Over the last year my understanding of physical literacy has grown. My perspective, broad and textbook at first, has morphed and sharpened to become something that has very little in common with my view just one year ago. What caused this change? Most of it has come from teaching at risk youth.
PISE has always taken a games and play approach to teaching physical literacy skills; instead of doing drills, or repetition activities we choose to teach through play. If you pop your head in on one of our programs you will likely see kids laughing, playing and running around (all while making an incredible amount of noise). What the kids often don’t realize is that behind the play is a very specific, thought out plan that consciously teaches fundamental movement and sport skills.
The question of sport specialization—when to begin and how best to approach it—has been a topic of much debate for years, and one that CS4L-LTAD has discussed at length. Though some have argued that early specialization in a sport is the only way to become an elite athlete, more and more research shows that later specialization in a sport (aside from artistic and acrobatic sports) better equips athletes to succeed at the highest levels.
I don’t expect people to be interested in what I do on a daily basis. Certainly nobody asks! But, as almost all of my work as a self-employed consultant is related to CS4L, there is some sort of relationship between what I’m doing and the progress of the movement. Last month’s work provides a few illustrative examples.
Canada is a great country. We have so much to be thankful for. But all is not perfect in our land. We are known to be a progressive and diverse culture, and in the bright-shining light of progression I speak to all the parents, administrators and educators of our fair nation.
We stand proud on our achievements in literacy and numeracy, for our children are among the most capable in the world when it comes to Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. No surprise really, as the 3 Rs have been long-standing pillars of our education system and our Canadian mindset. From the Pacific to the Atlantic, we measure our achievement of the 3Rs using mandatory provincial examinations. We know where we stand, and we can rightfully stand tall.
There is no question that the introduction of Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) to Ontario has brought with it some concern—and push back. The very notion that there would no longer be formal league standings—or even scores—at the early ages continues is a sea change for most of us.
But increasingly, Clubs, coaches and parents are recognizing what so many top soccer minds in the most serious soccer nations throughout the world have been saying for years: that is, helping all young players on every youth “team” develop skills and confidence with the ball at their feet at the early ages is much more important than winning a game at the U9 level, for example, simply because a particular team may have bigger, faster, stronger players.
It is becoming easier to convince people to adopt better developmental practices for their baseball teams and associations.
Research and programs from Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L) such as the Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) model give every indication that progressive methods of training are necessary to produce a higher quality athlete in addition to producing an athletic adult.
Baseball Canada has implemented LTAD into their system arguably better than any other sport.
Rally Cap is a program that puts more emphasis on skill development and drill repetition at an early age.
Que ce soit au moment de considérer un changement mineur ou une modification au système dans son entier, il est fréquent pour une fédération nationale de sport de se sentir intimidée par ce type de défi. Une modification au système de compétitions peut évidemment devenir un long processus pour l’organisation.
L’organisation nationale de sport est convaincue qu’un changement au système de compétitions est nécessaire mais elle ne sait pas toujours pas où commencer, qui impliquer et comment procéder.
Il existe plusieurs théories sur le processus de changement et des documents de travail ont récemment été produits par un groupe de professionnels issus du monde du sport en tentant d’incorporer les principes fondamentaux du mouvement ‘Au Canada, le sport, c’est pour la vie’.
Over the past few months we have been working hard to plan the 2013 CS4L Summit, which will be held January 30 and 31, 2013 at the Hilton Lac-Leamy in Gatineau-Ottawa.
Thank you to everyone who submitted an abstract for posters and presentations, we are always blown away by the amazing work that people are doing across the country in terms of developing and implementing CS4L – LTAD principles into their programs and organizations! After reviewing them all we know there is something for everyone (sport, recreation, education and health) and that this is is the strongest lineup of presentations and speakers yet!
The town of Squamish is situated at the head of Howe Sound, a roughly 50 kilometer long fjord extending northwards from Vancouver, British Columbia. It lies at the approximate halfway point on the Sea to Sky highway between Vancouver and Whistler. The town was historically all about resource industry – logging, railroad, port – but now is evolving into a different kind of centre.
A large sign on the highway at the outskirts of Squamish greets visitors: “Welcome to Squamish: the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada.” One might think at first this slogan is just local Chamber of Commerce bumpf, but it is not long before one appreciates the substance behind the branding.
This is my second blog about the Activating CS4L in Ontario project ("the Project"). The Project is a collaboration with three Ontario Provincial Sport Organizations (PSOs - basketball, soccer, volleyball), the Toronto Sport Council, and Brock University to learn how best to integrate CS4L-LTAD in community sport clubs and develop a new generation of CS4L leaders to work in the community. The Project page is here.