OTTAWA – Swimming Canada has completed the phased release of its Appropriate Athlete Development (AAD) document and Athlete Development Matrix (ADM).
The full Athlete Development Matrix is now posted on Swimming Canada’s Learning Management System. It represents the culmination of years of hard work and collaboration between Swimming Canada, its provincial sections, the Canadian Swimming Coaches Association, and Sport for Life experts.
“We are excited to have this completed, but the work will continue. The Athlete Development Matrix is a living document and, much like our athletes themselves, will change over time,” said Swimming Canada Director of Operations and Sport Development Suzanne Paulins.
The ADM provides details key skills and behaviours in each of four pillars: Mental Skills, Life Skills, Technical/Tactical/Strategic Competencies, and Physical Capacity.
The Introduction to Appropriate Athlete Development document was posted in October, with monthly updates to the Learning Management System focused on each individual pillar. These pillars were highlighted in a series of #SwimExpert videos on Swimming Canada’s YouTube channel, the latest of which was posted Tuesday and can be found HERE.
In the coming months and years, Swimming Canada will be updating its National Coach Certification Program content with the elements skills and behaviours found in the ADM.
“The finalization of the ADM provides the perfect opportunity to complete a full review of the swimming NCCP content,” Paulins said “Updating the NCCP content will ensure coaches who participate in development are receiving the most up-to-date information on material found in the ADM.”
The AAD and ADM evolved from what was formerly known as the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model, and follow on the Competition Improvement Plan which was launched in 2016. It’s part of an ongoing, multi-year effort to align the sport at all levels.
“The evolution of the athlete development principles is a great step forward for swimming in Canada, both for the swimmers and for the coaches who are coaching across the country. Appropriate Athlete Development is key in this and the Athlete Development Matrix contains great information in order to coach athletes appropriately,” said Swimming Canada High Performance Director and National Coach John Atkinson.