Squad descriptions

Our squad structure is as follows:

  • OB1/OB2  Otters Beginners
  • SD1/SD2/SD3/SD4  Stroke Development Squads
  • JD1/JD2/JD3/JD4/JD5/JD6  Junior Development Squads
  • CD1/CD2  Competitive Development Squads
  • SC  Senior Competitive Squad
  • SP  Senior Performance Squad
  • CLB  Club Squads
  • MAS  Masters Squad

Squad descriptions, age criteria and minimum requirements referred to below are guidelines only. Squad movements are made at the recommendation of the coaching team. If you have specific questions relating to a particular swimmer please speak with the relevant coach in the first instance.


Otters Beginners

Beginners can start as young as 3 years old and no previous swimming ability is required, just a willingness to get in the water. Swimmers will be within their depth when they start and have an Assistant Coach in the pool with their small group as well as a supervising Coach on poolside. The emphasis is on water confidence, fun and safety. The squad criteria can be found here.


Stroke Development

The aim of the SD levels is to learn all four swimming strokes to some degree of proficiency and gain some stamina through increasing the duration of the sessions from 30 through 45, to 60 minutes in the pool. The squad criteria can be found here.


Junior Development Criteria

The Junior Development programme is offered to existing and new swimmers as below:

  • Swimmers aged 10 and under
  • Swimmers who can perform all four strokes with technical development needs

Junior Development 1 is the equivalent of a Stage 7 in the Swim England framework. Swimmers will develop their stroke technique, competition skills and stamina within the Junior Development squads. By the time swimmers reach JD6, we expect them to be able to train and compete in 200 metre distances. The squad criteria can be found here.


Competitive Development, Senior Competitive and Senior Performance Squads

Swimmers who are 11 and under and have been identified by the following criteria will be offered a place in the CD squads:

  • Swimmers are attending 50% or more of available sessions to them
  • Swimmers will have the strength, stamina and technique to participate in Junior Competitive sessions
  • Swimmers are enrolling and signing up to as many competitions available to them as possible
  • Swimmers will preferably accept invitations to team competitions
  • Swimmers will have a positive attitude towards training and competition

Competitive Development 1 train alongside Junior Development 6 with a focus on skill development, and alongside Competitive Development 2, which focuses on training for competition and performance.

Swimmers in Competitive Development 2 will be selected by the Competitive Development Coach and invited for promotion to the Senior Competitive or Senior Performance squads based on criteria set by the coach. This will be discussed between coach and parents. 

The squad criteria for Competitive Development, Senior Competitive and Senior Performance squads can be found here.


Club squads

Swimmers in the Junior Development, Competitive Development or Senior Competitive/Performance squads will be offered a place in the Club squad for one of the following reasons:

  • As a development pathway from Junior Development 5/6 to the Competitive Development squads
  • If the swimmer is not able to or does not wish to attend 50% or more of their sessions in the relevant CD/JC/JP squad
  • If the swimmer does not achieve the criteria set by the Competitive Development or Senior Competitive/Performance coach
  • If the swimmer swims at a club level but does not have a desire to swim competitively in galas and open meets, or only wishes to do so on an ad hoc/occasional basis.

The Club squads follows the same scheme of work and coaching plan as the relevant Junior Development, Competitive Development or Senior squads, allowing the coaches to engage with swimmers at a level appropriate to their age and ability. Swimmers are surrounded by peers of a similar age and ability, and have the freedom to attend sessions ad hoc. The Club squads are suitable for swimmers who want to train up to 3 times per week, compete at some competitions, maintain fitness, remain sociable with peers and use swimming as an extra-curricular activity.

If a swimmer in the Club squads decide they wish to move over to the relevant Competitive Development or Senior squad, they will need to achieve an appropriate level of attendance and attitude criteria before discussing with their coach and trialling for the appropriate squad to ensure they are capable of achieving the relevant standard of performance. Please note this is down to the discretion of the coach and will be discussed with the parents once raised.


Masters squads

Masters squads are for our Masters swimmers (18+) who want to train up to 3 times per week, swim as a sociable activity with peers and to maintain/improve fitness, and to use swimming as an extra-curricular activity.