Hoops! MWEMBE KAONA
THE long term athlete development (LTAD) project being undertaken by the Zambia Basketball Association through its technical wing is a universal strategy that will work wonders if all stakeholders get on board and sail along with the concept that seeks to set a standard.
Ideally, everyone that considers himself a coach should take keen interesting the LTAD project as it places great responsibility on the trainer not only in terms of talent identification but also on the attributes that develop one in to a complete basketball player.
What does LTAD stand to achieve and how much value does it add to the local game?
Firstly, it is essential to understand that long term athlete development describes those things that athletes need to be doing at specific ages.
There are seven stages within the basic LTAD model:
â€¢ Stage 1 is for the active start (0 â€“ 6 years)
â€¢ Stage 2: Fundaments (girls 6-8, boys 6 â€“ 9)
â€¢ Stage 3: Learn to train (girls 8 -11, boys 12 â€“ 16)
â€¢ Stage 4: Train to train (girls 11- 15, boys 12 â€“ 16)
â€¢ Stage 5: Train to compete (girls 15 â€“ 21, boys 16 -23)
â€¢ Stage 6: Train to win (girls 18+, boys 19+)
â€¢ Stage 7: Active for life (any age participant)
Stages 1, 2 and 3 develop physical literacy before puberty so children have the basic skills to be active for life. Physical literacy also provides the foundation for those who choose to pursue elite training in one sport or activity after age 12.
Stages 4, 5 and 6 provide elite training for those who want to specialise in one sport and compete at the highest level, maximising the physical, mental and emotional development of each athlete.
Stage 7 is about staying active for life through lifelong participation in competitive or recreational sport or physical activity.
The Zambian model identified the relevant competencies that athletes needed to have addressed in order to facilitate Long Term Athlete Development and these are the stages that guide a coach, player or parent on the sports development progress of a child athlete.
Incidentally, the application does not only work for basketball but other sports disciplines as well.
A document was prepared by Connell Kandala who facilitated a Norwegian Confederation of Sport (NIF) funded workshop held in 2014 where 20 coaches were in attendance and last weekend, Mwape Konsolo took the matter further.
Konsoloâ€™s input is part of the studies in the 8th edition of the International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program (ICECP) taking place at the University of Delaware at the U.S. Olympic Committee Training Centre through a ZBA /National Olympic Committee of Zambia sourced scholarship.
The value the LTAD adds to basketball development will be in providing a defined approach and some areas the Zambian models has picked on are athlete skill competences which include physical, technical, social, and personal.
(To be continued next week.)
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Hoops! MWEMBE KAONA