Squad Structure

Foundation Squads:

The foundation squads will focus heavily on the swimmers’ stroke development and the introduction of basic competitive skills. Scheme of works will be planned to include all four strokes and the development of a basic IM. Whilst some sessions will be designed to extend their aerobic ability the main focus of the squads will be the basic technical and competitive elements needed to develop into a competitive swimmer. Any competition at this stage is a development tool and should be a fun experience.

Development Squads:

The development squads will see swimmers work on all aspects of their strokes, competitive skills and aerobic stamina. The rate at which swimmers acquire the skills required to move between squads will be very individual and depend on both their physiological and psychological strengths.
Swimmers aged 9 years and over will be encouraged to compete at regular intervals in galas appropriate to their age and ability. As a competitive club we would expect all swimmers of an appropriate standard to swim in the chosen meets. Swimmers in Squads 2 & 3 will be working on a competitive 200 IM with the more capable swimmers in squad 2 and swimmers in squad 1 developing the aerobic stamina and skills for a 400 IM.

Gold development:

Those swimmers recognised as Gold Development will train the same hours as Development 1 but will work with Blue development for one or more sessions a week.
Training with Blue Development will give swimmers the opportunity to focus their efforts on aerobic development with longer sets off more demanding times with the expectation of holding their technique throughout. Swimmers will have individual and specific goals and will be encouraged to take ownership of their ongoing development throughout the term. The mixed scheme of works will include competitive stroke development of all four strokes with continued development of the 400IM.

Blue Development:

The transition to Blue Development will mark a milestone in a swimmer’s pathway. At this point swimmers will be expected to take responsibility for their training; ensuring they are making the most of each session, developing their competitive technique in line with the coaches’ direction and continuously working on skills without prompting.
Swimmers in this squad should train a maximum of 12.5 hours per week (including land training).

Swimmers at this stage of their development are encouraged to compete in all strokes over all distances and should not look to specialise. Training plans will work towards optimum performance at particular meets within the season whilst some will be used for training purposes. Goals within these squads may include but are not restricted to County and Regional qualification times.

Senior Blue Squads:

Moving on from Blue Development swimmers may be invited to join one of the Senior BLUE squads. The specific squad will depend on a number of factors taking account of the goals and abilities of the individual swimmer.


Swimmers invited to join Blue should to train a maximum of 13 hours per week (including land training). Ideally two rest days are suggested but any combination of the sessions can be used to make up their hours. Blue squad swimmers will be focussing on long as well as short distance competitive swimming.

Blue Sprint: 

Swimmers invited to join Blue Sprint can use any of the sessions above to make up to 12 hours training per week (including land training). This group is aimed as those swimmers focussing on the shorter distances and they will find the later sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday are tailored to their development needs.

Blue 5: 

Swimmers in this squad can use any combination of the sessions above to make up their 5 hours per week. To maintain the standard of swimming required for any blue squad swimmers are expected to maintain a certain level of aerobic fitness, this group is therefore aimed at those who participate in extensive and appropriate external cross training.

NOTE: Blue and Blue 5 swimmers are encouraged to train between 5-7pm on a Tuesday and Wednesday evening as part of their programme. If this is not possible they may utilise the 7-8:30pm sessions but the training will not necessarily be focussed on their development needs.

All our senior squads swimmers in Blue groups are expected to maintain the level of fitness needed to cope with the demands of the planned sessions. If a swimmer’s fitness falls below these standards they may be asked to transition to ADS. Blue swimmers should be focussed on their competitive development within the sport and will be looking to achieve county, regional and national qualification times. Whilst specialisation is inevitable as a swimmer develops younger swimmers within this squad will be encouraged to compete in all four strokes at all distances with continued development of a strongly competitive 400IM.

Athletic Development Squad:

ADS swimmers will be able to choose up to 5 hours of swim training from the session above, but will be expected to do at least 10hrs of competitive sport a week to maintain the fitness needed to swim at this level. Swimmers will have to be 13yrs + and have achieved Blue Development standard to move into this squad.

The aim of this squad is to encourage our more senior swimmers to continue training at a reduced but competitive level giving our club the opportunity to compete in more team events. Recognising the positive impact swimming has on an athlete’s overall fitness it also allows us to support our members as they transition into complimentary sports such as; rowing, triathlons, biathlons, athletics etc giving the club more depth at the top end of our age group.

Technical Development Squad:

The Technical Development Squad has been developed for those younger swimmers in Development squads who would benefit from training alongside the main squad structure, maintaining their fitness and developing technique for team galas and club champs whilst enjoying other complimentary competitive sports / sports training. The aim of this squad is to ensure we have an appropriate place within the club structure for all our swimmers as their priorities, schedules or focus chan. Regardless of squad all our coaches will maintain the same high standards of technical stroke development, planning, and coaching excellence across the structure ensuring all our swimmers achieve individual goals appropriate to their training and ability.