Introduction to Planning

Introduction to Planning

The video below is the first in the series of presentations focused on Planning for Swimming Performance as part of the Swim Coach Advantage membership program.

We know this program is going to provide HUGE benefits to swim coaches from all levels of swimming, and we can’t wait to share our insights and knowledge with you. If you like what you watch and would like to take your coaching to the next level, then join us at Swim Coach Advantage for on-going professional development.

Future sessions in this series include everything you need to know to plan for and write workout designs for:

  • Junior swimmers aged 9 to 12 years
  • Advanced junior swimmers aged 10-13 years
  • Age development swimmers aged 12-15 years
  • Age performance Swimmers aged 14-17 years
  • Senior performance swimmers aged 16 years and over

Discussion topics will include:

  • Seasonal planning for Juniors and Advanced Juniors
  • Seasonal planning for Age and Senior Performance
  • Training intensities, weekly planning and workout design for advanced juniors
  • Preparation Planning for Age and Senior Performance
  • Weekly Planning and Weekly Periodisation for Age and Senior Performance

This video is only available until Thursday 5 November 2020.

Take a look inside Swim Parent Advantage

Take a look inside Swim Parent Advantage

We have received so many questions form parents of competitive swimmers asking what Swim Parent Advantage is all about. So to help you out, we provide below some examples of what you get access to as a member of this world leading support program for swimming parents.

Parent PODs

Let’s start with the fortnightly live sessions (called Parent PODs) where you can participate and ask questions of our coaches or special experts. Each session is a bit different. Below is one of our more recent sessions with our resident Child & Sport Psychologist, Megan Davis. Megan is a former Australian representative swimmer, swim coach and a mother of 3 sporty kids. Megan also contributes with regular online episodes focused on many different psychology topics. Feedback from parents who watched the POD live or the recorded video include:

“I got a lot out of this session, thanks GCS and Megan” Claire

“I caught up with this POD today (Sunday). I don’t understand why parents who spend $ ‘00s on a race suit for their child don’t realise the value of the investment they could make for their child’s swimming by becoming a member of Gold Class Swimming. I just had my money’s worth in this session alone! Megan is great. Thanks guys, very valuable.” Tania

“That was a fantastic session highly recommend it to all parents. Lots of very practical advice” Michelle

“Fantastic session this morning. Thank you!” Emma

“Invaluable!! Highly recommended. Thanks guys” Prue

Online Video Library

To compliment the fortnightly live sessions there are more than 50 video discussions between aquatic expert Gary Barclay and 2004 & 2012 Australian Olympic Team Head Coach Leigh Nugent. These include discussions on the benefits of swimming, the swimming parent, swimmer development pathways, growth and development, swimming training and swimming competitions. Here is an example video discussing the coach/swimmer relationship.

Stroke Models

One of the most popular sections in the program are the four stroke models. Leigh takes athletes and parents through the key elements in learning and swimming correct freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. Each online video can be watched as many times as you like. Below is a short extract from the freestyle video.

“As a sports psychologist, we now know that by watching people performing motor skills in the way that you what to do them, helps train the nervous system that way. So your kids can actually be training by watching these stroke model videos.” Megan Davis

Nutrition Support

We all know that nutrition plays a major role in the development of children and adults. Parents are always looking for ways to ensure they are providing the right foods to their families… especially for kids who swim multiple times per week.

Our resident nutritionist Bec Stone leads us through many different aspects of nutrition with regular one hour sessions and many short episodes of online videos on specific topics. One of our recent episodes was on Protein Powders and do athletes really need them. You can watch it below. Bec also answers all your questions about nutrition, and as a former national level swimmer and coach understands all aspects of nutritional needs for the sport. You will also gain access to all the contents in the eBook “Nutrition for Swimmers” through the lessons in the nutrition section of the membership platform.

Parent Community

Parents who are members of Swim Parent Advantage enjoy access to the private group on Facebook. While all online videos and discussions are promoted through the group, parents can also ask questions and share ideas.

