Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) at ICSF

As a foundation of ICSF’s player development strategy, the club is building it’s development program based on the principles outlined in the CSA’s Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) program.

The LTPD is a CSA soccer-specific adaptation of the Long-Term Athlete Development model (LTAD) developed by Canadian Sport Centres. LTAD is a scientific model for periodized athlete training and development that respects and utilizes the natural stages of physical, mental, and emotional growth in athletes. Like the LTAD program, LTPD is designed to:

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

Benefits of LTPD

LTPD is a program for soccer player development, training, competition, and recovery based on biological age (i.e. physical maturity) rather than chronological age. It is player centred, coach driven, and administration, sport science, and sponsor supported.

• 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 players & 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 coaches & 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 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.

The Canadian Soccer LTPD model, Wellness to World Cup is designed to optimize Canadian excellence and lifelong wellness through soccer. By ensuring fun playing experiences for children, a suitable player development pathway for youth and opportunities for lifelong participation for all players regardless of age, gender, ability or disability, LTPD provides a framework for the growth of the beautiful game in Canada.

(source www.bcsoccer.net)

For more resources and information regarding LTPD please visit the BC Soccer website and Canada Soccer website, or contact the ICSF Technical Directors ([email protected]).

Timbits – U5 to U7

ICSF’s Timbits program is a child’s first introduction to organized soccer. The program is designed first and foremost to be a fun experience for the kids introducing them to the basics of soccer, physical movement and touches on the ball.

Players are taught the basics of physical movement in the game such as running, hopping, skipping, proper soccer stance and balance. Being too young to understand the concepts and tactics of the game, the focus at this age revolves around their interaction with the ball and their teammates. The basis of ball “feel” and control begin at this age with coaches focusing on delivery and receiving of the ball trough proper instruction on passing, kicking, trapping and dribbling. All while encouraging a fun environment that celebrates their development and individual success.

Short, small sided games will be played to introduce players to the concept of an organized game, however scores are not kept and the primary focus is touches on the ball and fun!

Minis – U8 to U10

At this level players begin to develop their ball control skills and are introduced to the basics of team play while maintaining a fun atmosphere. It is at this age where players usually start to form their own interest in the game.

Feeling comfortable and more confident around the ball, players will receive further instruction and coaching on ball control techniques. Practices are focused on foot and body placement when passing and receiving and effectively moving with the ball while maintaining control. In addition, players are taught the basics concepts of the game including passing to teammates, offense and defense and positioning.

Players at this stage experience the concept of being on a team and play scheduled games against other teams. Scores are not kept at this age and the concept of winning

and losing are downplayed in favour the experience of playing an organized match with referees and skill development. And as always having fun!

Youth – U11 to U12

At the youth level individual player development and training is the focus with an emphasis on understanding the game. Fun is still of the upmost importance however players are exposed to a more competitive environment and structure.

Physically and mentally at this age players are maturing quickly. Training is focused on coordination, execution of technical ability and harnessing player’s strengthening muscles to enhance their performance. Mentally, players are mature enough to process game situations and will be coached on how to problem solve on the field for maximum success. Players will start to develop positional tendencies however playing all positions is encouraged to enhance a players understanding of the game on both sides of the ball.

Tiering begins at this level with players being grouped with other players of similar skill levels and capabilities. Although scores are not kept at this level still games become more competitive and physical and metal development is rapid.

Divisional – U13 to U18

The divisional level is where players are exposed to the full soccer experience. Scores are kept for games and success is measured through both development and team success. Players must participate in evaluations and tiering will occur with players placed on either a gold, silver or bronze level team.

Teams consist of full squads of 11 a side and will compete in regular league games and league cup games. Individual player development is paramount at this stage with the goal to develop players to the next level being either the metro soccer level or Fusion.