Why train at Bobcats?

Borough OBurnley Coaching And Training Squad offers opportunities for individuals to develop their potential to the highest level possible in their pursuit of excellence as a competitive swimmer

All swimmers learn the use of pace, stroke rate, stroke count, and training based on heart rates or perceived effort in conjunction with each other. Using pace, not heart rate, is the main way of setting training intensity. The swimmers will be introduced to heart-rate-controlled training sets

How much Training should I be doing?

The true question to be asking is how much “commitment “is one prepared to give to the training programme?

The recommended number of hours required increases as you get older and as the level of competition you aspire to gets higher, for example 9 hours pool training would be a minimum recommendation for a 12yr aiming to compete at the North-West Region level

As you aspire to higher levels of competition, early morning training becomes necessary to achieve what is required and if you really want to reach the top, a higher level of commitment will often be necessary

What training equipment do I need and what are they all for?

Kickboard – a board (usually foam) held to maintain buoyancy whilst isolating the legs to kick

Pull-Buoy – a flotation device held between legs whilst swimming. It keeps the legs afloat without having to kick, thus isolating and allocating the work to the arms. Can also be used as a less-buoyant and therefore more difficult to use kick-board

Hand Paddles – specially designed plastic paddles which are strapped to the hands to increase the demands on the arm-strength/power needed to swim (available in junior/senior sizes)

Finger Paddles – similar to hand paddles but smaller and strapped to the fingers to correct and strengthen strokes, increasing sensory awareness for proper technique

Flippers (Fins) – provides stability for the upper-body part of the stroke working best on short-rest repeats, drills and sprint sets

Band – a rubber band device worn around the ankles to hold the legs together. Less buoyant than a pull-buoy it allocates the work to the arms whilst increasing resistance

Drink Bottle(s) – swimmers should bring a drinks bottle onto poolside at each training session, and should drink small but frequent quantities through out the session which is essential to prevent de-hydration. Water or diluted cordial drinks are best. Avoid fizzy drinks, which will bloat the stomach.

What else would assist me in benefiting from the training programme?

To aid in the evaluation of his or her swimming program, every swimmer should maintain a training log to record everything the swimmer does in training sessions and competitions, both good and bad. The swimmer is responsible for maintaining the training log, and the coach should review it regularly.

What Competitions should I be doing?

Swimmers will look to compete in about 8-12 competitions each year of varying standards: below current standard (club to county level); at the standard (county to north-west level); and above it (regional to national level)

It is recommended that swimmers up to 12yrs should be encouraged to perform 200m events as this gives a better indication of training ability

What makes a Good Swimmer?



Points Out of 5


Quality of effort in the pool


Quality of effort in the gym (if relevant)


Quality of a log book (if relevant)



Level of motivation


Willingness to take instruction and learn


Level of self discipline and self motivation


Commitment and support of team goals and values



Have the physical and technical ability to perform at the right level



Competitiveness/confidence when racing


Preparation (warm-up) / mental focus before a race


Ability to control anxiety during competition



Overall have the real desire to “want” to achieve at the highest level


Willingness to compete regularly at the right level