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Team Structure

Dear GOAL parents and swimmers,
Thank you for your participation in GOAL!
We hope you will find this information helpful to better understand GOAL’s organization and objectives. It is my belief that GOAL can and will distinguish itself as being one of the best teams in the Midwest, as well as one of the best teams of it’s size in the country. The following team structure is designed to provide for a fun and challenging program where improvement is measured and valued, and where excellence is not only possible but expected.
We hope you enjoy the process.
Tom Beck – Head Coach

GOAL Team Structure

Penguin – Dolphin – Shark - Senior-2 - Senior-1

This is a change from GOAL’s original structure. We have added a few quality coaches to the program since GOAL’s inception, and therefore we can increase the number of practice groups offered. More practice groups will mean a narrower range of abilities within a group. This will allow for more effective coaching in the daily practices.

To develop the skills needed to progress through GOAL’s practice group structure:

            Swimmers will continually improve stroke technique

            Swimmers will contribute to a positive, encouraging, and hard-working practice environment
            Swimmers will see themselves as valuable members of GOAL’s team
            Swimmers will make friends and be encouraging to their teammates
            Swimmers will ENJOY swimming and WANT to come to practice!

 


To ensure long-term success, it is vital to understand that developing efficient stroke technique is probably the most important factor in reaching your potential. An athlete’s growth spurt is a big factor in their improvement, even with poor technique. Once they stop growing, improvement is difficult without improved technique. To set yourself up for long-term success in swimming the swimmer should:

      develop a habit of focusing on the positives
            develop a habit of focusing on things under their own control
            develop great swimming techniques and race strategies
            develop goal-setting ability

"Attitude is EVERYTHING ... and ... Technique is EVERYTHING"





GOAL Practice Group Objectives

Adapted in part from "Progressions for Athlete and Coach Development" by USA Swimming (1999)


Penguin

Technique:  

Perform underwater streamline glide no kick for 5 meters (to the flags), and with kick for 10 meters. Should be able to adjust depth in underwater streamline and perform these skills from a dive off the edge as well as from a pushoff.

Demonstrate proper aquatic posture on deck, in standing and laying down (front and back) positions.

Become proficient at balancing body on front, side and back, with head/neck in line with spine, arms at side.

Become legal and work toward becoming more efficient in the 4 competitive strokes.

Learn the front sculling drill, as well as the finish sculling drills on front and back.

Begin to develop a feel for the underwater dolphin stroke.

Develop bilateral breathing pattern (every 3rd arm) for freestyle.

Count own strokes for lengths of the pool in all 4 strokes.

"Alligator" breath for 1 minute. 

Practice Performance:
Begin to understand and use the pace clock.
Perform repeat 25’s and 50’s on a prescribed rest interval.
Complete a legal 100 IM.

Competitions:
Swim in at least 1 coach’s recommended competition during the season.

Character/Life Skills:
Become great at listening to the coach and following directions correctly.
Show respect for the Montclair facility and it’s staff, and behave properly in the locker rooms.
Know the names of all teammates in group, know some names of teammates in other practice groups on GOAL, and know the other GOAL training group names (Dolphin, Shark, Senior-2, Senior-1).

 

Mental Training:  

            Understand what focus and concentration are.

            Understand and practice the difference between tense and relaxed muscles.

 

Dolphin

Technique:  

Perform underwater streamline glide no kick for 1 body length past flags, and with kick for 12 1/2 meters. Should be able to adjust depth in underwater streamline and perform these skills from a dive off the block, or the edge of pool deck, as well as from a pushoff.

Demonstrate proper aquatic posture on deck, in standing and laying down (front and back) positions.

Become proficient at balancing body on front, side and back, with head/neck in line with spine, arms at side, as well as with arms extended in front.

Work toward becoming more efficient in the 4 competitive strokes.--> lower stroke counts.

Learn more advanced sculling drills like feet-first on back, V-Sit, and front double-arm catch scull.

Begin to understand the feel of and work on the high elbow catch phase of all strokes.

Develop bilateral breathing patterns for freestyle, such as every 3rd arm and 3 left-3 right.

Count own strokes for lengths of the pool in all 4 strokes and figure out GOLF score.

"Alligator" breath for 2 minutes.

 

Practice Performance:  

            Perform more challenging sets, keeping track of # of repeats as well as distance of swim.

            Complete a legal 200 IM.

Competitions:  

            Swim in at least 1 coach’s recommended competition every 2 months.

            Swim a good variety of events at the meets.

