What is LTPD?
Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) is a systemic approach designed by Golf Canada in partnership with the PGA of Canada to maximize a participant’s potential and involvement in our sport.
The LTPD framework aims to define optimal training, competition and recovery throughout an athlete’s career to enable him / her to reach his / her full potential in golf and as an athlete. Tailoring a child’s sports development program to suit basic principles of growth and maturation, especially during the ‘critical’ early years of their development, enables him / her to:
- Reach full potential
- Increase lifelong participation in golf and other physical activities
The LTPD model is split into stages in which a player will move from simple to more complex skills and from general to golf related skills. For example, a beginner may start by learning basic swinging actions and then once this has been mastered he/she will progress onto more advanced skills.
This framework will set out recommended training sequences and skills developments for the participant from the Active Start stage (6 and under) to the Golf for Life stage (adult recreational). It will address the physical, mental, emotional and technical needs of the athlete as they pass through each stage of development.
Where has it come from?
A combination of research from a collection of leading coaches (both domestic and international) and sport science experts around the world were utilized to write the LTPD models (Golf Canada released version 2.0 in 2015). The framework is sport-science supported and based on the best data and research available. Our work is also based on the work of Canadian sport scientists such as Dr.Stephen Norris and Dr. Istvan Balyi, who focus on key, common principles of individual development, which many sports organizations consider best practice in long-term planning for athletes.
What will this mean for your child?
During your child’s first few years of golf, the emphasis will be on physical literacy. Time should be spent learning the ABC’s of athleticism (Agility, Balance, Coordination and Speed) to teach them how to control his/her own bodies. For this reason, your child may take part in exercises that do not look relevant to golf but are supporting their development. Games and other sports will teach your child to throw the ball (basic hitting actions), catch it (hand-eye coordination), and run properly. At each stage the child will be trained in the optimal systems and programs to maximize his/her potential as a golfer and as a long-term participant in sport.
What has this got to do with golf?
Golf Canada is looking to provide children with all skills needed to take part in physical activity throughout their lives.
It is thought that taking part in golf-specific training too early can lead to an early dropout rate, create muscle imbalances and also neglect teaching the fundamental skills needed for most sports. In fact, research shows that early specialization in most late maturing sports results in these outcomes.
Research has also shown that it is during childhood that people are best at learning physical skills. For this reason we are advising coaches and parents to teach transferable skills first that will allow your child to become proficient in a number of different sports and therefore increase their chances of being physically active throughout their lifetime.
Who else is using LTPD?
The Council of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers responsible for sport have endorsed and established the goal of the implementation of a Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) program throughout the sport community in Canada. Sport Canada has been working with National Sport Organizations to development sport-specific programs according to an overall framework established by an expert group of sport scientists.
To date, over 60 sports in Canada are engaged in the process of designing and putting into place LTAD programs.
Where did golf’s LTPD model come from?
Golf Canada commenced work on the first LTPD model and framework for golf in March 2006 when a project workgroup was appointed. Since that time, we have measured the model against the most current development principles, leading to the release of an updated model in 2015—version 2.0. The new model coincides with the ever-changing environment of sport and how it applies to golf. In developing this model, Golf Canada has reassured that all LTPD principles are evident in Golf Canada programming.
All things related to LTPD including videos, manuals and program materials can be found online at: golfcanada.ca/LTPD. Golf Canada will continually update this website to provide access to the most current materials and programs as they are developed.
The model will also be made available as a mobile app through Apple’s App Store.
We will add a range of LTPD resources designed to help all coaches, teachers, players and parents understand the stages that each player goes through and also the training principles and activities at each stage.