LONG TERM ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT
- What is it?
- How does it affect my child?
- What is the club doing about it?
LTAD is a pathway laid down by the governing body, in our case Swim England, that allows the development of a child from learn to swim through to the podium finish.
Step 1: FUNdamentals
This stage is the teaching of children to swim and the opportunities for them to discover movement in the water, with a full range of swimming techniques and aquatic skills.
Step 2: SKILL Development
Once a child has learnt to swim there are a number of pathways open to them to develop their skills. In our case swimming, but there are others, diving, synchronised swimming, water polo, water hockey as well as water based activities such as kayaking, sailing, windsurfing etc.
The clubs aim at this stage is to develop stroke efficiency, make sure strokes comply with ASA law and develop starts and turns.
In club competitions, novice galas and local meets.
Other sports and activities are encouraged at this stage to enhance the child development. Early introduction to land training with a multi skills based approach.
Step 3: Training to Train
Once key skills are in place the swimmer learns how to train and the intensity of training is raised. Developing the swimmers technique further as well as increasing stamina and endurance. In club competitions, galas and open meets, county qualifying. Nutrition and hydration become very important at this stage. The fuelling of the body to cope with the rigours of training as well as the child’s natural requirements for growth and normal activities is essential to them training successfully.
Step 4: Training to compete
At this stage there will be an increased volume of training working towards break point volume, full commitment to the sport is now expected. Swimmers at this point will start to specialize in their chosen strokes and distances. Competitions carefully selected and training programmes designed to have swimmers prepared for county, regional and national competitions.
Step 5: Training to win
Performance athletes at the top of the sport competing on a National level.
Each of the stages may not be achieved within one club and for some swimmers to meet their potential it may be necessary for them to move to another club that can offer the pool time required to meet their needs.