            Make at least 3 "B" time standards in their age group, as well as at least 1 "A" time.

 

Physiology:  

            Understand the basic relationship between nutrition and energy level.

            Understand and accept the individual differences in physical size within an age group.

Character/Life Skills:  

            Become great at listening to the coach and following directions correctly.

            Show respect for the Montclair facility and it’s staff, and behave properly in the locker rooms.

            Know the names of all teammates in group, know some names of teammates in other practice 
            groups on GOAL, and know the other GOAL training group names (Penguin, Shark, Senior-2, 
            Senior-1).

            Demonstrate team pride by supporting and cheering on teammates at practices AND meets.

Mental Training:  

            Understand the relationship between nervousness and performance, and can describe the 
            mind-body connection (negative thoughts à tight muscles à poor performance).

            Understand and practice the difference between tense and relaxed muscles.

            Understand the idea of failure and learning from mistakes as being a necessary part of 
            success.

            Understand and practice how to keep focus on helpful things during practices and meets.

 

Shark

Technique:  

Perform underwater streamline glide no kick for 2 body lengths past flags, and with kick for 15 meters. Should be able to adjust depth in underwater streamline and perform these skills from a dive off the block, or the edge of pool deck, as well as from a pushoff.

Demonstrate proper aquatic posture on deck, in standing and laying down (front and back) positions.

Become proficient at balancing body on front, side and back with a very light kick, with head/neck in line with spine, arms at side, as well as with arms extended in front.

Work toward becoming still more efficient in the 4 competitive strokes.--> lower stroke counts

Continue to understand the feel of and work on the high elbow catch phase of all strokes.

Use bilateral breathing patterns for freestyle, such as every 3rd arm and 3 left-3 right.

Learn the full list of GOAL’s sculling drills.

Count own strokes for 50’s in all 4 strokes and figure out GOLF score.

"Alligator" breath for 3 minutes.

 

Practice Performance:  

            Complete a legal 400 IM.

            Get their own times off paceclock and figure out more complex intervals.

 

Competitions:  

            Swim in at least 2 coach’s recommended competition per month if possible.

            Throughout the course of the season, swim every event offered in their age group.

            Make at least 3 "A" time standards in their age group, as well as at least 1 "AA" time.

 

Physiology:  

            Understand the basic concepts of training the energy systems, taking heart rates, and how 
            heart rates relate to the energy systems.

            Understand and accept the individual differences in physical size within an age group and how
            it relates to improvement rates during growth periods.

 

Character/Life Skills:  

            Learn how to push oneself to their highest effort consistently during practice.

            Understand that their own positive attitude can affect not only their own practice/meet 
            performance but also that of their teammates.

            Show respect for the Montclair facility and it’s staff, and behave properly in the locker rooms.

            Know the names of all teammates in group, know some names of teammates in other 
            practice groups on GOAL, and know the other GOAL training group names (Penguin, Shark, Senior-2, Senior-1).

            Find a USA Swimming hero to learn about and root for in the upcoming elite-level meets.

 

Mental Training:  

            Understand the relationship between relaxation and performance, and can describe "too little"
            nervous, "just right" nervous, and "too much" nervous..

            Understand that stress comes from negative self-talk, faulty focus of concentration, and 
            focusing on the UC’s (uncontrollables).

            Understand self-talk and how to monitor it during practice and meets.

            Understand and practice how to keep focus on helpful things during practices and meets.

            Understand the value of setting goals to improve performance.

 

Senior-2

Technique:  

Perform underwater streamline glide no kick for 2 body lengths past flags, and with kick for 15 meters. Should be able to adjust depth in underwater streamline and perform these skills from a dive off the block as well as from a pushoff.

Demonstrate proper aquatic posture on deck, in standing and laying down (front and back) positions, and in the water (kickboard drills).

Become proficient at balancing body on front, side and back with a very light kick, with head/neck in line with spine, arms at side, as well as with arms extended in front.

Work toward becoming still more efficient in the 4 competitive strokes.--> lower stroke counts.

Be proficient at the high elbow catch phase of all strokes.

Understand the relationship between distance per stroke, stroke rate, and swimming speed.

Understand several ways to create propulsion and decrease resistance in order to get faster.

Use bilateral breathing patterns for freestyle, such as every 3rd arm and 3 left-3 right.

Become proficient with the full list of GOAL’s sculling drills.

Figure out own GOLF scores on repeat 50’s by getting time off paceclock and counting strokes.

"Alligator" breath for 3 minutes.

