Atheletic Development

Long Term Athlete Development - Success is Long Term

Scientific research has identified that it takes at least 10 years, or 10,000 hours for talented athletes to achieve sporting excellence. There are no short cuts!

There are two ways in which young swimmers can improve their performance:

   • Training.
   • Growth and development.

Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) is about achieving optimal training, competition and recovery throughout an athlete’s career, particularly in relation to the important growth and development years of young people. If a long term approach to training is not adopted there is likely to be a plateau in performance, when growth and development slows significantly. Which for some swimmers may result in their performances getting worse. At this point the short-term training approach cannot be reversed. This often leads to drop out before a swimmer has achieved close to their potential.

Reasons For LTAD

There are five clear reasons for introducing a long term athlete development approach:

   • To establish a clear swimmer development pathway.
   • To identify gaps in the current swimmer development pathway.
   • To realign and integrate the programmes for developing swimmers and swimming in Britain.
   • To provide a planning tool, based on scientific research, for coaches and administrators.
   • To guide planning for optimal performance.

It is anticipated that the principles of LTAD will be used to review existing swimming initiatives led by the governing body and inform any future initiatives. It is hoped that all swimming providers will use LTAD in a similar way. This will enable the swimming community to pull in one direction towards achieving Swimming’s goals and targets.

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