VKSC and Group Placement Notes
The following information is for all parents and swimmers in the VKSC to assist them in understanding where swimmers are placed and why.
In general, athlete movement occurs at the end of training cycles but may be made at any time by coach decision in the best interest of the athlete. Decisions are made in December for January moves, March for April moves, and June for moves into September and the next season.
The decision to place swimmers into a different group is based on several different factors such as:
Commitment levels at practice, meet participation and the priority swimmers place on the sport.
Coaching instinct and experience including the observation of swimmers over time.
Training and technical levels of the individual.
Mental, emotional, and physical maturity and age
A secondary factor to consider is race times. This may impact what swim meets a particular swimmer may attend and also indicate an increase or decrease in training needs. However, this is not one of the primary decision standards for placement.
Group placement does not indicate a coach’s belief about a swimmer’s potential and should not be viewed in that manner. Rather, group placement indicates where the athlete falls on the Long Term Athlete Development Model (LTAD). Groups will have minimum standards for entry which follow the LTAD criteria and coaching plans.
The coaching challenge is to find the best, appropriate fit for each group. More often than not swimmers are changing rapidly and so are their needs. We, as coaches, are aware of this and keep a close eye on what is needed for each child. Sometimes children need to back away from training (e.g., injury, fast growth) and sometimes they need a greater challenge. Possible changes to groups can be a significant challenge to families as schedules change, carpools can change, fees change, coaches can change, and expectations within the group can change. We need to all work together to make these changes as easy for the athlete as possible.
Each swimmer will be taught to take ownership of their training within the sport as this is critical to success and self-confidence. Communication between swimmers and coaches is very important and each parent should encourage their child to talk with their coach if they have any concerns. Open communication will be beneficial for all swimmers/groups/families.
VKSC coaching staff.