Following our recent development as a club, it is now important to become more formalised and structured to better enable us to continuously improve both as a club and as individual athletes.
We therefore have the following proposed squad system with set training times and criteria for each group, which we believe will help us to help all swimmers achieve their potential, and help the club grow and progress in the future.
Advantages of proposed squad system:
Clear and structured pathway of progression through club.
Ensures lanes are not overcrowded as groups have a maximum capacity and set training times through the week.
Firm criteria laid down for entry into each group to ensure progression is in line with the ASA’s Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) guidelines for the benefit of the swimmer.
‘Minnows’: Current widths group. FUNdamentals phase of development. Swimmers will work through ASA’s NPTS stages 1-5. This stage involves gaining confidence in the water, and learning basic skills such as kicking, pulling, rhythmic breathing and floating.
‘Sharks’: Widths to lengths transition. Swimmers are still in the FUNdamentals phase of development. Swimmers should be aiming to complete the standard of the ASA’s NPTS stages 6 and 7. Swimmers are starting to learn legal strokes and how to shallow dive.
Junior Bronze: Beginning of Swim Skills phase of development. Swimmers should be aiming to complete the standard of the ASA’s NPTS Stage 8 (the first competitive stage), and also reach the standard of the ASA competitive start award. Targets for progression become time bound, as well as distance bound and swimmers begin learning competitive skills like starts and turns on all 4 strokes.
Junior Silver: Swim Skills phase of development. Swimmers should be aiming to reach the standard of the ASA’s NPTS Stage 9 and swimmers begin to build endurance. Swimmers must commit to represent Bromsgrove SC in Junior / Friendly Galas. Required attendance is a rolling average of 2 sessions per week. Regular attendance is critical due to the increased endurance focus of elements at this stage.
Junior Gold: Swim Skills phase of development. Swimmers should be aiming to reach the standard of ASA’s NPTS Stage 10 (the final competitive stage). Swimmers must commit to represent Bromsgrove SC in Junior / Friendly Galas. Opportunities to attend open meets may also be offered. Required attendance is a rolling average of 2 sessions per week.
Junior County: Swimmers aged 8+ in the late Swim Skills phase of LTAD. Focus is on refinement of technique and skills on all 4 strokes, starts and turns, and developing of speed and efficiency. Athletes must commit to L2/L3 Open Meets targeted by the club and also represent Bromsgrove SC in Nuneaton Junior / PGL and Friendly Galas. Required attendance is a rolling 5 hours per week minimum.
Junior Regional: Swimmers aged on average from 11-14 in possession of at least 1 county time (at Head Coaches discretion) and targeting regional level qualification. Athletes must be prepared to travel to L1/L2/L3 Open Meets and compete for Bromsgrove in the National League and Junior League. This may be called the ‘Learning to Train’ phase of development. Required attendance is 7 hours per week rolling average minimum, plus land training.
Senior National: Swimmers in the Training to Train phase of LTAD aged 14+. These swimmers should be in possession of a minimum of 3 county qualifying times (at Head Coaches discretion), targeting Regional / National qualification, competing for Bromsgrove SC in the National League, and prepared to travel to L1 Open Meets targeted by the club. Attendance should be a rolling average 8 hours per week in the pool minimum, plus land training.
Masters / Fitness: Swimmers training 1-3 times a week for fitness purposes. There will be opportunities to compete at local and regional Club / Masters Competitions.
Why is attendance a criteria for maintaining a place in a group?
Because there are windows of opportunity where a swimmers physiology is more receptive to developing specific skills and attributes, and it is important we take advantage of this by attending as many sessions as possible (within reason) in the early years to help young swimmers achieve their potential in the future.
“If a young swimmer misses a stage of development then he/she is unlikely to reach their full potential. One of the main reasons athletes plateau during the later stages of their careers is because of an over emphasis on competition instead of taking full advantage of training.” – The ASA’s LTAD Pathway