Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD)

Age group swimming is about providing the appropriate opportunities for young people with particular reference to their 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. 

 LTAD framework that has been be adapted to swimming:

  • FUNdamental – basic movement literacy; 
  • SwimSkills – building technique; [Development Squad, ages 8-10]
  • Training to Train – building the engine; [Age group swimming, ages 11-14]
  • Training to Compete – optimising the engine; [Youth swimming, ages 15-18]
  • Training to Win – maximising the engine. [Elite swimming, ages 18+]

Swim England have developed a LTAD plan, it provides a framework within which all sports should plan their training and competition programmes. Swimming has recognised this framework since undertaking a review of age group swimming at the end of the 1990s.

 It can be found here

Further Useful information about the development of swimmers