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Canada Soccer Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) survey indicates principles are making a difference

Posted on 26 July 2017 in Canada Soccer Pathway (LTPD)

More than 75% of respondents say they support the principles of LTPD. More

Canada Soccer continues its investment in technical leadership

Posted on 8 December 2016 in Canada Soccer Pathway (LTPD)

Canada Soccer has launched a country-wide survey of grassroots soccer More

Canada Soccer releases first of three Tool Kits for coaches ahead of 2015 soccer season

Posted on 7 October 2014 in Canada Soccer Pathway (LTPD)

The document, available for free download online at, contains the perfect starter set for volunteer coaches and parents looking to offer their players the best possible soccer experience and get the kids to fall in love with the beautiful game. More

Canada Soccer introduces LTPD for Players with Disabilities

Posted on 27 January 2014 in Canada Soccer Pathway (LTPD)

In a constant effort to ensure that players of all ages and abilities reach their full potential in soccer, Canada Soccer is pleased to introduce its Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) for Players with Disabilities resource guide. More

Player development in semi-professional soccer

Posted on 21 November 2010 in Canada Soccer Pathway (LTPD)

The Canadian Soccer Association’s Professional Soccer Committee met in Toronto on 21 November 2010. At this meeting, members of the committee clarified the interpretation of rule 2.16 of the semi-professional standards whereby semi-professional teams need to have on development team, or affiliation, by 2013. It was confirmed that in this context, a development team is confined to players who are in the U-23 or U-19 age category. More

Association launches Wellness to World Cup campaign

Posted on 23 June 2008 in Canada Soccer Pathway (LTPD)

For those that love the game, life is soccer. For those that teach the game, they want soccer for life. Such will be the balance developed through the Canadian Soccer Association's new long-term player development program called Wellness to World Cup. The program will not only help develop skilled players, but also establish lifelong wellness through participating in soccer.

"We want all players to reach their full potential in soccer," says Dominic Maestracci, President, Canadian Soccer Association. "For some, their potential might carry them to a professional career with a marquee team. For many others it might mean a lifetime of recreational enjoyment in a sport that provides them with good health and connects them with their community." More

CSA Board Endorses "Blueprint For Success"

Posted on 20 November 2000 in Canada Soccer Pathway (LTPD)

Ottawa, Ontario - In perhaps the most important decision ever taken in the history of The Canadian Soccer Association, its membership of provincial and territorial soccer associations unanimously endorsed the “Blueprint for Success” and accompanying 5-year financial plan at a Special General Meeting held in Toronto on Saturday, November 18. More

CSA Launches Initiative

Posted on 24 April 2000 in Canada Soccer Pathway (LTPD)

OTTAWA, ONTARIO - The Canadian Soccer Association today announced a major initiative designed specifically to further improve overall player development in years to come. More

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Since the adoption of the Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) model in 2008 when Canada Soccer launched Wellness to World Cup, LTPD principles have become commonplace in a majority of environments where young Canadians are playing the game. According to a recent survey of stakeholders responsible for grassroots development, including players, parents, coaches, referees and soccer administrators, more than 75% of people say they support the principles of LTPD.

“The survey confirms that there is an understanding in the community that Long-Term Player Development principles are vital to ensuring that our next generation of grassroots players have the best opportunity to development in nurturing, standards-based, age and stage appropriate training environments,” said Canada Soccer Director of Development Jason de Vos. “It is crucial that we continue to work to educate the whole soccer community across the country about the reasons behind, and benefits of LTPD.”

Within in the first four stages of the LTPD model, age and stage appropriate training methods ensure that skills development is placed above all else up to Level 4 – Train to Train. Agreement with these principles is extremely high with more than 90% of respondents understanding that smaller team sizes for younger athletes and team selection based on a range of factors, not solely age, but mental and physical maturity, as well are vital. Nearly all respondents agree that developing player skills ahead of playing or winning games at young ages and that getting young players as many touches on the ball as possible in training environments (96% and 98% respectively) is important.

“When working with players under the age of 12, clubs and coaches must focus on core competencies and the developmental needs of children and not on player selection based on perceived skill for competition models that encourage and reward player recruitment over player development,” said de Vos. “Ensuring that each child has the opportunity to develop at their own pace in a fun and nurturing environment has to become and remain a priority in player development environments across the country.”

The survey also showed that while there is a high level of awareness among stakeholder groups directly responsible for the delivery of soccer in Canada, there remains an opportunity to communicate the purpose and potential that a fully realized vision of Long-Term Player Development can provide young players and Canadian soccer. Coaches and administrators across the country report the deepest levels of understanding of the principles and purpose of LTPD. However, players, parents and match officials all have a role in ensuring that Canada’s development environments place the needs of the child first.

