You have likely heard the term, Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD). Contradictory to common belief that sport specialization will achieve great success, LTAD is a progressive and injury preventative approach to youth fitness and sport performance that we cannot afford to lose site of. Simply put, sport specialization should come later in life, and our youngest of athletes (6-16 year olds) are in dire need of coaches to give them a strong and sturdy foundation.
The figure, and concept of Long Term Athlete Development, indicates that movement skills are at the foundation of the ideal athlete. Once movement skills are mastered, then it is appropriate to move on to power, speed & agility skills. Lastly, we implement sport skills and specialization, but not till the athlete has achieved success in the foundational movement skills.
Many performance coaches struggle implementing LTAD. It is a delicate balance between giving kids (and parents) what they want, and what they actually need.
Written by Julie Hatfield and Dave Gleason and published by Mike Reynolds, PT (including image)
Looking to see kids perfect their athletic development,
Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC