Swimmer’s Welcome Pack
So you have joined Slough & Eton Dolphin Swimming Club. We are glad you have joined us. But do you know what a swimming club is? Particularly a competitive club like ours.
If you are expecting a pool, full of young people paddling, bathing and splashing about generally, then I have to say you won’t find it here.
What you will find though is detailed instruction on:
How to make the very best of all your natural abilities in the pool
How to swim properly
How to prepare to compete at progressively higher and higher levels (The club have had swimmers competing in the Olympics Games in the past and want to do so again)
How to appreciate the value of self-discipline in all aspects of your work in the pool. You will also especially enjoy the close friendship of other swimmers like yourself.
So lets look a little more closely at your new Club and what it will mean to you.
INSTRUCTION IN SWIMMING TECHNIQUES
There are three form swimming strokes, known as Backstroke, Breaststroke and Butterfly where you have to follow very strict rules as regards to your movements in the water. The fourth stroke is known as Freestyle (front crawl) where very few rules apply.
At a very early stage you will be taught to swim all the strokes exactly as laid down by the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA). This will be very important when you go on to compete in your club championships or to swim against other clubs in leagues matches.
To ensure that you are taught properly the club is under the control of a highly qualified professional Coach. Our Head Coach is supported by a team of qualified teachers and club coaches thus ensuring that all swimmers are trained to a consistently high standard. Your teachers and coaches are always ready and happy to answer any queries you may have regarding any aspect of your training. Details of the coaching team and their qualifications are listed on the web site.
PREPARATION FOR COMPETITION
Many people just enjoy swimming and the fitness benefit this brings. Club swimming however is largely about competition. That is where the principal fun and excitement lies.
Swimmers can be selected to swim for the club at team galas and compete as individuals at Open Meets, County, District and National competitions subject to attaining qualification entry times. Selection for team events is determined by the Chief Coach. Details of forthcoming competitions and team selections are accessible through the website and database.
Regular time-trials are run to check on progress. The swimmers themselves should always be aware of their personal best times (PBs). These performance times will improve rapidly in the early stages as the swimmers grow and develop correct techniques. A record of your personal best times is held on the club data base. Through the web site database you can see your most recent and best times and see how you rank in comparison to other swimmers in your age group and in the club.
There are standards of competition available to suit all levels of ability, ranging from Novice swim meets and internal Club Championships to Southern Counties and National Championships.
Your Club Coach will always know what you should be aiming for and will see that you get the necessary guidance and entry forms.
The best way of keeping up to date with what is going on in the swimming world is to take the monthly Swimming magazine an official ASA publication or by visiting the British Swimming web-site www.britishswimming.org.
We also try to keep you posted on through the website with interesting Swim Links that are freely available on the web and useful articles.
Although you have an excellent team of teachers and coaches to improve your techniques and direct your activities, in the last analysis your real progress can only come from your own wish to succeed and your determination to apply yourself to the hard but rewarding work if you want to succeed.
Swimmers should always be conscious of what they are doing and what they are trying to achieve and should monitor their own progress. For instance, there is a lap timer at each end of the pool at Montem. Once you have mastered the basic techniques, start to take notice of these lap timers so that you are generally aware of what you can achieve when called upon to swim at speed. Also make a habit of counting your strokes and know what is a low count for you when swimming end-to-end at a steady pace. These are things that you can do yourself and they will rapidly teach you the benefit of self-awareness and self-discipline in your training.
Start to think like a swimmer at an early stage and be determined to improve through your own efforts.
It is important that all swimmers arrive promptly on poolside around ten minutes in advance of the training session.
We are a Swim21 accredited club which means we meet certain standards and guidelines set out by the Amateur Swimming Association for child welfare, safety, governance and so on. We were one of the first clubs to achieve this standard in the area and it is important in ensuring that everyone can swim in a safe and fun environment. It is important that you are considerate and polite to the coaches and other swimmers and that others treat you in the same way. If any swimmer or parent has any concerns they should refer these to the Swim21 Officer or a member of the Committee.
The Club has a Code of Conduct which all members are expected to adhere to, a policy on photography and a constitution. The current versions of these important documents are available on the website. You will need to sign the Code of Conduct to be able to swim with the club.