 

Practice Performance:  

            Continually improve on a challenging schedule of anaerobic and aerobic/anaerobic mix test sets

            Continually improve on dryland exercise test sets: pushups, pull-ups and situps.

            Get their own times off paceclock and have time goals on all appropriate sets.

 

Competitions:  

            Swim in all coach recommended competitions on the published meet schedule.

            Throughout the course of the season, swim every event offered in their age group.

            Make at least 1 Division 1 qualifying time standard.

Physiology:  

            Understand the basic concepts of the different energy systems used in sprinting and distance 
            swimming.

            Measure heart rates regularly to monitor exercise intensity and recovery.

            Understand the concept of a balanced diet and the basic fuels used during swimming training.

Character/Life Skills:  

            Not be influenced by any negative behavior of their teammates/competitors.

            Take responsibility for their attendance, performance, and practice habits and understand how 
            these three relate to meet performance.

            Show respect for the Montclair facility and it’s staff, and behave properly in the locker rooms.

            Know the names of all teammates in group, know many names of teammates in other practice 
            groups on GOAL, know the other GOAL training group names (Penguin, Dolphin, Shark, Senior-
            1), and know some of the history of GOAL.

 

Mental Training:  

            Know the techniques to control mind (positive self-talk, imagery) and body (deep breathing, 
            progressive muscle relaxation).

            Understand that stress comes from negative self-talk, faulty focus of concentration, and 
            focusing on the UC’s (uncontrollables).

            Quickly return concentration focus in practice/meets from "uncontrollables" to good focus.

            Develop pre-race routines and race focal points for concentration.

            Begin to set season goals, breaking end goals down to short-term and practice goals.

 

Senior-1

Technique:  

Perform underwater streamline glide no kick for 12 1/2 meters, and with kick for 25 meters. Should be able to adjust depth in underwater streamline and perform these skills from a dive off the block , or from the edge of the deck, as well as from a pushoff.

Demonstrate proper aquatic posture on deck, in standing and laying down (front and back) positions, and in the water (kickboard drills).

Become proficient at balancing body on front, side and back with a very light kick, with head/neck in line with spine, arms at side, as well as with arms extended in front.

Work toward becoming still more efficient in the 4 competitive strokes.--> lower stroke counts.

Be proficient at the high elbow catch phase of all strokes.

Know the relationship between distance per stroke, stroke rate, and swimming speed.

Find new, better ways to create propulsion and decrease resistance in order to get faster.

Use bilateral breathing patterns for freestyle, such as every 3rd arm and 3 left-3 right.

Be proficient with the full list of GOAL’s sculling drills, and create new drills to further improve.

Figure out own GOLF scores on repeat 50’s by getting time off paceclock and counting strokes.

"Alligator" breath for 4 minutes.

 

Practice Performance:  

            Continually improve on a challenging schedule of anaerobic and aerobic/anaerobic mix test 
            sets.

            Continually improve on dryland exercise test sets: pushups, pull-ups and situps.

Competitions:  

            Swim in all coach recommended competitions on the published meet schedule.

            Make at least 1 Sectional qualifying time standard.

            Strive to climb the competitive ladder, from making Sectionals, to swimming at night at 
            Sectionals, to making top 8 at Sectionals, to making a Junior cut and winning Sectionals, to  swimming at night at Juniors and making a Senior National, US Open and Olympic Trials cut, to
            finaling at those meets, to making the USA Olympic Team.

Physiology:  

            Describe the relationship between training sets and energy systems.

            Measure heart rates regularly to monitor exercise intensity and recovery.

            Understand the nutritional requirements of training and competition.

 

Character/Life Skills:  

            Accept responsibility of being a leader and role model. Sets a positive example for all GOAL 
            swimmers.

            Understand the rationale of the five categories of banned substances.

            Understand the short and long-term affects of performance-enhancing drugs.

            Master time-management skills so outside activities do not interfere with practices or meets.

            Understand the need to sacrifice self-interest for team goals.

            Demonstrate commitment to GOAL by continued dedicated membership.

 

Mental Training:  

            Understand the factors that vary an athlete’s relaxation level.

            Maintain optimum relaxation level regardless of uncontrollables.

            Utilize imagery skills to manage competitive stress.

            Visualize races from start to finish in complete detail.

            Use their ultimate swimming goal to maintain intensity and work ethic in practice.

            Quickly rebound from mistakes and failures.

            Develop pre-race routines and race focal points for concentration.

            Consistently swim "in own lane" in practices and meets.

            Positively reframe uncontrollables and adversity to enhance confidence.