Saturday, April 14, 2007

Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD)

Judo Canada recently published an outstanding document. Called: Taking it to the Mat. This publication is a sport specific follow-up to Sport Canada's publication and a major change in philosophy of sport, entitled Sport for Life.

These are sigificant publications - they are in fact dramatic departures from the previous approaches to instructing/coaching developing athletes. The tendency all to often seemed to focus on gold medal performances in what ever discipline and or olympic dreams but often young athletes stopped cold at national competitions and dropped out of the sport altogether. The penultimate folly has been demonstrated repeatedly in the public, by obsessed parents and overzealous coaches - at your local hockey arena.

Judo Coaches will be using the Taking it to the Mat document as a resource to their practice planning and long term development plans. A change in mindset is required to implement the ideas and elements in this LTAD. Some might call it a cognitive shift. One example - there has been a tendency in judo to fall into a trap when instructing children and occasionally lapse into treating them as little adults. New strategies in practice planning, integrated with this document will work to reduce this old practice. Another change is to integrate key milestones(balance, coordination, rolling and for juniors just having fun) in program development and to make time for sport specific games.

The goal is that more children and young adults will join in and participate in judo, compete if they like but equally important stay involved in the sport.

Judo is a great example of a sport that because of the national and international structure you can be involved in a club in Newfoundland and in the midst of your travels drop in, visit, workout with a club in Hamilton, USA, France, UK or Qatar.

For more information check out the links > coaching association of canada.

No comments: