HOW WE TRAIN
As Cheltenham’s leading competitive Swim Club we cater for a wide range of swimmers targeted at all abilities and age groups within a competitive swim environment.
We promote a long-term journey through the sport of swimming. Our programme follows the Swim England Athlete Development Support Pathway (ADSP) that provides a pathway most suited to each individual swimmer based on their attainment, attitude, application and attendance.
Our culture is not just to teach our swimmers how to swim competitively but to understand the process of reaching personal goals in an environment that is fun and fulfilling. We aim not to just produce swimmers who learn ‘how’ to swim fast and efficiently but developing intelligent athletes who understand ‘why’ they enjoy swimming.
Through this approach our swimmers not only achieve their goals but also gain much broader life skills from their commitment and effort which will stay with them. In this way we aim for them to become swimmers for life.
To deliver our programme our swim groups are split into 3 main sections again following the Swim England ADSP. They are our Learning to Train or ‘Swim Skills’ Groups, Training to Train or ‘Swim Development’ Groups and finally our Swim Competition or ‘Training to Compete’ Groups.
When swimmers trial with us our objective is not to see if they are ‘good enough’ but rather to assess each swimmer and determine within which group they would best fit. This allows them to fit in quickly, enjoy their swimming and progress along the pathway based on their development.
Swim Skills or ‘Learning to Train’ is for entry level swimmers often coming to us from swim schools where they have progressed through stages 1-7 of the Swim England Awards, though they are not a requirement to join. These groups typically range from between 8 to 12 years and swim 2 to 4 hours a week.
Their training is focussed on developing and refining swim technique across all strokes and distances, learning basic competition skills and the training process. We look to build aerobic swim capacity and maintenance through positive reinforcement and the development of concentration skills.
We are able to offer competition at club championships, identified development open meets, PGL & Cotswold league galas and county & regional championships.
Athletes will be introduced to dry land training focussing on basic flexibility and core strength as they progress through this stage.
A multi-sport lifestyle is encouraged of all athletes in this group and we try where possible to accommodate this within training schedules.
Training to Train
Swim Development or ‘Training to Train’ is the progression for our swimmers along their development pathway. These groups range typically from 11 to 16 years and swim 4 to 7 hours a week.
Their main focus of training continues to develop the techniques of all 4 strokes learnt in Swim Skills but with an increased training load and higher intensity. There is an increased focus on developing both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems through progressive overload training.
Swimmers will compete more and at a higher level and will learn more around race tactics but also preparation, goal setting and the process of training and competing.
We offer competitive opportunities at championships, identified level 1, 2 and 3 open meets, PGL, Cotswold & Arena league galas and county, regional & national championships.
Athletes gain further flexibility and core strength but also an introduction to power through further dry land training and are taught to place an emphasis on the importance of nutrition and hydration within their daily lives.
Whilst still encouraging participation in other sports at this stage swimmers do need to start placing an emphasis on a couple of sports as a priority including swimming.
Training to Compete
Swim Competition or ‘Training to Compete’ is for our older swimmers who are continuing on the competitive swim pathway.
These groups are typically 15 years plus and swim over 8 hours a week. We do continue to offer a reduced programme at this stage for swimmers on a less competitive swim path.
At this stage the volume of training does go up often with multiple sessions in a day but more significantly the intensity of training and the amount of work across all 3 energy systems increases.
At this stage we develop and refine individual race skills and tactics with a focus on higher level competition and a lifestyle to support that focus.
Our land training programme evolves into a core strength, power and mobility structure to support the physical conditioning to compete more often and at a higher level.
Swimmers compete at identified Level 1 and 2 Open Meets, Club Championships, Cotswold & Arena league galas and county, regional & national championships.