The Snowsport Scotland pathway illustrates progression and development within the sport. This detail is in place to help participants, coaches, clubs and organisations interact with and enjoy snowsports. The Snowsport Scotland pathway is based on the Sport Scotland Long Term Athlete Development model.
Sport Scotland’s Long Term Athlete Development Model (LTAD) focuses on a participant-centred approach to the delivery of sport.
In line with this work, Snowsport Scotland has structured a 7 stage approach to snowsports beginning with The Gliding Start Stage through to The Train to Win Stage. The Snowsports for Life Stage highlights the holistic benefits of the sport and is accessible from any stage within the pathway.

The Stages of the Pathway

Active Start / Gliding Start

Participants within the active start stage spend time discovering snowsports in an informal, playful environment. The key focus at this stage would be volume of play to build confidence in a snowsports environment, while developing gradual exposure to the fundamental movements and discipline specific skills. A seed for intrinsic motivation or love for the sport is planted at this stage through play, exploration and guided discovery.


The FUNdamental stage encourages further development in fundamental movements and technical competencies. Participants at this stage are exposed to developmentally appropriate environments that encourage peer interaction. The focus remains on play and fun, maximising participation and building confidence. Sessions deliver mixed snowsport skills with everyone having the chance to experience wining and loosing through competition engineering. Participants begin to understand the spirit of snowsport through opportunities for social and emotional development within the sport.

Learn to Train

Following the acquisition of the fundamental movement skills, participants progress to the Learn to Train stage where the structure of a training session is introduced. The refinement of the fundamentals is prioritised alongside the development of discipline specific skills. This stage is focused on the acquisition and execution of skills in varying environments/speeds, enhancing personal development and intrinsic motivation to encourage participation. Engagement in a variety of activities is encouraged to develop physical literacy. Learnings of the spirit of snowsports can be developed into an introduction to the formats of competition and competing with others, this can be encouraged through an emphasis on peer interactions to promote prosocial values (empathy/community/sportsmanship). In this stage it is not necessary to focus on one outcome but rather experiences that stretch and challenge individuals.

Train to Train

The Train to Train stage builds on the desired outcomes of the Learning to Train stage, specifically intrinsic motivation, skill acquisition and confidence, via more structured sport specific training sessions, increased training loads and the promotion of self–governance. The key focus is on personal development, gaining experience and improving performance. Learning environments that promote the adaptation of technical skills and decision making through variance are maximised. Engagement with competition at this stage emphasises the transfer and practice of acquired skills, rather than outcome, in a competitive environment.  At this stage participants are supported in self-led programming, actions and interactions. Peer relationships are prioritised for quality training and challenge with the promotion of prosocial values (empathy / community / sportmanship).

Train to Compete

With participants now refined in their ability to train and self-govern a shift toward more rigorous competition is the next stage.  Train to compete sees a transfer of an already developed skill set into competition with focus on learning and refining the skills and tactics of competition. At this stage participants utilise their affective connection to the sport to drive self-led programming, actions and interactions. Peer relationships continue to be a focus for quality training and challenge with the promotion of prosocial values (empathy/community/sportsmanship).

Train to win

Focused on World Class performance, participants operating at this stage compete at the highest level of competition including qualification to the Olympic Games. Programmes are designed to support outcome related goals, driven through individualised high-volume training plans with the inclusion of peer interaction and support.  Full time programmes with integrated support teams and UK funding.

Snowsports for Life

Not confined by age or stage of development, Snowsports for Life encourages engagement in snowsports at all levels of learning and activity. This phase focuses on appreciation of the holistic benefits of the sport, such as community, fitness, health and wellbeing, mastery or other aspects significant to the individual. Engagement in Snowsports for Life can take many forms including, participation in the sport recreationally, coaching, instructing, leading, getting involved in club committees, officiating races, or volunteering. Snowsports for life is the home of passion for Snowsports and a place of individual personal growth and skill development. Although it is set up in the LTAD as an end point or parallel track to the performance pathway, it should be noted that the focuses are not exclusive to this stage in the same way that competition is not solely performance. You can enter the Snowsports for Life phase at any stage along the pathway, but you can also be in the Snowsports For Life phase simultaneously with any other stage along the pathway.