USA Weightlifting Features ADM Certification Re...

ADM Certification Required for Some Coaches

By Kevin Farley | Nov. 11, 2016, 2:30 p.m. (ET)

In 2016, the USA Weightlifting Board of Directors voted to require coaches to pass the Athlete Development Model (ADM) certification exam to access to the warm-up area at National Youth Championships events. This rule takes effect at the 2017 National Youth Championship events. The certification and exam are free of charge. 

Click here to learn more about the exam process.


Why ADM?

There has been a lot of attention directed towards youth participation in all sports and not just weightlifting.

Whether you refer to it as ADM (Athlete Development Model) or LTAD (Long Term Athletic Development) the philosophy is the same. How do you safely bring young children along the path to high level athletic performance, if they choose to do that?

USA Weightlifting was involved from the beginning of the USOC’s efforts which began in the summer of 2013 and concluded in the fall of 2014. Here is the link to the USOC’s ADM

http://www.teamusa.org/About-the-USOC/Athlete-Development/American-Development-Model

USA Hockey, USA Tennis and USA Swimming are the champions of ADM and Hockey took the first step 13 years ago. USA Weightlifting has borrowed, heavily, from USA Hockey as we believe that their approach is sound and has proven results.

Recent studies have shown that youth athletes are burning out before they have a chance to excel.

They travel too much, compete too much, do not get a chance to rest and recover and the focus is on results, rather than performance. Sports Specialization at a young age results in not only injury but a ‘cap’ on athletic performance.

A recent student compiled by the Indonesian Weightlifting Federation tracked the progress of 33 medal winning athletes, ages 16-17, from the Youth Olympic Games in 2010 through the end of 2013. Each Lifters progress was recorded. There was a 52% dropout rate over this time period. 15% of the athletes did not compete after the initial even in 2010. The remaining 48% had an average increase of only 10% over the next three years. The Indonesians are re-evaluating the importance of high level competition for athletes younger than 18 years of age.

Of Course the USA is not Indonesia but the results of their study are worth knowing as we want to have our athletes be safe and have long, productive, careers.

Understanding the applications of ADM as it relates to youth athletes can help us achieve these outcomes.

PLAY, LOVE, EXCEL.

Here is how USA Weightlifting uses USA Hockey's Play, Love, Excel Model.

The next challenge is how to implement the steps of ADM so that young athletes are brought along a systematic approach to athletic development.

ACTIVE START Ages 0-6

Objectives:

  • Increase coordination, social skills, motor skills, and imagination
  • Exercise builds strong bones and muscles and improves/maintains flexibility
  • Exercise may help to create good sleep habits and promote a health weight
  • Instill good postural habits
  • Create enjoyment through exercise and play

Training:

  • Kids should be engaged in both structured and unstructured activities
  • Structured activities should range from 30-60min per day
  • Allow kids to just have fun (Unstructured Play)
  • Sedentary time should be kept to a minimum
  • Activities should vary and include a variety of different movement patterns

FUNDEMENTALS Ages; Females 6-8, Males 6-9

Objectives:

  • FUNdamental sport movements are developed
  • Introduction of structured sport
  • Creating an environment where kids have FUN and have the opportunity to experience self-improvement is critical to the longevity of those kids in sport
  • Continue to improve motor skills as well as strength and endurance through nervous system development
  • Fundamental weightlifting movements may be taught such as squats or presses, but should not be done as a means to improve strength

Training:

  • Kids should participate in daily unstructured activities
  • Structured activities should include multiple sports and should range from 30-60min per day
  • Allow kids to just have fun (Unstructured Play)
  • Sedentary time should be kept to a minimum

LEARN to TRAIN Ages; Females 8-11, Males 9-12

Objectives:

  • Weightlifting movements can be taught with an emphasis on proper technique
  • Choose loads where the athlete can succeed rather than attempting near max lifts
  • During this age period, children are highly receptive to skill and technique training
  • Focus should still be on creating a well-rounded athlete (endurance and anaerobic training, strength, flexibility, power, agility and coordination
  • Set standards and expectations regarding behavior, fair play and etiquette

