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Program Overview


Overview of River Otters Programs


 

The Upper Canada Swim Club program is designed to be progressive from Junior Otters beginner program through to the National level. Stroke development, flexibility, dry land, and mental training techniques introduced in the two and three day programs will be built on and refined through to the top level. The goal is to systematically maximize each athlete’s potential through creativity, imagination and inspiration to ensure each athlete is healthy, happy, and motivated.

Our program focuses on skill improvement, self-development, competition, leadership and sportsmanship. The River Otters professional coaching staff is committed to the development of healthy, well adjusted athletes who contribute not only to their team but to their communities. We provide a club structure that permits each swimmer to achieve excellence in all areas of their life:

1. Physical excellence and life skills are developed through hard work, discipline, team spirit, self-esteem, fun and individual achievement.

2. Through competition we will let the swimmers develop a sense of commitment to training and to the team.

3. Through the collaborative efforts of our athletes, coaches, parents, community stakeholders, governing bodies and associations, we hope to further the recognition of the sport of swimming both locally, nationally, and internationally.

4. We strive to create a passion for excellence and a lifelong commitment to health and fitness.

The Junior Otters Program

Fundamentals I: Competitive Development

This program is designed to expose young swimmers to competitive swimming strokes, techniques and skills. From a technical stand point the goal of the program is to set the foundation from which effortless and efficient strokes can be built. The stroke drills and landmarking sequences used are designed to develop a sense of relaxation, flotation, balance, and effortless movement. The skills and drills introduced at this level are those that will be used and built upon throughout the club.

In a fun, low pressure environment, children who are between the ages of 6 and 11 and who can make their way down the pool for 25 metres, both on their front and on their back, will learn these basics of swimming and be prepared for our next level.

Junior Otters do not attend any swim meets and the only equipment requirements are caps, goggles and fins. We have a fins exchange program to help accommodate those growing feet!

The time commitment for this group is two hours per week for 12 weeks.

Junior Otters Program Details

The Bronze Program

Fundamentals II: Introduction to Competition

This program is designed to be an extension of the Junior Otters program. In addition to one more swim session per week, the swimmers will also be introduced to basic dryland techniques including flexibility, core strength, and injury prevention. The focus of this group will continue to be developmental, following an expanded version of the Junior Otters format, while introducing the swimmer to basic training techniques, and optional competitions (approximately once per month).

In Bronze, swimmers between the ages of 6 and 11 learn to swim all four competitive strokes, freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly, and begin working on flip turns and starts. This level is very exciting for young swimmers as they begin going to real swim meets, although attendance at meets is not required.

The time commitment for Bronze is 4.5 hours per week which includes 3 hours of pool time and 1.5 hours of dry land practice. Dry land is done on the pool deck and includes dynamic stretching, balance exercises, and other activities that teach physical literacy as well as improve strength and flexibility.

Bronze Program Details

The Silver Program

Learn to Train: Introduction of Basic Training

This program is designed to increase the technical endurance of each swimmer. Athletes at this level will work to improve their technique and be introduced to training that will focus on maintaining proper technique for prolonged periods of time. That in mind, this programs focus is on creating the opportunity for the athlete to swim higher volumes at low intensity, with the lowest possible percentage of incorrect body movements.

Dryland introduces more advanced routines and is done in the upstairs studio during the week and in the downstairs Yoga studio on Saturdays. It includes dynamic stretching, balance exercises, body weight exercises, Yoga, and other activities that teach physical literacy as well as improve strength and flexibility (always related to the groups ability level).

In Silver, swimmers between the ages of 8 and 12 continue to build their technique in all four competitive strokes, freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly, and begin working on more advanced flip turns and starts, with a focus on improving their underwater technique. This level is a great transition for young swimmers as they begin to attend some larger swim meets and learn more about competing, although attendance at meets is not required.

The time commitment for Silver is 9 hours per week which includes 6 hours of pool time and 3 hours of dry land practice. Swimmers will also have the opportunity to attend a meet approximately once per month from October to June (attendance at meets is optional).

Silver Program Details

The Gold Program

Train to Train: Introduction of Advanced Training

This program is designed to build the technical endurance of each swimmer. Athletes at the highest levels are all extremely fit. The athlete’s ability to maintain technique and skills during times of max intensity separates the gold medal from eighth place. That in mind this programs focus is on creating the opportunity for the athlete to swim higher volumes, at higher speeds, with the lowest possible percentage of incorrect body movements. This level is designed to start building their aerobic engine for years to come.

