Physical literacy is the cornerstone of both participation and excellence in physical activity and sport. Individuals who are physically literate are more likely to be active for life.
Physically literate individuals:
Find the right sport:
A child’s desire to play a particular sport should always be the most important consideration when deciding to enroll him or her in a program. However children should be guided to try a variety of sports throughout the year and avoid focusing solely on one sport for more than one or two seasons (fall, winter, spring, summer) until the fundamental movement skills have been acquired.
Local, provincial and national sport organizations are being encouraged to offer modified programs (shorter seasons, partnerships with other sports or multisport programs) to facilitate optimal skill development in the active start and fundamentals age groups.
Physical Health Education Canada and Active For Life are excellent physical literacy resources for parents, coaches and educators.
EARLY VS. LATE SPECIALIZATION
(Summarized from Canadian Sport For Life)
Specializing before the age of 12 in most sports contributes to:
Exceptions may include the few early specialization sports such as gymnastics.
Disability sports are also late specialization and it is critically important that children with a congenital disability or early acquired disability be exposed to the full range of fundamentals before specializing in the sport of their choice.
Early involvement in the FUNdamentals stage is essential in late specialization sports. Many sports resort to remedial programs to try to correct shortcomings.
By following the LTAD guidelines and encouraging our local sport boards, municipalities, coaches and other key leaders to program accordingly (i.e. shorter seasons, encourage multiple sport participation, creativity and collaboration between sports to minimize scheduling conflicts etc.) we can help create a collaborative sport system in which all sports work together to foster global physical development and physical literacy for our youth.
CREATING ACTIVE, RESILIENT KIDS
ACTIVE FOR LIFE
If children have been correctly introduced to activity and sport through Active Start, FUNdamentals and Learning to Train programs, they are more likely to have the necessary motor skills and confidence (physical literacy) to remain Active for Life in virtually any sport they like. With a greater number of youth participating in sport, not only will we have a more active, healthy community but also a greater pool of athletes with potential to move into the higher performance "Train to Win" levels.
What are the benefits of sports participation for youth?
Trends in Physical Activity Among Children