Athlete Development

The AquaKids follow USA Swimming's American Development Model (ADM) which helps with the development of the teams Long-Term Athlete Development Plan (LTAD), practice structure, and evaluation and assessment of each swimmer's progress. In this model, there are six levels of development that focus on each of four athlete-cented outcomes:


Coaches help athletes develop sport-specific skills, improved health and fitness, and healthy training habits.


Athletes learn repsect for the sport, ethical and moral responsible behavior, integrity and empathy.


Coaches help athletes build Self- belief, resilience, mental toughness, positive self- worth.


Athletes build Positive bonds and social relationships in and out of the sport.

Aquakids support each athlete’s journey through their development. Aquakids coaches acknowledge and embrace the principles and core values of the ADM.


Core Values of the American Development Model (ADM)

Athletes Excellence Life Skills Sports Sampling Quality Coaching
Keep the athlete at the center. Are they having fun? Educate coaches, parents, and athletes to see the big picture. Excellence takes time. There is more to coaching than just reading a time or giving a set. Teaching them life skills that they will take into their everyday lives.  Encourage them to participate in other sports and become well-rounded athletes. Kids are less active now with schools taking away PE class and recess. Educating coaches on age and developmentally appropriate skills. Help promote great technique and prevent injuries. Being engaged in the workout and learning new/ different ways to communicate to athletes and parents.

The ADM is not designed in an effort to have all coaches coach exactly the same way. Coaches have flexibility and latitude with each athlete, tailoring their training based on the fundamentals of the ADM. The process of reaching an athlete's goals and milestone is completely up to the coach and athletes.


Athlete development and accomplishments result from balancing the art and science, coaching, and the coaching-athlete relationship. It is important to remember that physical, mental, and emotional development occurs in spurts. Not every athlete progresses at the same pace, and some may progress, platuea, and even regress before moving forward again. It is important that athletes are encouraged and supported through all training phases and development. 


Each athlete's journey moves forward at their individual pace. Success occurs at many different levels, and being 1st on the podium is not the only way we measure success. Aquakids coaches work hard to recognize and address the full development of each athlete. Aquakids coaches use these ADM progressions to create an athlete’s career plan addressing all areas of development.

For more information or questions concerning Aqaukids coaching and training, please contact LB Bloomfield, Aquakids Head Coach ([email protected]) or Duston Morris, Director of Coach Training and Education ([email protected]). 

What Happens to Your Body When You Swim

At Aquakids there's no doubt that we have some great competitive swimmers. But we know there is more to swimming than just PRs (personal record) and team records. Swimming is one of the best ways to improve health and fitness. Check out this video to learn more!