Train to Train

During the Train to Train stage (females 11-15, males 12-16), young athletes need to build an aerobic base and consolidate their sport- specific skills. Towards the end of the stage, they need to focus on strength and the anaerobic alactic energy system. Increased training hours are needed at this stage to develop each athlete’s long-term potential. 

The ages that define the Train to Train stage are based on the approximate onset and end of the adolescent growth spurt. This period is generally defined as ages 11 to 15 years for females and 12 to 16 years for males.

At this stage, athletes are ready to consolidate their basic sport-specific skills and tactics. It is also a major fitness development stage.

The Train to Train stage makes or breaks the athlete. Athletes may exhibit special talent, play to win, and do their best, but they still need to allocate more time to training skills and physical capacities than competing in formal settings. To maximize their long-term potential, winning should remain a secondary emphasis.

This approach is critical to the long-term development of top performers and lifelong participants.

To ensure their program is following the correct training-to-competition ratio, along with other guidelines that describe training design and competition objectives at each LTAD stage, coaches and parents should consult the sport-specific LTAD plan from their sport’s national organization.

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