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Club Philosophy

Club Philosophy

The philosophy of the Norfolk Hammerheads Aquatic Club and its coaching staff is simple. We are a competitive swim club and our mandate is the following:

1. To foster excellence in competitive swimming from a grassroots level to the provincial level, through training, learning and developing a love of the sport.

2. To develop a solid foundation of swimming technique above all else and to follow the Swim Ontario Long term athlete development model which states the following:

Because athletes lock in their skills during the first three to four years of swimming, the emphasis should not be on how fast you swim but how well you swim.

The Long Term Athlete Development Strategy upholds the principles that swimming for Developing Athletes must be Swimmer focused, Process focused and fun.

Since late developers often catch and surpass early developers, coaches, parents and swimmers must be educated to remain patient and enjoy the lifelong benefits that swimming has to offer.

Our ideal situation would be to have your swimmer enter the program at a grassroots level and remain in the club until graduation from high school and then go on to swim at the next level, such as university or masters.  We hope that our members will take the skills they learned as competitive swimmers and apply them in other aspects of their lives in their pursuit of personal excellence.

We find that the swimmers who pursue excellence when they are in the club, not only build a healthy lifestyle, but also learn discipline, commitment and a keen competitive instinct that helps them in school and all other aspects of their lives.

The other part of the club philosophy is that swimming is an individual sport, but we find that there is definitely a concept of team in the club. All members must work together as a team as well as individually in order to attain the excellence that we are pursuing.  We demand good sportsmanship, fairness and positive attitudes towards team-mates, coaches and officials.

In closing, one could summarize the philosophy with the following idea: we are not only striving for excellence to build competitive swimmers, but we are striving to build well rounded, autonomous individuals who will strive for personal excellence after they finish swimming.

SWIM ONTARIO’S
LONG TERM ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT MODEL

The Long Term Athlete Development Strategy upholds the principles that swimming for Developing Athletes must be: Swimmer focused, Process focused and fun.

Because athletes lock in their skills during the first three to four years of swimming, the emphasis should not be on how fast you swim but how well you swim.

To avoid injury, improve motor learning skills, increase interest and benefit long term development, multi-stroke, multi-event, steady state swimming is paramount.

Since late developers often catch and surpass early developers, coaches, parents and swimmers must be educated to remain patient and enjoy the lifelong benefits that swimming has to offer.

Although there are many Athlete Development Strategies in existence, the committee believes that Swim Ontario’s Long Term Athlete Development Strategy will evolve over the years to become one of the best. As Dr. Steve Norris stated, There are many great strategies out there, but where most organizations fail is in the resolve to implement them.

FUNDAMENTALS
Chronological ages – Female: 5 to 8 Male: 6 to 9

Amount of physical activity, including non-swimming (progression by age):
• 1-3 sessions per week rising to 4-6 sessions
• 30-60 minute sessions
• High repetition, low intensity activity focus

LEARN TO TRAIN
Chronological ages – Female: 8 to 11 Male: 9 to 12

Amount of physical activity, including non-swimming (progression by age):
• 4-6 sessions per week
• 60-90 minute sessions
• Pool time (hrs): 4-7
• Pool Volume: 8-14 km
• Participation in 2-3 other sport activities through a year
• high repetition, low intensity skill focus
• some intensity progression to challenge skill acquisition

TRAIN TO TRAIN
Chronological ages – Female: 11 to 14 Male: 12 to 15
Amount of physical activity, including non-swimming (progression by age):
• 6-12 sessions per week
• 60-120 minute sessions
• Pool time (hrs): 12-24
• Pool Volume: 24-30 km/wk building to 40-50 km/wk
• Participation in 1-2 other sport activities through a year
• high volume, aerobic capacity focus from onset of PHV to peak PHV
• speed intensity following peak PHV

TRAIN TO COMPETE
Chronological ages – Female: 14 to 16 Male: 15 to 18

Amount of physical activity, including non-swimming (progression by age):
• 8-12 sessions per week
• 90-120 minute sessions
• Pool time (hrs): 16-24
• Pool Volume: 40-50+ km/wk
• Specialisation to chosen performance sport – balanced out of training activities
• Individualised training focus with volume and intensity based on specialty and
Periodization focus.

