As per the guidelines of the Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) framework
, our programming begins to shift progressively towards performance during the Train-to-Train (ages 12-14) and Train-to-Compete (ages 15-17) stages. At these stages of athletes need more advanced physical and mental training to support their sport-specific pursuits. With this in mind, the structure and focus of the AIM Program begins to transition accordingly.
At the Train-to-Train stage (ages 12-14), the physical side of the AIM Program balances the ABC’s of athleticism (i.e. agility, balance, coordination, and speed) with the key elements of sport conditioning (i.e. strength, power, flexibility, mobility, and endurance). On the mental side, athletes work to strengthen previously taught skills (i.e., goal setting, routines, and imagery), while being introduced to some new ones (i.e., confidence and leadership) that will help to further enhance their performance.
Moving on to the Train-to-Compete stage (ages 15-17), the physical side of the AIM Program now places a greater emphasis on sport conditioning as our athletes spend more time in the High Performance Training and Research Centre (HPTRC)
. On the mental side, new performance-oriented skills are introduced (i.e., activation control, self-talk, and focus), while the ones emphasized during the previous stage (i.e., confidence and leadership) are reinforced.