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Facilities - At present the situation is dire as there are very few available pools that meet the International
standard requirements. There is a lack of heated and covered facilities available to clubs to provide all year
training facilities. Club training times are restricted, resulting in overcrowding during training sessions thus
encouraging sprint programs instead of full and comprehensive program for their swimmers. Schools and clubs
have co-operated extremely well and the co-operation has been advantages for swimmers, clubs, schools and
individual coaches.

Where do we want to be?
Athletes – All athletes should be given the opportunity to learn to swim through our “learn to swim” program. All
swimmers should have equal opportunities to reach their personal goals in swimming. Swimming should be the
avenue for all in a quest for a healthy lifestyle. Our swimmers should be able to join SSA accredited clubs that can
offer an educated LTPD programs to all their members. This is an extremely important part of delivering a National
co-ordinated program, giving a better opportunity and preparedness to compete at International, National and
Provincial Championships.
SSA aim is to have its individual swimmers and relay teams in fine shape to regularly bring back medals and swim
in finals at major events such as the Olympics and Commonwealth Games and the World Championships and
other International Championships.
Coaches – We require a strong Coaches Association, and coaching accreditation and certification system, based
on educational and performance results. The coaching set up should cover our instructors of our “learn to swim
program” and through all the various levels up to an including our Olympic coaches. There should be regular
education courses that will offer maintenance, new and progressive ideas and basic courses for new coaches.
There should also be a rewards system for coaches based on achievements. We must have a top quality coaching
program on a par with other coaching programmes around the world. We need to keep our talented swimmers
training in our Country.
Officials – We need a National body that controls and supports all volunteers equally with an established grading,
marking certification system that is standard throughout the land. Volunteers need to be welcomed and praised
for their contributions. Full training programs established country wide that falls under one umbrella. The basic
rules governing swimming should be on the web site, National application forms and courses and results.
Parents – On going parent programs held all around the country to familiarize parents with the tremendous
benefits of the LTPD program. Parent encouragement from the active start through all the various stages insuring
participation in sporting activities and promoting values. fun, inclusion and fairness.
Facilities – Our aim would be to have at least one indoor pool of International standard in a number of heated
pools in each Province.

How to get there
Athletes
The philosophy behind Long Term Participant Development is that it takes 8-12 years of training and practice for
a swimmer to reach elite levels (Bloom , 1985;Ericsson et al., 1993; Ericsson and Charness 1994), and that
success comes from training, practicing and competing well over the long term rather than focusing on winning in
the short term. There is no short cut to success in a swimmers preparation!
The LTPD model not only provides the rational justification for enhancing our current system but also provides
some of the solutions as to the way forward in starting to tackle some of the weaknesses identified. Development
of talent must look beyond the short-term and plan for the future. These are great challenges for our sport.

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Additional support mechanisms built into the development program for swimmers that will be included in
additional squads selected performances and talent. The objective of the different squads will be to win Olympic,
World and Commonwealth medals. Improve the quality of our qualifiers to make finals at these world class events
and at the same time strengthen our relay teams. The youth squad will supply in the years to come.
Coaches
Set up a workable Coaches' Association. Finalise the five levels of all SSA accredited coaches. Conduct numerous
educational and practical coaching courses specific targeting black coaches in order to attract new swimmers in
the townships. Reward and recognise coaches' performance. Encourage a friendly and co-operative association
who are willing to discuss successful method with fellow coaches. Convey a sense of gratitude for the important
job they are doing for the community.
Officials (Volunteers)
The National body to ensure that all registered SSA volunteers have competence certification. Assign duties of
high ranking volunteers for all International and National events. Set up standard education program for
volunteers throughout the Country. Express thankfulness for their time and dedication.
Parents
Well informed parents especially of highly talented swimmers who understand the benefits their children will
receive because of their full understanding of our LTPD program.
Facilities
All out effort to made to upgrade and or build new facilities with the help of Government, Provincial and District
departments. Raise funds via the lotto and private companies. Set targets and strategies to establish the first steps
on a journey that could take some time. .
General
Communications is an important factor and the SSA web site must be kept updated and contain all relevant
information pertaining to swimming needs. The site should include the following information. News and up and
coming events – The annual calendar – National event programs – Results – Rankings – Qualifying Times –
Records – Drug information – Swimmer profiles – FINA basic swimming rules – Club information – Coaches
information – Official (Volunteers) information
A comprehensive inclusive system for on-line registrations is to be investigated. Complete the establishment of a
coaches and Officials Associations including education, certification.
The standards and system for monitoring and assessing both our Senior and age group swimmers is based on a
percentage of the Olympic Games qualifying times. Small adjustments to the qualifying times are made annually
but generally they are set for four years. They are adjusted at the start of the season after the Olympic qualifying
times are made available.
The LTPD model not only provides some of the National justification for enhancing our current system it also
provides some solutions as to the way forward in starting to tackle some of the identified weaknesses.
Development of talent must look beyond the short term and plan for the future.
 Implement a new communication pathway plan
 Improve the current structure.
 Goals stated in smart format.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T - Timely

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THE TEN KEY FACTORS INFLUENCING LTPD
1.

THE FUNDAMENTALS - DEVELOPING PHYSICAL LITERACY

Fundamental movement skills (running, throwing, catching, hopping, bounding, etc.) and fundamental sport skills
equals Physical Literacy. The literature on growth and development indicates that children should master the
fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills before learning more complicated sport-specific skills
and strategies. These fundamental skills should be acquired prior to the onset of the growth spurt which occurs in
adolescence.
The physical and movement qualities which are developed as physical literacy are essential for participation and
enjoyment of sports. Athletics, gymnastics and swimming are three sports which are particularly useful for
developing fundamental movement skills and sport skills.
Swimming is the foundation stone for all water sports. It is also plays an extremely important part in promoting
water safety, and teaches balance in a buoyant environment as well as coordination.

2.

CHRONOLOGICALAGE vs DEVELOPMENT AGE

A second factor influencing the LTPD has been touched upon earlier. It is the recognition that chronological age
differs from developmental age. Chronological age refers to the number of years and days elapsed since birth.
Developmental age refers to the child's relative position on a continuum that begins at birth and culminates in full
physical maturity.
A participant's developmental age determines when various aspects of sport and physical activity should be
introduced or emphasized. The LTPD model uses the categories “early”, “average”, or “late” matures to identify
an athlete's developmental age. These designations help coaches and instructors to design instructional, training
and competition programs that are appropriate for the participant's level of development. Identifying an athlete's
stage of maturation is not difficult. For specific information on “how to”, go to www.ltad.ca. Refer to the section
“The role of monitoring growth in long term athletic development”
As individuals mature, there are several time sensitive periods when there is accelerated adaptation to training.
The model identifies these periods and makes maximum use of them to introduce skill and fitness development.

3.

MENTAL, COGNITIVE AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Instructors and coaches should recognize that individuals mature at different rates and that the timetable for
physical, mental, motor and emotional development varies from athlete to athlete. Instructors and coaches are
encouraged to take a holistic approach to teaching and training athletes. This means taking into account a wide
variety of psycho-social and emotional factors that influence the athlete day-to-day.
Cognitive, mental and emotional (affective) elements have a significant effect on participants' performance, and
must be prioritized in long-term participant development. Beyond these elements, instructors and coaches should
also consider equipment and environmental factors that impact participation, performance and safety. Ethics,
including fair play, respect of self and others, and perseverance should be developed within all stages of long term
participant development.

