General LTAD Philosophy

Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) describes how to systematically develop sporting excellence and increase active participation in local, regional, and national sport organizations. Lacrosse, along with other Canadian sports, has a long-term athlete development model best
described as an athlete-centered approach that combines skill instruction with long-term planning and an understanding of human growth and development principles. The overall goal is to enhance participation and improve performance and growth of athletes.

Key factors that guide and shape LTAD models are: training in basic physical literacy; the differences between early- and late-specialization in sports; variations in trainability by age; the time needed to develop excellence in sport and the use of periodization in training. There are seven stages in the lacrosse LTAD model, Lacrosse for Life, from development of fundamental movement skills to training for elite competition and the transition to lifelong physical activity. A brief description of these stages is available in our Lacrosse for Life- Stages document. The Active Start/3-on-3 Mini Game stage is the program outlined here targeted to young children at the local, recreational/introductory level of the sport.

The primary mission of the Active Start/3-on-3 Mini Game stage is:

  • Recruitment (of new participants to lacrosse)
  • Retention (of existing participants in lacrosse)
  • Physical Literacy and Lacrosse Skill Development (of all participants)

Philosophy of Active Start/3-on-3 Mini Game

The Active Start/3-on-3 Mini Game is designed as an introductory version of the game scaled for children. The smaller floor size dimensions reduce the playing space, to increase the game pace, in an effort to maximize participation and development opportunities for all players.