LTAD Path

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

Children and youth 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 kids need to be doing at specific ages and stages in their development.

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

There are seven stages within LTAD:

Stage 1: Active Start (0-6 years)
Stage 2: FUNdamentals (girls 6-8, boys 6-9)
Stage 3: Learn to Train (girls 8-11, boys 9-12)
Stage 4: Train to Train (girls 11-15, boys 12-16)
Stage 5: Train to Compete (girls 15-21, boys 16-23)
Stage 6: Train to Win (girls 18+, boys 19+)
Stage 7: Active for Life (any age participant)

Stages 1, 2 and 3 develop physical literacy in a fun, stimulating environment before puberty. Physical literacy includes fundamental movement and sport skills that give children the confidence to participate in a variety of sports and physical activities throughout their lifetimes.

Stages 4, 5 and 6 provide specialized training after age 11 for those who want to compete at the highest level. To enter this high performance path, physical literacy is essential. 

Stage 7 is about staying Active for Life through recreational participation in any sport or physical activity. It’s also about giving back to the sport community through coaching, officiating, administration, or volunteering.

Some people will enter the Active for Life stage during their teen years, while others may choose to pursue elite sport competition for years or decades before transitioning to the Active for Life stage.

Learn more about physical literacy.

Learn more about fundamental movement and sport skills.