Pathway

Pathway For Swimmer Development at Cults Otters

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Development Section

Children who are confident in the water can progress from their Learn to Swim Program to a more structured coaching environment where, although the emphasis is on FUN, they will focus on technique and improving skills in the water. Children should be able to swim a length of front crawl and backstroke and a width of breaststroke.

The club provides swimming instruction to children who have mastered the basic strokes and who wish to improve their technique with a view to becoming competitive swimmers. There are 2 levels in the Development section, Orcas and Cubs. Children who meet the selection criteria are invited for a trial with one of the development squads and depending on ability may progress from swimming lessons into Orcas, Cubs or JS1.

Orcas

The Orcas swim three times each week, including a morning session. Good technique in each stroke is established before progressing fully to lengths. Orcas swim at 2 Fun Galas each year, with the emphasis on participation & having fun!

Orcas entry requirements: Swim 2x25m Front crawl, 2x25m Backstroke. 15m Breaststroke, 10m Butterfly and kick showing a good basic technique are good additions.

Orca Guidelines

  • Attend regularly and be willing to listen and learn
  • Always bring hat, water bottle & spare goggles.
  • Enter Development Fun Galas.

Cubs

Cubs swim three times a week. The emphasis is on improving technique, including turns and dives, and maintaining good technique over slightly longer distances. Cubs start to learn lane discipline, how to use the pacing clock and the basic competition rules.

Cubs entry requirements: Swim 50m Front crawl, 50m Backstroke, 25m Breaststroke, 15m Butterfly and kick, showing a good technique and attempting correct turns.

Cubs Guidelines

  • Attend Cubs sessions and be willing to listen and learn.
  • Always bring hat, water bottle, fins & spare goggles; a swimming snorkel would be a useful addition.
  • Enter Fun Galas and/or Club Champs & Novice Galas as advised by coaches.

Competitive Section

Cults Otters Junior Squads – JS1, JS2, JS3 and JS4 – aim to introduce swimmers to competitive swimming with a more intensive training programme at the Cults pool. There is a smooth progression of swimming distances from 50’s to 200’s and further, and from Novice Galas to District and National level competitions.

JS1 – Junior Squad 1

JS1 is the first competitive squad level. Swimmers continue to focus on improving swimming skills and stroke technique. Short skill-based training sets are introduced to develop all four swimming strokes. Swimmers now swim four times each week and are introduced to one early morning of training. Swimmers compete in local novice and graded galas, beta leagues and the Club Championships throughout the year.

JS1 Guidelines

  • Attend the majority of training sessions initially, increasing to all sessions prior to promotion to JS2.
  • Always bring hat, water bottle, fins & spare goggles to training; a swimming snorkel is also required.
  • Enter 1 to 2 galas per term as advised by squad coach.
  • Show positive attitude towards coaching team, training and competition.

JS2 – Junior Squad 2

Swimmers move into JS2 when they have mastered the basic techniques and need to start improving stamina and training ability. Swimmers continue to work on stroke technique and some endurance work is introduced. To start developing racing skills it is important that at this level swimmers take a more active role in galas and commit to attend Beta League matches and recommended graded galas, both locally and further afield (e.g. Inverness, Forres, Buckie and Peterhead), in addition to the Club Championships. Land training may also be introduced to begin to further develop core strength, coordination, agility and teamwork.

JS2 Guidelines

  • Attend 75% of all available training sessions.
  • Always bring hat, water bottle, fins, kickboard, snorkel & spare goggles to training.
  • Enter 2 to 3 galas per term as advised by squad coach.
  • Show positive attitude towards coaching team, training and competition.

JS3 – Junior Squad 3

Swimmers move into JS3 when they are ready to develop into more competitive swimmers. The primary focus is still on improving stroke technique but now aiming to hold good technique over longer distances (upto 200m). More advanced training sets and endurance training are introduced. JS3s will swim five times each week, including an early morning, and long course sessions; land-based training may also be introduced. Swimmers start to compete at open age group meets and aim to qualify and compete at district level meets. Swimmers performance is monitored by regular marker sets and at competition.

JS3 Guidelines

  • Attend 80% of all available training sessions.
  • Always bring water bottle, fins, kickboard, pullbouy, snorkel & spare goggles to training.
  • Enter any target meet as advised by the coach and any North District events when qualifying times have been achieved. Minimum of 2 to 3 meets per term.
  • Show positive attitude towards coaching team, training & competition, taking responsibility for own fitness.

JS4 – Junior Squad 4

Swimmers are promoted to JS4 once they start to work more independently and show they can focus & train hard, have a positive attitude and are regularly competing at District Level. JS4s swim five times each week, including an early morning, and long course sessions. Building on the skills learnt in JS3, the JS4s continue to focus on technique, endurance & speed and on pacing & racing skills. Swimmers continue to compete at local & District Level, with an occasional gala out of District, and aim to qualify for the Scottish National Age Group Meet.

JS4 Guidelines

  • Attend 80% of all available training sessions.
  • Always bring hat, water bottle, fins, kickboard, pullbouy, snorkel & hand paddles to training.
  • Enter any target meet as advised by the coach and North District or National events when qualifying times have been achieved. Minimum of 2 to 3 meets per term.
  • Show positive attitude towards coaching team, training & competition.
  • Take responsibility for own fitness.

Youth Squad

The Youth Squad is for teenage competitive swimmers who wish to cut back on training hours because of exam or other commitments but who still want to train hard and occasionally compete. Entry to the squad is from JS4 or University of Aberdeen Performance squads. The squad swims three times each week and follows the JS4 sets – focusing on endurance, speed, race & stroke skills. Swimmers are also encouraged to participate with the tuition of younger swimmers and to take swimming teaching qualifications.

JS4 CC – Club Connect

JS4 swimmers with great attitude, focus, work ethic and attendance may be offered an extra swim session with the University of Aberdeen’s Performance Program. Similar swimmers from each of the University’s partner clubs train together once each week and are coached by the University’s performance coaches.

CC Guidelines

  • Communicate with both Cults Otters and UoA coaches.
  • Maintain JS4 attendance (CC is an additional training session to the regular program).
  • Take responsibility for your training and goals.

UoA – University of Aberdeen Performance Swim Team

Once swimmers reach the required level of performance and skill, they can move into the University of Aberdeen Performance Swimming program, which aims to take swimmers to National level competition. JS4 swimmers achieving National event qualification times or several District Championship times may be considered for a promotion to UoA. Selection is based on the swimmer’s endeavors in the CC squad and on their attitude, training ability, attendance and performance. Cults Otters joining UoA remain Cults Otters swimmers but now join UoA for training and competition.

This program is run in conjunction with Aberdeen Sports Village together with Scottish Swimming and draws in swimmers from five Aberdeen clubs (Cults Otters ASC, Bridge of Don ASC, Dyce ASC, Bucksburn ASC and Bon Accord Thistle ASC).

The program is centered in the 50 m pool in the Aberdeen Sports Village.