Yes, it’s been too long between posts. I’ll work on that. In this post, I’m going to be talking about the LTAD or “Long Term Athlete Development” model. The LTAD is a critically important document that has come out of the re-evaluation of coaching development not only in curling but in all sport in Canada. For those of you who don’t know, coaching has undergone a fairly serious overhaul in the last 5 – 10 years. Gone is the old, single path tiered system of coaching development. That’s now been replaced by a multi stream system that addresses the needs of recreational athletes separately from the competitive athletes. It’s also changed the approach on certification from a “tell us what you do” to a “show us what you do” mentality. Both very positive moves in my humble opinion.
As part of this overhaul, every sport that wished to enjoy federal funding was asked to develop this Long Term Athlete Development Model and our glorious sport of curling happily led the way. The model is a comprehensive document that describes the optimal training principles that should be followed for athletes in the sport of curling. The goal of the model is to create a system whereby coaches are creating athletes for life. This is a very positive way to look at athlete development.
Why do I think this is a positive model? Many coaches are unsure of what to teach when and this model lays that out. Specifically, it identifies where the focus should be at different stages of athlete development. I think we all know that sometimes a priority is put on winning and that this pressure can be difficult for athletes to manage. The beauty of this model is that it identifies how and when that focus should start coming into play for athletes. As coaches we should all be striving towards coaching our athletes as whole people and not simply as curlers. Having the perspective of this model in our minds as we approach our jobs helps us keep our priorities appropriate and positive for our athletes. It helps guide us on a development path that will eventually lead to success, if that’s what the athletes ultimate goal is.
This model is of huge importance not only to coaches but to parents and athletes as well and I encourage all of you to go and read it. A copy can be found at this link: