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The Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) is a national program that sets out a comprehensive development pathway for soccer players in Canada.

It is player-centered, coach-driven, and administration, sport science and sponsor supported.

The Canadian Soccer Association adapted the soccer-specific LTPD from the Long-Term Athlete Development model (LTAD), which is a scientific model for periodized athlete training and development designed by the Canadian Sport Centres.

It is based on the natural stages of physical, mental, and emotional growth in athletes, and has already been adopted by major sports organizations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Canada.

LTPD is designed to:

1. Promote lifelong enjoyment of soccer and physical activity. 2. Provide a structured player development pathway. 3. Describe best practices for elite player development. 4. Create long-term excellence.

The LTPD is broken down into seven different stages of development.

As a general overview, LTPD: • Eliminates gaps in the player development system. • Guides planning for optimal athlete performance at all stages. • Provides a framework for program alignment and integration, from volunteer club coaches to national and professional teams. • Follows scientific principles and practical coaching experiences.

Benefits for coaches and clubs

• Information and education on effective coaching and practice methods. • Guidelines for appropriate game structures.• Guidelines on appropriate competition levels. • Established pathways for player development for all levels of ability and ambition. • Affirmation of best practices for coaches and club administrators.

Benefits for players and parents

• Better understanding of what makes a good soccer program. • More players learning at their level and having fun. • Appropriate game and league structures (e.g. size of balls, goals, field, etc.). • More opportunity for players to realize their athletic potential. • More coaches who are knowledgeable in leading safe, effective practices.

Benefits for all

• Competitive behaviour is fostered in players, while over-competitive behaviour is discouraged in adults (e.g. coaches and parents). • Players, parents, coaches, and administrators understand that players are unique and therefore different in interest and aptitude. • Players stay involved in the sport throughout their lives (as players, coaches, referees or club administrators). • Soccer grows, and lifelong wellness is promoted for players of all ages, genders, and levels of ability and disability.

For more on the LTPD and its stages of development, please follow this link to download the LTPD brochure:  LTPD Brochure

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