Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD)

We at Atlantis believe that all our swimmers should be able to develop in a structured way as they get older and mature. We want to ensure that they enjoy their swimming, get as much out of the sport as possible and are given the best chance possible to reach their full potential. 

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

  • Training.
  • Growth and development.

Long-term athlete development (LTAD) provides a framework for all sports to plan their training and competition programmes. Swimming has recognised this framework since the end of the 1990s.  LTAD is about striking the right balance between training, competition and recovery throughout a young athlete's career, particularly during young peoples' important growth and development years. Age Group swimming is all about providing the appropriate opportunities for young people at each stage of their development. 

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!  

If a long term approach to training is not adopted, performance is likely to be a plateau, as growth and development slows significantly.  For some swimmers this may result in their performances getting worse. At this point the short-term training approach cannot be reversed. This often leads to swimmers dropping out before they have reached close to their potential.

To learn more about LTAD read the ASA Long Term Athlete Development Document.