Trainees are required to do 30hrs hours coaching adult swimmers under the supervision or guidance of a Mentor Coach.
Any hours done observing/assisting an adult swim squad as part of this program can be counted in those 30hrs with your verification.
Work with your trainee to determine a structure that suits their experience and confidence, fits in well with your squad and other coaches and allows them to have as much exposure to different coaching techniques as possible.
Sit down with them and go through the club’s annual plan, explaining the training goals, phases, cycles and session goals and how it works for your swimmers.
Every club is different, and each coach brings their own “flavour” to their coaching.
Talk with them about what skills they have that may work with your session plan. E.g., they may have a good understanding of exercise physiology, they may be an accomplished competitive swimmer themselves, they may have a teaching background and be excellent at managing a group.
Maximise their attributes when sharing the session with them so they can build on their natural abilities and contribute from day one.
For an absolute new trainee, you may start with a plan such as:
Hours 0-5: These hours would usually already have been done observing/helping or facilitating with the squad prior to commencing their theoretical work.
Hours 5-10: Introduce the trainee to managing the warm-up and/or the cool-down components with your guidance. This could incorporate some activation exercises and explaining the purpose of these to the squad.
Hours 10-20: Trainees should now be confident enough to write or co-write a simple set based on the training goals and cycles in the annual plan. Work with them to ensure that they can answer the questions below:
What is the goal of this session?
What is the technique that we need to focus on to achieve the training goal?
What warm up routine will get our swimmers ready for today’s set?
What drill sequence will activate the right muscles and reinforce the technique focus?
Do the drills lead into the main set? (Drills can be done at any time in the training session as long as they are connected to the training goal).
What energy system are we training today in the main set?
How will we structure the rest intervals to ensure that we are getting the right training outcome?
How will we modify the distance and timing to suit each lane?
Have we allowed enough time for the full set for each lane?
What equipment will our swimmers need and how long will this add to each repeat?
Based on the effort of the session, how are we going to ensure that our swimmers have cooled down before hopping out?
Hours 20-25: Progress to them writing the session plan on their own and have them explain to you what the goal of the session is, how the timing will work, how they are modifying it for each lane and what role they would like you to have in the session.
Give them whatever guidance and feedback that encourages them to “own” what they are doing and develop a rapport with the swimmers.
They should now be able to manage communicating the session plan to the squad. It is a good principle to keep the squad together as a whole rather than divide and allocate the “slow lane” to the trainee. This keeps the social cohesion of the squad and allows the trainee to develop techniques to manage the whole squad with confidence.
Hours 25-30: By this stage, your trainee should be comfortable enough to be writing and running the sessions on their own and you will be aware of any areas that they still need developing and guidance.
We don’t all want to be clones of each other, so encourage their personal flair and individual approach and seek feedback from them and your swimmers for constant improvement.
Each trainee will require a different degree of supervision. The important thing is that they feel supported, encouraged and valued.
Address any areas of concern as they arise so that they are able to manage sessions without you being there for the whole set at some stage in their 30hrs.