Long Term Athlete Development

Long Term Athlete Development Model and Guide

In 2012 Orienteering Canada released its much-anticipated Long Term Athlete Development Model (LTAD). Since it’s release the LTAD has seen integration into athlete programs, coaching certification, race guidelines and just about every other aspect of orienteering in Canada.

You can find orienteering’s long term athlete development guide is here (14mb).

For those of you with slower download capacity, here is a 5mb version.

Athlete Development Matrix (ADM) Project

Now, four years since the LTAD’s release, we are building on the work of the original LTAD committee to create an Athlete Development Matrix (a document which describes what skills athletes should be learning at each stage of development) and a series of tools to help instructors, coaches, and program administrators implement this matrix throughout their programs.

To date, we have created two resources which are works-in-progress: a technical skills progression document and development chart which show the technical skills that should be taught at each LTAD stage of athlete development from Active Start (0-6 years) up to Train to Train 2 (~age 16).

Technical Skills Progression Document – For each LTAD stage, it shows the technical skills broken down into their fundamental elements and listed in the order they are best taught. This document is useful when trying to put together a multi-week program to help the lessons flow from one week to the next.

Technical Skills Development Chart (printable version) – For each set of skills, it shows how skills are developed over time and to what level you should expect athletes in a given LTAD stage to perform in a given set of skills. This can be a useful tool for both coaches and parents to help assess where an athlete is at.

Note: Both of these documents use terminology that would be considered “standard orienteering lingo”. It is worth noting that this is not necessarily the best language to explain the concept to young athletes. It is best to use clear language that they will understand (eg. checkpoint instead of control) to explain different concepts at different ages. Standard orienteering terms can be introduced as athletes become more familiar with orienteering.

Lesson Plan Bank

As part of the Athlete Development Matrix Project, Orienteering Canada is starting to collect a bank of lesson plans that will be available to instructors and coaches across the country. To kickstart this initiative GVOC has shared their lesson plans for the 2016 spring season of the Orienteering Adventure Kids (OAK) program. Thanks GVOC!

These lesson plans are available below along with a lesson plan template which you can use and adapt as you wish:

OAK Week 1

OAK Week 2

OAK Week 3

OAK Week 4

OAK Week 5

OAK Week 6

OAK Week 7

OAK Week 8

Orienteering Canada Lesson Plan Template (.docx format)

Additional individual exercises can be found here.

Glossary of Terms

Stage – one of the 9 stages of athlete development  as laid out and defined Orienteering Canada’s LTAD guide. Also referred to as LTAD stage.

Athlete – an individual who is learning orienteering and/or other sport skills. Athletes may or may not have competitive aspirations and goals.

Set of skills – a group of skills that lead directly from one to another (such as compass skills). A set of skills might include skills that don’t fall directly under the group name. These skills are included because they are a part of the direct chain of progression of skills in the set. Some sets of skills are introduced right at the Active Start stage while many sets are not introduced until later.

Skill domain – one of the “four pillars of the ADM”: technical/tactical skills, physical skills, mental skills, and life skills.