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New Research for Athletic Training

Research by scientists studying sports has shown that there are periods in young people that with proper training can be maximized. These studies have also show that it can take between eight and 12 years to get to the status of an elite athlete. This has led to a program called Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD). This model helps coaches, trainers, parents and athletes to pinpoint appropriate training for the states of the athlete’s development.

Interesting, this model shows that age is not a basis on which to bases development models. This is due to the fact that between the ages of 10 and 16, there is a huge variety of development —cognitive, emotion and physical. Instead, the LTAD model use PHV or Peak Height Velocity. This state is based of things such as environment and genetics and is used as a point of reference of athletic training.

Peak Height Velocity is where a child has reached maximum rate of growth. Boys on average reach this at age 14, while girls do so at 12. Peak weight velocity follows shortly thereafter. Using this measurement, individualized training programs that closely match the athlete can be developed.

Another interesting aspect of LTAD model is that sports are classified as late or early specializations. For instance gymnastics is considered to be an early specialization sport, while team sports are considered to be late specializations.

Early specialization sports include progression-training factors as training to train, training to compete, training to win and finally, retirement and retainment. The late specialization model include and addition two steps: FUNdamental and learning to train. The objectives are overall development and fundamentals.

The stages of the LTAD model are designed give potential athletes a ground-breaking foundation of training regimes that will take them through their various stages of development — from early training to retirement.

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