American Development Model

    USA Hockey developed and instituted the American Development Model in 2009. The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee partnered with the NGB to adopt and adapt the model for Team USA in 2014 to help Americans realize their full athletic potential and utilize sport as a path toward an active and healthy lifestyle. The model utilizes long-term athlete development and quality coaching concepts to promote sustained physical activity, athlete safety and age-appropriate development with the aim of creating a positive experience for American athletes across all levels of sport.

    The ADM is a visual concept designed to help guide consumers and NGBs toward building and delivering programs that are focused on the individual athlete. The visual model illustrates age-appropriate expectations and concepts for each stage of development.

    By using the ADM, sport clubs, coaches and parents can help maximize potential for America’s youth and improve the health and well-being for future generations in the United States. The model outlines best practices in the areas of coach training, parent engagement, NGB and sport club administration and overall athlete safety.

    The ADM suggests that quality sport experiences should incorporate five key principles to help keep more Americans engaged in sport:

    1. Universal access to create opportunity for all athletes
    2. Developmentally appropriate activities that emphasize motor and foundational skills
    3. Multi-sport participation
    4. Fun, engaging and progressively challenging atmosphere
    5. Quality coaching at all age levels

    By creating early positive experiences for all athletes, the ADM will help keep more children engaged in sport longer with four clear outcomes:

    1. Grow both the general athlete population and the pool of elite athletes from which future U.S. Olympians and Paralympians are selected
    2. Develop fundamental skills that transfer between sports
    3. Provide an appropriate avenue to fulfill an individual's athletic potential
    4. Create a generation that loves sport and physical activity, and transfers that passion to the next generation

    The ADM is comprised of five stages designed to create a healthy sport experience and support an athlete’s advancement based on their physical, mental and emotional level, and potential for growth.

    5 Stages to a better sport experience info graphic

    1. Discover, Learn & Play (Age 0-12)

    2. Develop & Challenge (Age 10-16)

    3. Train & Compete (Age 13-19)

    4. Participate & Succeed (Age 15+)

    5. Thrive & Mentor (Age: For life)

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