L2T (Learn to Train)

LEARNING to Train development pathway

This page is intended for younger skaters ( approx. ages 9 – 12 on average) – but have not hit their quick growth spurt (known as Peak height Velocity (PHV) .  The intention is to give basic skating skills through fun activities and basic development.  Skaters need to begin to see the value of a good sports work ethic in all areas of sport.

PLEASE NOTE: there is no specific summer training program that skaters of this age have to do – it is assumed that they will be playing a variety of other summer sports. We encourage it!

FREE BODY Leg Squat Progressions

L2T Dryland Training Targets

July L2T Programs

July Weekly Training Program

3.1 July – L2T Free Body strength & agility

3.2 July – L2T Free Body strength & agility

3.3 July – L2T Free Body strength & agility

3.4 July – L2T Free Body strength & agility

August L2T Programs

August Weekly Training Program

4.1 August – L2T Free Body strength & agility

4.2 August – L2T Free Body strength & agility

4.3 August – L2T Free Body strength & agility

4.4 August – L2T Free Body strength & agility

Make sure you know how to define success at this stage.  This stage is for development, Children should be shown how to do basic technical skills well and to learn the process of continuing development.  Also the Refinement of proper physical movements such as agility, balance & coordination & Speed skills (The A, B, C’s )

Winning should not be a big priority at this development age

AT THIS DEVELOPMENT STAGE – YOU – THE PARENTS ARE THE BIGGEST INFLUENCING FACTOR ON YOUR Child’s DEVELOPMENT. PLEASE pay attention to the sports science available. The SSC-LTAD is a good example of material that you should read.  Information can be found at http://www.speedskating.ca/skater-development

Learning proper movement skills at an early age and refinement of those skills should be the priority! This type of overall development sets your child up to be the best athlete they can be, IN ANY Sport !

Learning to train ( L2T ) programs are intended for younger skaters still developing their strength as well as technical skills. At this stage in their sport life it is important to focus on the skill development and their need for improvement and refinement of movements.

Many skaters will mature at different ages/ rates. DO NOT measure your improvement based on the growth & physical development of other people. Your improvements should be based on the things you have control over and have taken the time to work on. Improvement takes time.
“EXCELLENCE is the GRADUAL RESULT of ALWAYS striving to do better” ….. Pat Riley

At this stage we still want to focus on ( not in any particular order)

  1. That sport is FUN
  2. Proper Technical skill development
  3. Proper recruitment of appropriate muscle groups
  4. Directional speed games and drills
  5. Balance & coordination skills
  6. Agility and flexibility skills


Speed development at the young ages can be developed by lots of change of direction games, where the change in direction happens a lot.  Below are foot speed drills that your children can do to help with movement & thought process

Dot Drills:
4 square Drills:

Flexibility / Balance programs:

Flex/Bal Programs 1-8

Available for all levels of skaters. Flexibility and balance are extremely important building blocks for any growing child. As your bones and muscles grow, you need to be continually stretching and keeping your muscles & joints moving in a maximum range of motion.
You must also learn to develop quality balance skills for all your activities.

Running Programs – One of the best areas to improve to be a better speed skater, at this age, is your ability to run. Running is one of the best ways to improve your cardiovascular system. Running at a young age also promotes the development of better bone density. Running also strengthens leg muscles ( in a running position) by training to carry your body weight, something biking doesn’t do .

A guide to the needs of your growing body, Your bodies interaction of vitamins and minerals, amounts needed and the food types to get them from. Teach them to make the healthy food choices.

More information and fun activities can be found at www.dietitians.ca

Proper Rest : Again, good parent guidance at a young age is important for your child to understand their need for plenty of rest throughout the growing years.
A minimum of 8 hours a night is required (but 9 is much better). At some point, near the end of this stage, this will allow the body to go through it’s proper growing cycles while the body is at rest.