Route through Marlins explained

Maidenhead Marlins swimming club aims to take swimmers on a pathway from early learn to swim, through stroke development, Age Group and Youth swimming. Swimmers following this pathway will be afforded the opportunity to move on to Senior swimming at specialised training centres (if appropriate) and to continue their swimming with Marlins during holiday periods. The club’s Masters squad is available to those returning from Senior swimming programmes who wish to continue with “ lifelong participation”.

Our squad structure is underpinned by the competition requirements of the current competitive structure of British swimming as well as the sound principles of the ASA and the Sport England Long Term Athlete Development Document (LTAD) [1].

The club’s squad names are linked to the Age Group Categories, which differentiate according to  the current competitive structure of British swimming. Age Group swimming refers to swimmers in the 9 – 13 year old range. Youth competition refers to swimmers aged 14 – 18.  Senior competition refers to swimmers 18 +.

At Regional and National level, there are separate competitions for Age group and Youth Swimmers.

 Below is an explanation as to how Marlins squad structure fits into the LTAD:

  • Stroke Development:

    • Stage 1 of the LTAD. It concentrates on the skills and techniques that form the foundation of competitive swimming. Swimmers are assessed quarterly and moved along the pathway in accordance with carefully planned assessment criteria. The length of sessions and frequency increases as swimmers move up through the level.

  • Junior 1 & 2:

    • Stage 2 of the LTAD. Skills and technique work continue to be the priority and have more importance than endurance training. It is important in this context that the percentage of endurance training increases gradually throughout this Stage.

  • Junior 3 & 4:

    • Stage 3 of the LTAD; accordingly training becomes more endurance based with skill refinements. Training is now per iodised, on a full year cycle, to a carefully planned competition calendar.

  • Junior 5:

    • Completing stage 3 & an introduction to Stage 4. Training and competition is periodised with a double peak annual cycle. Training endurance and aerobic capacity is the priority in this squad.

  • Performance Squad & Competitive Squads:

    • Stage 4 of the LTAD. Training is periodised within a carefully planned competition calendar. There is a triple peak periodisation within the competitive year.

  • A small number of our most senior Swimmers may move into LTAD Stage 5 as they come toward the end of their full time training at Marlins.

This structure gives swimmers the foundation and skills to move to the Senior Programme of their choice, ready to maximise their future development and fulfil any aspirations to Elite swimming.

NB: Each squad has its own criteria for earning and maintaining a place in it, along with clearly defined training objectives and expectations. These are available on the club web site.

[1] To fully appreciate the technical differences between stages of training, it is important that this document is considered (read) in conjunction with the LTAD document attached below.


Long Term Athlete Development Guide.pdf


Squad criteria