Research digest series:

Youth Athlete Development

Long-Term Participant Development (LTPD) is a comprehensive framework in sports that guides athletes from early childhood to adulthood, focusing on their physical, mental, and emotional development. It emphasizes age-appropriate skill progression, avoiding early specialization, and nurturing physical literacy in young athletes. LTPD also underscores the importance of mental toughness, emotional intelligence, and a lifelong passion for the sport, making it a holistic approach to producing well-rounded athletes.

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What's included in this Research Digest Series?

Research Digest: Youth Athlete Development

Ultimately, the LTPD contributes to the well-rounded development of athletes, producing both successful competitors and individuals with valuable life skills.
  • 4 Chapters
  • 7 Videos
  • 1 PDF

Purpose of understanding Youth Athlete Development

Understanding body composition is crucial for assessing overall health, optimizing physical performance, and guiding interventions in areas such as nutrition and exercise. It provides insights into the distribution of fat and lean mass, aiding in the prevention of obesity-related health issues and the early detection of disease risks.   Athletes benefit from body composition analysis to tailor training plans, while individuals seeking weight management use it for nuanced insights beyond simple weight measurements.


Body composition assessments serve as motivational tools, offering tangible feedback on progress and fostering accountability in fitness, sport and health journeys.

Overall, a comprehensive understanding of body composition is essential for promoting holistic well-being and achieving specific health or performance goals.

Course Lessons



Meet our SSISA Research Digest team

Warren Lucas

Research and partnerships Manager

Warren Lucas is an Accredited Sport Scientist (SASMA), completing a PhD in Exercise Science at the University of Cape Town. His research is focused on designing patient-centred exercise interventions for youth with substance use and mental health conditions in treatment settings. His supervisors are Dr. Sharief Hendricks and Prof. Vicki Lambert (HPALS UCT). 

Evan Knight

Research Consultant

Evan Knight is an Exercise Scientist with an MSc in Exercise Physiology from the Stellenbosch. University. He works as a Research Consultant at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, and his research is focused on biomarkers and the intercellular adaptation and communication following different endurance running training regimes in elite runners. 

Devon Da Costa

Research consultant & lecturer

Devon Da Costa is a Qualified Biokineticist completing a PhD in Exercise Science at the University of Cape Town. She works as a Research Consultant and Lecturer at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa. Her research is focused on fuelling endurance sports performance through a variety of different dietary and supplementation strategies. She is supervised by Associate Prof Andrew Bosch (HPALS UCT). 

Tim Klein

Research Consultant & Sport Scientist

Tim Klein is an Exercise Scientist who is currently completing an MSc in Exercise Science at the University of Cape Town. His research focuses primarily on the effects of resistance training on cycling performance. His research is supervised by Associate Prof. Mike Posthumus and Dr. Caroline D’Alton (HPALS UCT). 

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