4.

SPECIALIZATION

Many of the world's most successful athletes participated as children in a wide variety of sports and physical activities.
The movement and sport skills they developed as a result have helped them to attain a high level of athletic
achievement.
There is much to be gained from a child's early participation in a variety of sports. Early exposure to a wide variety of
sport and physical activities will develop some of the physical and movement attributes that are crucial to later success
in participation including: agility, balance, conditioning, speed, core body strength, stamina, suppleness, and eyehand-foot coordination.

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Early specialization in a late specialization sport can contribute to:
 Over emphasis on sport specific preparations/ one sided preparation
 Lack of development of basic movement and sports skills
 Overemphasis on sport specific preparation/ one sided preparation
 Lack of development of basic movement and sport skills
 Overuse injuries
 Early burnout
 Premature retirement from training and competition

1.

TRAINABILITY

The trainability of the 5 S's is well documented in the literature.
 Stamina (Endurance)
 The optimal window of trainability occurs at the onset of Peak Height Velocity.
 Aerobic capacity training is recommended before swimmers reach PHV. Aerobic power should be
introduced progressively after growth rate decreases.
 Skill
 The window for optimal skill training for boys takes place between the ages of 9 and 12
 and between the ages of 7 and 11 years for girls.
 Strength
 The optimal window of trainability for girls is immediately after PHV or the onset of menarche, while for
boys it is 12 to 18 months after PHV
 Speed
 For boys the first speed training window occurs between the ages of 7 and 9 and the second occurs
between the ages of 13 and 16. For girls the first speed training window occurs between the ages of 6
and 8 years and the second window occurs between the ages of 11 and 13 years.
 Suppleness (Flexibility)
 The optimal window of trainability for suppleness for both boys and girls occurs between the ages of 6
and10. Special attention should be paid should be paid to flexibility during PHV.
Brohms, 1985; Viru et al, 1998 and 1999; Rushall, 2000. Biological markers (Balyi, 2002), such as the on-set of
PHV (adolescent growth spurt), PHV and the on-set of menarche can identify the “sensitive periods of accelerated
adaptation to training” for Stamina, Strength and Skills. The trainability of Speed and Suppleness is based on
chronological age. Thus, the biological markers will identify the “windows of optimal trainability for accelerated
'adaptation to training. (See further details on trainability in the 10S's of training and performance section).

6. PERIODIZATION (Annual training, competition and recovery plan)
Periodization provides the framework for organizing training, competition and recovery into a logical and scientifically
based schedule to achieve optimum performance at the required time. A periodized annual plan that takes into
account growth, maturation and trainability principles should be developed for all stages of LTPD.
Simply put, designing a periodized yearly plan is time management. This involves planning the right activities with
the correct level of difficulty, in the correct sequence to reach the desired training and competition objectives.
The plan can be broken down into workable units. The proper sequencing of these units is critical for success. To
reach optimum performance in a competitive environment, the training units should be sequenced in the
following manner:
 Develop the performance capacity of the participant including physical literacy and sport specific skills,
tactics/strategies, physical components, mental skills;
 Integrate the performance factors in a complex and harmonious blend;
 Prepare the participant to perform at needs to know competitions.

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 In order to design an annual plan, the coach needs to know:
 How the sport specific athletic form is developed;
 The requirements (demands) of the sport during competition;
 The demands of the sport during the preparation phase;
 The competition calendar and the relative importance or purpose of each competition;
 The actual training state of the athlete at the start of the yearly plan;
 The contextual reality that the coach and athlete have to cope with;
 The principles of long term athlete development.
Creating a blueprint for success involves accurate and effective planning of training, competition and recovery.
The competitive swimming calendar is divided into 4 cycles. .A winter season comprising mainly of short course
events (May – July, August –October) and a summer season comprising mainly of long course events. (November
– January, February – April).

7. CALENDAR PLANNING FOR COMPETITION
The domestic competitive and event calendar must support and be aligned with LTPD. Different stages of
development and different levels of participation have different requirements for the type, frequency and level of
competition. At some stages of development, training and development take precedence over competitions and
short-term success. During the later stages participants need to experience a variety of competitive situations and
perform well at International and other high quality events.
National and international competition and event calendars must be coordinated, and competitions selected
according to the priorities of the specific stage of development of the participants.

8. THE TEN YEAR RULE
Scientific research in sport has concluded that a minimum of ten years, or 10,000 hours of deliberate training is
needed for a talented participant to reach elite levels. This translates into an average of more than three hours of
training daily for 10 years. There are no shortcuts; participant development is a long-term process (Gibbons, 2002).
Short-term performance goals must never be allowed to undermine long-term participant development (Viru, 1995)

9. SYSTEM ALIGNMENT AND INTEGRATION
LTPD recognizes that physical education, school sports, recreational activities and competitive sport are
interdependent. Enjoying a lifetime of physical activity and achieving athletic excellence are both built on a
foundation of physical literacy and fitness. Stakeholders in LTPD include participants, instructors, coaches, parents,
administrators, spectators, sponsors and supporting national and multi-sport organizations. With so many partners
included, system integration and alignment is a major challenge.
It is important that all components of the swimming, community – participants, coaches, parents, admin,
spectators, sponsors, and supporting national, provincial, territorial and multi sport organizations work together to
implement the right programs and establish a system that produces optimal condition for training and
competition. The South African sport system should include the school system (physical education and school
sports), recreation departments, competitive sport, sport facilities and coaching organization. All parts of the sport
community must be integrated and aligned. With so many partners across so vast a country and with different
demographic compositions, system integration and alignment are major challenges. Each element in the system
plays a crucial role in a swimmer's development. The system must be clear, seamless, and based upon a consistent
set of principles.

10. CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT


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LTAD is a dynamic framework that utilizes continuous adjustments based on key principles. Continuous
improvement ensures that:
LTPD responds and reacts to new scientific and sport-specific innovations and observations and is subject to
continuous research in all its aspects.
LTPD, as a continuously evolving vehicle for change, reflects all emerging facets of physical education, sport
and recreation to ensure systematic and logical delivery of programs to all ages



LTPD promotes ongoing education and sensitization of all partners about the interlocking relationship
between physical education, school sport, community recreation, life-long physical activity and high
performance sport.
LTPD promotes integration between sport, physical education, recreation, health and education.
LTPD promotes ongoing education and sensitization of all partners about the interlocking relationship
between physical education, school sport, community recreation, life-long physical activity and high
performance sport.
LTPD promotes integration between sport, physical education, recreation, health and education.

The 10 s's of training and performance
The original 5 Basic S's of training and performance was introduced in the Canadian Sport for Life: Long-term
Athlete Development document. Building on the physical development, an additional Five S's create a complete,
wholistic, training, competition and recovery program and a proper lifestyle. Thus, there are Ten S's of training
which need to be integrated when developing annual training, competition and recovery plans. Each of these
capacities is trainable throughout a swimmer's lifetime, but there are clearly critical periods (or sensitive periods)
in the development of each capacity during which training produces the greatest benefit to each athlete's
improvements.
The various stages of LTPD are well documented and identify the windows of optimal trainability related to the
critical or sensitive periods of the maturation process. In all former LTPD documents the windows of trainability
have been referred to as the “critical periods” of accelerated training; however, scientist now believes that critical
periods should be referred to as sensitive periods.
Thus, windows of trainability refer to periods of accelerated adaptation to training during the sensitive periods of
pre-puberty, puberty and early post-puberty. The windows are fully open during the sensitive periods of
accelerated adaptation to training and partially open outside of the
sensitive periods. These sensitive periods vary between individuals as
each athlete is unique in their genetic makeup. While the sensitive “The sensitive periods in
trainability are referred to
periods follow general stages of human growth and maturation,
the windows of accelerated
scientific evidence shows that humans vary considerably in the
magnitude and rate of their response to different training stimuli
adaptation to training.”
at all stages.
Some players may show potential for excellence by age 11, whereas others may not indicate their promise until
age 15 or 16. Consequently, a long-term approach to athlete development is needed to ensure that athletes who
respond slowly to training stimuli are not “short-changed” in their development.

