The Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model was created by Sport for Life. LTAD is a Canadian model designed to help educate the community at large, as well as provide sport organizations (governing and non governing) with a format to guide the development of children in sport and athletics. Their mission is to provide, “A clear path to better sport, greater health, and higher achievement”.
It is essential that our children are not only active, but also participate in sports programs that understand and follow guidelines that promote their love for sport and minimize the risk of physical injury. Here are some key questions to ask prior to registering your children in a sport program or summer camp.
What type of training do the coaches/staff have?
Are the coaches and programs continuously learning and growing? Do they have an open mindset?
What type of model do they follow?
What curriculum are they using?
How do they speak to your child?
Do the staff challenge your child? Do they help them grow? Do they have fun?
What are the active to rest ratios? Are these being considered?
Are there more games than practices?
What type of behaviour is being modelled?
Do they support your children's dreams?
Please understand that I am not saying, if your child’s program does not meet one or two of these criteria, you should disenroll them and run. What I do recommend is opening up dialogue with the staff to help better the program. As parents, we ask a lot of questions about the school system and ensure we have a solid understanding of our children’s education. Perhaps, we should take a little more time to look deeper into the extracurricular programs our children are involved in and not just focus on the wins and loses.
About the author, Christa Eniojukan is a teacher, coach and CEO of Active Scholars, a program that incorporates S.T.E.M learning and sport training. She enjoys helping children of all age groups meet their full potential in sport and education. www.activescholars.org