Sport Canada's Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) Resource Paper "Canadian Sport for Life" sets out the framework for sport development in Canada, based on the following principles:
- Clear development pathway from playground to podium and on to being active for life.
- Physical, mental, emotional, and cognitive development of children and adolescents. Each stage reflects a different point in athlete development.
- Build physical literacy in all children, from early childhood to late adolescence, by promoting quality daily physical activity in the schools and a common approach to developing physical abilities through community recreation and elite sport programs.
Canadian Sport for Life - LTAD Parent's Guide
Active for Life - Raising Physically Literate Kids
The Long Term Player Development (LTPD) model sets out a vision for hockey in Canada that takes advantage of the history and culture of the game to increase participation and to lay the foundations of international success long into the future.
This model for hockey has been developed by Hockey Canada based on the following principles:
- doing the right thing for the player at the right stage in their development
- adopting a player-centered approach and not treating the development of all players the same way
- the broader the foundation of players the more successful the game of hockey will be in Canada
- viewing player development as a long term process
- aligning player development resources (skills manuals, DVDs) with coach development and education resources so that coaches are doing the right things at the right time
- a need to better educate parents on the hockey development of their child - it is okay for parents to want their kids to get to the highest levels but they need to know the best way to go about it
Hockey Canada LTPD Summary
The Hockey Canada Player Development Pyramid was created to provide the coach with a comprehensive guideline to help develop a seasonal plan. The natural progression starting at the base of the triangle emphasizes the development of fundamental skills. Fundamental skills are the foundation of each player's success.
- As the pyramid is climbed, a greater emphasis is placed on individual tactics; adding the dimension of "hockey sense" to skill development. Once a player has developed the skills of skating and puck handling then the individual tactic of puck control can be learned. The player now understands the "why" of each tactic, i.e. the read and react skills that are being developed.
- Moving up the pyramid, players perform drills that will develop team tactics and systems. The bantam and midget levels of hockey emphasize team performance practices. But even at this program level, time spent on team tactics and team play should not exceed 50-60% of the practice. The coach, through practice must continue to develop the fundamental skills and individual tactics of each player which lead into team tactics and systems of team play.
- Strategy is the peak of the pyramid. It sets the style of play that will combat the opposition. The coach determines the strategy based upon their own philosophy, the age of the players, and the skill level of the team. As players age and competitive levels increase, game strategies become more complex.
- The age and skill level of the team defines the seasonal plan. The Hockey Canada Skills Development Programs are based on progressive steps and follow the appropriate allocation of time illustrated in the pyramid.
Parents, coaches, and administrators are encouraged to utilize the below documents to work at the local minor hockey association level to develop the best program possible for the players involved.
Long Term Player Development Programming Framework
Hockey Canada LTPD Manual
Minor Hockey Development Guide
Full Team Ahead: The Benefits of Team Sport to Canadian Sport