JUNIOR COACHING

Ages 9 and over. Teacher / Pupil Ratio 1 : 8

Our instructors comply with the Long Term Athlete Development / Participation Programme (LTAD/P) with the aim and focus always being on quality not on quantity. The emphasis is on optimising skills development and no child under the age of 10 is swimming long distance events or doing full time endurance training.

Swimming long distances with poor technique is counter-productive.  The strokes of these swimmers tend to degenerate as they become fatigued and, in our opinion, they seldom reach their true potential.  Too much endurance training prematurely may set the incorrect muscle pattern and can also result in sports injuries.  Certain swimmers from our swim school have gone on to soar to great heights, such as winning Midmar and various other open water events, being ranked at the top in their age groups nationally and being selected for the National Swimming Team.  The parents of these swimmers have realised the value of effective and ongoing stroke development and technique training.

Children need to be proficient in all four strokes, starts, turns and finishes before entering an endurance programme.  It is the responsibility of the instructor to ensure that strokes are well established and re-inforced and that the swimmers are physically, emotionally and developmentally ready for the transition to long distance training.  This all needs to be approached with caution so that swimmers do not “burn out” prematurely and to ensure that we do not lose them to the sport of swimming, which is highly competitive.  Swimming teaches children (and sometimes even parents) valuable lessons about life itself, about the value of commitment and dedication, good sportsmanship, patience and perseverance, winning and losing.  Once swimmers have achieved at the Fun / Novice Galas, they are encouraged to join a swimming club and to register with the national swimming body, Swimming South Africa, thus enabling them to compete in the National Age Group Galas, where their times are captured on the national data base.