Learning to Win

Learning to Win (21+)

The Learning to Win is one of the two final stages of development. Athletes in this stage are generally part of the National Development Team or National Team and are regularly competing on or in contention for positions on world cup teams.

Being an skater in the Learning to Win stage of development can be equated to a Master’s Degree. All skaters entering this stage have achieved the objectives of the Training to Compete stage of development and will continue to work on priority areas of that stage. Preparation is highly specialised and the primary focus is refining and consolidating the skills necessary to pursue international medals and podium performance. These skaters are athletes with identified talent pursue high-intensity training to win international events. They are now full-time athletes.

The previous stages have developed and optimized the skills, tactics, and ancillary capacities of each skater. Skaters have now realized their full genetic potential. They must now train to maximize and maintain their competitive performance at the highest level. Skaters require world-class training methods, equipment, and facilities that meet the demands of the sport and the athlete and are training in National Training Centres under the supervision of National Team coaches and their integrated support team (IST)

General Considerations

  • Skaters train to peak for major competitions.
  • Performance outcomes take first priority.
  • Skaters are developing the ability to produce consistent performances on demand.
  • Coaches ensure that training is characterized by high intensity and high volume.
  • Coaches plan for and allow frequent preventative breaks to prevent physical and mental burnout.
  • Periodization of training and competition is developed as a means to provide an optimal framework of preparation
  • Training includes significant simulation of competitions and developmental competitions are regularly used to model preparation for major events.
  • Training targets include the maximization and maintenance of all of the skater’s capacities.
  • Skaters are learning to adapt to different environments to perform their best.

Skater Development Guidelines

  • Practices
  • Competition
  • Skill Development and Technique
  • Physical Development
  • Psychological Development
  • Monitoring & Testing
  • Equipment


The contents of this page were prepared using information from SSC's Racing on Skates and Find Your Edge document as well as resources from Canadian Sport for Life. To learn more about the Learning & Training to Win stages of development visit www.canadiansportforlife.ca.