LTAD STAGES

LTPD identifies seven basic stages in the optimal development of a player essentially from childhood to adulthood based on the physical, mental, emotional and social maturation of the individual. Training and competition guidelines for each stage stipulate appropriate formats for game play, preferred training methods, optimal ratios of training to competition hours, and targets for development of technical, tactical, physical, psychological and ancillary capacities in the player. Through a thoughtful and systematic approach, LTPD optimizes player development at each stage of maturation and avoids the hazards associated with arbitrarily imposing adult training regimens and competition formats on children.

For a more in-depth description of each stage, click the tabs on the right.

Active Start

We know how important physical activity is to a healthy lifestyle, and why it is so vital to make sure children are active from a young age. Active start is about developing a child’s fundamental movement skills in the environments they are already a part of – at daycare or school, on the playground, at home or in the backyard. In this section, parents can find easy ways to get their toddler and primary aged child active from the start, and introduce them not only to physical activity and sport, but also specifically to squash.

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FUNdamentals

FUNdamentals is about utilizing a fun and laid back environment to begin to develop the fundamental movement and sports skills that play such a critical role in squash. Children should be encouraged to compete against themselves as well as in fun and entertaining game formats with fellow children. It is important to emphasize the ABCs (Agility, Balance, and Coordination) but to do so in a relaxed environment. Children should be encouraged to participate in other sports and physical activities to continue to improve their fundamental movement and sports skills across several mediums.

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Learning to Train

The importance of a proper training routine cannot be understated. Learning to Train focuses on teaching young squash players the significance of training by focusing on building their technical and tactical skills. Learning to Train involves developing squash-specific skills through a concentration on the technical concepts of power under control, consistent grip, and hitting the ball with varying degrees of height, direction, spin, and distance, and the tactical concepts of the importance of the “T” and playing offense vs. defense. Children can begin to play within a competitive environment but the ratio between training and competing should be 80% training, 20% competing. Children should also be encouraged to play several other sports to help further develop fundamental sport and movement skills.

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Training to Train

Specialization is critical in helping an athlete improve more efficiently and effectively in their desired sport. In the Training to Train stage, players will continue to develop squash-specific skills and begin the process of refining them. Important emphasis will be placed on court movement and perfecting the repertoire of squash shots. On the tactical side, the concept of understanding an opponent’s strategy and how avoid their strengths and capitalize on their weaknesses will be developed. Players will be taught the importance of planning and setting goals. Competition play will increase in the Training to Train stage but players should still spend more time training then competing. Specialization begins to play a key role at this stage of the process but it is still important for kids to play in at least one other sport so they can continue building fundamental sport skills.

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Training to Compete

There comes a time where everyone in their life faces tough decisions and makes tough choices – and that is no different for the young athlete. Until this point, athletes are training and excelling in different sports, learning about what they can do physically and what stimulates them the most mentally. In order to reach your full potential and compete at the highest levels, you need to fully commit to your sport and specialize your skills. Training should be changed drastically, to more frequent sessions and more squash specific activities. Here you can find information about how to commit yourself to your squash game and become the best squash player you can be.

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Training to Win

You’ve spent countless hours on the court training, played in hundreds of matches and are playing at the provincial or national level. At this point, you know a ton about the game, have developed your skills and have your own set of strengths and weaknesses. You’ve developed YOUR game, and you’re ready to fine tune it. At this point of athletic competition, it often comes down to the finer details of the game, which take increased analysis and individualized training. We will provide you with some information on how to access these resources to help you reach that pinnacle part of your game and find podium finishes.

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Active for Life

Squash is a very unique, and a wonderful sport, in that it appeals to people of ALL ages. Not many sports will see active participants from age 5-95! Active for Life is the stage that appeals to players of all ages, and all skill levels. Whether you are retired professional player who is looking to stay in the game, a parent who wants to try it for themselves, or a young athlete wanting to participate at a more recreational level, there are squash programs and activities for you. Here we will outline different programs, activities and events for the Active for Life player, and highlight some of the best attributes of squash – that is it fun, accessible, a perfect activity to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and most of all that it is for EVERYONE!

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PLAYER DEVELOPMENT PATHWAY

Squash Canada has developed a ‘Player Development Pathway’, which consists of 4 components to the Player Development continuum: Discover, Learn, Play, Perform. Each of these components can be integrated through a variety of programs and activities depending on club/communities specific needs. The following tabs outline each section of the Player Development Pathway

DISCOVER

This is generally speaking a player’s first contact with the game of squash.  Making a good first impression is vital to engaging a potential new player to the game of squash. Some initial exposures to the game of squash could include: School Demonstrations and activities that expose squash to new players such as community fairs, family fun days and community open houses.

Contact a local club or your provincial or territorial squash association to discover squash activities in your area.

LEARN

These are activities/programs such as a series of lessons “private or group” or stroke clinics.  Learning activities often are combined with play opportunities.

Get the edge on your opponents, contact your local club or your Provincial/Territorial Squash Association to find out which clubs offer LTAD based programs and clinics in your area.

PLAY

These are activities/programs that engage the participant to play the game.  Some examples include:  Round Robins, leagues, ladders, a games based approach to learning/training & free play.

Contact your Provincial/Territorial Squash Association to find out more information on the various play opportunities in your area.

PERFORM

Once a player is fully engaged and integrated into the sport – they may wish to perform or compete in more serious forms of competitions these could include:  tournament play, competitive leagues, match play and sanctioned events at the provincial, national or international level.

Get in the game… visit your Provincial / Territorial Squash Association website or simply visit Squash Canada’s National calendar of events section http//squashcanada.tournamentsoftware.com to find out all the Provincially or Nationally sanctioned events in your squash community.