Training to train
This LTAD stage continues on from those introduced in the Conditioning Children online learning module and it covers the age ranges of 12-16 years old for males and 11-15 years old for females.
In this stage, the main objectives are to consolidate sports-specific skills and to build the physical capacities for sporting performance. Within this phase strength and aerobic endurance have a theoretical window of opportunity for accelerated development (Balyi and Hamilton, 2004). Flexibility training in this phase is also important due to the high rate of growth and changes to body structures.
A 60 percent training to 40 percent competition ratio is recommended by experts during this phase and competition can include actual competition and competition-specific training (Balyi and Hamilton, 2004). This is important to highlight as the focus during this stage should still be on training and developing the athlete technical, tactically, and physically.
Too much focus on competition reduces training time but there is also an argument to be made that competition prepares the players for the demands of the game more so than training. As mentioned previously this pathway is a guide and the coach should use the guide combined with their own coaching experiences to get the best results from their players. It has been suggested that the learn to train and training to train phases of this model are the most important and could be where the coaches make or break the player (Balyi and Hamilton, 2004).