Holly Mawby, Carol Brain, Lawrence Savage,Thomas Stather, Emma Smith, Greg
The role of the coach
The coach's job is to supervise the entire competitive swim program; they have the final decision in all matters affecting training and competitions attended. The Borough of Barnsley Swimming Club coaching staff are dedicated to providing a program for swimmers that will enable them to learn the value of striving to improve oneself and "to be the best you can be."
The coaching staff is constantly updating and improving the BoBSC program. It is the swimmers and parent's responsibility to make the most out of the excellent opportunity this program provides for success in swimming.
How the squads are organised
When a swimmer joins the club he/she will be allocated a place in one of the various squads, depending on age and training ability.
The Juniors are the youngest swimmers in the club. The time spent in the Junior squad is primarily aimed at developing technique but includes an introduction to stamina and speed training. Juniors currently have three training sessions during the week.
An introduction to competitive swimming is made during this time with the Juniors, usually by an invitation to compete for the club in a novice competition. These galas are designed especially for swimmers entering the competitive world and are usually for swimmers up to and including age 12. Novice galas are great fun, and a valuable introduction to the rules and regulations governing competitive swimming. At the poolside the children will be organised by a “Team Manager” who will guide them through the gala, and you will find the more experienced swimmers always help the younger, less confident children. “Team Spirit” begins here!
If it is decided, usually following a coaches meeting, that a Junior squad swimmer is ready for promotion, he/she then moves on to the Intermediate or A2 squad, depending upon the criteria achieved.
Point to remember – the coaches will consider age, ability to train and character before a final decision to promote is made.
Swimmers based in the Intermediate squad continue to work to improve their technique, speed and stamina with more sessions made available to them. The Intermediate squad have four evening sessions per week and can also join in an early morning session at the Metrodome. Swimmers are expected to attend as many sessions as possible. Hard work brings its own reward, but as the swimmer improves there are now “open” competitions to enter, as well as chances to be asked to swim for the club. Eventually swimmers in the Intermediates will be looking to move into the Senior/Junior Development Squad or the A2 Squad.
This squad will provide competitive training for those members who are unable to make the criteria set for the various other squads or feel they are unable to apply the commitment, for whatever reason (eg school work, other clubs/sports). The swimmer, however, must maintain a positive view towards personal achievement and participation in the BOBSC set up. Should a swimmer find they are able to increase their ambitions or commitment then a move to the A2/A Squad and above is always possible, as long as the swimmer achieves the necessary criteria.
"A1" & "A2" Squad
It has been learned by past experience that a young swimmer who is producing excellent times and working very well in the Juniors and Intermediate Squad, if promoted too early, as well as possible damage to a developing body, sometimes find the level of training in the A1 and A2 Squads too strenuous. This can obviously discourage good swimmers, damage self-confidence, sometimes beyond repair, and lead to the swimmer deciding to leave competitive swimming altogether.
All swimmers in the A1 and A2 squads are expected to train to a standard that will enable them to compete at County meets and ‘A’ grade galas. It is vital then, that the move up to the A1 or A2 squads is made only when the swimmer is fully ready. No one expects the new squad member to perform immediately at the level set for the more experienced members of the squad, but hard work and commitment are essential for promotion into these squads. However, because of the level of training the coaches need to be convinced of the degree of both physical maturity, and mental attitude of the swimmer.
Swimmers in this squad should have high aspirations and must realise that an ongoing commitment is a necessity if their goals are to be achieved. All members of this squad are required to increase their sessions. Swimmers will be expected to attend a minimum of six sessions, one of which must be an early morning session. Any additional sessions would be an advantage. They must also swim at galas nominated by the Head Coach, including County and District Meets.
All squad movements are approved by the committee, after recommendation by the coaching staff, using the criteria of the BOBSC promotion times and the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) criteria as set down by the ASA. A copy of LTAD can be obtained from the Head Coach. Ability, attitude, physical maturity and capability are all attributes which the Head Coach will look for.
The team philosophy is encompassed in the words courage and perseverance.
BoBSC believes that courage and perseverance developed by swimming will prepare the individual for the challenges they will face in life. Our coaches also believe that the team experience, where a swimmer learns to work in a team situation with others that they may not like, prepares the swimmer for their adult life. Coaches therefore encourage their swimmers to adopt the following slogans:
TEAM = Together, Everyone, Achieves, More
There is no I in TEAM!
In any event or gala where the team is trying to win, all the swimmers have to depend on each other. Most of them understand that in cases such as these, their individual needs and preferences are put way behind the needs of the team. They will forego their favored or best events and swim their hearts out so that the team gain more points. They may not enjoy doing this, but to do so is not only good discipline, it is also character building. BoBSC has a strong team ethic and the coaches hope that the swimmers and parents joining the club will do their best to strengthen it.
BoBSC use a "progressive" age group program designed to develop the child physically, mentally and emotionally in a systematic fashion. A well defined, long term approach of gradually increasing degrees of commitment is essential to reach peak performance levels during a swimmer's physiological prime.
The emphasis in the early stages of participation must be placed on the developing technical skills and a love for the sport. In the later years, a more demanding physical and psychological challenge must be introduced to the training program. In this respect, "too much too soon" is more often the cause of failure to achieve maximum potential in senior swimming than in the reverse situation.
In addition to emphasising long-term rather than short-term results, it is also important that we establish training squads of swimmers who are compatible in respect to abilities, commitment levels and goals. Unfortunately, this is not always the most convenient approach to take, but it is always the most productive.
At each level, the goals and objectives are specific and directed toward meeting the needs of the swimmer. The long-term goal of total excellence is always in mind. As each child is different, they will progress at their own rate. The coaching staff recognises this fact by making lane assignments based on a swimmers physical, mental, and emotional level of development.