Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD)

What is LTAD? 

Human development from birth to adulthood is a continuous process. To understand the process better, experts divide human development into distinct stages with specific characteristics; these are called stages of development.
In Canadian sport, experts have identified several stages of development, each with its own physical, mental, emotional, and cognitive characteristics. This is our Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model, and it’s the basis for the optimal training and competition kids need to enjoy sport the most and perform their best.
LTAD is a training, competition, and recovery program. It establishes guidelines for coaches, athletes, administrators, and parents in all areas, including planning, training, competition, and recovery. It takes into account the ever-changing competitive program and the overall demands on the athletes. 

Why do we need the LTAD model?

  • Because participation in recreational sport and physical activity has been declining and physical education programs in schools are being marginalized.
  • Because the international performances of Canadian athletes have been declining in some sports.
  • Because other sports are having trouble identifying and developing the next generation of international athletes.

Because NOT matching skills and activities to a stage of development has serious negative consequences, and Canadians and the Canadian sport system have been suffering from them for some time. 
  • To mention just a few of them: 
  • Children don’t have fun
  • They develop bad habits because of the over-emphasis on winning
  • Their skill development is poor
  • They don’t reach their optimal performance level
  • Many burn out and drop out of sport


10 key factors of LTAD

  1. Excellence Takes Time
  2. FUNdamentals
  3. Specialization
  4. Developmental Age
  5. Trainability
  6. Physical, Mental, Cognitive and Emotional Development
  7. Periodization
  8. Competition Planning
  9. System Alignment and Integration
  10. Continuous Improvement

Volleyball Canada Development Model

The Volleyball Canada Development Model is LTAD applied to the Canadian volleyball landscape.  Our goal is to unite Canadian volleyball communities to meet new challenges, forge new directions, and celebrate our sport as it grows to new levels.  
This Development Model website gives athletes, parents, teachers and coaches easy access to apply our LTAD guidelines (training, competition and recovery amounts) and support our athletes to reach their full potential.  Click on the links below to view our guidelines for athlete development.




Coming soon




The VCDM is more than just training, competition and recovery guidelines. The VCDM offers solutions to many of the systematic problems that impede young people from enjoying and excelling in sport.  Below are some links to solutions we can apply today.
For more information about LTAD, please contact James Sneddon or your Provincial/Territorial Association

To Learn more about the generic LTAD model in Canada: www.canadiansport4life.ca