1) The Competition Programme
From evidence of the growth and development of young people it indicates that swimmers in the 9 to 13/14 age groups should be encouraged:
• To compete in a range of events
• To compete in a range of distances
• Not to compete in 100m events too soon.
Attached to this email is an indication from British Swimming to what distances/events swimmers should target for key competitions.
It is my advise that swimmers should target IM events in all competitions and test the water in range of events and distances, even if it is disliked. Do not fear or shy away because you believed to be maybe difficult! embrace and learn from all opportunities available to us.
2) Levels of Open Meets
There are four tiers of structured competition. Open Meets are licensed according to the purpose of their competition as Level 1, 2, 3 or 4.
• Level 1 is aimed at national qualifiers and swimmers close to national qualification looking for opportunities to achieve national qualifying times. These meets take place in 50m pools and have set minimum qualifying times for entry.
• Level 2 is also aimed at national and regional qualifiers and swimmers close to regional qualification. These meets take place in 25m pools and also have a set minimum standard for entry.
• Level 3 is for club swimmers who are seeking regional and county qualifying times. These meets have qualifying times and upper limit times set at an appropriate level and will provide a programme throughout the year to support the requirements of swimmers below regional level.
• Level 4 is for club swimmers and those beginning to enter individual open competition.
The different levels of open meets can seem confusing but we the coaching team and club committee team are here to help and assist.
Level 4 Open meets like our Close Club Championship should be targeted by all members what ever the level or ability of swimmer they are.
“Rule of thumb” Level 3 Open meets are for all members to consider to attend but be mindful of any qualifying times limits.
3) How Often Should a Swimmer Compete?
“British Age Group swimmers compete too often and train too little.” – Bill Sweetenham, GB National Performance Director (January 2001)
As a general rule, swimmers should not compete more than 12 times in a year in events which require them to alter or modify their training programme and all events that include a taper or rest from training should have clear performance targets set by the coach for the individual swimmer.
All in all members who attend the following should consider the following:-
5 sessions per week = Target up to 12 competitions.
4 sessions per week = Target up to 10 competitions.
3 sessions per week = Target up to 8 competitions.
2 sessions per week = Target up to 6 competitions.
1 session per week = Target up to 4 competitions.
4) What are swim leagues?
Swim Leagues are team events where points are are given on positions in age events.
Those points then put together to give an overall team points which then place club in position of a league table.
Leagues are not always licensed meaning times achieve are not recorded or can be used for open meet.
Oswestry Otters target the Arena League which are run during October to December and Diddy League which is run during April to June.
No entry forms is required from members. The team is picked by the coaching team which a deadline confirmation list will be sent out (Those who don’t reply to the confirmation list within the deadline are removed for that round).
It is important that once you have confirmed to be on the team that you keep yourself free to attend as it is a TEAM EVENT and a team require the right number of swimmers in each age group otherwise the age group team might have to be withdraw from racing.