Dry land is done in the upstairs studio during the week and in the downstairs Yoga studio on Saturdays. It includes dynamic stretching, balance exercises, body weight exercises, Yoga, and other activities that teach physical literacy as well as improve strength and flexibility. The Dryland also introduces more advanced routines as body bars, medicine balls, band work, and advanced body weight exercises (always related to the groups ability level).

In Gold, swimmers between the ages of 9 and 13 continue to tune their technique in all four competitive strokes, freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly, and work on more advanced flip turns and starts, with a focus on improving their underwater technique. This level also introduces the swimmers to more advanced training with an emphasis on technical endurance. The young swimmers begin to attend some larger swim meets and learn more about competing. Some race tactics begin to be introduced along with goal setting and emotional and attentional control exercises.

The time commitment for Gold is 13 hours per week which includes 9.5 hours of pool time and 3.5 hours of dry land practice. Swimmers will also attend a meet approximately once per month from October to June.

Gold Program Details

The Platinum Program

Train to Compete: Advanced Training

This program is designed for the athlete that is beginning to move in the direction of “performance” swimming. Athletes in this program need to be self-motivated and show a high degree of commitment, character, and attitude. Moving from the foundation set in the previous level, athletes are introduced to more advanced training concepts with the addition of race specific, stroke specific, strategic training opportunities.

In the pool the focus is on continuing to build their aerobic engine while adding in more high intensity training. This training includes work at or above race speed to promote the maintenance of technique at race speeds. The pool work will also include tactical training such as pace and stroke count work, creating and implementing race strategies, and learning how to race efficiently and effectively.

Dry land locations vary throughout the week and season depending on the focus. The dry land still involves dynamic stretching, balance exercises, body weight exercises, Yoga, and other activities that teach physical literacy as well as improve strength and flexibility. However, the swimmers are also introduced to basic weight training in the addition to more advanced routines as body bars, medicine balls, band work, and advanced body weight exercises (always related to the groups ability level).

In Platinum, swimmers between the ages of 12 and 15 commit to 16 hours per week which includes 11.5 hours of pool time and 4.5 hours of dry land practice. Swimmers will also attend a meet approximately once or twice per month from October to July/August.

Platinum Program Details

The National Program

Compete to Win: Introduction of Performance Training

This is the top age based program in the club. The emphasis of this group is to prepare the swimmer for senior level competition and training. Swimmers and parents will need to demonstrate an understanding of their role in the athlete’s ability to compete at a high level. This is a transition group from Age Group level swim meets to Senior and National level competitions. Swimmers will learn how to train for a successful championship meet through the understanding of the process of training, the development of seasonal plans, and the understanding of a taper and how it works to maximize the end of the season meets. Swimmers in this group will have specific seasonal training plans based on their competitive and event specialties.

The River Otters National Program is designed with the intention of creating a seasonal plan, atmosphere, and understanding that is necessary to achieve success at all levels of national and international competition. Being a part of this group means the swimmer has made the final dedication to the sport and is willing to take on the intensity that is required for elite level performance. The coach-swimmer relationship is complete and together the partnership will work to reach each swimmer’s maximum potential at this point in their swimming career.

In the pool, the swimmers begin to identify their best events and focus more heavily on them to maximize their potential. The training becomes more individualized and streamlined towards the athlete’s specific stroke/distance strengths. The athlete and coach work together to develop the best plan for the individual both in practices and in competitions.

Dry land locations vary throughout the week and season depending on the focus. The dry land still involves dynamic stretching, balance exercises, body weight exercises, Yoga, and other activities that teach physical literacy as well as improve strength and flexibility. However, the swimmers are also introduced to basic weight training in the addition to more advanced routines as body bars, medicine balls, band work, and advanced body weight exercises. Speed and power dryland work are also introduced at this level (always related to the groups ability level).

In National, swimmers between the ages of 15 and over commit to 20 hours per week which includes 14.5 hours of pool time and 5.5 hours of dry land practice. Swimmers will also attend a meet approximately once or twice per month from October to July/August. 

National Program Details

 

 

 
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