The Long Term Athlete Development Journey of Curling


Scientific research has concluded that it takes a minimum of 10 years and 10,000 hours of training for a talented athlete to reach elite levels.

The first 4 stages are RECREATIONAL STREAM –  Awareness/First Involvement, FUNdamentals, Learn to Train and Train to Train.   Approximate start ages are indicated in each of these 4 stages.

The next stages are COMPETITIVE STREAM – Learn to Compete, Train to Compete and PODIUM STREAM – which includes Learn to Excel and Train to Excel.

The final stage is Curl for Life and includes all curlers, competitive and recreational.

Young athletes should participate in many sports to allow the proper development of the basic movement skills.

Any age can FastTrack through these stages.

Everyone has to start somewhere, no matter your age or ability, curling is a sport for everyone!



Awareness/First Involvement

For everyone and teaches physical literacy and provides a general knowledge of the sport of curling both on and off the ice.

(U9 athletes)

Every young curler needs to learn the fundamentals of the sport of curling before deciding where they would like to participate.
The Fundamentals of the game are necessary for curlers, umpires, coaches and volunteers.

Learn to Train
(U12 athletes)

Every athlete needs to train or practice if they wish to improve their skills.
This stage assists all levels of curlers to be capable of reaching their desired performance level.

Train to Train
(U15 athletes)

For athletes who indicate that their specialization will be in the sport of curling.


Learn to Compete
(U18 athletes)

Designed to assist athletes who wish to train to reach the highest level of curling. This area consists of a low percentage of curlers who have the desire, work ethic and ability to reach their optimum goal.

Train to Compete
(U21 athletes)

Designed to assist high level athletes in the next step of competition.


This stage has 2 components—Learn to Excel for U25 athletes and Train to Excel for U25 athletes.

Learn to Excel includes the NextGen National Program while Train to Excel includes the National Team Program.

Curl for Life

For everyone to ensure physical activity on a regular basis through participation or volunteering.

For a list of programs broken out by LTAD stage, please click here