Physical Literacy During the Learn to Train Stage

This is the most important stage for the development of sport specific skills. Many children will have developed a preference for a specific sport, but should keep playing at least two to three different sports. Learning to compete should be the focus – not winning.

Age: Boys 9-12, Girls 8-11 (ends with the onset of puberty)

Learning to Train is a period of accelerated learning of coordination and fine motor control. It is also a time when children enjoy practicing skills they learn and seeing their own improvement.

For full athletic development, children need to engage in a broad range of activities. For best long-term results in a sport, 70% of time should be spent in practice, with only 30% spent on competition.

The brain is capable of very refined skill performance. This is the time to develop and refine all fundamental movement skills, learn overall sport skills and establish flexibility and endurance.

Continue to promote unstructured daily physical play. Have children try different positions in a variety of sports – some land-based, some water-based and some ice- and snow-based. Ensure sport and physical activity remains FUN.

Learn more about Physical Literacy during the Learn to Train stage.