Lower Merion Aquatic Club offers a wide range of training levels with the hope our swimmers will benefit from a cumulative, progressive and systematic development of their physical and mental skills. Ideally we begin with the youngest swimmers (4 years old) and lay the foundation for almost two decades of competitive swimming (if they swim through college) with complete emphasis on teaching the technical aspects of the four competitive strokes.
From there each level involves the swimmer increasing attendance and commitment to the sport. In turn, the coaching staff offers each swimmer more specialized physical training as well as mental and emotional guidance so that they can perform at their highest potential and balance their own swimming career within their lives. The overall LMAC program goal is to use this systematic progression to ensure that our swimmers reach their peak performance levels at the correct time in their development (high school and college as opposed to as a 10 year old).
The progression begins with our developmental program, featuring the Mighty Mites and Mighty Piranhas, who are not quite "meet ready" and need a low key program totally focused on developing the four competitive strokes and having fun becoming more proficient in the water. fun. It is critical that all swimmers begin with a strong foundation and that means learning the correct way to swim each stroke before trying to swim fast.
Once the swimmer is ready to compete on a regular basis in several events (various strokes and distances), they are ready for the age group program. These groups: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Junior, continue the athletes’ progression through competitive swimming by increasing commitment (attendance) and training with more intensity both physically (longer training sessions) and mentally (visualizing races, learning mental toughness with regards to competition). Children will continue to fine tune technical aspects of all four competitive strokes and add starts and turns for those strokes plus the Individual Medley. Age groupers have the greatest capacity for aerobic development and so practices will begin to feature more volume at times in order to prepare our swimmers to reach their greatest potential as senior swimmers.
Having been through the developmental and age group trainings, our Senior swimmers are ready for a strong commitment to the sport of swimming. These swimmers have the strictest training regimen, featuring up to six in water and three dry land sessions per week. These sessions include a variety of physical, mental and emotional components, including but not limited to: rigorous aerobic and anaerobic training sets, race preparation sets, goal setting meetings, visualization of competition, test sets to monitor season progress, advanced stroke/turn drills, season planning (peaking at target meet(s), power/strength training.
Please understand it is the coaches’ philosophy at LMAC that technical proficiency and efficiency in swimming is of the utmost importance and therefore represents a major focus of the team at all levels.
To accomplish this, the coaching staff will utilize several strategies at all training levels, including:
- underwater video analysis at practice
- specific sessions featuring stroke/turn/start drills
- pulling out swimmers during training sets to address/correct persistent problems
- watching training videos
- recording races for later review by swimmer