LTAD Stages

A clear path to better sport, greater health, and higher achievement.

Children, youth and adults need to do the right things at the right time to develop in their sport or activity – whether they want to be hockey players, dancers, figure skaters or gymnasts. Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) describes the things athletes need to be doing at specific ages and stages.

Science, research and decades of experience all point to the same thing: kids and adults will get active, stay active, and even reach the greatest heights of sport achievement if they do the right things at the right times. This is the logic behind the Long-Term Athlete Development model (LTAD).

There are seven stages within the basic LTAD model:

Stages 1, 2 and 3 develop physical literacy before puberty so children have the basic skills to be active for life. Physical literacy also provides the foundation for those who choose to pursue elite training in one sport or activity after age 12.  

Stages 4, 5 and 6 provide elite training for those who want to specialize in one sport and compete at the highest level, maximizing the physical, mental and emotional development of each athlete.

Stage 7 is about staying Active for Life through lifelong participation in competitive or recreational sport or physical activity.

>> Learn more about LTAD.