Newcastle Staffs Swimming Club

The home of Performance Swimming In Staffordshire

SwimMark Club

The Optimum Athlete Development Framework

This framework has been developed by British Swimming and it describes the type of swimmer who is likely to be successful in Paris 2024 and beyond. In fact, two types of swimmer have been identified:

  1. 'The Great British Swimmer', and
  2. those showing 'Future Performance Potential'

The characteristics of these two types of swimmer have been split into 3 areas - characteristics of the 'person', the 'athlete' and the 'performer'.

The idea behind the OADF is that clubs can use this framework and these characteristics to help identify those with 'Future Performance Potential' in their club and nurture them, using their own talent development strategies, in preparation for the next stage of their talent journey, be that on a university pathway or elsewhere. British Swimming have said, "We are looking to work with our club swimming fraternity to identify, and then develop a new and guaranteed supply of athletes. These athletes will be capable of being successfully transitioned over the medium to long term, to perform at the highest levels of world swimming." Newcastle Staffs SC has adopted this framework to support the identification and development of its club swimmers with future potential.

If you are interested in understanding more about the OADF, you can read about it at British Swimming here.

How the OADF fits with our squads

In order to align our club with the OADF characteristics, we have defined the values and characteristics that we would like 'Castle swimmers to adopt as they move through the squads, in readiness for their ultimate transition on to a performance pathway at university or beyond. By adopting this approach, we hope to increase the number of swimmers with the characteristics that British Swimming are looking for to join their talent pool.

The below 'Guide to a Swimmer's Journey through our Squads' gives an insight into how your swimmer is expected to develop, in broad terms, during their time with Newcastle. Whilst your child may be very young and at the start of their swim journey, it is useful to understand the big picture in terms of where it could lead and to recognise that, if they become serious about their swimming, it is a long journey requiring enormous commitment from them and from you, (their family and wider support network), at every stage in their journey.

It is also worth saying that their journey won't be a straight line of progression, it will be a meandering route of ups and downs with many highs and lows. It is easy to get distracted by the peaks and troughs - over-enthused by their success or worried that they will never PB again or recover from injury or setback. This is natural. Every Great British Swimmer has been on this journey and has had moments of great success and deep failure. Your role, as a swim parent, is to always praise and support, without judgement and without criticism. We hope to provide as much support to our parents and families as we do to our swimmers as we recognise the vital role that you play in their journey. After all, it is the journey that makes the athlete, with those able to learn from periods of adversity, often being the greatest athletes of all.

Guide to A Swimmer’s Journey through our Squads