About the American Development Model

The USA Field Hockey American Development Model (ADM) is a guiding framework to promote, develop and grow the game. The ADM:

  • Welcomes and includes all participants by supporting the many roles people can enjoy through the game of field hockey
  • Maximizes fun, enjoyment and retention by focusing on what, when and how to teach, train and play
  • Inspires a lifelong love of field hockey by providing opportunities for lifetime engagement

In the United States, people discover field hockey at different ages and stages of life. Some are lucky to pick up a stick as a young boy or girl, while others find field hockey in high school or even later.USA Field Hockey’s ADM provides a pathway for people to get into the game and enjoy the many roles the sport offers: athlete, parent, coach, umpire or avid supporter. Field hockey is a sport for life, with opportunities for grassroots growth and recreational and elite competition for youth through older adults. It’s never too late to pick up a stick, or a whistle, and fall in love with field hockey.

USA Field Hockey’s ADM was developed in partnership with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and applies long-term athlete development principles to create a strong foundation for sustained physical activity, participation in sports, Olympic and Paralympic success, and lifetime engagement.

USA Field Hockey provides tools, resources, equipment and programs to support the 5 Stages of the American Development Model (learn more in the tabs below) and all roles within the sport that help to achieve our mission: Grow the Game. Serve Members. Succeed Internationally.

Join USA Field Hockey today to gain access to additional ADM resources and be a part of the USA Field Hockey Family.


People DISCOVER field hockey at all different ages and stages of life. DISCOVER is about a fun and positive first experience regardless of age

  • For all beginners, it’s about and exploring basic movements and skills with a stick and ball
  • For young players, it’s also about developing important physical literacy skills, the foundation for athleticism


  • Discover that field hockey is fun and exciting to play, watch, coach and umpire
  • Interest and desire to play and learn more

The ADM and each of its stages will be supported by NEW and existing resources, programs and equipment.

Discover Field Hockey is a new program, presented by Harrow Sports, that launched at the 2019 USA Field Hockey Summit.

Let the game be the teacher.

Small-sided games teach skills and creativity in a way that is fun and exciting, age and stage appropriate.

No laps, no lines, no lectures.

Play on any surface, indoor or outdoor.

Explore skill progressions, individual and team concepts and basic game structure.


  • Learn that field hockey is fun, exciting and challenging, with many skills and techniques to learn
  • Interest and desire to compete and improve

Important stage to introduce team competition and encourage development of both individual and team skills.


  • Individual skill and team tactical acquisition as appropriate to age and stage of development
  • Joy and benefits of team sports: social interaction, multiple leadership roles, group problem-solving, sportsmanship
  • Learning different positions, roles and responsibilities on and off field
  • Love of the game and desire to continue to stick with field hockey for serious fun and to perform at the next level

Focus is on field hockey and becoming the best individual and team player possible through on and off-field training and dedication.

Competes for teams, positions and playing time and strives to win.


  • Working and striving for personal and team achievement
  • Committed as a player, coach and/or umpire who loves the game and strives to be the best

Example: Futures Program and elite club athletes, high school and college athletes, junior and senior high performance

Field hockey is a game for life.

Adults can play in college, post-college and masters. They can also coach, umpire, start and run clubs and programs, encourage kids to play and support the sport as fans, sponsors, donors and more.


  • Stay active and engaged as players, coaches, officials, parents, fans

Example: Adult or master outdoor or indoor athlete, club or volunteer coach, umpire of any level