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Stamina (Endurance)
The sensitive period for training stamina occurs at the onset of the growth spurt or Peak Height Velocity (PHV), commonly
known as the adolescent growth spurt. Swimmers need increased focus on aerobic capacity training (continuous or
aerobic interval workloads) as they enter PHV, and they should be progressively introduced to aerobic power training
(anaerobic interval workloads) as their growth rate decelerates. However, sport-specific needs will determine “how much
endurance is enough” in a particular sport, thus minor or major emphasis of training the aerobic system will be defined by
sport-specific break point volume.
A reminder: The windows are fully open during the sensitive periods of accelerated adaptation to training and
partially open outside of the sensitive periods.

Strength
There are two critical windows of trainability for strength in girls: immediately after PHV and after the onset of
menarche. Boys have one strength window, and it begins 12 to 18 months after PHV. Again, sport-specific needs
will determine “how much strength is enough” in a particular sport, thus minor or major emphasis of training
strength will be defined by specific and individual needs.
A reminder: The windows are fully open during the sensitive periods of accelerated adaptation to training and
partially open outside of the sensitive periods.

Speed
There are two critical windows of trainability for speed. For girls, the first speed window occurs between the ages
of six and eight years, and the second window occurs between 11 and 13 years. For boys, the first speed window
occurs between the ages of seven and nine years, and the second window occurs between 13 and 16 years.
During the first speed window, training should focus on developing agility and quickness (duration of the intervals
is less than five seconds); during the second speed window, training should focus on developing the anaerobic
alactic power energy system (duration of the intervals is 10-15 seconds).
It is highly recommended that speed should be trained on a regular and frequent basis, for example at every
training session as part of the warm up. Towards the end of the warm up or immediately after the warm there is
no Central Nervous System or metabolic fatigue present in the organism, and so this is an optimal time to train
speed. The volume of training should be low and allow full recovery between exercises and sets. Short acceleration
with proper posture and arm and leg drive, take-off speed and segmental speed should be trained regularly
outside of the window of optimal trainability for speed.

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Psychology
Sport is a physical and mental challenge. The ability to maintain high levels of concentration, remain relaxed with
the confidence to succeed are skills that transcend sport to everyday life. To develop the mental toughness for
success at high levels requires training programs which are designed specific to the gender and LTPD stage of the
athlete. The training programs should include key mental components identified by sport psychologists;
concentration, confidence, motivation and handling pressure. As an athlete progresses through LTPD stages the
mental training aspect will evolve from: having fun and respecting opponents; to visualization and self-awareness;
to goal setting, relaxation and positive self-talk. To master the mental challenge of sport those basic skills are
then tested in increasingly difficult competitive environments. Ultimately the planning, implementing and refining
of mental strategies for high level competition will determine podium performances. The mental training program
is critical at any LTAD stage as dealing with success and failure will determine continuation in sport and physical
activity, therefore dramatically affecting an individual lifestyle.

Sustenance
Sustenance recognizes a broad range of components with the central theme of replenishing the body. This is to
prepare the athlete for the volume and intensity required to optimize training or living life to the fullest. Areas
addressed are: nutrition, hydration, rest, sleep and regeneration, all of which need to be applied different to
training (life) plans depending on the stage within the LTPD. Underlining sustenance is the need for optimal
recovery management moving the athlete to the 24/7 model which places a high degree of importance on the
individual's activities away from the field of play. For proper sustenance and recovery management there is a need
to monitor recovery by the coach or parent through the identification of fatigue. Fatigue can come in many forms
including: metabolic; neurological; psychological; environmental and travel. While overtraining or over-competition
can lead to burn-out, improperly addressing sustenance can lead to the same result.

Schooling
In training program design the demands of school must be considered. This is only limited to the demands placed
by school sports or physical education classes. This includes integrating school academic loads, duties, school
related stresses, and timing of exams. When possible, training camps and competition tours should compliment,
not conflict, with the timing of major schools academic events.
Overstress should be monitored carefully. Overstress refers to the everyday stresses of life, like schooling, exams,
peer groups, family, boyfriend or girlfriend relationships as well as increased training volume and intensities.
Interference from other school sports should be minimized, communication between coaches who are responsible
to deliver the training and competition programs are essential. A good balance should be established between all
factors and the coach and the parents should be working on this together. The socio-cultural aspects of sport are
significant and must be managed through proper planning. Socialization via sport will ensure that general societal
values and norms will be internalized via sport participation. This occurs at the community level and as an athlete
progresses through the LTPD stages can lead to

International exposure. This socialization can be broadening of perspective including; ethnicity awareness, national
diversity. Within the travel schedule recovery can include education of competition location including; history,
geography, architecture, cuisine, literature, music and visual arts. Proper annual planning can allow sport to offer
much more than simply commuting between hotel room and field of play.

Sport Socialization
Sports socialization also must address sport sub-culture. As well, coaches and parents must guard against group
dynamics which create a culture of abuse or bullying. Ethics training should be integrated into training and
competition plans at all stages of LTPD.

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Overall socio-cultural activity is not negative distraction or interference with training and competition activities. It
is a positive contribution to the development of the person and the athlete.
Children often choose to play a sport after the windows optimal of trainability for speed, skill, and suppleness
have past. These children are therefore dependent on schools, recreation programs, and other sports to provide
timely training in these capacities. LTPD advocates that sports build relationships with these organizations to
promote and support appropriate training. If athletes miss these training periods entirely, coaches will need to
design individualized programs to remedy any shortcomings.

Building a Pathway - The Seven Stages of LTPD
The stages of LTPD are based on the concept that sports can be classified as early or late specialization sports.
Early specialization sports are defined as those sports where early specific training is essential to be successful,
such as gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, diving, figure skating, swimming and table tennis.
Late specialization sports are defined as those sports when early specialization, is nor required to achieve
excellence. Theses sports include cricket, athletics, soccer, rugby, volleyball, combative or racquet sports, where
early specialization is not essential for future excellence. The Swimming South Africa Sport for Life, Long-term
Participant Development distinguishes seven stages of athlete development:
1.
Active Start – 0 - 6 years of age
2.
Fundamentals Females 6 - 8 / Males 6 – 9
3.
Learn to Train Females 8 – 11 / Males 9 – 12
4.
Train to Train Females 11 – 15 / Males 12 – 16
5.
Train to Compete Females / Males
6.
Train to Win Females / Males
7.
Active for Life - Enter any time

STAGE ONE: ACTIVE START
Ages 0 to Six years
Objectives: The objective of the stage is to learn fundamental movements and link them together into play. They
will be introduced to the water and will be tutored by “learn to swim” instructors in buoyancy, water confidence
and water safety.
Physical activity should be fun and a natural part of a child's daily life. Active, free play is the way young children
are physically active.
The first phase requires approximately two half hour sessions of learn to swim per week. Additional time used for
other sports and physical free play.

