GAINcast Episode 264: Redefining LTAD (with Joe Eisenmann)

Long-term athlete development models are often packaged with convincing narratives and buzzwords. But they’re also full of a few myths as well. Dr. Joe Eisenmann’s career has combined his academic interests in pediatric physiology with his practical experiences in youth coaching. Combined he’s helped bring some common sense to the topic of LTAD. On this week’s podcast he talks about some of the history and misconceptions of LTAD, as well as his own approach to the area.

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Dr. Joe Eisenmann is an Associate Professor and Director of Sport Science at Lakeland University. He has over 30 years of experience as a professor, researcher, sport scientist, coach educator, strength coach, and youth sports coach. After earning his doctorate in exercise physiology, he has worked at various academic positions and coaching roles. Before taking his current position at Lakeland University he served as Head of Strength & Conditioning at IMG Academy.

Related resources

The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:

Key quotes and topics

  • 0:00 – Introduction.
  • 2:00 – Background: “We have to understand how kids grow and mature because before we can start looking at changes in performance parameters or putting training programs in place.”
  • 10:00 – History of LTAD: “LTAD looks nice on paper and the reality is it often falls apart when it gets off the paper and you’re trying to implement it within a community.”
  • 16:45 – Chronological age
  • 20:00 – Lessons from PE: “I think long-term athletic development is just good old-fashioned physical education.”
  • 22:30 – Adolescent awkwardness: “We use this period of peak height velocity as an excuse to allow people to be uncoordinated instead of saying what do we do?”
  • 26:00 – Boy-girl differences.
  • 29:00 – Talent identification: “The other part of a really good long-term athletic development model is keeping as many in the pipeline as long as you can to see what happens.”
  • 33:00 – Early specialization: “I really think that some parents push their kids to specialize early because it’s the only way for their kid to get on a team.”
  • 37:00 – The athletic development.

Complete transcript

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