The Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sports Association (CCPSA) is one of 55-plus Canadian National Sport Organizations (NSO) to develop a Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model for their respective sports. LTAD is not one specific project or program but a philosophy that, when adopted, permeates every program and activity of our sport.
The Canadian model of LTAD, is a training, competition, and recovery program based on developmental age — the maturation level of an individual — rather than chronological age. It is athlete centred, coach driven, and administration, sport science, and sponsor supported. Athletes who progress through LTAD experience training and competition in programs that consider both their biological and training ages in creating periodized plans specific to their development needs.
LTAD focuses on the general framework of athlete development with special reference to growth, maturation and development, trainability, and sport system alignment and integration. It incorporates information from a number of sources. It draws on the experiences of various athlete development projects that have been implemented by different sport organizations in British Columbia since the mid-1990s. It also draws from LTAD work with NSOs including Basketball Canada, the Canadian Curling Association, Speed Skating Canada, the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, and the Report of the Minister of State’s (Sport) Work Group on Sport for Persons with a Disability (2004).
The Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sport Association established an expert committee to apply the principles and stages of LTAD to the sport of boccia.
The committee undertook research that included a survey of current players, three focus group meetings with representatives of three provincial affiliates and researched literature for data in relation to growth and development, fitness and technical/biomechanical issues.
Their work and research quickly identified that the current state of boccia in Canada is very different than the model outlined in “Canadian Sport for Life” , the blueprint document for the Long Term Athlete Development model in Canada.
The decision was made that the LTAD model for boccia would reflect the present reality but, at the same time would clearly demonstrate the philosophical position that reflected the goal of early participation. The LTAD would describe benchmarks and critical windows that do not currently exist.
The Long Term Athlete Development Stages for boccia would reflect what would be needed in future in terms of practice per week/year and length of time needed for international development. As noted above, the LTAD for boccia needed to straddle the present reality while at the same time outlining new goals for the future.
The Committee recognized that athlete development for boccia was tied very strongly to recreational clubs and that it would have to work closely with the provinces and regional clubs to keep a strong recreational/participant component while at the same time work within the same organizational structure to inspire and develop well skilled competitive athletes.
“Boccia – for all ages & all abilities” has taken the seven LTAD stages and applied them to the sport outlining what’s happening, objectives and key outcomes at every stage to assist athletes, parents and coaches as they grow in the sport of Boccia. Further concepts such as trainability, the five S’s and 10 key LTAD factors are introduced.
To view “Boccia – for all ages & all abilities” please click here