A New Approach?

Canada’s progress in LTAD is encouraging some organizations and facilities to combine their services and offer children more complete access to activities and sports. This approach leads to physical literacy – critical for life-long physical activity and the development of world-class athletes. Adolescence also affects a child’s sporting experience and should be addressed appropriately. 

When organizations and facilities combine services, it gives children more access to activities and sports. People are more likely to enter a sport later in life – whether for healthy recreation or to develop sport excellence – because of early exposure.

People require a full range of athletic abilities if they are to reach the highest levels of sporting excellence in late specialization sports. Early overspecialization too often leads to a lack of physical literacy and ultimately, early retirement from sport.

Adolescence effects children in different ways. Some hit puberty and develop early while others develop later. Few Canadian sports understand the challenges faced by early and late developers.

With males, late developers are usually smaller and physically weaker than their peers. Early developers, who experience sporting success at a younger age, are often surpassed by their late-developing peers. Both can lead to early dropout.

For females, rapid growth of breasts and hips can cause early developers to drop out, while late developers, who had early success with their prepubescent bodies, face difficulties when older.

>> Learn more about this approach.