The squad structure provides a number of progressively graded training groups, with the objective of facilitating long term development, in line with competitive pathways recommended by the sports’ governing body, Swim England.

Each group is designed to benefit swimmers who are grouped together by various factors including ability, competitive experience, maturity and training commitment.  The number, duration and intensity of the training sessions are geared to levels of development and maturation.

Regardless of which group a swimmer is assigned to, all squad members are encouraged to take a full and active part in all aspects of their squad training programme.

Most of the movements from one group to another are based on a combination of age, performance, potential, ability to train, attendance, attitude and technique, not age or performance alone. Swimmers are expected to train with the highest level for which they have qualified.

Whilst this document outlines criteria and objectives, the Lead Coaches panel has discretion in waiving certain parameters on an individual basis. In reviewing each case, Coaches will take into account the history of a swimmer’s commitment to training and competition as well as their work ethic and maturity.

Swimmers missing prolonged periods of training for various reasons (including but not limited to exams, illness, and holidays) may be invited to train with a different squad. When they have regained their fitness/skill levels, they may return to their original squad, but only at the discretion of the Lead Coaches Panel.

FUNdamental Stage

(Development 1 (advanced) & 2 (intermediate))

This FUNdamental stage is well structured and FUN. The emphasis is on the overall development of the swimmer’s physical capacities, fundamental movement skills and the ABC’s of athleticism

- Agility, Balance, Co-ordination and Speed,

These groups place emphasis on the development of stroke technique for swimmers normally aged 7 - 11 years

Training to TRAIN Stage


The Training to Train stage addresses the critical periods of physical and skill development.

Swimmers will learn how to train and learn the basic skills of the sport.

This group places a major emphasis on the development of stroke technique for swimmers normally aged 8/9 - 11 years.  In addition, basic swimming endurance and basic swimming speed are developed. The programme is designed to enable each swimmer to begin to gain experience of competitive swimming events. Targeted meets include Club Championships & Graded Meets.

Attendance at all sessions is encouraged to show any substantial improvement in swimming ability.

Swimmers wishing to progress to the next level of the training programme should be showing a desire and commitment to taking part in relevant competitions as directed by the coaching staff.

Training to COMPETE Stage

(C Squad, B Squad, Age Group)

During the Training to Compete stage swimmers learn to perform the learned skills under a variety of competitive conditions and are exposed to all possible competitive conditions in training.

These groups aim to provide a progressive training programme for swimmers usually aged between 10-13 years.  It should be seen as preparation of the swimmer for youth and senior swimming.  “C” & “B” Squad swimmers will be expected to compete in all strokes, distances and especially 200 m & 400 m Individual Medley events.

The main goals of these groups are to enhance stroke technique, improve cardiovascular fitness, and address individual strengths and weaknesses. Swimmers are introduced to technical/tactical skills and life skills such as time management, the value of nutrition and fluid intake for training and competition, and also training principles.

The competitive aims within the Squads are to progressively qualify and compete at Swim England County Championships.

Attendance at all sessions as advised by your coach is strongly encouraged. Minimum attendance requirement for C Squad and B Squad is 4 sessions per week, and minimum attendance for Age Group is 5 sessions per week.


These squads consist of swimmers normally aged between 11-13 years old in Junior Club and 12+ upwards in Club Squad. They provide the ability to train in a competitive environment but with less focus on entering competitions than the C to Youth squads.

As with all squads, standards of training such as effort, attitude and punctuality are high, and attendance at all the sessions is encouraged. 

Training to WIN Stage

(Youth & Performance)

All of the swimmer’s physical, technical, tactical, mental and ancillary capacities are now being consolidated with the focus of training now shifting to the optimisation of performance.

On promotion to these squads, the swimmers will generally be aged 13 years and upwards and will be showing high levels of commitment to their programme and the Club.  They will consist of motivated individuals having the dedication and desire to train and compete at the highest level.

Swimmers in these squads should be showing dedication to the sport through excellent effort, attitude and attendance, and attend all the designated competitions assigned by the coaching staff.

Minimum attendance requirement for “Youth” Squad is an average of 5 sessions per week. Some “Youth” Squad swimmers may be offered an additional weekly session with the Performance group, (subject to them maintaining full attendance in their own programme) and on recommendation of the squad’s Lead Coach and subsequent agreement with the Head Coach. The minimum attendance for Performance swimmers is an average of 7 sessions per week, however this may adjusted up or down due to individuals requirements at the Head Coach's discretion.

It is expected that “Youth” Squad swimmers will normally be competing at County standard and above, with swimmers in Performance normally at Regional standard and above.

Swimmers are expected to restrict taking prolonged breaks during the swimming season.

Experience shows that if a swimmer takes seven days off for a holiday during the training season, generally it will then take a further twenty one days to regain swim fitness levels. In the meantime the respective squad’s training regime has progressed.

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