Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L) is a movement to improve the quality of sport and physical activity in Canada. CS4L links sport, education, recreation and health and aligns community, provincial and national programming. Long Term Athletic Development is a seven-stage training, competition and recovery pathway guiding an individual’s experience in sport and physical activity from infancy through all phases of adulthood. CS4L, with LTAD, represents a paradigm shift in the way Canadians lead and deliver sport and physical activity in Canada.
Canada Soccer's Wellness to World Cup Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) model is designed to optimize Canadian excellence and lifelong wellness through soccer.
Sports science research tells us that one of the primary motivations for kids dropping out of a sport is lack of fun. Kids tend to quit sports when the focus is too serious, focused only on winning and lacking enjoyment. And we know that kids can define fun in a number of ways: playing with their friends, trying new things, gaining more confidence by being successful, participating in age appropriate engaging activities. Most parents know that their children tend to stick with sports they enjoy and excel in. That is why the primary focus of Long-Term Player Development is to improve skills development. Here are some of the ways outlined by Canada Soccer:
• Coach the coaches. Make it easier for parent volunteers to take age specific courses.
• Increase the number of certified coaches.
• More practices than games. Right now, a typical U9-U12 competitive team in Ontario will have one or two games and one practice a week. That ratio should be adjusted, a minimum of 2 practices to 1 game.
• Focus on small-sided games. Fewer kids in a practice activity or during a game means more time on the ball for each of them.
• Competition. Foster a healthy, competitive environment.
• Make it fun. Let’s engage our kids in creative, fun and inspiring practices and games.
By ensuring fun playing experiences for children, a suitable player development pathway for youth, and opportunities for lifelong participation for all players regardless of age, gender, ability or disability, LTPD provides a framework for the growth and success of the beautiful game in Canada.