Athletic development has been a major focus of attention and a frequent topic in literature since 1985 to 1994 where various authors published, studied and supported the 10.000 hours of deliberate practice theory to achieve success. Some years later, in 2010, an interesting model was published to guarantee, ensure, guide and maintain quality in athlete development the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD). The 10.000 hours practice model has been questioned and posterior research published variablity in different successful testimonials in music, games, education, professions and sports. It was found for example that deliberate practice only explained the 18% in sports success. Although deliberate practice might take a big cut of the cake, seems to be not the only factor.
What is clear is that there is no short-cut to success in athletic preparation, whatever your quest is.


This framework aimed to stage the learning curve and right balance to succes, from childhood to high performance to an active for life lifestyle. Stage progression is based on specialization, trainability and chronological age as a modulation factor, but from a raw point of view the whole model supports a teaching-learning process. The LTAD stages are:

1. FUNdamentals
2. L2T – Learn to Train
3. T2T – Train to train
4. T2C – Train to compete
5. T2W – Train to win
6. A4L – Active for life

Furhter details and characteristcs about LTAD are beyond the goal of this post. However the model offers a useful example to sequence learning to understand the needs during a sound and prospective athletic career. It is a useful tool to determine individual location in time/development and sets the future pathway and possiblities of an individual. This scenario is conditioned by your experience, chronological and most important, biological age.
Competition and winning does not explicity refer to elite sports championships, World Cups, Olymipcs and other prestigious events aim to rank athletes. Competition and winning can also take place in the comforts of one progression, aspirations and capacities. Competing with yourself to be better, win yourself day by day, face up any challenge deserve the same respect as any other goals accomplishment. Actually, there is not much to bring up to be aware that this philosphy has complete tranversal competencies in our daily living.

THE 27

As part of life learning curve, physical literacy is an essential process. Enviorment interaction and Physical education entail and undertake those by nature. As per the LTAD, especially during FUN and L2T stages, what is called the ABC (Athletic stance, Body management and the Cardinal planes of movement) of athletic development consolidates. These concepts reflect the awarness of body position, movement effiecency, effort, and space interaction. Before start thinking “Yes I am a grown up adult and I did all my physical literacy”. As an interessting awarness exercises, when is the last time you did and perform all this fundamental skills?

Balance (dynamic & static), Bending, Climbing, Landing, Rolling, Stopping, Stretching, Swinging, Twisting, Turning
Crawling, Dodging, Galloping, Hopping, Jumping (distance/height), Leaping, Running, Skipping, Swimming, Walking
Bouncing, Catching, Dribbling (feet/hands), Throwing, Kicking, Striking

If you give 1 point per skill. What was your scoring out of 27?


Strength & Conditioning and Athletic development are field born to walk hand by hand, they grow simultaniosly and evolve with time, dedication and practice. One benefits and complement each other, and like a puzzle if you miss one piece you can not have the power to stare the whole picture. As has been proved, exercise, not only provides a platorm to improve physical fitness components as BALANCE, STRENGTH, METABOLISM, ENDURANCE and RECOVERY, it goes futher. Exercise and Biomedical Science research widely supports the implementation of musculoskeletal fitness from youth to aging due to its known implications on enhancing perfomance and health and injury prevention. ATHL.Core® function is to orchestrate and coordinate an organized fitness program to successuly achieve S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) goals.

From an overall persepctive, Strength & Conditioning provides valuable contribution factors as enhanced performance, health and prevention to extend quality of delivered practice in the Athlete Development pathways increaseing positive experiences and practice longevity over the years. Strength & Conditioning programs tip the balance of prediction to probability of succes. The importance of longevity and probability is crucial to adopt strategies at any point of an athlete pathway bringing well-being and life quality, from the very begining to the Active for life stage.

“The difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary is practice”
Vladimir Horowitz


Each sport and physical activity entails diferences, requiring and demanding different profile needs. This fact emphasize the importance and interconnectivity of outcomes and motor skills in play, sports and physical activity.
Strength & Conditioning provides the development of different physiological adaptations allowing to apply its benefits and improvements into specific skills, new skill aquisition, calendar goals and contest schedules.
General yet specific Strength & Conditioning outcomes for competitive and recreational sport and physical activity are:



+ Skill Perfomance: Apply ATHL.Core® goals and physiological adaptations to increase your specific skill performance.

+ Power: Increase force production in your specific skill over a period of time.

+ Strength & Size: Amplify overall muscle contratability and its force production by increaseing muscle tissue quality, function and size to built a consistent and reliable biological structure.

+ Body composition: Interrelate you skill specific needs modifing your body composition distribution in favor of performance and selected goals.

+ Tissue recovery: Increase the biologic capacity to restore system function and possible tissue degradation and damage.

+ Motor function: Optimize neuromuscular function, joint balance and motor control to keep training quality to high standards reducing injury risk.

+ Stamina: Overall conditioning will increase the ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort during skill specific training. Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

Strength and conditioning contributions to athletic development, grow the probablity of success from diferent persepctives but mainly from performance and injury prevention. These strategies help to promote personal achievement and professional development in an athlete pathway no matter in what LTAD stage level.



Play, sport, physical activity and skill analysis is required to set the goal to design a program serving a purpouse.
ATHLETE FIT and PLUS plans are customized, self-guided and individualized Strength & Conditioning programs designing high-quality programming to optimize your fitness and get better outcomes. The basic and advanced tools to cover multiple fitness components and physiological pathways of your bio-motor capacity. These program will help you build the fundamentals and develop an overall, sound and consistent Strength & Conditioning profile.
For a more detailed approach analysis, it is recomended to seek assistance from a qualifed Exercise Science professional which will help to optimize training and adaptations. ATHLETE PREMIUM plans are coached personalized programs with 1:1 coaching support offering high resolution analysis with enhanced performance program design including flexible and more adaptable programing, excluive targeted goal sessions, and premium assessment tracking.

Strength and Conditioning to increase the probability of success in competition or Strength & Conditioing to enchance passion and probability of longevity? Improve performane to optimize passion, its orientation is your choice.

Do you wanna learn more about Strength & Conditioning in different applications and how a program might fit your needs? Find our more about ATHL.Exercise and ATHL.Core framework goals in our BLOG!
All you need to know about fitness
Health-fitness and the 7 outcomes to look for
Strength & Conditioning for athletic development
Why balance is critical?
Why strength is essential?
Why metabolism is vital?
Why endurance is important?
Why recovery is noteworthy?


* Cover photo composition by @redbullbike & @Santacruzbicycles. No copyright intended.

About the author:
Albert Piñol – Master of Physical Activity and Sports Science, MSc in Exercise Physiology, DHE Snowboard trainer, DH Mountain guide & Mountainbike and MAT certified. Snowboarder, exercise science and adventure sports enthusiast. IG: @albert_pinol