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Please see the following general description of USA Hockey's American Development Model (ADM) and visit for further details.

American Development Model (ADM): A Plan for Long-Term Athlete Development

The structure of our hockey system in the United States is one that has just evolved over time. This structure was not planned, and through this evolutionary process certain counterproductive elements have crept into our system.

Where Are We Going

Current research on long-term athlete development has brought to light critical areas that our system is neglecting at a very early age. As children mature they each progress through the same developmental stages and certain aspects of these stages must be addressed at the appropriate points along the developmental curve in order to reach their genetic potential. Without developing skills and certain physical and mental attributes during the windows of optimal trainability, the long-term prospects of becoming a truly elite player are diminished.

Long-term athlete development (LTAD) is a framework for athlete development in sport that can be used as a basis on which to ‘re-align,’ or make more consistent, our existing systems and structures. It has been developed by Istvan Balyi, an internationally recognized coach educator, and is based upon a consensus of evidenced research about how young people develop their maximum sporting ability, linking more closely the coaching and development of players to their physical and psychological growth.

It should be recognized that the LTAD principles are not new. The majority of research on which the principles are based is widely accepted, and has been used to underpin physical education teaching for many years. The LTAD principles bring a mechanism for applying the theory to better integrate our whole hockey development system (i.e. coaching, training, playing, competition, etc.). It is also important that we understand that the LTAD principles have been developed and implemented by over 100 sports and federations around the world.

USA Hockey is introducing the American Development Model, a structure that includes a high performance club component that is an extension of USA Hockey’s highly successful National Team Development Program. The American Development Model is based on current sports science and LTAD principles.

American Development Model

Model youth club structure and materials available to all USAH clubs
Integrates training, competition and recovery programming with relation to biological development and

maturation (as opposed to current chronological age)
Offers equal opportunity for recreation and competition
Is participant/athlete centered, coach driven, and parents, officials, administration, sport medicine & sport

science supported

High Performance Club Program

Approximately 36 High Performance Clubs (HPCs) located in six regional divisions of approximately six HPC organizations.

HPCs will field High Performance teams at 13U, 14U, 15U, 16U, and 18U to compete in a National HPC League.

Each HPC is required to have a supporting 12U, 10U and 8U program in place that follows the American Development Model.

Physical testing and monitoring of the HPC players will be done to provide information to the National Team Development Program, United States Hockey League and NHL for future player selection.

ADM Managers will help with coaching education, administration, player tracking and implementation of the American Development Model within each of the HPCs.

A regional off-season training program will be implemented to provide additional training time to HPC players and coaches.