STAGE TWO: FUNDAMENTALS
Ages: Females 6-8 Males, 6-9 years of age
At the entry level or Fundamentals stage of LTPD the children begin being involved in different types of sports.
They will be introduced to swimming through either through instructors accredited to the SSA's “learn to swim”
program or at crèches and schools will exposure children to aquatic activities and many other sports. The
availability of swimming pools is a problematical factor especially at grassroots level where porta-pools have to be
used especially in rural areas. During this phase that lasts approximately 3-4 years, children can try the sport out
and obtain a basic understanding of various swimming skills. Those who are identified as having either a more
genetic disposition to swimming or show keenness should be introduced to a local SSA accredited club that will
provide the opportunity for more focused development. The emphasis during this Fundamental phase will be on
fun and participation. It will aim to develop crucial physical capacities such as agility, balance, co-ordination and
speed (ABC'S) alongside basic swimming specific skills. The children will be encouraged to participate in as many
other sports as possible.
Early maturing athletes are undoubtedly better athletes during childhood. However research strongly suggests
that late maturing children may have greater potential to reach elite levels in the long term. They are likely to
benefit from spending longer in the important early stages that pattern future physical literacy.

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Competitions clearly take on greater significance as the swimmer develops towards the end of this phase. There is
a responsibility on all those associated with the swimmer to ensure that he or she has the right balance of
training to rest intervals in order to give the swimmer the optimum chance of performing to their peak each time
they compete.
Whilst it remains important that swimmers continue to play other sports, for variety and cross-training, the
balance during this phase should now be directed to swimming. Careful monitoring of the growth of the swimmer
is critical during this phase using simple height and weight measurements and visual assessment, to ensure that
the most appropriate training is introduced at the most appropriate time. Specialization in a stroke or strokes
should begin towards the end of this stage.
During this period the object is to progressively extend the volume of training, whilst maintaining the efficient and
effective technique. Well tuned programs will always include a speed component. At the end of this phase
swimmers should be achieving the target guideline times set out set out for National competitions. A danger for
coaches at this phase is to train the swimmers as if they were adults neglecting to establish a sufficient training
base. .
Training steps up to about 12 to 15 hours per week for normal swimmers up to 18 to 20 hours and more for the
more elite age grouper.

STAGE FIVE: TRAIN TO COMPETE
Ages: Females 14 to 18+, Males 16 to 20+ years of age
By the age of 16 for boys and 15 for girls, the swimmer will enter the “Training to Compete” stage. The swimmer
should have successfully mastered the train to train phase and have attained the required times to move on. This
phase comprises of swimmers competing in top youth competition and vying for spots in the various SSA squads.
It is at this stage that transition from age group to open competitions takes place.
Girls 14 - 18 and boys 15 -20 years will focus on race tactics and strategies will now play an important part.
Coaches will need to place a strong emphasis on autonomy and independence as well as creating the right
environment for mastery of technique and mental toughness to further develop. Individually tailored physical and
mental development programs are an integral part of improving performance.
Good young swimmers will be competing for their schools, representing their clubs at National Level 3 age group
and at Youth Nationals. The elite will be swimming at Senior Nationals and will probably be in one of the select
SSA squads. The progression into senior swimming creates satisfaction and additional opportunities that
encourage promising swimmers to stay in the sport. It is important for coaches to consider appropriate training
programs to ensure that swimmers retain a balanced lifestyle.

STAGE SIX: TRAIN TO WIN
Ages: Females 18 +, Males 20 + years of age
“Train to Win” is the final LTPD stage. It comes when the swimmers have mastered the Train to Compete phase
and have met the relative target times required. The Training to Win stage represents senior and open
competition. It is the point at which improvements in performance as a result of an individual growth and
development cease to be significant. The maintenance of physical attributes to the athletes' and further
development of a specific stroke or strokes take place. Training should focus on the development of stamina,
strength, speed, skill and suppleness. This lasts from girls (16 years) and boys (18 years) to retirement from
competitive swimming. The stage deals with the athletes who have most of the capacities in place to perform at
the highest level. An important aspect is team bonding. (Relays and support structures around the swimmer)
The number and frequency of training sessions depends upon the level to be attained or retained.
A selected maximum number of competitions per year should suffice but this depends on specialization. i.e. an
event that requires alteration or modification to a swimmers training program. All events that include a taper or
rest from training should have a clear performance target set by the coach.
At this stage, squad and individual training programs are designed to suit squads or individuals and the
programme will target specific events and strokes at certain times of the year

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STAGE SEVEN: ACTIVE FOR LIFE
Enter at any age
Age: This is when an individual makes the transition from competitive sport to life-long physical activity, and it
may occur at any age.
Objective: Continue to be physically active in swimming or in any other sport. Continue to be involved in the
swimming community at different capacities.
This stage describes the transition from competitive sport to lifelong physical activity. The sport system should
encourage participants to move from one sport to another with ease and from one aspect of sport to another.
Active for life may also involve moving from competitive sport to:

Recreational activities such as running, swimming, hiking, cycling, etc.;

Lifelong competitive sport through age group competition such as Masters,

Sport-related careers, such as coaching, officiating, sport administration, small business enterprises, or
media;

Volunteer positions, as coaches, officials, or administrators.
Training, racing and recovery programs should fit the needs of the athletes for whom they are intended. Masters
swimmers need programs that take into account how aging affects strength, flexibility and endurance.
A positive experience in sport is the key to retaining participants after they leave the competitive stream. Sport
can begin a philosophical shift.

LTPD for Athletes with Physical Disabilities
The same basic formulas can be used and modified for the physically disabled and they should be included into
the swimming package.
Strategic initiatives: Planning to Implement (LTPD initiatives implementation plan)
There are no accidental champions

CLUBS AND CLUB DEVELOPMENT





Clubs play an important part in delivering any new system. It is proposed that the roles and
responsibilities are as follows:
Clubs that are part of the Swimming South Africa setup are initially used as the “front line” in the
development process. In conjunction with the Provinces they will be responsible for delivering the
Fundamentals, Learning to Train and Training to Train phases of LTPD (from ages 6-15). As the system rolls
out it is envisaged that additional clubs be added to deliver the system when gaining accredited club
status.
As an increase in number of hours of activity for the talented swimmer is expected, it is proposed that the
clubs and the Provinces take up some of the “slack” and provide additional local venues at which
swimmers can seek training under expert tuition.
In the long term tailored packages of benefits could be made available to such clubs. They will be
appropriately resourced and financed and have sufficient qualified coaches and volunteers to deliver the
program.
To support a close working relationship with local schools, District and Provincial bodies will ensure
effective delivery of the system.
To provide appropriate outdoor indoor practice facilities for development. The additional space should be
made available for Provincial and National bodies to use for squads as part of an extended high
performance program if the opportunity arises.
Club coaches attached accredited clubs, to be given access to LTPD training and support programs offered
by SSA or its Provincial Affiliates or the Coach Education Department.

Accredited clubs to display posters outlining what can do for the swimmer and their route map forward.

