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What is LTPD?

Long Term Player Development (LTPD)

The Huntsville Soccer Club is proud to offer programs for players of all levels and abilities. 


Player development and retention are primary goals for HSC.  To facilitate these goals, our Club continues to work towards aligning with Long Term Player Development (LTPD) to better service our membership at the youngest levels.  LTPD is about putting players first and offering age-appropriate opportunities for kids to enjoy the game of soccer.  Making the game fun is key in teaching and coaching, so that players will continue in the game and even coach or referee when they get older.

Long Term Player Development (LTPD) is mandated by the Canadian Soccer Association out of a directive from Canadian Sport for Life.  Although new to Ontario (and Canada), LTPD is not a new concept to the best soccer nations.  Spain, England, Germany, USA, South Africa and most professional clubs around the world have already successfully implemented a similar philosophy of player development.  The Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) and Ontario Soccer Association (OSA) have spent years studying children, speaking with the best soccer players while developing and implementing LTPD. 

In Ontario, we are working toward an approach where players U12 and younger will practice and train much more than they play in “games”, with field sizes and training methods geared to specific development stages.  HSC has been gradually adopting LTPD philosophies, and will continue to implement changes in accordance with LTPD to help all of our players reach higher levels of development, confidence and success!!

Kids are not little Adults.  This is the Child’s Game – it’s not the Adult’s game!! 

Children need a modified game that fits their age and stage of learning and too often it’s the children that are modified to meet the requirements of a game.  All available research and observations show that children have more fun and learn more playing a game with smaller teams and modified rules.  Children can actually play rather than struggle to understand a game created for adults.  We want children to be confident in their skills and set them up for success! 

What does this mean??  LTPD means:

  • Less focus on winning in a game situation- More focus on skill development and having fun! 
  • Playing small-sided soccer games (3v3, 5v5, 7v7, 9v9 and eventually 11v11) - allowing the game to grow as the player grows
  • Modified rules - teaching skills in an age-appropriate progression
  • Proper sized fields, goals and balls for children
  • Allowing players to touch the soccer ball more often and become more skillful with it
  • More opportunity to play on both sides of the ball - attacking and defending situations
  • More opportunities to make more, less-complicated decisions during the game
  • More individual teaching time with the coach! Fewer players on the field and fewer players on the team will guarantee this!
  • Consistent learning with more knowledgeable coaches leading safe, effective practices
  • Reducing gaps in player development, with more players realizing their athletic potential