WhiteWater Aquatics Training Philosophy
The coaching staff at Whitewater Aquatics believes in three distinct training phases*. Our goal is to guide swimmers through all three levels however swimmers starting later in life will often skip levels or move through them quickly. Our belief is swimmers who achieve competency in each level will have the best possible base to reach their highest potential as senior swimmers.
The Learn to Swim phase:
The learn to swim phase begins with swimming lessons and progresses through Squad 2. During this time swimmers will learn the basic skills required to swim properly in all four strokes. This includes body line and balance and a general feel for each of the strokes. This phase begins as early as 3 years of age and continues to the swimmer reaches mastery usually around 9 to 10 years of age. Endurance is not important at this time with technique being the key to development. Swimmers at this age are not physically able to increase their endurance to a high degree or their strength due to physiology.
The Learn to Train phase:
The learn to train phase occurs after the swimmer has gained proficiency in stroke mechanics. Stroke technique continues to be vital for development but as the swimmer begins to make physical changes training volume is of equal importance. Since all athletes very in their maturation this phase can begin as early as 10 for girls and 11 for boys and usually extends to 13-14 for girls and up to age 16 for boys. In order to see long term development the coaches plan a steady increase in both volume and intensity in order for the athlete to achieve their potential.
The Learn to Compete phase:
The learn to compete phase in a transition from age group competition to high level senior and open competition. Athletes are exposed to these forms of competition on a regular basis in order to ready them for the mental and physical tolls that multi-day heats and finals meets offer. Athletes look towards seasonal peaks and understand they may only achieve personal best times once per season. It is important to remember that although we want to see your athlete perform at the highest level during their time with Whitewater, we strive to give them the tools to achieve even higher standards in collegiate swimming and even a return to the club for post collegiate training.
* These phases have been developed and outlined by English National Head Coach Bill Sweetenham in his book Championship Swim Training and we have drawn from these and implement them within our particular situation.