13

Coach Education and Development
The role of the coach will be central to any successful introduction of a new system. The coach has the ability to
motivate athletes and either unlock and nurture or stifle future potential. Any changes to the existing system will
role out over a number of years and LTPD will progress in parallel to changes to the Coach Education and
Development system as and when the opportunity arises. The role and responsibility of the SSA Coach Education
Department and the Development Department with regard to LTPD are as follows:

Amendments to existing Coach and Teacher education courses including INSET and Teacher Training.
Coaching Levels I - IV. (Follow the British coaching format)

Amendments to the Swimming Coaching Manual.

To promote and develop an awareness program for the introduction of LTPD principles.

To design and deliver Coach Development Workshops on LTPD with special emphasis on the delivery of
the Fundamentals, Learning to Train and Training to Train stages.

To monitor progress, evaluate success and review periodically.

To bring up to date existing coaches with the principles of delivering the LTPD sports system for
swimming.

To develop and deliver further training and development packages to support the LTPD system.

In co-operation with Swimming South Africa Education Department, to develop a compulsory Movement
Skills for Swimming Workshops for all pre-Level I coaches in support of the LTPD system.

To develop an effective Coach Mentoring scheme.

Official's Education and Development






Amendments to existing Officials Training and development program.
Continually update rules and regulations.
To promote and develop an awareness program for volunteers.
To design and deliver Officials Development Workshops.
To monitor progress, evaluate success and review periodically.
To develop and deliver further training and development packages.
To develop an effective Official's mentoring and monitoring schemes.

Parent Education
It is important that parents encourage sport and physical activities to help with their growth and development.
Medical and sport research shows that our children are increasingly at risk for obesity and disease due to low
levels of activity and poor nutritional habits.
The reason children play sport is

To have fun

To experience thrills

To be with friends or make new friends

To do something they are good at

To feel good about themselves

To feel accepted

To improve and learn new skills
Parents often have their own reasons for seeing their children in sports, and problems arise when their motives
conflict with those of their son or daughter. Some of the most common problems arise when parents:

Place too much emphasis on winning

Push their children to specialize in one sport too early

Live their own dreams through their children
The ideal situation is when your child finds intrinsic reward in participating in the activity – otherwise known as
FUN!

14

APPENDIX ONE – SKILLS
Skills
The initial learn to swim phase encompasses basic movements, balance, and coordination. The swimmer
progresses to the skills stage. This stage is crucial to their development. The phase starts at about the 7
to 8 year age and carries on to about 15 to 16 and sometime even beyond. Although it is never too late
to perfect skills, the older the swimmer the harder it is to change bad habits and the task of fine tuning
skills becomes more specific and individualistic.
During the skills stage the swimmers are educated to












Keep a correct body position
Correct breathing for different speeds, strokes and distances.
The most effective kicking methods for the various strokes.
Develop a feel for the water, sculling and change of speed of the pulling and pushing phases of the arm
stroke.
Use of the most efficient arm recovery.
Apply the correct technique to gain the most economical distance per stroke.
Develop techniques that minimise resistance.
Use of kicking and pulling drills to perfect stroke technique.
Perfect both starts and turns techniques.
The skill development stage ensures that a good technique produces high efficiency and there should be
an awareness of the difference between style and technique. Complicated skills should be broken down
into simple techniques. It is important to work through the three transition stages.
Learning stage
Performance with speed stage
Speed under pressure stage.

APPENDIX TWO – PHYSICAL, MENTAL / COGNITIVE AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPEMNT FOR ALL THE STAGES
Fundamentals (adapted from the South African LTPD model and Canadian Sport for Life Resource paper)
Physical development - Characteristics and implications - Basic characteristics




Larger muscle groups are more developed than smaller ones.
The size of the heart is increasing in relation to the rest of the body. The cardiovascular system is still
developing.
Ligamentous structures are becoming stronger, but the ends of the bones are still cartilaginous and continue to ossify.
Basic motor patterns become more refined towards the end of this phase and the balance mechanism in the
inner ear is gradually maturing.
During this phase, girls develop co-ordination skills faster than boys but the developmental differences
between boys and girls are negligible.

Performance capabilities & limitations




Children are more skilful in gross movements involving large muscle groups than in precisely co-ordinated
movements involving the interaction of many smaller muscles.
Endurance capacity of the young players is more than adequate for most activities.
The young person's body is very susceptible to injury through excessive stress or heavy pressure.
There is a great improvement in agility, balance, co-ordination and speed (ABC's) towards the end of this phase.
Sex differences are not of any great consequence at this stage in development.

Implications for the swimming coach


15

Basic skills should be developed during this phase.
Short duration anaerobic alactic activities should be planned (short, sharp sprint activities 6- 8 seconds with
3 minutes rest in between).
Use slow progressions in hopping and bounding. Strength training limited only to own body weight or
appropriate medicine ball (neural recruitment i.e. Nervous system adaptation).


Swimming-specific activities and games should emphasize co-ordination and kinesthetic sense. Activities
which incorporate gymnastic or athletics type movements are most appropriate.
Training and playing in combination should be emphasized at these ages and during this phase.

Fundamentals
Mental/cognitive development = Characteristics and implications - Basic characteristics



Attention span is short and children are action orientated. Memory is developing progressively.
Children in this phase have limited reasoning ability. Later on during the phase there is growing capacity for
more abstract thought.
The repetition of activities is greatly enjoyed. Young swimmers improve their abilities through experience.
Imagination is blossoming.

Performance capabilities & limitations



Young athletes cannot sit and listen for long periods of time.
Children are generally leader-orientated: they love to be led!
Young athletes do not learn the skills correctly by trial and error.
Experimentation and creativity should be encouraged.

Implications for the swimming coach



Use short, clear and simple instructions. Children want to move and participate. Coaches with excellent
communication skills must work at this level.
Coaches should adopt a “follow me” or “follow your leader” approach and ensure that all activities are fun
and well-planned. Introduce fun items and drills into the warm up session and encourage children to carry
out important skills in a fun manor.
Coaches must be able to provide a correct demonstration of basic swimming skills at this level. Those
coaches with excellent technical modelling must work at this level.
While training and practicing encourage input (opinion) from the children. They will love to try things out!
Create a non-judgmental environment.

Fundamentals
Emotional development - Characteristics and implications - Basic characteristics



The children's self concept is developing through experience and comments from others.
Children like to be the centre of focus and attention.
The influence of peers becomes a very strong driving force behind all activities.
The child begins to understand the needs for rules and structure.

Performance capabilities & limitations



Children perceive these experiences as a form of self-evaluation: “I am a good person if I do well – I'm a
bad person if I do poorly.”
When a situation becomes threatening they quickly lose confidence.
Acceptance into a peer group often depends upon one's abilities in physical skills and activities.
Children can understand simple games with simple rules and will tend to question rules and expect
thoughtful answers.

Implications for the swimming coach



Children need positive perceptions of themselves and need positive reinforcement on a regular basis. This
will provide the motivation to continue with the activity.
Plan and structure technical and tactical activities so that success is virtually guaranteed. This means
progressing from simple to more complex activities.
Coaches must be capable of assessing the basic skills and of providing a varied program of practical
opportunities for technical and tactical development and improvement.
Children need equal praise for all forms of effort. Participation and fun to be emphasized over winning.
Focus is on the process, not on the outcome!

