Long-Term Player Development



  • it is based on the physical, mental, emotional and cognitive development of children and adolescents.  Each stage reflects a different point in athlete development.
  • it ensures physical literacy upon which excellence and lifelong participation in sport and physical activity can be built and
    • a) is promoted through quality daily physical activity in the schools and a common approach to developing physical abilities through community recreation and elite sport programs
    • b) recognizes the need to involve all Canadians in Long -Term Athlete Development, including athletes with a disability.
  • it ensures that developmentally appropriate skill development, training, competition and recovery programs are provided throughout an athlete’s career.
  • it provides developmentally appropriate and meaningful competition structure throughout the stages of an athlete’s development.
  • it impacts the entire sport community, including participants, parents, coaches, schools, clubs, community recreation programs, provincial sport
    organizations (PSOs), national sport organizations (NSOs), sport scientists, municipalities, and government ministries and departments (particularly but not
    exclusively in the portfolios of health and education) at the provincial/territorial and federal levels.
  • it integrates and aligns high performance sport, community sport, recreational physical activity, scholastic sport and physical education in schools.
  • it is “made in Canada”, recognizing international best practices and responding to research findings.
  • it promotes a healthy, physically literate nation whose citizens participate in lifelong physical activity


Softball Canada has taken Sport for Life’s generic LTAD model and created a softball-specific version called Softball’s Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) model using a combination of recent sport-science research and best practices. Our LTPD model identifies the optimal training, competition and recovery principles and practices for our players through sequential stages from childhood through to adulthood. It recognizes there are two distinct streams in softball - the lifelong recreational sport and the elite competitive arena - and it is designed to promote and support players in both.

Promoting excellence alongside recreation is important. Our LTPD model ensures players develop the physical literacy necessary to enjoy softball, and sport in general, for a lifetime as well as identifies the pathway and skills for players to reach their potential and excel at the international level through a systematic and logical development. The LTPD model also informs coaches, players, and parents about key developmental concepts and practices at each stage in the development pathway. It addresses the physical, technical/tactical, mental, emotional, cognitive and social needs of the player as they pass through each stage of development.

Indigenous Long Term Participant Development Pathway

The Aboriginal Long-Term Development Pathway resource presents a road map for developing sport and physical activity among Indigenous peoples. It is a reference for those who work with Indigenous participants in sport and recreation. The Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway has grown out of the understanding that mainstream pathways for sport development do not necessarily align with Indigenous needs or experiences. As such, the Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway tries to address that gap by outlining the key elements that need to be considered when planning, developing, and implementing programs for and with Indigenous peoples and Indigenous communities. To learn more click here.

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