“It is critically important that all involved in the game understand and promote the principles of LTPD to ensure that the next generation of players in Canada have the best possible chance to meet their playing potential,” de Vos said. “For some that may mean that soccer is a community-based recreational activity, while for others, age and stage appropriate training will mean an opportunity to represent Canada on an international stage.”

Canada Soccer has launched a country-wide survey of grassroots soccer in the country to assess the degree of implementation of Long Term Player Development (LTPD) in the game. The outreach campaign aims to understand in more detail the degree to which LTPD's implementation has been effective, and where work remains to be done.

"We are currently scrutinizing everything we have been doing over the past ten years to develop the game of soccer in Canada," says recently-appointed Director of Development Jason deVos. "This means asking questions about coaching qualifications and competition structures, but also how the game is fundamentally being taught at the grassroots level and how players can progress based on their ability and ambition in the game".

LTPD has been the basis for the development of Canadian soccer in recent times. Developed nearly ten years ago, the player development framework maps out the development of players of all abilities, from a toddler's first kick to Canada's national team players. Since its release, Canada Soccer's provincial/territorial affiliates have been tasked with implementing it. This has involved significant work, fundamentally changing the way Canadians see soccer and play it, particularly at youth level.

"This survey is a really important piece of work for us," deVos continues. "To make important long term decisions about what we invest in, we must have a greater understanding of where we are now with regard to LTPD. We must listen carefully to what the grassroots of the game is telling us."

All involved in the game in Canada are encouraged to participate in this vital survey on the progress and potential of the long term model for player development. Surveys relating to specific functions in the game including club presidents, technical and coaching development staff and players, parents, referees, administrators and all involved in the game in the country are available.

"It is essential that we have evidence-based support for our future direction and that can only be achieved through active participation from the thousands of people delivering the game on a daily basis who are Canadian soccer," deVos says.

If you are the President of a soccer club, association or academy, take this survey: Club Presidents LTPD Survey

If you are the Technical Director or Head Coach of a soccer club, association or academy, take this survey: Club Technical Directors LTPD Survey

If you are a soccer player (at any level), coach, referee, parent (of a youth player) or soccer administrator (including Board members, conveyors, administrative staff, etc), take this survey: National Grassroots LTPD Survey

Canada Soccer released today, ahead of the 2015 soccer season, the first of three player development resources, the Canada Soccer Pathway Coach’s Tool Kit: Stage One – Active Start (for U-4 to U-6 players). The document, available for free download online at, contains the perfect starter set for volunteer coaches and parents looking to offer their players the best possible soccer experience and get the kids to fall in love with the beautiful game.

The Canada Soccer Pathway Coach’s Tool Kit: Stage One – Active Start contains guiding fundamentals of the role of the coach and some coaching tips. Most importantly, the Coach’s Tool Kit explains the Canada Soccer Pathway Preferred Training Model that allows training sessions to be tailored to a team’s individual needs and available facilities while focusing on developing well-rounded players with a strong foundation in physical literacy, solid soccer skills and, hopefully, an enduring love of the game. Finally, the Coach’s Tool Kit offers a series of drills and games that coaches can use to build their perfect session, following the preferred training model of station work.

“Building on the expert work that had been done in developing LTPD Volume 1 and 2, we are pleased to introduce the Canada Soccer Pathway Coach’s Tool Kit: Stage One – Active Start,” said Tony Fonseca, Canada Soccer Technical Director. “We are confident this is the type of resource – player-centric, focused on small-sided games designed to improve technical ability, maximize enjoyment and encourage lifelong participation, regardless of age, gender or ability – the Canadian soccer community needs at this time to ensure that grassroots youth programming based on the principles of LTPD is fully embraced and universally adopted from coast to coast.”

DOWNLOAD the Canada Soccer Pathway Coach's Tool Kit: Stage One - Active Start

Canada Soccer Pathway Coach's Tool Kit: Stge One - Active Start

The 64-page handbook is the first of three that will be released this October, in both English and French; Canada Soccer Pathway Coach’s Tool Kits will also be launched for Stage Two – FUNdamentals and Stage Three – Learning to Train. The French version of this first Tool Kit is expected next week.

Additional skills, exercises and drills will be added regularly to the website and a community sourced library is also in the works, where parents, coaches, clubs and technical directors from across the country will be able to submit their favourite training sessions and activities and see them featured on the website.

Canada Soccer is also working on additional Canada Soccer Pathway resources to complement these Coach’s Tool Kits and the Long-Term Player Development Community Guide released earlier this summer, including videos and interactive diagrams.

The Canada Soccer Pathway provides a roadmap for players of all ages and aspirations who want to play soccer at the recreational, competitive or high performance EXCEL levels, with the aim of encouraging lifelong participation. The Pathway is built around the principles of Long-Term Player Development, a model of athlete development that is designed to give players an optimal soccer experience at every stage by putting their needs front and centre. For more information and resources on the Canada Soccer Pathway, visit

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