The ADM utilizes long term athlete development (LTAD) principles as its framework. LTAD principles can be used as a basis on which to make our existing systems and structures more consistent. Developed by internationally renowned coach educator Istvan Balyi, and adapted to ice hockey by USA Hockey, the principles of LTAD are rooted in successful programs throughout the world.
One of the first things that USA Hockey did when beginning this project was to look closely at the statistics related to player development — specifically the skill development time each player has when in both a practice setting and a game setting. When viewed from the perspective of how kids learn the number of repetitions of specific skills and situations that occur in practice versus a game, we quickly learned where players have a chance to develop the most: practice.
So a model was created that valued practice and proper training above all else. This isn’t to say that the ADM is about taking the fun out of hockey, quite the contrary. Practices can and should be fun, especially if the kids are all playing together and having a blast with a game that they love. And when you combine a passion for the game with increased puck time, kids will start to excel at it. Play, Love, Excel. That’s the ADM.
FUNdamentals - Learning basic movement and sports skills should be made FUN
Specialization - Well-rounded, multisport athletes have the highest potential to achieve
Trainability - Missing optimum opportunities significantly affects a child's ability to reach his or her potential
Ten Year Rule - Refers to the '10 year - 10,000 hour rule' relating to the need of practice for three hours a day for 10 years to become proficient
Physical/Mental/Cognitive/Emotional Development - Focusing while remaining calm and confident is an essential skill to long-term performance
Biological Age vs. Chronological Age - Chronological age is a poor guide to segregate adolescents for competition
Periodization - Segmenting the calendar year into appropriate time intervals for preparation, competition, rest and recovery
System Alignment and Integration - We need a structure that is athlete-centered and looks at the individual player's development
Calendar Planning for Competition - There needs to be a better system for how to best use our kids' time on and off the ice
Continuous Improvement - The LTAD principles on which ADM is built address core needs for all players