Issues in Sport

LTAD addresses historical problems in sport.

LTAD has been developed to answer issues that have historically hampered athlete development in many Canadian sports. LTAD is designed to address problems such as over-competing, under-training, ignoring developmental stages, and more.

LTAD addresses several traditional shortcomings in the Canadian sport system that have led to serious consequences in the training and development of our athletes.


  • Developmental athletes over-compete and under-train.
  • Adult training and competition programs are imposed on developing athletes.
  • Training and competition formats designed for male athletes are imposed on females.
  • Preparation is geared to winning in the short-term, not long-term development.
  • Training and competition is based on chronological age instead of developmental age.
  • Most coaches neglect the sensitive periods in physical development when athletes have the best chance of making big gains in training of skills, speed, stamina, strength, and suppleness.
  • Fundamental movement skills and sport skills are not taught properly.
  • The most knowledgeable coaches work at the elite level, while inexperienced volunteers coach at the developmental level where quality coaching is essential.
  • Parents are not educated in developmental principles.
  • Developmental training needs of athletes with a disability are not well understood.
  • In most sports, the competition system interferes with athlete development.
  • There is often no talent identification (TID) system.
  • There is no integration between physical education programs in the schools, recreational community programs, and elite competitive programs.
  • Sports specialize too early in an attempt to attract and retain participants.


  • Failure to reach optimal performance levels in international competitions.
  • Poor movement abilities.
  • Lack of proper fitness.
  • Poor skill development.
  • Bad habits developed from over-competition focused on winning.
  • Undeveloped and unrefined skills due to under-training.
  • Female athletes don’t reach their potential due to inappropriate programs.
  • Children are not having fun in adult-based programs.
  • No systematic development of the next generation of successful international athletes.
  • Athletes are pulled in different directions by school, club, and provincial teams because of the structure of competition programs.
  • Provincial and national team coaches have to deliver remedial training to counteract the shortcomings of poor athlete preparation.
  • National performances fluctuate due to lack of TID and a developmental pathway.
  • Athletes fail to reach their genetic potential and optimal performance level.

>> Learn more about LTAD

>> Learn more about the 10 Key Factors