16

Learning to train/training to train
Physical development - Characteristics and implications - Basic characteristics





Significant proportional changes occur in bone, muscle and fat tissue.
Girls begin their growth spurt between ages 12 and a half years to 14, boys between 12 and a half years to
15.Girls attain a maximum rate of growth at average age 11, boys at average age 14.
Smaller muscle groups are becoming more developed.
During this phase the various parts of the body do not grow at the same rate. The growth rate of the legs
and arms will each a peak prior to that of the trunk.
A significant increase in red blood cells occurs – especially in boys due to the male hormone testosterone.
The central nervous system is almost fully developed.

Performance capabilities & limitations





During growth spurts adaptation is influenced by sudden changes of body proportions.
Early in this phase, girls are faster and stronger than boys are. This situation is reversed later on in the phase.
Speed, agility and co-ordination are still improving rapidly during this phase.
A change in the centre of gravity, length of limbs and core strength will determine the content of training.
The oxygen transportation system is still developing and aerobic endurance is continuing to increase.
Agility, balance and co-ordination are fully trainable.

Implications for the swimming coach




Monitor training carefully and individualize the content of training to ensure adaptation.
Chronological age might not be the most appropriate way to group players.
Situations when fear, guilt or anxiety brought about by sexual development should be avoided.
With the improvement of fine motor skill movement all basic technical skills to be mastered. Swimmers
should learn how to train including physical, technical, tactical and ancillary capacities (e.g. Warm-up,
cool=down, diet, nutrition, hydration etc).
Some of the already learned skills might need to be relearned again due to growth of limbs which might
affect technique. The increase in body mass requires more structured aerobic training. Only short duration of
anaerobic activities are recommended.

Learning to train/training to train
Mental/cognitive development - Characteristics and implications - Basic characteristics


Abstract thinking becomes more firmly established.
Young swimmers develop a new form of egocentric thought. Much emphasis is placed on self-identity.
Young swimmers are eager to perfect their skills.

Performance capabilities & limitations


Decision making through more complex technical training/practice should be introduced.
This may result in a strong fear of failure.
Individual specific direction and structure in the learning process is required. A variety of methods to
measure success are important to maintain motivation.

Implications for the swimming coach



17

Decision making on tactical solutions should be based upon the skill level of the swimmer.
Create the optimum learning environment, match skill and drill levels. Focus on mastery. Introduce simple
coping strategies for winning and losing, positive reaction to challenges.
Provide a strong role model by modelling “winning mind” values and beliefs.
Positive reinforcement is imperative. The difference between the physical and mental development can vary
greatly and care must be taken not to pick the early developers and neglect or deselect the late-developers.
The coaches' ability to demonstrate specific skills is important.


Swimming-specific activities and games should emphasize co-ordination and kinesthetic sense. Activities
which incorporate gymnastic or athletics type movements are most appropriate.
Training and playing in combination should be emphasized at these ages and during this phase.

Fundamentals
Mental/cognitive development = Characteristics and implications - Basic characteristics



Attention span is short and children are action orientated. Memory is developing progressively.
Children in this phase have limited reasoning ability. Later on during the phase there is growing capacity for
more abstract thought.
The repetition of activities is greatly enjoyed. Young swimmers improve their abilities through experience.
Imagination is blossoming.

Performance capabilities & limitations



Young athletes cannot sit and listen for long periods of time.
Children are generally leader-orientated: they love to be led!
Young athletes do not learn the skills correctly by trial and error.
Experimentation and creativity should be encouraged.

Implications for the swimming coach



Use short, clear and simple instructions. Children want to move and participate. Coaches with excellent
communication skills must work at this level.
Coaches should adopt a “follow me” or “follow your leader” approach and ensure that all activities are fun
and well-planned. Introduce fun items and drills into the warm up session and encourage children to carry
out important skills in a fun manor.
Coaches must be able to provide a correct demonstration of basic swimming skills at this level. Those
coaches with excellent technical modelling must work at this level.
While training and practicing encourage input (opinion) from the children. They will love to try things out!
Create a non-judgmental environment.

Fundamentals
Emotional development - Characteristics and implications - Basic characteristics



The children's self concept is developing through experience and comments from others.
Children like to be the centre of focus and attention.
The influence of peers becomes a very strong driving force behind all activities.
The child begins to understand the needs for rules and structure.

Performance capabilities & limitations



Children perceive these experiences as a form of self-evaluation: “I am a good person if I do well – I'm a
bad person if I do poorly.”
When a situation becomes threatening they quickly lose confidence.
Acceptance into a peer group often depends upon one's abilities in physical skills and activities.
Children can understand simple games with simple rules and will tend to question rules and expect
thoughtful answers.

Implications for the swimming coach



Children need positive perceptions of themselves and need positive reinforcement on a regular basis. This
will provide the motivation to continue with the activity.
Plan and structure technical and tactical activities so that success is virtually guaranteed. This means
progressing from simple to more complex activities.
Coaches must be capable of assessing the basic skills and of providing a varied program of practical
opportunities for technical and tactical development and improvement.
Children need equal praise for all forms of effort. Participation and fun to be emphasized over winning.
Focus is on the process, not on the outcome!

18

Training to compete
Physical development - Characteristics and implications - Basic characteristics

The circulatory and respiratory systems reach maturity.

Increases in height and weight, gradually slow down and stabilization occurs in the muscular system.

Skeletal maturation continues in males and females.

By age 17, girls generally have reached adult proportions, whereas boys do not generally reach such
proportions until several years later.
Performance capabilities and limitations

These systems are generally capable of giving maximum output.

Muscles have grown to their mature size but muscular strength continues to increase reaching its peak in
the late twenties.

Connective tissues are still strengthening.

Proportionally, girls gain more weight than boys during this phase.
Implications for the coach
 Aerobic and anaerobic systems can be trained for maximum output. Full swimming-specific energy system
training should be implemented.
 Strength training can be maximized to improve overall strength development. Neuromuscular training should
be optimized during this phase.
 Progressive overloading in training should be continued.
 Aerobic training for girls to be optimized. Coaches should be aware how to deal with weight gain and effect
on figure.
 Athletes should learn how to compete including all technical, tactical and ancillary components.

Training to compete
Mental/cognitive development - Characteristics and implications - Basic characteristics
 Generally, by age 16, the brain has reached its adult size but continues to mature neurologically for several
more years.
 Critical thinking is well developed during this phase.
Performance capabilities and limitations
 Athletes can cope with multiple strategies and tactics, particularly near the end of the phase.
 The capacity of self analysis and correction is developing
Implications for the coach
 Coaches should ensure the refinement of all technical and tactical skills.
 Decision making should be developed further through technical and tactical development.
 Coaches to promote autonomy and independence.
 Coaches to create environment where athletes are encouraged to make decisions, decide on methods and
make judgments.
 A structured environment in order to maintain a strong mastery competitive value base.

Training to compete
Emotional development - Characteristics and implications - Basic characteristics
 Peer group influence is still a powerful force.
 Athletes are searching for a stable, balanced self image.
 Activities and interaction with the opposite sex are important during this phase.
Performance capabilities and limitations
 Independent decision making and leadership skills are becoming more developed.
 Self concept is still very much influenced by success and failure. Coping techniques are useful.

19

Implications for the coach

Athletes should be given the opportunity to develop through participation in appropriate leadership or
responsible role (i.e. Captaincy) but strong direction and discipline must be maintained.

Positive evaluation of performances and positive reinforcement are imperative

Training to win
Physical development - Characteristics and implications - Basic characteristics

Physiologically the body reaches maturity during this phase.

