US Paralympics launches athlete development model

The American Development Model for Paralympic Sport aims to enable athletes to participate in Paralympic sport at all levels. 18 Jan 2016
Sculpture showing a golbus held by four people

Outside the United States Olympic Training Centre in Colorado Springs

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By US Paralympics

US Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), has announced the launch of the American Development Model (ADM) for Paralympic Sport. This Paralympic-specific component of the programme is a supplement to the national ADM initiative designed to help Paralympic-eligible athletes realise their full athletic potential and utilise sport as a path from recreational interest up to participation in elite competition.

The ADM for Paralympic Sport integrates training, competition and recovery with relation to biological development and maturation, while offering equal opportunity for recreation and competition. The five-stage model aims to promote sustained sport participation, improve the well-being of future generations in the United States and grow the athlete pipeline from which US Olympians and Paralympians are selected.

“Paralympic sport is no different from any other sport; there is a process for growth, education and training to help an athlete reach his or her potential,” said Rick Adams, chief of Paralympic sport and National Governing Body organisational development. “This supplement to the ADM allows Paralympic-eligible athletes and their coaches to curtail their own athlete success plan. The ultimate goal is to provide a resource to enable more athletes to participate in Paralympic sport at all levels, and hopefully, to spur continued growth of the Movement throughout the US.”

The target audience of the ADM for Paralympic sport includes those who support Paralympic-eligible athletes, such as National Governing Bodies and High Performance Management Organisations, coaches, administrators and parents, as well as athletes with a Paralympic-eligible impairment. The ADM for Paralympic sport should be used as a blueprint that can guide consumers towards building and delivering programmes that are athlete-centric.

The ADM was originally conceived in 2009 by USA Hockey, which partnered with the USOC in 2014 in an effort to broaden long-term athlete development benefits across all sports in the US. In an effort to create a unified programme for developing hockey players at all ages and levels, USA Hockey, with support from the National Hockey League, created the American Development Model. The ADM is a nationwide initiative that provides local associations across the country – for the first time ever – a blueprint for optimal athlete development that focuses on age-appropriate training.

To learn more about the ADM for Paralympic Sport, visit US Paralympics' website.