Squad Criteria Guide

The setting and introduction of any criteria for any squad in any swimming club will always have problems and cannot and indeed must not be set in stone; there has to be some flexibility for both the swimmers and the coaching staff. A major advantage of having squad criteria is that everyone is aware of what is required to move and progress. Parents and swimmers must be fully aware of squad criteria and if unable to comply with all aspects of the criteria then please do not accept an offer to train with a squad until prior discussion with the Squad Lead Coach or Head Coach. Swimmers and parents should also read and adhere to the Clubs’ Code of Conduct.

The number of sessions each squad has been allocated is what is required to be successful at swimming, with swimmers attending 100% being the ideal. The guide of the minimum attendance maybe different for each squad, as it takes into consideration the different biological/chronological stage of the athletes and also the physiological and psychological development and wellbeing of the athlete. The intent of setting a minimum is that it is the required amount of training to progress well through the sport, and allows for illness and occasions when you have other commitments (please see appendix). All swimmers should aim to maximize their attendance at training, failure to do so will prevent swimmers from reaching their full potential, as well as not being able to cope with the training demands for the squad. 

Swimmers are continually monitored as to their overall performance and attendance, if this falls below the expectations of the coaching staff they will be moved to a squad more appropriate to their ability, commitment to the training and competitive programme. These movements are not done as punishments, but to have swimmers with the same standards in performance and attendance within the same group and to allow the progression of swimmers that will more benefit from that offer. Squad criteria are in place as a guide, movement is not guaranteed and the final decision will come down to the professional judgment of the coaching team. The coaching team also reserves the right to move swimmers outside of squad criteria based on their professional judgment.

Becoming a successful swimmer is a long-term process; there has never been a 10-year-old Olympic swimming champion. As a club and as a coaching team we are dedicated to long-term athlete development (LTAD) and our squad progression is based on, and inline with, British swimming’s recommendations with regards athlete development support phases (ADSP) this is reflected in the swimmer pathway, squad criteria and coaching practice.

All age group swimmers (14 & Under) will train to develop all 4 strokes and kick ability, as these are the cornerstones to long term athlete development and successful swimming. Event and stroke specialization takes place in the Senior Squads during the transition through youth level swimming (14-16yrs) and into senior level swimming (16yrs+). Swimmers will always show preference towards certain strokes and distances but this is just a preference and is highly susceptible to change in line with technical development and physical maturation.

Squads

Elite Performance

  • Age 14+ (Guide)
  • 6-8 sessions a week including land training
  • Selected for team Galas
  • Maintaining PBs throughout the season
  • Attending Targeted Open Meets throughout the season
  • Achieving County & Regional Times
  • Working towards National and British Champs qualification

Performance 1

  • Age 12-17+ (Guide)
  • 5-8 sessions a week including land training
  • Selected for team Galas
  • Maintaining PBs throughout the season
  • Attending Targeted Open Meets throughout the season
  • Achieving County & Regional Times
  • Working towards National qualification

Skills required to move to Elite Performance :  Coach recommendation

Performance 2

  • Age 11-14 (Guide)
  • 5-6 sessions a week including land training
  • Selected for team galas
  • Attending Open Meets throughout the season
  • Achieving County Times
  • Targeting Regional Qualification
  • Maintaining Full Range of PBs

Skills required to move to Performance 1 : Coach recommendation

Performance 3

  • Age 9-12 (Guide)
  • 5 - 6 sessions a week including land training
  • Selected for team galas
  • Attending Open Meets throughout the season
  • Achieving County Times

Skills required to move to Performance 2 : Coach recommendation

Development 1

  • Age 8-11+ (Guide)
  • Four/Five sessions a week
  • To Competently Swim 200m FC & BC, 100m BR, 50m Fly, 100m IM
  • To execute legal starts and turns
  • Can use pace clock to calculate times for all swims
  • To pass Swim England Competitive Start Award
  • Average Session Distance 1500m in 60 min session

Skills required to move to Performance 3 : Coach recommendation
Plus
Ability on all 4 strokes to stroke count and execute competent and legal starts and turns
400m FC 200m BC & BR, 100m Fly
200m IM with legal turns
To be able to correctly use pace clock
Achieve PB times at a licenced meet for 200m, 100m,50m FC ,100m,50m BC 100m 50m BR, 50m Fly, 200m IM

Development 2

  • Age 8-11 (Guide)
  • Two/Three sessions a week
  • 50m FC with Bi Lateral Breathing
  • 50m BC Stroke Counting Into Wall
  • 50m BR With whip kick and 2 handed touches at the wall.
  • 25m Butterfly with simultaneous arm recovery and 2 handed touch at finishes.
  • Can correctly perform a BR turn
  • Average Session Distance 1100m

Skills required to move to Development 1 : Coach recommendation
Plus
Ability to show all four strokes
To execute legal starts and turns
100 IM with all Legal turns
Can use pace clock to calculate times for 50m swims
To pass Swim England Competitive Start Award
Achieve PB times at a licenced meet for 50m swims

Development 3

  • Age 7-10 (Guide)
  • Minimum Swim England Level 7
  • One / Two sessions a week
  • Correct FC/BC/BR and entry level Fly 25m & FC Tumble Turn
  • Average Session Distance 800m

Skills required to move to Development 2 : Coach recommendation
Plus
50m FC with Bi Lateral Breathing
50m BC Stroke Counting Into Wall
50m BR With whip kick and 2 handed touches at the wall.
25m Butterfly with simultaneous arm recovery and 2 handed touch at finishes.
Can correctly perform a BR turn

Masters

  • Age 25+ (Seniors 18-24)
  • No upper Age Limit
  • 1-4 Sessions a week


Swim Fit

  • Age 12-18
  • 3 sessions a week
  • Want to swim for fitness not compete and or cant keep up in regular squads 
  • Maybe selected for team galas and attending internal club comps.