Final skeletal maturation occurs at age 19-20 for females and approximately 3 years later for males.

Performance capabilities and limitations
All physiological systems are fully trainable
Implications for the coach
 Coaches should use the most advanced physical training techniques and programs to ensure maximum
adaptation and to minimize injuries.
 Coaches should insure that all muscle groups and body alignments are well balanced and complemented by
optimum flexibility ranges.
 State of the art testing and monitoring programs to be used.
 Overtraining and overstress should be carefully monitored.
 Regular appropriate medical monitoring should be conducted, with additional blood tests for female athletes
to prevent iron deficiency.

Training to win
Mental/cognitive development - Characteristics and implications - Basic characteristics
 Neurologically the brain matures about 19-20 years of age.
 There is a complete understanding and acceptance of the need for rules, regulations and structure.
Performance capabilities and limitations
 Players are capable of self-analyzing and correcting and refining skills. Athletes can analyse and
conceptualize all facets of swimming.
 Well-developed information processing skills improve the player's ability to visualize verbal instructions.
 The young athlete must perceive the rules and structure as being clearly defined and fair.
Implications for the coach
 Coaches should use the most advanced physical training techniques and programs to ensure maximum
adaptation and to minimize injuries.
 Coaches should insure that all muscle groups and body alignments are well balanced and complemented by
optimum flexibility ranges.


State of the art testing and monitoring programs to be used.
Overtraining and overstress should be carefully monitored.
Regular appropriate medical monitoring should be conducted, with additional blood tests for female athletes
to prevent iron deficiency.

Training to win
Emotional development - Characteristics and implications - Basic characteristics
 There is a need to be self directed and independent.
 Self-actualization and self-expression are important.
 Major decisions on career, lifestyle and education are important at some point in this phase.
 Interactions with the opposite sex continue to be a strong priority with lasting relationships developing.
Performance capabilities and limitations
 The athletes are ready to assume responsibility and accept the consequences of their actions.
 Major changes in interests, hobbies and physical activities occur during this phase.

20

Implications for the coach
 Goal setting should be strongly emphasized to give definite direction and purpose to the athletes' overall
program.
 The players need to be treated as adults – with respect though direction and structure from the coach is still
important.
 Professional guidance should be made available considering off-season and educational pursuits.
 Athletes must have ample opportunities for independent social interaction.
Appendix four - annual program & implementation guidelines (adapted and modified from the ltpd model)
THE ANNUAL PROGRAM & IMPLEMENTATION GUIDELINES
The following schedules and work program set down the amount of development work that should be done with
individuals, when that work should take place and what it should consist of. The programs and guidelines are
designed to assist Schools, Community/Recreation Centres, Private Academies, Clubs and Provincial/District
Associations position themselves for full future implementation of the LTPD principles and help plan development
activities over the long-term. The following points should be noted:
 All children should have the opportunity to be part of the Fundamentals stage of LTPD.
 The priority should be on the long-term development of individuals as opposed to short-term team success.
 New revisions will ensure that LTPD principles are incorporated into all Levels of coaching
 A degree of flexibility may need to be applied to parts of the Annual Program where conflicts with
educational requirements take place.
 The majority of athletes will not possess the necessary talent, desire or inclination to reach elite levels within
the sport. For these athletes, programs should be designed around a “Core” LTPD program which provides
for basic LTPD principles to be applied. For those potential top athletes, an “Extended” LTPD program will be
provided as shown in the Annual Program and Implementation Guidelines.
Active Start – The “Learn to Swim” program is presented by accredited “Learn to Swim instructors” Schools,
Local, Provincial and the National bodies.

Implementation guidelines – train to win stage of ltpd
Chronological Age: 22+/- Male, 23+/- Female
The Final LTPD phase.










Maturation has taken place and all systems are fully trainable. No longer does growth play a large part.
Swimmers have to be goal orientated and disciplined.
Coaches need to have selected a facility that will be the most beneficial to the swimmer.
The most advanced physical training techniques must be available and used.
Coaches should ensure that all muscle groups and body alignments are well balanced and complemented by
optimal flexibility ranges.
Top testing and monitoring programs should be used to ensure no overtraining or stress is detected.
Regular appropriate medical monitoring should be conducted.
Swimmers should be capable of self-analysis and work with the coach to correct and refine their skills.
Working with state of the art camera equipment, will assist with any minor changes that may be needed.
Major decisions on career, lifestyle and education will come to the fore as well as major changes in interest,
hobbies and interactions with the opposite sex.
The swimmer must be ready to assume responsibility and accept the consequences of their actions.
Definite goal setting should be emphasised to give direction and purpose to the swimmer's overall program.
They need to be treated as adults and assisted with professional guidance during the on and off season. This
will include any educational pursuits.

Appendix four - competition guidelines
Providing definitive guidelines on levels of competition for swimming has been set up by based on annual
performance related to a percentage of the Olympic qualifying times.

21

Senior Nationals, Youth Nationals and the three age group - Level 3, Level 2 and Level 1 and includes the various
National Squads quality standard target times. Every swimmers situation and circumstances differ. However, it is
true to say that over-competing for the most talented young swimmers is a problem. Especially over competing
when combined with insufficient fitness levels, physiological imbalances and poor technique will inevitably lead to
a higher risk of injury. It can also lead to early burn-out and exit from the sport. If a sports system is to be truly
“athlete centred” then this weakness in our system needs to be addressed.
SSA”s competition review will provide guidelines on appropriate competition training to rest ratios. The guidelines
are clearly of primary importance to the most talented athletes who are in greatest demand but will also benefit
the less able athlete. This sensitive issue will require agreement, co-operation and consensus on calendar
planning. SSA'S Swimming Technical Committee taking into account the different coaches, parents, swimmers and
others involved in a talented swimmer's development. The Swimming Technical Committee is responsible to make
the appropriate decisions in consultation with provincial and district organizations
An unbalanced competition calendar and unbalanced competition to practice ratio will interfere with training
opportunities, which in turn will affect a swimmers skill and ability levels in later years.

The role of swimming south african sporting bodies
In its role as the National Governing Body for swimming, Swimming South Africa will take on the implementation
of many of the structural and framework changes required. Policy decided at a national level specific roles and
responsibilities of SSA will include the following:











Ensure that any relevant current and future programs and initiatives affecting the performer's
development are consistent with the aims of the Long-Term Athlete Development system for swimming.
Through the Coach Education Department and the Development Department, the design and delivery of
any changes and amendments needed to the current system of INSET courses, Teacher Training, the Coach
Education system and Coach Development.
Existing Ethics, Equity, Child Welfare, Facilities, Disabilities, Volunteer and other Strategies are aligned and
integrated into the new system.
To ensure that competition rules and guidelines are designed to be consistent with LTPD principles.
To ensure that appropriate funding levels support the LTPD sports system and are targeted towards the
young performer's Growth and Development key stages at School, Club, District and Province.
To put in place effective Detection, Identification, Selection and Development criteria for Talent
Identification for use by Schools, Clubs, Districts, Provincial and National Boards using the Minimum
Quality Standards. This would include a system of objective measurement to monitor competencies
achieved.
To ensure that new initiatives and programs introduced by outside bodies and agencies are appropriately
introduced into and are consistent with the LTPD sports system.
To be responsible for setting up and overseeing an effective monitoring system to evaluate the LTPD
process.
Provincial Boards would be responsible for the local delivery of the LTPD sports system. The roles and
responsibilities would include the following:
A dedicated performance officer, to work alongside the Chief Development Officer, who is responsible for
the long-term development of the key 6-15 years of age group of performers. The officer would set policy,
plan programs, and liaise with other key personnel including the Academy Directors, Clubs, Schools,
Parents, Chief Development Officer & the SSA Performance & Development Departments).
Responsibility for implementing a nationally consistent Fundamentals program for the 6-9 years of age
group.
Responsibility for delivering an effective district and provincial program with appropriate levels of training
and competition as set down by the ECB.
Responsibility for mentoring, planning and developing the program for the most talented performers
whose chosen sport is swimming.
To ensure that adequate funding is targeted within Development Plans to develop the key 6-15 years of
age performers. The Minimum Quality Standards will provide guidance as to which areas of development
should be prioritized.

