Long Term Athletic Development – Bucket Analogy

The concept of LTAD is what our Athlete Development Program is setup to achieve. To best explain LTAD we love the bucket analogy that is presented by Zac Turner of Sydney West Sports Medicine.

Our athlete development program is built entirely around the concept of long term athletic development, giving athletes the skills and attributes to continue to develop long into their sporting careers.

As an athlete you have 2 buckets, one that represents sport and the other represents strength and conditioning (S&C) and physical preparation. For youth, S&C involves a holistic approach to training where we aim for LTAD.

With the majority of youth athletes, the bucket representing sport is overflowing. This is due to the schedule of games, training sessions and tournaments that sports require. Typically for youth athletes this is spread across multiple sports and teams over the week which can quickly add up to 15-20+ hours throughout the week spent on playing sports.

Once this sport bucket begins to overflow we begin to push our body to its breaking point, when this is happening consistently, injuries occur. So understandably when we say you need to add in strength and conditioning to the frantic schedule of youth athletes, parents and coaches push back as their kids are already doing a lot as it is.

What a lot of parents and coaches don’t recognise in that moment is that by investing a little more time into our S&C bucket we’re not actually adding any more into our sport bucket. Through putting some time and energy into our S&C bucket we can start to increase the size and capacity of our sport bucket.

This is where our programs at Control High Performance come in. Our Athlete Development Program includes programs tailored towards the individual. All sessions are completed with the supervision of a sport science/high performance sport qualified coach where we can assist with load management to ensure our athletes stay injury free while also increasing the capacity of their sport bucket.