Topics of Interest
Long Term Athlete Development Plan
The Long Term Athlete Development Plan is a document that outlines what a child should be doing at a specific age and stage. 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 sports achievement if they do the right things at the right times! The different stages include:
- Awareness and First Involvement: Awareness promotes an understanding of opportunities to get involved in sport and physical activity. It highlights opportunities for persons of all abilities to participate in sport, become an athlete, and go as far as their ability and motivation will take them!
- Active Start (0-6): From 0-6 years, boys and girls need to be engaged in daily active play. Through play and movement, they develop the fundamental movement skills and learn how to link them together. At this stage developmentally appropriate activities will help participants feel competent and comfortable participating in a variety of fun and challenging activities and games.
- FUNdamentals: In the FUNdamentals stage, participants develop fundamental movement skills in structured and unstructured environments for play. The focus is on providing fun, inclusive, multisport, and developmentally appropriate sport and physical activity. These experiences will result in the participant developing a wide range of movement skill along with the confidence and desire to participate.
- Learn to Train: Once a wide range of fundamental movement skills has been acquired, participants progress into the Learn to Train stage leading to understanding basic rules, tactics, and strategy in games and refinement of sport-specific skills. There are opportunities to participate in multiple sports with competitions focused on skill development and retention. Games and activities are inclusive, fun, and skill based. At the end of the Learn to Train stage, participants grow (or progress) towards sports excellence in the Train to Train stage or being Active for Life, either by being Competitive for Life or Fit for Life.
- Train to Train: Athletes enter the Train to Train stage when they have developed proficiency in the athlete development performance components (physical, technical-tactical, mental, and emotional). Rapid physical growth, the development of sporting capability, and commitment occurs in this stage. Athletes will generally specialize in one sport towards the end of the stage. A progression from local to provincial competition occurs over the course of the stage.
- Train to Compete: Athletes enter the Train to Compete stage when they are proficient in sport-specific Train to Train athlete development components (physical, technical-tactical, mental, and emotional). Athletes are training nearly full-time and competing at the national level while being introduced to international competition.
- Train to Win: Athletes in the Train to Win stage are world class competitors who are competing at the highest level of competition in the world (e.g. Olympics, Paralympics, World Championships, World Cups or top professional leagues). These athletes have highly personalized training and competition plans and have an Integrated Support Team of physical therapists, athletic therapists, and sport psychologists providing ongoing support.
- Active for Life: Individuals who have a desire to be physically active are in the Active for Life stage. A participant may choose to be Competitive for Life or Fit for Life and, if inclined, give back as a sport or physical activity leader. Competitive for Life includes those who compete in any organized sport recreation leagues to Master Games. Fit for Life includes active people who participate in non-competitive physical activity.
Resources to further your learning on physical literacy and Long Term Athlete Development Plan:
Medical providers may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, the effects of a concussion can be serious.
- Concussion Policy Template – Parachute Canada
- What is a concussion?
- Information about Rowan’s Law
Positive Youth Development Through Sport
PYD SportNET is a network to stimulate knowledge generation and exchange in the area of Positive Youth Development (PYD) through sport. PYD is about developing the athlete and developing the person through sport. PYD SportNET will link researchers with practitioners, sport organizations, parents, and coaches and will provide evidence-based resources for enhancing the sport experiences of Canadian children and adolescents.
Female Athlete Triad – A symptom to watch for in competitive female athletes!
Some girls who play sports or exercise intensely are at risk for a problem called female athlete triad. Female athlete triad is a combination of three conditions: disordered eating, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis. A female athlete can have one, two, or all three parts of the triad.
Triad Factor #1: Disordered Eating
Most girls with female athlete triad try to lose weight as a way to improve their athletic performance. The disordered eating that accompanies female athlete triad can range from not eating enough calories to keep up with energy demands to avoiding certain types of food the athlete thinks are “bad” (such as foods containing fat) to serious eating disorders like anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.
Triad Factor #2: Amenorrhea
Exercising intensely and not eating enough calories can lead to decreases in the hormones that help regulate the menstrual cycle. As a result, a girl’s periods may become irregular or stop altogether. Of course, it’s normal for teens to occasionally miss periods, especially in the first year. A missed period does not automatically mean female athlete triad. It could mean something else is going on, like pregnancy or a medical condition. If you are having sex and miss your period, talk to your doctor.
Some girls who participate intensively in sports may never even get their first period because they’ve been training so hard. Others may have had periods, but once they increase their training and change their eating habits, their periods may stop.
Triad Factor #3: Osteoporosis
Estrogen is lower in girls with female athlete triad. Low estrogen levels and poor nutrition, especially low calcium intake, can lead to osteoporosis, the third aspect of the triad. Osteoporosis is a weakening of the bones due to the loss of bone density and improper bone formation. This condition can ruin a female athlete’s career because it may lead to stress fractures and other injuries.
Usually, the teen years are a time when girls should be building up their bone mass to their highest levels — called peak bone mass. Not getting enough calcium now can also have a lasting effect on how strong a woman’s bones are later in life.