22

To ensure that a robust system of detecting new talent from Primary School visits is in place and that
those detected are introduced to appropriate local Accredited Clubs for focused ongoing development
using Club/School cluster groups.

Appendix five – monitoing growth
Coaches and parents can use stature measurements (height) before during and after maturation as a guide for
tracking the development age of children. Tracking allows coaches to the critical or sensitive periods of physical
development (endurance, strength, speed and flexibility) and skill development.
The age of an athlete can be examined from seven different prospectives.






Chronological age.
Relative age
Biological age
Skeletal age
Development age
Training age
Sport specific training age.

How do you measure growth spurt?
 Stand straight against a wall, no shoes, and heels touching the wall.
 Measure from the floor to the top of the head.
 Measurements should be taken at the same time of the day. (am or pm)

Appendix six – recovery and regeneration
Recovery - The term recovery is used in a number of situations.



It could refer to a recovery set between daily intensive sets, or it could be at the end of a session.
It could be a period in a cycle that allows sessions to be swum below training overload to help with recovery.
It could also be a period of time between cycles that gives the swimmer the opportunity to recover.
A passive recovery can best be described as a rest or break from activities that covers both the physical and
psychological stress.
Active rest entails a reduction in the training load.
A successful program requires effective periodization of training that will best balance and adjust the total
stress training. This will allow some performance components the opportunity to recover and regenerate
whilst other components are still subject to stress.


Regeneration. A number of physical therapies can help with the regeneration that will assist the swimmer's recovery.




23

The use of contrasting temperature baths, a spa, a sauna and hydro-massage. Even more sophisticated
therapies can be used under the direction of specialists.
The most commonly used recovery method is undoubtedly muscle message.
Massage helps repair and regenerate muscle tissue following an injury. Other benefits are that it will
quicken the removal of lactic acid from the muscle. It has a psychological effect by helping the swimmer
relax, reduces muscle tension and helps warm up the muscle by stimulating blood flow.
The amount and type of recovery should be related to the various training sessions that may range from
stressful endurance sets to stressful speed sets.
Coaches should be aware that psychological recovery is just as important as physical recovery.

Appendix seven – periodization
Periodization is based on various principles that incorporate training plans and strategies, formed from general
and specific objectives, to enable swimmers to produce optimal performances in predetermined time frames.
 There are numerous periodization models. They can range from a simple method of one hard and one easy
session to the more complex models.
 Periodization will encompass the various ages and will include the physical, mental and emotional
development of the swimmer.
 The priority for the youngest swimmers will be to first develop their skills, aerobic capacity and to have
fun. Second in priority will be the maintenance of natural speed and learning of race skills.
 As swimmers grow a little older, they enter a stage of rapid physical change of growth spurts and puberty.
Their muscle strength to body weight will need variations to the training program.
 The middle age grouper's program will increase in volume and intensity and the training programs will be
adapted to assist the swimmers further development. The more talented swimmers will be preparing to
move to a higher level of competition.
 Elite swimmers will naturally have more complex models that will include micro, meso and macro cycles.
 These cycles could have single or multi tapering models dependant on the swimmers capabilities.
 The cycles should include a preparation, competition and regeneration phase. Each cycle constructed
according to the desired objective.

Appendix eight – glossary of terms
Adaptation
A response to a stimulus or a series of stimuli that induces functional and/or morphological changes in the
organism. Naturally, the level or degree of adaptation is dependent upon the genetic endowment of an individual.
However, the general trends or patterns of adaptation are identified by physiological research, and guidelines are
clearly delineated of the various adaptation processes, such as adaptation to muscular endurance or maximum
strength.
Age:



Chronological Age: the number of years and days elapsed since birth.
Developmental Age refers to the degree of physical, mental, cognitive, and emotional maturity. Physical
developmental age can be determined by skeletal maturity or bone age after which mental, cognitive, and
emotional maturity is incorporated.
Training Age refers to the number of years in training, sampling different sports.
Sport-specific Training Age refers to the number of years since an athlete decided to specialize in one
particular sport

Ancillary capacities: the knowledge and experience base of an athlete, including warm-up and cool-down
procedures, stretching, nutrition, hydration, rest, recovery, restoration, regeneration, mental preparation, and taper
and peak. The more knowledgeable athletes are about these training and performance factors, the more their
training and performance levels will be enhanced.
Childhood
A time period from the end of infancy (the first birthday) to the onset of puberty which is characterized by
relatively steady progress in growth and maturation and rapid progress in neuromuscular or motor development.
This time period is often divided into early childhood (which includes preschool children aged one to five years),
and late childhood (which includes children aged six through to the onset of puberty).
Competition
This is the period of time when all components of an athlete's training are successfully integrated to achieve
excellence.
Development
The passage toward, or percentage of maturity achieved, of various traits including social, emotional, intellectual,
physical and motor qualities.

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swimmimg with a disability

Talent Development

The swimming pool for PSs is relatively small, and South Africa cannot afford to waste any of this potential. However, the purpose of
talent identification is not to systematically test all individuals with a disability and direct them to the sports for which they appear best
suited by virtue of body size and shape, skill potential, or physiological response. Rather, it is to ensure that each individual has the
opportunity to learn about, and try, a wide variety of sports so that they find the ones they wish to pursue to the highest level possible.
Optimum talent development can only occur when developing PSs master FUNdamental movement skills and have the opportunity to
use them in a wide variety of recreational and sport settings.
The importance of developing physical literacy as the foundation upon which all future swimmers success is built cannot be over
emphasized. While important for all children, this is critical for children with a disability, both for the eventual contribution it makes to
stroke performance, but even more so for the contribution it makes to the individual’s future ability to live as independently as possible.
All these steps will assist in making the swimmer become successful at the elite level

Next steps

Systematic LTPD is critical if South Africa is to retain its international leadership as a country that is successful in swimming for PSs. Federations,
both those that integrate athletes and those that govern sports only contested by PSs, need to develop detailed plans to implement
effective LTPD programs as do bodies that serve a specific disability.
LTPD for high performance success and for the long-term health of
South Africans with a disability will not happen by chance, but only through the concerted and coordinated efforts of all partners in the
SA Sports system. Our disabled swimmers are “Not Just Champions”.

Acknowledgement:We acknowledge the support and permission granted by the Canadian Sport Centre-Vancouver, for allowing use of the document LTAD
ATHLETES WITH A DISABILITY “No Accidental Champions” as the basis for the SSA LTAD on Swimmers with Disability-Not Just Champions.

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