Coaching Programme

The Coaching Programme at Chirk Dragons Swimming Club is to provide resources for both junior and masters swimmers who aspire to further their potential at local, regional, national and international level.

Led by the Head Coach and a team of assistant coaches and support staff, with access to 11 hours of pool training, the programmes address the needs of all athletes throughout all the stages of their development.

The Coaching Programme provides a comprehensive programme of teaching, coaching and competition, designed to give junior and masters swimmers every opportunity to reach their full potential. As part of the curriculum the swimmers will be taught stroke technique and racing skills, and will be introduced to the FUNdamentals of training in an environment that they will find stimulating and enjoyable.

Coaching at Chirk Dragons S.C is based on the principles of Long Term Athlete Development.

Scientific research has shown that it takes at least 10 years, or 10,000 hours, for talented athletes to achieve sporting excellence.

There are two ways in which young swimmers can improve their performance:

  • Training
  • Growth & development

Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) is a sports development framework that is based on human growth and development. In short, it is about adopting an athlete-centred approach aimed at achieving optimal training, competition and recovery throughout an athlete’s career, particularly in relation to the important growth and development years of a young person’s life.

All young people follow the same general pattern of growth from infancy through adolescence, but there are significant individual differences in both the timing and magnitude of the changes that take place.

A number of scientists have reported that there are critical periods in the life of a young person in which the effects of training can be maximised. This has led to the notion that young people should be exposed to specific types of training during periods of rapid growth and that the types of training should change according to individual patterns of growth.

These findings have been used to devise a five stage LTAD framework that has been adapted to swimming:

  • FUNdamental – basic movement literacy (female 5-8yrs, male 6-9yrs)
  • SwimSkills – building technique (female 8-11yrs, male 9-12yrs)
  • Training to train – building the engine (female 11-16 years, male 12-15yrs)
  • Training to compete – optimising the engine (female 14-16yrs, male 15-18yrs)
  • Training to win – maximising the engine (female 16+yrs, male 18+yrs)