LTAD Stages for Athletes with Disabilities

Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) provides a clear path of developmental stages to help persons with disabilities pursue their goals in sport and physical activity. Note the addition of two extra stages for persons with disabilities: Awareness and First Involvement.

This chart shows the typical age ranges when able-bodied individuals pass through each LTAD stage. Athletes who choose to pursue high performance will follow the full seven-stage pathway.

Individuals with disabilities may pass through these stages at different ages depending on when they first become active or acquire their disability, and on the nature of their disabilities. They might pass through some stages more than once – first without a disability and later with a disability.

Some individuals with an intellectual disability might move from the Learn to Train stage directly to the Active for Life stage, or they might stay in the Learn to Train stage for many years.

Learn more about Awareness and First Involvement.