What is LTAD for cricket (and can it make you a better player)? | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

What is LTAD for cricket (and can it make you a better player)?

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On Saturday night in the bar after the game (washed out after the first innings of course) the conversation turned to coaching methods.

As you can imagine, it's a topic that pricked up my ears on your behalf. There are some very experienced players at my club so I was at the ready to pick up some ideas to pass on.

We talked about how in modern times the emphasis coaches have has moved towards less cricket specific skills and more towards developing players as athletes first and cricketers second. This is one of the key concepts behind the LTAD (Long Term Athlete Development Program).

The LTAD is a general guideline framework that explains where young players should be at each stage of their cricket development from the age of 6 until they retire.

So, while the emphasis is on developing younger players, anyone can use the LTAD to grade their own progress and improve their game.

At least, that's the idea.

Can we take that on face value and use it to improve our cricket as well as the skills of our colts and youth players?

The LTAD seems to make sense. It incorporates proven sport science methods into cricket that have not been seen before:

  • Developing a base of fitness
  • Having the underlying movement skills that cricket is built on
  • Long term planning of training, playing and recovery

Cricket as a traditional sport has always taught cricket skills first, second and last. The LTAD aims to move players of all ages away from this single-minded approach and make them better cricketers in the process.

From that angle I would say that it is a great framework from which to work.

But as was pointed out to me by one of our youth coaches in the bar (and also here), there are limitations to how much you can use the LTAD either as a coach of younger players or an older player wanting to move their game forward.

  1. The LTAD, while based on good research, has never been proven as a framework itself. While it looks neat on paper, I feel you would still need very good coaches to give it a chance of working by adapting it to individuals.
  2. This is where LTAD may fail in the short term at least. Many coaches don't follow it as they have grown up on skills based training alone. It is still seen as quite progressive to do fitness work, let alone long term, integrated planning.
  3. Lastly, recreational cricket is seen as a means to an end: developing elite players. Not everyone can get to that level though and the LTAD risks alienating the vast majority of players who play for fun at weekends. There is still a place for development of players who will never play at the top level. Heck, that's what harrowdrive is all about
  4. .

Overall I feel the LTAD is a good thing. It has limitations but it's a step towards using sport science theory in a practical way and helping cricketers score more runs and wickets. Not everyone in the bar agreed of course. Do you?

I'm interested in your thoughts. Have you any experience with LTAD as a coach or player? Leave a comment.

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I like the re-jiggle. Although the big face is a little scary. Is that yours?

Maybe find something prettier? Like a Shane Warne, or something.

Well Shane Warne was thrown out of the aussie academy..so much for LTAD!

Cricket australia has a "well played" booklet which is full of codes of behaviour and player pathways.It is firmly based on LTAD and the principle of "athlete first,winning second".I see this as not necessarily a derivative of sports science taking over coach education.

As a grass roots player and coach I see certain incongruities in this approach...

players love to win.

elite players in australia adopt planned,foul mouthed,verbal attacks on opposition players as a matter of course.I see an hypocrisy in this.

if a grass roots club develops a "good" player they are gobbled up into high performance progams at a young age.I believe far too many young players are taken into this system with false expectations.

Shane who?

I agree about the fair play thing, it is hypocritical for sure but that's not what the LTAD is about in my mind.

The way I see it, to win, you must put the athlete first. Imagine a group of physically fit, mentally tough, skill honed individuals playing as a team, all aiming for maximisation of their *own* potential and not that of the one star player!

After all, every player has potential and it is different to that from their colleagues', you may not see it this season or the next but if they are kept focused by their coach and all around, watch them bloom!

I can see both of your viewpoints. As Liz says, I don't think putting the athlete first means compromising on winning games.

You might lose less games at younger ages compared to teams who focus on skills first, but by the time a player reaches 14 or older the more athletic teams are going to have caught up.

By the time you get to senior club level the better athletes will always win.

i like the LTAD.because by this method one can improve their fitness& play better cricket.
lalchand yadav

[...] the ECB is big on LTAD and producing the athlete as well as the player by using the ABC’s (Agility, Balance, [...]

[...] habits can be built from a very young age. The main focus is on the key LTAD stages from ages 10-18. That said, you can start teaching movement skills to the under 8’s. At that age [...]

[...] much you practice depends on your age, time available and goals. The LTAD plan recommends if you are developing skills you should train your skills more than you play [...]

Hi i am involved in club cricket coaching at school, club junior and senior level, a great game to be involved with.

I am a great fan who supports the fundamentals of LTAD as this is a accurate tool to use in all sporting codes to monitor and track the learning area and career pathway of an athlete.

Viva LTAD Viva

It is a helpful tool in the coaches toolbox for sure.

good ,without LTAD no body can improve,thank 4 article

good ,without LTAD no body can improve,thank 4 article