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LTPD Pathway
Functional Screening
Anatomical Adaptation
Game Demands
Conditioning for Rugby
Periodisation in Rugby

Long Term Player Development Pathway and key principles

Windows of opportunity

Figure 5 illustrates possible ‘windows’ present during Stages 1 through to 4 of the Long Term Player Development Pathway. A key ‘window’ is the skills ‘window’ and it is considered to occur at approximately 8 to 11 years of age for girls and 9 to 12 years of age for boys.

Also, a speed ‘window’ is proposed during the growth spurt for both boys and girls and a strength ‘window’ is identified just after the growth spurt for girls and some 18 months later for boys (Balyi and Way, 2005). Thus it is important for us as coaches to understand the Long Term Player Development Pathway if we are to successfully exploit the proposed opportunities for skill and fitness capacity development in the young player.

Figure 5: Optimal windows of opportunity and trainability for both females and males during the Long Term Player Development Pathway (ex Balyi and Way, 2005, PacificSport)