SDA Cognitive Skills Development Progression 

Junior Development:

1. Swimmer can count the number of strokes taken per length for freestyle and backstroke.

2. The athlete should be able to repeat key words as prescribed by the coach to explain/describe movements appropriate to that level.

3. Begins to use the pace clock.

4. The swimmer understands the concept of circle swimming and how to correctly pass another lane mate.

5. The swimmer can put away any equipment used during practice either in their own gear bag or in the storage bin on deck.

6. The athlete will be ready to start practice on time with the appropriate equipment (suit, cap, goggles, etc.)

7. The swimmer gives the coach his/her undivided attention while the coach is speaking and will follow directions set forth by the coach in practice.

8. The swimmer will show respect for the facilities and equipment.

9. The swimmer will swim the entire set (e.g. doesn't stop early, counts accurately, etc.) 
Junior Intermediate:

1. From a push, the swimmer counts the number of strokes/cycles per length for each stroke.

2. The swimmer begins to understand maturation, physical development, and nutrition. a. Understands and accepts individual differences in physical size within an age group b. Understands that energy for exercise is derived from nutrition.

3. Accurately counts and computes distances.

4. During practice the swimmer will:

a. Leave on time during sets

b. Start and Finish at the wall

c. Swim the set in the prescribed manner (e.g. the correct stroke, kick or pull, legal turns) d. Communicate with the coach if needed 
Junior Advanced:

1. Swimmer understands the relationship between distance per stroke, stroke rate, and swimming speed.

2. Swimmer can name two ways to minimize resistance or drag from the water.

3. Athletes can explain an efficient stroke pattern in relation to creating propulsion.

4. Swims with prescribed breathing patterns during practice and meets. 

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

6. Swimmer begins to understand the basics of using different energy system usage in sprinting versus distance swimming.

7. Swimmer can use heart rate measurement to monitor exercise intensity and recovery.

8. Follows prescribed race plan.

9. Swimmer is not influenced by negative behavior of his/her teammates.

10.Understands and takes responsibility for attendance, performance, and habits in practice and how these three relate to meet performance.

11.Swimmer understands the traits of a positive leader and endeavors to become one. 
Junior Olympic:

1. Complete one length of all four strokes holding the same time or faster but using fewer strokes/cycles than when in Junior Intermediate Group.

2. Swims prescribed technique during practice and meets.

3. Swims with prescribed breathing patterns during practice and meets.

4. Understands maturation and physical development:

a. Begins to understand the relationship between training programs, maturation, and physical development.

5. Swimmer understands the purpose of heart rate measurement.

6. Athletes can measure his/her own resting and exercise heart rate.

7. Swimmer understands the importance of muscular flexibility in swimming performance.

8. Introduction of broken swims to learn race strategy and pacing. 
Senior Development:

1. Swimmer, with the assistance of his/her coach, can calculate swimming speed, distance per stroke, and stroke rate during competition and training.

2. Can manipulate stroke rate and distance per stroke to vary speed.

3. Understands the difference between aerobic and anaerobic energy systems.

4. Swimmers understand nutritional requirements and timing for training and competition:

a. Demonstrates understanding of basic nutrition principles, fuels for swimming performance, training diets, hydration, and the importance of eating a balanced diet.

5. Athletes understand the relationship between training, maturation and development and their effects on competitive performance. 

6. Swimmers understand how to use heart rate measurement to monitor training.

7. Swimmers know race plans for each event (including prelims and finals) and appropriate training paces to achieve goal time(s). 

8. Athletes will demonstrate an understanding of short- and long-term effects of performance-enhancing drugs.

9. Swimmers use time management skills to prioritize activities. 

1. Swimmers can calculate swimming speed, distance per stroke, and stroke rate.

2. Stroke Control/Speed Control

a. Swim faster by increasing DPS while maintaining SR.

b. Swim faster by increasing SR while maintaining DPS. c. Choose precise DPS/SR combinations for different races.

3. Swimmer demonstrates knowledge of energy systems

a. Can describe the relationship between training sets and energy systems.

b. Demonstrates an understanding of training periodization.

4. Swimmers understand how to use heart rate measurement to monitor training.

5. Swimmers have mastered time management skills so outside activities do not interfere with practice and meet attendance.