DEVELOPING SPORTY KIDS, LONG TERM ATHLETIC DEVELOPMENT; St Mary’s School, Waverley, Johannesburg; 4-5 November 2016
Course time : 13:00-19:00 day 1 & 8:30-16:30 day 2
There are seven stages within the basic LTAD model.
This course focus on the 6 to +- 12 year old age group and takes a comprehensive look at FUNdamentals and Learn to Play in the development of physical literacy.
Physical literacy is a well recognised international model for physical development around the world and has been embraced by sporting codes, Olympics bodies and health insurance companies around the world.
The end game is twofold
1. Develop children’s full sporting potential
2. Create the necessary foundation for active participation by adults
The course covers the following topics:
1. An introduction to Physical Literacy
2. The philosophical underpinning of Physical Literacy
3. Unpacking the talent code
4. Stages of development
b. Learn to play
5. 4 key considerations
a. Developmental age – understanding the importance of early and late maturation in skill development
b. Windows of opportunity – what physical activities and skills are appropriate at the stages of development
c. Transfer of learning – are skills transferable from sport to sport?
d. Specialisation – when should children specialise
6. Screening and measurement
b. Functional movement
c. Sports skills
7. Integrating LTAD into children’s lives
8. Long term benefits for a healthy adult population.
9. The future of LTAD
FROM THE SPORTS DESK…ST JOHNS SCHOOL Johannesburg
I was fortunate to be invited by St Mary’s School to attend a 2 day course on Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD). It was presented by Dave Bensted-Smith who trained as a Phys Ed teacher at Stellenbosch University. After teaching for several years, he studied B.Sc. (Medical) (Honours) at UCT under Tim Noakes
The philosophy of LTAD is that ‘children need to develop fundamental movement skills, establish functional movement patterns, develop sport specific skills and create a love for physical activity that leads them to a sport for life programme and/or an elite sports career’. In short, we need to create a programme within our schools which will make every child physically literate. Just as we have created programmes for language and maths literacy, our physical programme needs to follow a series of steps which will guide every child through various stages which will make him the best that he can be, physically. Leave out any of the stages or components and we have a child who, no matter how hard he trains in a particular sport, will never reach his optimum performance level. In the past, children learnt these skills naturally through play. They had the freedom to explore different movements while they climbed trees, clambered over fences, balanced on walls, rock-hopped across streams, chased each other, threw mud at the neighbour’s children, rode their bicycles to the local shop or played cricket or soccer in the street. These days, for several reasons, our children don’t have the opportunities to play and to practise the skills to develop into physically literate adults or to improve their stamina and fitness without it being a chore. Added to this, the attraction of television and computers has lured children out of the garden into the living room where these pastimes result in a much more sedentary lifestyle. It is, therefore, the job of the school, and, more specifically, the PE staff to fill in the gap and to teach this literacy artificially so that every child is able to reach his genetic potential.
LTAD has defined a system whereby children progress through a series of stages of development. These stages are determined by the child’s biological development and maturation. They have established that there are certain ‘Windows of Training’ where maximum learning in certain areas of physical development happens and that, if we miss these opportunities and the child is not fully physically literate by puberty, the chances are small that he or she will reach his or her genetic physical potential. However, the programme doesn’t stop at puberty but continues on into adult life where individuals are taught to excel in their chosen sports.
The stage that interested me most was what Dave called the FUNdamentals Stage for 6 to 9 year olds. He said that at this age, children should be learning the basic stability skills involving agility, balance and co-ordination. These are the building blocks to physical success. To those skills we could add running, jumping and throwing, gliding and buoyancy and catching, passing, kicking and striking. He insisted that formal competition and formal coaching should be limited and that the emphasis should be on having fun. Given the opportunity to experiment, children will find out for themselves which technique is most effective. He encourages children to participate in a range of activities that will cover every aspect of movement and says that very little time should be spent on physical fitness as this should happen naturally as the child plays.
Dave emphasised the importance of regular physical screening. This will ensure that physical problems are detected early and treated quickly. At the Pre Prep, we are fortunate to have a physiotherapist who is available to any boy who is found to need extra help, physically. I often call on Karen to watch the boys during our morning lessons, especially if I think a boy may have difficulty with a certain activity.
I am convinced that our boys at the Pre Prep are given the opportunity to experience a wide range of physical activities and that we are giving them a good start to their long term sporting careers. By taking your son out into the garden, making physical activities more fun than watching television or playing computer games and encouraging him to climb a tree, to kick a ball, to jump on a trampoline or to ride his bicycle, you will be assisting him to become physically literate and reach his sporting potential.
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View the course times:
- 13:00-19:00 Day 1
- 8:30-16:30 Day 2
Bookings are closed for this event.
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