Transitioning process

Process for transitioning and promoting swimmers


The right squad at the right time

Swimmers move through the Wandsworth Swimming Club training programme as they age and develop.

Each training squad has a different kind, volume & pace of training and different expected levels of commitment to swimming.  All of these qualities are developmentally determined.

As a Coaching Team our aim is to put swimmers where they belong physiologically, psychologically and developmentally, and we find that swimmers show which training squad they belong in by what they do in their training sessions. This means their day-to–day training efforts and performance are much more important than their race results in determining where they fit best.

Transitioning process & criteria

Before a swimmer is moved up to the next squad they may be invited to train once a week with the higher squad, through the transitioning process.  Given the increased intensity required in the higher squad, the swimmer is still required to attend the minimum number of sessions set out for their current squad.  The transitioning session is in addition to these sessions, to enable swimmers to gradually get used to the higher intensity of training required in the higher squad.


When considering a transitioning process leading to a swimmer’s promotion, the Coaching Team looks at three key factors:

1. The swimmer is leading her/his current group

2. The swimmer is consistently training in the lower tier of the higher group across board, not just in one favourite     stroke. A swimmer will not fit in with a higher squad if they cannot train at the pace required for that squad.

3. The swimmer has the commitment and maturity level of the higher squad.

The principle is simple.  A swimmer will not keep up with the progress of a squad if they do not come to training as much, work as hard, go to the same swimming meets and handle the work required.  This means they do not yet fit into the higher squad.

Other factors that affect the decision for squad placement are the swimmer’s age, psychological maturity, physiological needs, competitive maturity, independence & self- reliance, leadership abilities, coachability and the willingness to be held accountable for their training and racing.

The transitioning process may take anything from few or dozen of  weeks to few or dozen of  months - it will vary from swimmer to swimmer and on some occasions a swimmer will not need a transitioning process at all.


Transitioning sessions & times

Transitioning sessions are scheduled on specific days due the training squad structure and the need to work around the annual training programmes for each squad.

The swimmer’s training performance, effort & commitment during these sessions are monitored, assessed and evaluated alongside those of their regular training sessions by their coaches.

Once a swimmer has reached the satisfactory level of skills and training ability, they will be promoted to the next squad.

The decision regarding squad promotions is entirely in the hands of the Coaching Team.

Transitioning sessions for different training squads are as follows:

Pre-Dev to Dev 1:       Tuesday 18.15-19.15 at Wimbledon College

Dev 1 to Dev 2:            Sunday 7.00-8.30 at PLC

Dev 2 to Comp Dev:    Sunday 7.00-8.30 at PLC

Comp Dev to JP:         Tue & Fri 19.30-21.00 at PLC