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How Many Sessions Per Week Are Ideal for A SQUAD SWIMMER?

At TeamDMSS, we've streamlined our approach to ensure each swimmer achieves their potential, aligned with scientific research and our expertise. Here’s a concise guide to help you understand the training frequency needed across our different squad levels - Entry, Bronze, Silver, and Gold.

Entry & Bronze Squad: The Foundation Stage

At this stage, attending 2-3 sessions per week all year round is optimal. The focus is mastering technique rather than speed. Our approach includes low-intensity, technique-oriented drills, promoting a well-rounded skill set without early specialization in any single stroke. Participation in a variety of sports alongside swimming is also a key component, as it aids in the general athletic development of the child, enhancing balance, coordination, and diverse movement patterns. By making the process fun and focusing on correct fundamentals, we lay the groundwork for future success in swimming and beyond.

Silver & Gold Squad: Peak Performance Stage

Progressing to Silver and Gold, more time is devoted to physiological conditioning than to teaching fundamentals. In this phase, the mileage completed each week becomes an important consideration. Silver swimmers should aim for 5-6 sessions per week to prepare for higher-level competitions and potentially qualify for prestigious meets like the SA Level 3 and SANJ. Low-intensity aerobic conditioning is still the highest priority, but we do have athletes begin to do more anaerobic threshold work.

In Gold, 7-8 pool sessions and 2 gym sessions is recommended. This mirrors the regimen of elite age group swimmers and is essential for those aiming for national selections or achieving significant competitive milestones. Success over the long term remains a high priority but at this stage main sets become more specific and specialized. As swimmers swim faster in practice a greater percentage of the time, it is critical that technique is not compromised.

Balancing other activities?

While we encourage participation in other sports and activities for a well-rounded experience, swimmers and their families should have realistic expectations about the commitment required to excel in swimming at the highest levels. Swimmers who attend sessions sporadically, alternating between intense training periods and times of reduced activity, or consistently participating in too few sessions, place themselves at a disadvantage with lower fitness levels, increasing their risk of injury and demotivation as they struggle to keep pace with the squad. Success in swimming, as in life, is about finding the right balance.

Quick Takeaway

In summary, the journey through the ranks of competitive swimming at DMSS is carefully structured. Balancing swimming with other interests is possible, but success in the pool requires dedication and a clear understanding of the training commitment necessary at each level of competition.

As I often say, “What you put in, is what you get out!”

Yours in swimming,

Coach Darrell

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