Join us today at Swim Parent Advantage and let us share and support your journey as a parent of a competitive swimmer.

Why Do Swimmers Train So Much?

Why Do Swimmers Train So Much?

One of the most common questions we receive from parents of children who take part in competitive swimming is “Why do swimmers have to train so much?” It’s a question we recently received in our parent support program.

Children who play land based sports like soccer, football, netball, basketball, hockey or whatever sport it may be, attend training once or twice a week as a junior and age grouper and in most cases, their games last for a period of time longer than their training time. The skills that children learn in many sports have been learnt since they started crawling, walking and running, all land-based activities.

Learning Skills in Water and Not on Land

Swimming is not done on land and is totally foreign to our neuromuscular system, our balance mechanisms, and the way we breathe. To swim, we are immersed in a totally different medium to what we were designed for, so that takes some getting used to. Our body is in a horizontal position instead of our normal vertical position and we have our face in water, so we must learn how to breathe. To breathe, we first need to be able to blowout underwater and then breathe in when the mouth is clear of the water and then regulate the breathing in a rhythmical way. This is not a natural thing to do.

On land, we propel ourselves using our lower body. In the water, propulsion is largely done with our upper body. So, learning to swim is a hard skill to learn. We’ve got to go back in a way, like we did when we were learning how to crawl. We learn a whole new set of skills that prepare us for motion or propelling in the medium of water. Our neuromuscular system must start from scratch, but teaching totally new motor patterns, and then there’s the difficult task of applying pressure to this medium that moves (water) with the limb applying the pressure (hand and arm).

So when we walk or run we make contact with the ground which doesn’t move, and the frictional force is so great that we can pull ourselves past the point where we’ve connected with the medium (ground) and propel ourselves forward. In swimming, as soon as we apply force to the water, the water moves. So, we have to manage how much force we apply to be able to move forward efficiently and get as much distance as we can for each propulsive movement. That’s a very complicated task and some people naturally have much more sensitivity to the pressure in that moving medium (water) than others. And that’s the big factor that separates really talented swimmers and people who are not as talented.

This complexity requires a lot of practice and we can only learn how to swim in the water. We can’t learn to do it out of the water. We can enhance it with exercises out of the water but we can’t learn how to do it. Each stroke has different technical requirement and each skill (think starts, turns and finishes) are learned skills that take time and plenty of practice to do well.

Training for Swimming

When it comes to actually training for swimming, the specifics of swimming and swimming fitness can only be done in the pool. They can’t be done anywhere else. We can develop cardiovascular fitness outside of the pool, but we can get that specific swimming fitness that we need for swimming.

We have found that to be average at competitive swimming, you have to do a lot more training than people do in other land-based sports. So, it requires a massive commitment because we are constantly adapting to that fluid environment. We need to be able to train a lot to condition our body to be able to manage everything that we have to do to swim in the pool.

If we work on improving our technique and swim more often whilst receiving the right sort of feedback and monitoring, we are more likely to get better at it. But if we don’t practice regularly, we won’t improve, and swimmers quickly lose their feel for the water. That’s why the sport doesn’t offer long breaks. The current coronavirus situation has really tested this. Once kids have got back into the water, they start to get their sensitivity back. It has however taken some time, but a majority are swimming really well again after just 8 to 12 weeks.

Aerobic Fitness

Swimming also requires an enormous amount of aerobic development. It really is a highly aerobic exercise. To get that aerobic fitness in swimming and particularly to develop the muscles that are going to propel us through the water we must swim a lot. It takes a long time to get the muscles to adapt and for us to get that cardiovascular fitness that we need that is specific to swimming. It requires a lot of training, particularly in the teenage years to create the anatomical changes that we need to support us when we swim.

One of the things basically that’s going to happen to us is apart from all the technical elements of being able to swim with really good stroke technique in the water and swim efficiently, is that we have to deliver nutrients and oxygen to our muscle cells and we have to remove the metabolites after we’ve produced the energy so we have to have this really good circulatory system.

