Athletic Development Stages

Ernesto "Ernie" Alvarez, HP Coach & Conference Director

Welcome! This model (below) of theNSSA Puerto Rico Athletic Development Stages for the sport of Surfing is based on the Long-Term Athlete Development: a multi-stage training, competition and recovery pathway that guides an individual’s experience in the sport of surfing from infancy through all phases of adulthood.

Long-Term Athlete Development is a framework for developmentally appropriate training programs that increase participation and optimize performance. Long-Term Athlete Development uses a holistic approach that considers mental, cognitive and emotional development combined with physical development, ensuring each athlete develops as a complete person. The six stages of Long-Term Athlete Development are: Fundamentals, Learn to Train, Train to Train, Train to Compete, Train to Win and Retention to still enjoy and support the sport for life. The first three stages combined form the physical literacy base upon which the podium pathway (Train to Train, Train to Compete and Train to Win) and lifelong engagement in physical activity are built. As a pre-reguisite before these six stages the child must have an Active Early Start to Develop general movement skills, keeping active without been sedentary for more than 60 minutes except when sleeping with the help of some organized physical activity where they can begin the exploration of risk and limits in safe environments combined with well- structured gymnastics and swimming programs, always doing daily physical activity with an emphasis on FUN in order to achieve Physical Literacy which is defined as the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life. It is important to note that while developing physical literacy in the first stages is important, physical literacy can and should be developed over all the stages. Athletes with a disability have two additional stages of Long-Term Athlete Development: Awareness and First Involvement. They are particularly important for individuals with an acquired disability who may not have been aware of sport and physical activity for persons with a specific disability.


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