Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD)

LTAD provides a general framework for athlete development that pays specific attention to growth, maturation and development, trainability, and sports system alignment and integration.

Football Canada’s Long-Term Athlete Development Model (LTAD) is the blueprint for athlete and football development throughout the nation. It provides direction, for all football organizations, administrators, volunteers, coaches, officials, team support personnel, athletes, and parents at all levels of development, in the three football disciplines (tackle, flag and touch) on the critical decisions that need to be made to provide each athlete with the opportunity to reach their goals and full potential in their chosen discipline.

The philosophy and principles of LTAD leads us to a new way of thinking about our programs, a way that requires us to make appropriate changes to playing rules and regulations, competition structures and schedules, training and recovery programs.

This model was created by bringing Football leaders and experts together with Football Canada staff, stakeholders, and members of the LTAD Expert Group to produce a plan based on the realities of our sport. It is the policy framework for the future development of Canadian Football by Football Canada, our provincial/territorial partners, clubs and stakeholders. The work is not finished. In the coming months we will create detailed plans to cooperatively implement the LTAD across the country. Successful implementation will result in a flourishing sport, with growth in the number of quality coaches, officials and most of all, athletes, from coast to coast to coast.

Benefits of LTAD

  • Establishes a foundation and philosophy for football development and a vehicle for change
  • Establishes an athlete-centred focus from a child’s first involvement in sport to the transition to lifelong physical activity or other sport related activities
  • Integrates the needs of athletes with a disability into the design and delivery of sport programs
  • Provides a framework for reviewing current practices, developing new initiatives, and standardizing programs
  • Provides a clear development pathway from playground to stadium and on to being active for life
  • Identifies the gaps in football’s sport system and provides guidelines for problem solving
  • Provides guidelines for planning for optimal performance for all stages of athlete development
  • Provides parents with a clear understanding of football’s programs and activities
  • Provides key partners with a coordinated structure and plan for change
  • Identifies and engages key stakeholders in delivering change
  • Provides an aligned and integrated model for the three disciplines of football, tackle, flag and touch
  • LTAD – physical, technical, tactical, mental and life
  • Long-term coaching development
  • Long-term officiating development
  • Sport and physical activity programs and services in NSO’s, PSO’s, recreational organizations, clubs, and schools

General Information

For more information please go to for access to the resource paper used as background in starting work on the LTAD process.

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