COMPETE TO WIN
Chronological ages – Female: 16 + Male: 18 +

Amount of physical activity, including non-swimming (progression by age):
• 10-15 sessions per week
• 90-150 minute sessions
• Pool time (hrs): 20-24
• Pool Volume: 40-50+ km/wk depending on specialization
• Specialization to chosen performance sport – balanced out of training activities
• Individualized training focus with volume and intensity based on specialty and periodization focus

LONG TERM ATHLETE DEVELOPMENT MODEL
(IN A NUTSHELL)

To better address the different rates of growth which occur between males and females, the “LTADS” committee has differentiated the Jr. Provincial age categories. To better address the physiological capabilities and needs of our athletes at each phase of their development.

The committee has differentiated which events would be offered to each age category. To reduce the physiological age disparity that 2 year age increments bring, and to provide a fairer playing field for all,

The committee has introduced single year age increments at Jr. Provincials for all girls up to 14 yrs of age and all boys up to 15 yrs of age.

Because scientific research indicates that athletes lock in their skills during the first three to four years of swimming, the emphasis should not be on how fast you swim but how well you swim. Skill development is far more important than winning! Therefore the committee commissioned Swim Ontario to develop a skills curriculum for any club to access starting in the fall of 2005.

To insure that swim programs focus on avoiding soft tissue injury caused from repetitive freestyle workouts, improve motor learning skills, increase interest and benefit long term development, the committee has introduced pre-requisite qualifying events at Jr. Provincials only, in the 200 IM for girls 11 yrs & under and boys 12 yrs & under, and the 400 IM for girls 12 to14yrs and boys 13 to 15 yrs.

Because sports physiologists have discovered that age group swimmers are per-disposed to aerobic training (distance), and derive far greater benefits long term by developing their aerobic capacities as opposed to their anaerobic capacities (sprint), the committee has introduced the 800 Freestyle per-requisite event at Jr. Provincials for all girls 14 yrs and under, and all boys 15 yrs and under.

For tracking purposes, clubs are encouraged to run Sanctioned Time Trials in the 800 Freestyle for all their age group swimmers and upload them to SWIM DIRECT within 7 days of the completion of the event. Except for girls 15-17 and boys 16-17, all other swimmers must attain both the IM and 800 FR per-requisite times and at least one (1) Jr. Provincial qualifying standard in order to participate at Jr. Provincials.

It often takes between 10 and 15 years of the best possible preparation to reach international performance levels. With such a long career ahead, committee decided it was far more beneficial to allow swimmers 12 yr. of age and under the free time necessary to participate with friends and family in other sports and social activities, and reduce the unnecessary fatigue that accumulates from participating in heats and finals throughout the season. Therefore, all sanctioned invitational and time trials within the province of Ontario will be TIME FINAL EVENTS only (see 12 & under rules below)

12 & UNDER RULES (Within Ontario only) 1. Regardless of meet format or age categories, all individual and relay events for 12 and under are TIME FINAL (no progression to second swim) 2. 12 and under may Swim up on relays held during the12 & under session only. (no progression to an older age relay final is permitted) 3. 12 and under who qualify, may swim heats and finals of individual events at Ontario Senior Provincials, Canada Games Trials or other SNC Senior Level competitions hosted in Ontario) 4. 12 & under may participate on relays in both preliminaries & finals at Ontario Jr. Provincial Championships, Ontario Senior Provincial Championships, Ontario Team Championships and Ontario Regional Championships and any SNC Senior Level Meet held in Ontario. To help us achieve a province wide strategy, the LTADS committee recommends that invitationals and regional championships offer the same event selection as Jr. Provincials. Invitationals do not have to run their meets in the same event order nor do they have to run single year increments. All sanctioned competitions must honor the 12 & under TIME

FINAL Rule In order to recognize the need to re-charge our batteries, and re-focus on the new Long Course Season, March has been identified as a Refocus/Revitalization Period. No Sanctioned meets or time trials will be permitted.

To insure we can properly track Ontario Swimmers both provincially and federally, and to help with proof of times, provincial team selection and athlete carding, all sanctioned meet and time trial results must be uploaded to SWIM DIRECT within 7 days of the completion of the event.

The recommended swim meet session length including warm-ups is 4.5 hours. If a meet exceeds this length, you are requested to report that to the Provincial Program Coordinator of Swim Ontario