Newcastle Staffs Swimming Club

The home of Performance Swimming In Staffordshire

SwimMark Club

Introduction to the Squads

We operate a squad system in which swimmers of a similar age & ability are grouped together for training purposes. As swimmers progress, they can move up the squads if they meet the criteria, if there is a place available and at the discretion of the coaches. 

For each squad, there are specific entry criteria to be met as well as ongoing performance criteria (see individual squads). In addition, there are generic criteria which apply to all squads, which can be found here - General Squad Criteria

NSSC is organised into the following squads: Stroke Improvers, Academy, Junior, Development, Regional, National & Masters.

Stroke Improvers is for swimmers who haven't quite reached level 7 or equivalent in lessons but would like to focus on developing strong technical skills before moving into our competitive squads. Whilst we do not offer a lesson programme, we cover the essential skills required.

Academy squad is typically the entry point for young swimmers graduating from their lessons programme. This is a non-competitive squad although Academy swimmers are encouraged to get a flavour of competing by entering some of our in-house time trials. 

Junior squad is the first of the club's competitive squads, where swimmers are expected to enter their first open meet (or gala), including our in-house gala, Yule in the Pool. Academy and Junior squads train for the same amount of hours but at different intensities. The focus is very much on embedding excellent technique on all strokes plus starts and turns.

Development squad provides an increase in training hours and starts to work on endurance, building on the technical skills gained in Academy and Juniors. Swimmers in Development squad start working towards gaining County qualifying times. Swimmers are introduced to land training for the first time. 

Regional squad further builds endurance and speed. Training hours increase again and most of the sessions are 2 hours long. The goal is to gain qualifying times for the Regional Championships.

National squad has both evening and morning training sessions on offer. A high level of commitment is required for swimmers in this squad as they work towards gaining qualification to National Champs. Whilst the younger swimmers in the squad continue with their land training programme, the senior swimmers embark on a personalised Strength & Conditioning programme which dovetails with the swim training programme to provide maximum benefit. Long course training is available over several weekends at Loughborough National Centre.

Finally we have Masters squad. There are no entry requirements apart from the fact that you need to be aged 18 or over and able to swim. The club is unable to cater for non-swimmers within its squad system. Masters swimmers can either swim for pleasure and fitness or enter Masters competitions, entirely your choice.

More in-depth information on each squad can be found on the individual squad pages.