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At the early stages of development, training and development take precedence over competitions and short- term success. During the later stages players need to experience a variety of competitive situations and perform well at high-level games, events or tournaments, nationally and internationally. Domestic and international competition and event calendars must be coordinated, and competitions selected according to the priorities of the specific stage of development of the team and players.


Calendar planning in Ultimate is currently highly impacted by geographic location, tournament schedules, field availability and climate. Each factor needs to be examined to find appropriate ways to ensure that an athlete’s needs in regards to competition, training, and rest are consistently being met during each stage. Ultimate Canada has provided competition specific recommendations in the LTAD stages to address tournament schedules, field size, game lengths, and level of competition.


Training to competition ratio


Sports experts have recommended training to competition ratio (e.g. 40:60) for each LTAD stage. These ratios aim to ensure that athletes are properly prepared from competition in both the short- and long-term. Training includes the development of technical and tactical skills and fitness improvement while competition includes tournaments and competition-specific training (e.g. scrimmages).


System Harmony


The best results can be achieved if all sectors involved in developing athlete(s) work together recognizing that enjoying a lifetime of physical activity and achieving athletic excellence are both built on a foundation of physical literacy and fitness. This means the schools, recreation, sport and health sectors need to understand and reinforce the LTAD model and its concepts through well-developed sport programs. These need to provide appropriate LTAD information to their coaches, parents, administrators and other decision-makers.


In order to achieve strong system alignment and integration we need assistance from all involved partners. Everyone must understand their role and responsibility in this development and keep consistent communication with the partners involved. The development of Ultimate’s National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) (see fig. 5) is a step forward in ensuring the partners involved are delivering LTAD-aligned programs to all Ultimate athletes. Coaches are the frontline people who have direct contact with athletes, parents, administrators and other key decisions makers. Therefore, we need to make sure they are fully informed of the Ultimate Long- term Athlete Development Plan and what that means in their programs.


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ULTIMATE CANADA LTAD


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