CCA Philosophy & Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD)


“Collaboration is needed between organisations at local, regional and national level to ensure athlete’s needs are always put first. What is best for the athlete in the long run must drive all decisions regarding their development”

 ‘Shaping the Future’ – Sport NZ


  • To provide a centralized philosophy and guiding principles for everyone working with junior and youth players, male and female
  • To build character and self-leadership in our players
  • To ensure clear and consistent messages and language across the player pathway
  • To shape and guide decisions on match formats, playing conditions, selections (both player and coach) and coaching programs
  • To provide a level of accountability

Central Philosophy

Guiding Principles

Focus points to guide your approach and inform decision making;

Coaching can be challenging. Having clarity on ‘why’ you are coaching and ‘how’ you will coach is essential. By having a clear philosophy, you are able to make appropriate ethical decisions and coach more effectively and consistently.

Tournament Philosophy

While cricket is inherently competitive, the aim is for all players to have opportunities to develop, learn and perform at their best in a challenging but supportive environment.

This is the primary focus and should not be compromised for the sake of the result.

There is a balance between player development and winning. Providing players with a quality cricket experience and focusing on the process of learning takes precedence over the outcome of the match/tournament.

When on the field, the emphasis is on performing at the players best in an effort to win, but not by limiting experiences to only a select few players. These players are often the early maturer’s who are naturally stronger at that particular point in time. Late developers often end up achieving greater long-term success in the game as they spend longer acquiring and developing skills (Technical, Tactical, Mental) before developing physically.

Every ball in a match presents an opportunity for learning and those experiences shouldn’t be limited to the few as childhood success is NOT a reliable predictor of future success.

Player Experience Checklist

Re-define what success means to you by looking at your training/game day performance through the eyes of the player(s). Can they put a ‘tick’ against the following…

  • I had the opportunity to perform my skills
  • I felt challenged and engaged
  • I learnt something new
  • I understood my role and the teams game plan
  • I had the chance to problem-solve and ask questions
  • I’m looking forward to my next game
  • I had FUN!!

Playing Style

Playing approach and key attributes/behaviours to be encouraged and developed:

  • Character traits displaying self-leadership and a growth mindset ‘LIVING IN THE GREEN’ (see ‘Where are you living?’)
  • Players who want the ball in key moments
  • Team first mentality
  • Courage to make decisions and learn quickly from mistakes
  • Express yourself by retaining uniqueness and individual flair
  • Play the game in a positive manner, taking the game to the opposition
  • Be adaptive, resilient, and hard-working
  • Play within the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ and honour the traditions of the game
  • Pride in the Canterbury Crest

Reflective Questions

Your coaching philosophy guides how you operate and is reflected by your personal values and beliefs. It covers your purpose as a coach and how you will approach player development and winning.

Coaches Toolbox

Practical applications to consider in your approach:

  • Praise for effort not results
  • Reward commitment with commitment
  • Understand the person to develop the player
  • Training drills set at the right intensity (20-30% error rate)
  • Identify early, average, and late developers in your team(s)
  • Be an active listener and guide self-discovery
  • Player-led debrief
  • Close the coaching loop

What We Know

Not all participants develop at the same rate and our pathways need to reflect this.

A quality experience should be extended to as many individuals as possible, with a focus on development and getting better.

Where are you living?

Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD)

‘Athlete-centered approach identifying key windows of opportunity where skill development/adaption can be accelerated, with a view to maximising long term potential’

The table below provides a general overview of the various training and playing programmes through the various stages of development as defined by LTAD principles.

Long Term

A key aspect is understanding an athlete’s ‘Developmental Age’ and not basing programmes solely on their ‘Chronological Age’. Just because two players are the same age in years, doesn’t mean they will develop at the same rate given the same training and playing opportunites.

At youth level the most obvious example is the ‘Early Maturer’ vs. the ‘Late Developer’. There can be significant ranges of physical development amongst players of the same age which presents different challenges for each player type, and implications for coaches/parents/selectors.

Long Term Athlete Development is about understanding an individual’s defining characteristics at the various stages, and providing the appropriate framework to maximise their development.

Cricket is a late specialization sport and playing other complimentary sports through the key development stages is encouraged. Pre-mature specialisation can lead to one-sided development and can increase the risk of injury and burnout.

An overview of the two most critical stages of development can be seen below:


Further detail and more specific recommendations covering aspects of Technical, Tactical, Mental and Physical can be found in the table below:


Learn and Train

The Male and Female Player Pathways are displayed below. For further detail on a specific age-group (including training and playing dates, selection criteria and player levy information) please select from the ‘Underage Teams’ tab.

male playing pathway


female pathway

Sustainable excellence and growth in the game starts by acknowledging the key windows of opportunity for development, which gives our players the best chance of future success.