Athlete Development

Long Term Athlete Development Model

Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) is a model for development in physical activity and sport to provide a safe, enjoyable, and progressive pathway for children and adult to pursue healthy physical activity along with a pathway to their personal level of excellence.

Orienteering Canada's LTAD has been integrated into athlete programs, coaching certification, race guidelines and just about every other aspect of orienteering in Canada.


Skills & Development Database


Orienteering Canada’s Skills and Development Database is a resource designed particularly for coaches but also has lots of information that is interesting and useful for all orienteers wanting to improve. Our goal with this project is to improve the development of orienteers as athletes and as people and through that, to grow the sport of orienteering.

The database contains information about our Long Term Athlete Development Model (LTAD) as well as about the many varied skills orienteers should know such as “Knowing the key elements of an orienteering map”. The goal is to include skills that orienteers of all abilities need to learn whether they are casual recreational orienteers or are aiming to become a world class competitor. 

Each skill is grouped as one of the following: navigation, running, training practices, psychological skills and life skills.

Email us with questions regarding the Skills Database.

Athlete Development Matrix

Since our LTAD’s release, we've built an Athlete Development Matrix (a document which describes what skills athletes should be learning at each stage of development) and a series of tools to help instructors, coaches, and program administrators implement this matrix throughout their programs.

To date, we have created two resources which are works-in-progress: a technical skills progression document and development chart which show the technical skills that should be taught at each LTAD stage of athlete development from Active Start (0-6 years) up to Train to Train 2 (~age 16).

Technical Skills Progression Document

For each LTAD stage, the Technical Skills Progression Document shows the technical skills broken down into their fundamental elements and listed in the order they are best taught. This document is useful when trying to put together a multi-week program to help the lessons flow from one week to the next.

Technical Skills Development Chart

For each set of skills, the Technical Skills Development Chart shows how skills are developed over time and to what level you should expect athletes in a given LTAD stage to perform in a given set of skills. This can be a useful tool for both coaches and parents to help assess where an athlete is at. We also have a printable version of the Technical Skills Development Chart.

Note: Both of the above Technical Skills documents use terminology that would be considered “standard orienteering lingo”. It is worth noting that this is not necessarily the best language to explain the concept to young athletes. It is best to use clear language that they will understand (eg. checkpoint instead of control) to explain different concepts at different ages. Standard orienteering terms can be introduced as athletes become more familiar with orienteering.

Lesson Plans and Orienteering Games

Are you looking for inspiration for lesson plans to teach orienteering? Or a list of great games you can play to help tech orienteering?

Learn More