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Swimmer Progression for Teenage Swimmers

Swimming performance for teenagers is determined by a combination of many factors.

These include:

Talent – Every child has to have an element of talent and each child will have varying degrees of talent.  Talent is useless unless the athlete is willing to put in some hard work on their skills, technique and to improve and maintain a high level of fitness.

Training – The training that children undertake has a profound affect on performance.  A regular attendance at training / practice will ensure the swimmer is fit to perform and is in a good physical condition.

Athleticism – Athleticism is important in swimming as the swimmer has to deliver power.  Often children who are athletic are good at many sports and have to make choices on which sports to pursue.

Flexibility – Flexibility is important as the athlete has to have a good range of motion so that they can streamline effectively and maximise the length of their stroke.  Maintaining and increasing flexibility should be part of every swimmers program.

Commitment – Swimmers need to be committed to what they are trying to achieve.  By the age of 13 or 14, the parents will also need to be committed to supporting their child’s involvement in swimming.

Development – Swimmers who experience early strength and/or height development will often progress more quickly at a younger age, while those who develop later will experience more rapid improvements when their body develops.  If your child is a late developer, keep encouraging them to stay involved in the sport as they will more than likely achieve many breakthroughs between the ages of 16 years and 20 years.

Determination – All good swimmers have determination, something inside them that drives them forward.  Determination is important because it provides swimmers with an inner resilience when things don’t go to plan.

Consistency – Swimmers need to be consistent in their attendance at training, the effort they put in on a daily basis and the development of racing strategies.

Perseverance – Swimmers need to persevere, especially when they are subjected to disappointment.  Perseverance is a life skill that will assist your child both in and out of the water.

Element of Optimism – A swimmer has to think that they can do something that others may think is impossible.  They need to be optimistic.

Enjoyment is the number one factor and it is often overlooked by parents, coaches and swimmers themselves.  Children ‘have to enjoy swimming’ to stay in the sport.  If a child is not enjoying swimming, they are likely to be inconsistent at training which leads to a poor level of performance.  Many parents become focused on what other swimmers are doing, the frequency and distance of training sessions or what time they swam in a race.  These parents often lose sight of why their child is participating in the sport.

Enjoyment is one of the critical reasons why teenagers remain involved in sport.  This is especially true in swimming.

To improve swimmer performance, swimmers must maintain a focus on achieving their goals.  By focusing on the process, they will often achieve the results they desire.  To be processed focused; the swimmer must remove any focus on results.


The above is an extract from the book www.SwimmingForParents.com

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