This blog is excerpted from BC Soccer’s Small-sided Manual. The Canadian Soccer Association’s pathway for young players focusses on unique concerns at every level of development. This pathway is designed to ultimately contribute to Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) and a lifelong love of the game. From ages 9-12, League players are “learning to train.” Read more about the philosophy of the training levels in Canadian youth soccer.
“As coaches, teachers, administrators and parents, we need to look at the big picture for Canadian soccer. We want to develop “star” players who can play on the big stage, but we also want to encourage recreational players who can benefit from the health aspects of soccer and give back to the game for years to come as coaches, officials, and administrators. Long‐Term Player Development (LTPD) is the Canadian Soccer Association’s pathway to success on both fronts. LTPD is a player‐centred approach that provides guidelines for correct training, competition, and recovery based on scientific principles of human development and athlete training, combined with the knowledge of expert coaches. Player‐centred means we respect the developmental needs of our players first and foremost. We ensure that our young players have fun while they learn so they want to continue playing. It also means we provide challenging opportunities for special talents so they can develop their abilities and pursue excellence. All of these needs are addressed in the seven stages of LTPD. LTPD is designed to promote lifelong wellness for all soccer participants and optimal performances for elite players, particular in growth and development years when performances can become instable and lead to drop out. LTPD encourages players to enjoy the game and improve their performances through: logical and integrated training and practice program; application of scientific principals in growth, development and maturation, and provision of an optimal structure for competition at all stages of LTPD.”