There are four main phases of training that are carried out through the entire DMSF program. You can view these phases in more detail in our swimming curriculum.
The first major phase is general balance and body awareness in the water. Athletes at a young age are slowly developing body awareness. This is an excellent time for coaches to guide them with exercises and tools that allow them to learn proper body position and technique.
The second major phase is muscle memory. In this mode of training an emphasis is placed on stroke drills. These drills will emphasize experiences for swimmers to begin to learn good technique. The drills will be repetitive in nature as this is one of the fundamental principles of learning.
The third major phase of training is an aerobic foundation. Between the ages of 10 and 14 there is a window of opportunity to build aerobic capacity. This is the capacity to use large quantities of oxygen to generate energy. Since this is the most efficient energy system in our bodies, having a large capacity for this energy zone is very conducive for fast swimming in the future for all types of swimmers sprinters and distance. Therefore individuals who have demonstrated a somewhat mastery of the above two phases and are in the 10-14 year old age group will be subject to longer distance training sets with lower intensity levels. This phase will be an emphasis in silver II and blue groups.
The fourth training phase is for our Gold swimmers. Swimming is a rather unique sport in that it is in a foreign medium water. In order for an athlete to achieve their highest potential swimmers need to be subjected to a larger amount of training then the usual land based sports. This training phase is divided into different training zones, which correspond to different intensities. The seasons programs will be a rotation of these intensities throughout any given week with periodic recovery days. The training is intense at times and is geared toward individuals who wish to improve.
A final note is that our training methods are researched-based from a conglomerate of resources provided by the scientific community, USA Swimming, other professional coaches, and also the experience and expertise of our staff. We strive to challenge our athletes, but also preserve their enjoyment of the sport. We believe that our training methods are in direct alignment of our mission statement. Our mission statement points out that we instill qualities that will contribute to life long success and excellence. When we challenge our athletes to strive for something better these qualities become habit.