WHAT IS LONG TERM PLAYER DEVELOPMENT (LTPD)?
LTPD Is about putting the player first and offering age-appropriate opportunities for kids to enjoy the game of soccer. Making the game fun is key in teaching and coaching, so that players will continue in the game and may even coach or referee as they get older. More specifically, LTPD is a model of athlete development that parallels what doctors and psychologists have long used to better understand human development: as a series of distinct stages, which takes us from infancy through to adulthood. A person's abilities, behaviors and emotions, as well as their understanding of the world around them, varies from stage to stage.
Similarly, experts in sport science have identified seven stages of development — each with its own physical and psychological characteristics —that form the basis for LTPD. When young soccer players are able to train and compete in an environment that's appropriate to their stage of development, they not only perform at their best, they also have more fun.
In other words, LTPD is designed to give players an optimal soccer experience at every stage by putting their needs front and center
In order to accomplish this goal, the Winnipeg Youth Soccer Association (WYSA) with the District Clubs and Manitoba Soccer Association (MSA) and Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) has introduced changes designed to encourage more playing time for every player, enhance skill development, improve coaching and generally make the game more fun to play! Whether you dream of playing for Canada's National Team or simply want to have fun with friends, taking the right approach to the game when children are young sets the stage for a lifetime of enjoyment! As well, new and better coach education is a critical element of the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA), Manitoba Soccer Association (MSA) and Winnipeg Youth Soccer Association's (WYSA) new Long Term Player Development (LTPD) initiative.
WHY LONG TERM PLAYER DEVELOPMENT?
We don't expect kids to compete in spelling bees without first teaching them their ABCs. When activities and expectations don't match with a child's developmental stage, this can set them up for failure. The same is true when young children are thrust into a soccer environment that over-emphasizes winning at the expense of developing skills and having fun. The negative consequences can last a lifetime: Some kids develop bad habits and poor skills and can become discouraged. Many don't achieve their performance potential. Others end up leaving the sport altogether because they don't enjoy the game.
The LTPD Model gives all players the best chance of success by tailoring training, competition and coaching to their needs at the appropriate stage of development. When children learn the right skills at the right time —supported by a caring soccer community of parents, coaches, officials and volunteers —they become more confident in their abilities and have a lot more fun. This means more of them will grow into healthy, active adults with a lifelong love of the game!
LTPD is inclusive: A handful of players may follow the CSA's Pathway's Excel program all the way to the National Team or professional club, but LTPD is also designed for the 99% who won't. It's about giving everyone the best possible soccer experience every step of the way.
LTPD recognizes competitiveness comes from within: The fact that there are no standings for players under 12 does not translate into a lack of competitive spirit. When kids play in an environment where learning is put ahead of winning, they’re less afraid to make mistakes and more willing to take risks in order to try out the new skills they’ve learned during practice. They’re free to play their own best game without worrying they’ll be chastised for a poor match result.
Click here for the National Coaching Certification Program Long Term Player Development Information for Parents