Windows of Trainability

The Right Athletic Development at the Right Time

This program guides the child, coach, and parent through a progression that is aligned with the Long Term Skier Development (AIM 2 WIN) and the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD).


 Snow Stars provides clubs and coaches guidance through the early Windows of Trainability.

What does it mean?

There is a critical period in a child’s life where training has an optimal effect. It is called the Window of Optimal Trainability.
It is a development readiness where activities/training must be timed to achieve optimum adaptation with regards to motor skills, muscular, and or aerobic power. This window is set around the child’s Peak Height Velocity (PHV) also known as the adolescent growth spurt.

Optimal motor skill development takes place primarily between the ages of 5 to 12. For this reason the program is aimed generally at young skiers from U6 to U14.


Most ski club programs coincide with the majority of the optimal windows of trainability as the young skiers grows. The collaboration between clubs, parents, coaches and athletes is important to achieve an enjoyable and effective athlete progression.  




SUPPLENESS (flexibility)

Very simply, flexibility training should be undertaken at the earliest stages in training. Special attention should be paid to flexibility during the PHV as aggressive stretching poses the potential for injury at growth plates and the musculo-tendon junctions of the muscle. Static stretching and dynamic mobility training is the focus before the growth spurt and partner stretching (PNF*) during and after the growth spurt.

*Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation



For girls, the first speed training window (speed 1) occurs between the ages of 6 to 8 years and the second window (speed 2) occurs between the ages of 11 to 13 years. For boys, the first speed training window (speed 1) occurs between the ages of 7 to 9 years and the second window (speed 2) occurs between the ages of 13 to 16 years.


Speed #1: the first window of speed training relates to development of the central nervous system. In this window the goal is to increase reaction time, agility and quickness. Training this aspect is best approached through simple or complex tasks that require speed, reaction, coordination and directional changes lasting less than 5 seconds.


Speed #2: The second window of training relates to development of the anaerobic alactic power/capacity. Duration of interval training should be kept between five and twenty seconds during this phase.



S5 Box