What is LTAD?

LTAD, or Long-Term Athlete Development, is the managed developmental progression for an athlete that will both maximize their long-term potential and enjoyment in their sport.

It is individualized, based on science, and factors one's development physiologically, cognitively and socially, as well as their experience in their sport. LTAD identifies optimal training, competition and recovery programming with relation to biological development and maturation (Balyi).

With the LTAD approach, the athlete, coach and parents are more focused on long-term gains than immediate, short-term competition successes.

Without realizing the hazards of a short-term approach, many athletes find that success early in sport does not translate to future performance because they neglected key developmental areas, or failed to maximize their opportunities at the right times in their development.

The USSA Training Systems outline the path to sustainable long-term performance broken down for each sport.

Click here to learn more about the questions that LTAD can answer for skiing and snowboarding.

Long- Term Athlete Development

Sensitivity windows for girls relating to rate of growth, developmental phase, and chronological age (adapted from Balyi & Way, 2005)


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