustain.
Stage 2: FUNdamentals (girls 6-8, boys 6-9)
Stage 3: Learn to Train (girls 8-11, boys 9-12)
Premature specialization often backfires in later stages of an athlete’s life as it can lead to one-sided development and raises the risk of injury and burnout.
Specifically in metro Atlanta, baseball and soccer are two popular sports where we have seen players committing early to one sport, their skills advancing faster in that sport but then hitting a ceiling because they don’t have the underlying movement to allow them to go to even higher level
Stage 4: Train to Train (girls 11-15, boys 12-16)
Increased training hours are needed to develop each athlete’s long-term potential. While many might exhibit special talent, play to win, and do their best, the need to allocate more time to training skills and physical capacities over competition in formal settings is paramount.
Stage 5: Train to Compete (girls 15-21, boys 16-23)
At the Train to Compete stage of LTAD, competition becomes serious. Athletes are aiming to compete in national and international events, choosing to specialize in one sport and excelling at the highest level possible. To make this happen, we recommend athletes committing to high-volume and high-intensity training throughout the year, integrating key elements like nutrition, sport psychology and recovery as well as the prevention and management of injury.
These athletes have recognized talent and have chosen an elite pathway that few others pursue.
Stage 6: Train to Win (girls 18+, boys 19+)
Stage 7: Active for Life (any age participant)
1) After they have developed physical literacy by the end of the Learn to Train stage and chosen to pursue sport and physical activity.
2) After they have exited the LTAD high-performance training and competition stream (Train to Train, Train to Compete, and Train to Win stages).