 

Training:

  • Encourage participation in multiple sports and activities
  • Weightlifting training should be introduced approximately 2x per week for 45min-1hr
  • Other sporting activities should take place the other 3-5 days

           Total Weightlifting Training Volume 100-150hrs per year

TRAIN to TRAIN Ages; Females 11-15, Males 12-16

Objectives:

  • Athletes will most likely experience “growth spurts” which will change the biomechanics of their technique, coaches must work to adapt to the growing body
  • Focus should begin to shift to the nuances of the lifts (starting position, posture, receiving the bar) rather than the gross movement patterns
  • Assistance exercises should gradually be added to the program
  • Still concerned with creating a well-rounded athlete

 

Training:

  • Encourage participation in multiple sports and activities.
  • Weightlifting training should include 3-4 workouts per week ranging from 1-1.5hrs
  • Total Weightlifting Training Volume 300-400hrs per year

 

Competition:

  • Competition should be introduced at this stage with an emphasis on competition procedures
  • Coaches should choose weights which set their lifter up for success
  • Lifters at this stage should compete

                1-2 times per year

  • Youth Nationals

TRAIN to COMPETE; Ages, Females 15-18, Males 16-18

Objectives:

  • Athletes may decide that Weightlifting is their preferred sport and the sport in which they would like to “specialize” in
  • Continued development of the whole body with strength, speed and flexibility is a must.
  • More periodized training takes place
  • Athletes must become aware of the critical elements of training and competing: peaking, nutrition, muscle recovery, health habits, etc

 

Training:

  • Athlete begins to specialize in weightlifting, but may still cross train via other sports
  • Weightlifting training should include 4 workouts per week ranging from 1-2hrs
  • Total Weightlifting Training Volume 400-500hrs per year
  • Focus of training revolves around peaking for competition
  • Training programs should be progressive in nature to help lifters adapt to the increasing work capacity

 

Competition:

  • Coaches should choose competitions that fit into the overall goals of the athletes
  • Focus should be on peaking for main competitions
  • Lifters at this stage should compete 4-5 times per year
  • Youth and Junior Nationals

LEARN to COMPETE Ages; 18-22

Objectives:

  • Athletes become more aware of the importance of their training and competition habits
  • Performance optimization becomes critical and athlete may begin to seek help from other providers such as massage therapists, physiotherapists or nutritionists
  • Continued refinement of technique is crucial
  • Regular competition and training camps should be scheduled

 

Training:

  • Weightlifting training should include 4-5 workouts per week ranging from 1-2hrs
  • Total Weightlifting Training Volume 500-600hrs per year
  • Focus of training revolves around peaking for competition
  • Training programs should be progressive in nature to help lifters adapt to the increasing work capacity

 

Competition:

  • Focus should be on peaking for main competitions
  • Lifters at this stage should compete 5-6 times per year
  • Junior Nationals, American Open, Nationals

Possible introduction to International Competition

COMPETE to WIN Ages +23

Objectives:

  • Athletes have fully developed in terms of their mental, physical and emotional capabilities
  • Mastery of technique and developing individual style is the main focus of technical development
  • Athletes should have a support team in place to help guide the athlete and to treat/prevent injuries
  • Rest and Recovery becomes of high importance as volume and intensity increases

 

Training:

  • Weightlifting training may include 6-7 workouts per week sometimes twice per day
  • Total Weightlifting Training Volume 600-900hrs per year
  • Training programs should be progressive in nature and include adequate rest

 

Competition:

  • Focus should be on peaking for main competitions
  • Lifters at this stage should compete 3-5 times per year
  • American Open and Nationals
  • International Competition

Finally. ADM is not about restricting competition. It IS about making both training and competition Age Appropriate.

Children ARE NOT smaller editions of Adults. A child is only 10 years old once. As adults we have a stewardship to ensure their growth in all phases of their life. Physical, Mental, Emotional, Social and even Spiritual. Since weightlifting is an individual sport, that can benefit all sports, we have the best opportunity to have young athletes grow to excellence in our sport and any other that they choose.