Though it not a new theory, yet it should be recognized that majority of research is based on experience from dealing with sporting activities, which have been practiced to underpin physical education for many years. The remarkable theory about LTAD is that it brings the variety of theories practiced by different bodies under one umbrella with codified structures and systems. LTAD has 'packaged' the theories for mass understanding and has adopted more effective mechanism for applying the theories to integrate whole sports system which includes coaching, training, playing and competition. The basic principles on which LTAD is based are:
It is necessary to devote 8-12 years of consistent practice in order to achieve the level of an expert in that field. Research confirms that this is true about developing any skill, such as learning to play musical instrument or playing sport. This is also referred to as '10,000 hour rule' which relates to practice of 3hours a day for ten years.
This requires focused and consistent commitment, and not most players would achieve it. The objective is to encourage and enable all young people to develop confidence in their basic movement skill which are fundamental. Expose young children to wide variety of sports at an early age, which prepares them with better attitude for lifelong participation in sport, because their self-perception of their sporting ability is positive. It also better prepares them to achieve their full potential.
The objective is to identify those stages during child's physical and psychological development that offer optimum opportunities to develop movement skill-agility, balance, co-ordination; basic sport skills like running, jumping, throwing and striking; which are necessary attribute for sports related activities. Missing these optimum stages can have impact on reaching their highest potential.
LTAD is systematic training in childhood and adolescence which opens the window of opportunity for future success as an athlete. "A specific and well-planned practice, training, competition and recovery regime will ensure optimum development throughout an athlete's career" http://www.sportdevelopment.org.uk/html/balyi2004.html The ultimate objective to ensure sustained success which comes from training and performing well over long term rather than winning in short term. Athletic preparation is serious commitment and there is no escape from hard and consistent practice. There is no short cut to Athlete training. LTAD is a sports science which is based on training, competition, and recovery plan which is based on the developmental age which is the maturation level of the child rather than the chronological age. "The program is athlete centred, coach driven, and administration, sport science, and sponsor supported. Athletes who progress through LTAD experience training and competition in programs that consider their biological and training ages in creating periodized plans specific to their development needs" http://www.ltad.ca/content/home.asp LTAD has developed two specialization models: Early specialization model focuses on these areas;
Training to train stage
Training to compete stage
Training to win stage
Late specialization model, focuses on these areas;
Learning to train stage