top of page

Criteria for Squad movement and progression

Here at Exeter City Swimming Club, swimmers move through the programme as they age and 


Each squad has a different kind, volume & pace of training and different expected levels of 

commitment to swimming. All these qualities are developmentally determined.

As a Coaching Team, our aim is to put swimmers where they belong physiologically, psychologically,

and developmentally, and we find that it is the swimmer who determines which squad they belong in by how they train in the sessions available to them. This means their day-to-day training efforts and performance are much more important than their race results in determining where they fit best.

Our swimming club is training driven, not results driven. When the training is carried out correctly, the results usually follow closely behind.


Squad movement process & criteria

Before a swimmer moves up to the next squad, it is not uncommon for the swimmer to be invited to train with the higher squad beforehand, in a transitioning process that might involve one or two sessions a week.


Given the increased intensity required in the higher squad, the swimmer will still be required to attend the minimum number of sessions set out for their current squad. The transitioning session is in addition to these sessions. This enables swimmers to gradually get used to the higher intensity of the training required in the higher squad.

When considering a transitioning process leading to a swimmer’s promotion, the Coaching Team 

look at three key factors:

  1. Is the swimmer consistently finding the work-rate/pace in their current squad, easy. Completing sets well ahead of others in their group?

  2. Is the swimmer consistently able to train at the same pace as the lower-tier of the higher group across the board, not just in one favourite stroke? A swimmer will not fit in with a higher squad if they cannot train at the pace required for the lower-tier of that squad.

  3. Does the swimmer display commitment and maturity at a level of the higher squad?

Other factors that affect the decision for squad movement are:

  • Swimmer’s age

  • Psychological maturity

  • Physiological needs,

  • Competitive maturity,

  • Independence & self- reliance,

  • Leadership abilities,

  • Coach-ability 

  • Willingness to be held accountable for their training and racing.

The transitioning process may take anything from 3 weeks to 6 months - it will vary from swimmer to 

swimmer and on some occasions a swimmer will not need a transitioning process at all. The decision is always at the discretion of the lead coaches in both squads, current and higher.

Movement through the Performance Pathway is not a given. It isn't instantly rewarded based upon time served in a current squad, or how fast the swimmer is racing, it is based upon their training and commitment ethos. The principle is simple. A swimmer will not keep up with the pace of a higher squad if they don't train as often, work as hard, or go to the same swimming meets as those that do. If a swimmer cannot swim at the pace and workload that a higher squad operates at, swimming will no longer feel a rewarding and fun thing for them to do.

bottom of page