Key Concepts

The USSA Training Systems are divided into 6 Phases of Development and 7 Domains.  The Phases of Development track an athlete from starting in the sport to World Class Performance.  The phases are based on a combination of an athlete's chronolgical, biological and training ages.  These three factors are the primary determinants of what activities, skills and competition level is appropriate for a given phase. 

The Domains are the major categories used to define each area of focus for each phase.  Each domain consists of several Elements that make up each domain. The Training Systems consist of the following 7 domains:

The Development Domain gives definitions and guidelines used to determine an athlete phase placement. The determining factors are Chronological Age (actual age of the athlete), Biological Age (stage of physical development) and Training Age (number year of sport participation).  The Development Domain also provides guidliens for appropriate training volumes, annual training, training focus and complementary sports.

The Physical Fitness Domain provides definition and guidelines for development of an athletes physical capabilties based on phase and age appropriate recommendations.  This domain also addresses guidelines on nutrition, hydration and recovery throughout the phases of development.

The Technical Domain contains guidelines and benchmarks for the development of key skills required at each phase.  Skills presented in the earlier phases are critical to the progression in to the higher levels of each sport.  The recommended skills in each phase were defined and developed by USSA National Team coaches, USSA Sport Education Committees and other experts in each sport.

The Tactical Domain builds on the Technical Domain by providing recommendations for application of skills to terrain, courses, features and competition venues.

The Equipment Selection and Preparation Domain outlines the knowledge and skills an athlete needs to maintain and prepare their equipment for training and competition.

The Mental and Social Skills Domain addresses the progression of performance psychology through an athlete's development.

Finally, The Competition Domain oulines a gradual pipeline through the competition pathways for each phase of development.

Taken as a whole, the USSA Training System provide a thorough and comprehensive set of recommendation for Long Term Athlete Development in each sport.  They are designed to help USSA Clubs, Coaches and Parents gain an understanding of the critical factors in each phase of development.