The role of our Strength & Conditioning (S&C) coaches is to help build a more robust athlete to better tolerate the demands of swimming, aid in improving performance in the pool and most importantly reduce the risk of injury.
The Performance Pathway – Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD)
At Sunderland ASC, swimming skills and dry land movement skills are developed simultaneously to ensure the holistic development of every swimmer. In accordance with the LTAD model set out by the ASA, the journey through swimming has 5 key developmental periods and S&C plays a key role in each one of them.
FUNdamentals – Childhood (Basic Movement Literacy)
This particular period is focused on movement literacy (i.e. running, jumping, crawling, hopping, skipping, landing) through games, random practice and positive re-enforcement. This period builds the foundation for maximizing athleticism in the future.
Movement Skill – Late Childhood (Specific Movement Literacy)
The young athlete then moves on to developing the key movement patterns required for training (i.e. Squat, Lunge, Hinge, Push and Pull). This period focuses on developing a skill-set and allows for a smooth transition in to more formal resistance training in the future.
Training to Train – Adolescence (Building the Engine)
This period introduces the young athlete to a more formal resistance-training programme. The movement skills developed in the fundamental stages are now challenged and progressed with either technical difficulty or load through blocked practice. This period can also be called the General Preparatory Phase (GPP).
Training to Compete – Early Adulthood (Optimising the Engine)
At this stage, all athletes are screened in the following areas:
- Movement Competence
- Trunk Endurance
- Strength and Power
Each athlete’s periodised S&C programme is then tailored to their needs based on their screening outcomes to allow them to maximize their performance in the pool.
Training to Win – Adulthood (Maximising the Engine)
This is the peak stage of athletic performance. At this stage, the S&C programme becomes highly specific and strategic to the needs of the athlete and their primary event (i.e. sprint, middle or long distance).