So, the more training we do, the more the vascular system develops, and we get more and more fine capillaries around the muscle fibres and that allows us to deliver more oxygen and more nutrients. This can only be developed through volumes of training over the years.

If you are a parent of a competitive swimmer and would like to learn more and help support your child to be the best that they can be, join us at Swim Parent Advantage.

Take Your Coaching to Another Level

Take Your Coaching to Another Level

Over the next four months we are going to provide all swimming coaches with some gold.

Not real gold, but golden ideas to assist swim coaches to better understand two key aspects of coaching which many coaches find difficult to understand. They will be explained in live sessions where you can ask questions until you fully understand and can utilise every aspect in your coaching.

Think of it as a crash course on everything you want to better understand to take your coaching to another level. This is a golden opportunity to increase your knowledge to become a better informed and more successful swim coach.

And if you are keen to improve your coaching, please read right to the bottom of this post to take advantage of our special offer. This is your opportunity to get in at the ground floor.

The program has now begun and you will get access to any sessions that have already been recorded. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take your coaching to another level.

We have put together responses to some of the most commonly asked questions that swim coaches have. These include:

 How do I prepare a seasonal plan and then weekly plan for my squad/s?

  • How do I write workout designs effectively?
  • How do the energy systems work?
  • How do I know what the right training intensities are for my swimmers?
  • Why should I be preparing my swimmers for 200m events?

We will answer all these and more in…


The School of Physiology for Training and Planning for Swimming Performance

Physiology of Training for Competition Swimmers

Coaches will be hand-led through the minefield that is understanding the physiology of training. By the end you will fully understand the terminology and practical application around training principles, energy systems, progressive overload and much more.

These sessions are all included as part of our world-wide coaching program, Swim Coach Advantage. The following topics will be explained in an easy to understand way that will help you improve your coaching.

  • Training principles, training zones, training variables & training specifics
  • Overload & progressive overload
  • Understanding energy systems, energy systems and events, energy systems and training design
  • Aerobic & anaerobic
  • Lactate production, lactate clearance & lactate tolerance
  • Aerobic threshold & anaerobic threshold
  • VO2 Max – Maximum O2 Uptake
  • Anaerobic Glycolysis
  • Muscle fuel – ATP, ATP-PC
  • Lactic acid & lactate curve
  • Heart rate & heart rate curve
  • Recovery

Planning for Competition Swimmers

You will also be provided with a step by step guide to assist you with your seasonal planning, weekly planning and workout design. This includes:

  • Seasonal planning for Juniors and Advanced Juniors
  • Seasonal Planning for Age and Youth Performance
  • Training Intensities, weekly planning and workout design for advanced juniors
  • Preparation Planning for Age and Youth Performance
  • Weekly Planning and Weekly Periodisation for Age and Youth Performance
  • Importance of Preparing for 200m events
  • Considerations for race preparation and Tapering for peak performance

These sessions are only for current members of Swim Coach Advantage.

Your Presenter

The presentation and delivery of the content above will be led by 2004 & 2012 Australian Olympic Swim Team Head Coach, Leigh Nugent. “Nugget” as he is affectionally known around the swimming traps, will deliver the key components above and will be supported by a number of guest contributors including Australia’s next Head Coach Rohan Taylor and a physiologist.

Special Offer

As a new member to Swim Coach Advantage, you will also receive 12 months access to:

  • More than 200 stroke drill videos
  • Weekly swim observations from experienced coaches
  • The Coaching Junior Swimmers certificate program
  • The weekly Mentor PODs which are held live each week (and recorded for viewing later if you miss them)
  • The Swim Parent Advantage program – see, read and watch all the information provided to swim parents
  • A coaching network of like-minded coaches who want to learn and develop their coaching knowledge and skills

Take advantage of our special offer. This offer is time sensitive. Join by Sunday 13 September 2020 and you can use the Coupon Code “ASCTA” and receive $50.00 off the yearly price.

This program will begin on Thursday 27 August 2020. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take your coaching to another level.

See more at Swim Coach Advantage.