Academy Learn-to-swim groups

This is the lowest entry point into the club. In the Beginners group the focus is on water confidence but by the time they move into Advanced they should be safe to swim a width in the deep end and learning basic techniques. Development is the final stage of the Academy.

Developmental Squads: Sharks, Dolphins, Blue and Otters

The key focus of the Developmental squads will be the improvement of the technical skills and stroke techniques needed in competitive swimming. Stamina at this stage will develop from the regular training so is not a priority.

Swimmers will be introduced to our Development Club Championships where they can test out their strokes in a safe, friendly and fun environment. Swimmers will establish ‘personal best’ times in the events they race and whilst these are a useful method for them to measure progress, parents and swimmers are encouraged to focus on self-improvement rather than comparisons with others.

In the higher of the development squads, Dolphins and Blue, swimming technique is still the number one focus as it must be constantly improved and refined, but the coaches will now also begin to build fitness and stamina through the regular inclusion of training sets that develop endurance.

Senior Squads: (Bronze), Club, Silver, Gold, Mercury, Platinum and Performance

The swimmer may well have some favourite strokes but there are no specialists at this stage and everyone will be required to improve their weaknesses as well as developing their strengths. Competitions are still just stepping stones on the pathway to greater things in the future but they now start to take more prominence with swimmers aiming to demonstrate their progress at some external events once they reach the minimum age of 9 years old.

Not everyone reaches the top stages - Mercury and above - and some reach it and don't want to go any further. The training program becomes significantly more demanding, with regular and more extended training sessions. Technique is still key, but there is now more emphasis on the planning of physiological conditioning. Coaches plan out the sessions in cycles around the season's competition calendar. 

The highest-level swimmers in Performance will now be training up to ten times per week in the pool plus land based sessions. Because of the commitment required, careful monitoring of the athlete’s whole lifestyle is required. As such, the swimmers are given instructions in nutrition, stretching and lifestyle management and encouraged to start taking full responsibility for their actions and behaviours. Performance becomes a progression towards this, while the Platinum will still provide a challenging training programme but without the pressure of high commitment required in Performance.