Just so we are clear parents are responsible for their children immediately before and immediately after all sessions. The club is only responsible for children while they are on poolside under the supervision of a coach for their sessions. Children should be supervised in the changing areas. There are lots of trips to and from the swimming pool for training sessions and galas so it will help if you can make arrangements with other swimmers parents for lift shares however this is as a private arrangement outside the responsibility of the club.
HOW THE CLUB IS RUN
The Club is run by our Committee. The committee are all ‘willing’ volunteers and the detail of who is who and the positions held for the current committee is shown on the web site. Each year there is an annual general meeting to elect the committee for the coming year. Parents of swimmers under 16 years of age receive honorary parent membership and are entitled to vote at annual or extraordinary general meetings and can be nominated to the committee.
There are many other tasks that are undertaken through the year to support our swimmers and ensure the club runs smoothly. This is where many of the parents assist in the role of time-keepers, pool-side officials, teachers, coaches or helpers etc and the Club could not run without this assistance. If Mums and Dads would like to get involved with the club as committee members or help in any other capacity they should contact our Club Secretary or any committee member.
The current committee members are listed on the web-site along with role descriptions. Please do not hesitate to contact any member of the committee if you have any questions.
THE AMATEUR SWIMMING ASSOCIATION
The Club follows the guidance from our governing body, The Amateur Swimming Association, and in particular the Swim21 requirements set out by the ASA which entitles us to hold Sport England’s Clubmark Status. Details on the ASA, Swim 21 and Clubmark can be found on the British Swimming web site at www.britishswimming.org.
All swimmers are registered as members with the ASA and after joining you will receive your ASA Membership Card with your ASA Membership number on. You need this number to be able to complete in licensed swim meets and other competitions. You need to keep your membership card in a safe place as you will need to pay if you need a replacement. There is a slot at the front of this folder where you can place your registration card for safe keeping.
THE ASA at a local level operates through regions. Dolphins is in the South East Region of the ASA (www.southeastswimming.org) and locally in the Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire ASA (www.bsbasa.org) for our County competitions.
As a Swim21 Club we adopt and adhere to the principles of the ASA Child Protection Policy and ASA Equity Policy. Copies of these are provided and require signed acknowledgement by you.
The Club is a not for profit organisation. All fees go towards the direct operating costs the Club has to cover. These include the hire of the pools, coaches’ fees and other items such as registration costs with our governing bodies.
What fees are there and what are they for?
Annual Membership Fee: This payable in January of each year (or in the first year of joining for the balance of the year on a sliding scale) and goes to cover the admin costs, insurances, regional swimming association fees and Amateur Swimming Association Registration, etc.
Training Fees: These are payable on the first of each month by standing order. The fees vary from squad to squad and go to cover essentially the pool time and coaching fees. Fees are based on attendance for 44 weeks in one year. Bank holidays, the reduced summer programme, four weeks family holiday and pool maintenance closures are accounted for in the calculation of the monthly fee.
Competition Fees: These are specific to various open meets and competitions you may enter through the year.
Notification is required in writing when a member resigns from the Club and fees are due up to the point of written receipt of resignation by the membership secretary.
THE WEB SITE www.sloughdolphinsc.org.uk
Through this introduction we keep mentioning the web site. That is because this is the key communication link for the Club. All the information on current squad lists, training times, pool venues, details on team lists and so on are posted on the web site. You should get into the habit of checking the website regularly. There are too many members for us to be able to phone around and tell everyone individually of each and every piece of news so it is down to you to keep yourself informed and up to date through the web site.
Sometimes there will be occasions when a pool is closed at the last minute for whatever reason. Where this happens we do endeavour to notify everyone in advance and so it is important that we have everyone’s up to date contact details. These are held on the club database. It is your responsibility to ensure that the phone numbers and e-mail addresses that are on the database are up to date and correct.
The web site has lots of useful tips and information. It is where details of our ‘Swimmer of the Month’ are posted and information on any competitions can be found. The web site also has the access route to the data base and a section where you can download the training log sheets to keep in your record folder.
You will need some special pieces of equipment for the various training exercises. At the start this will be a float, pull buoy, named club swim hat, goggles, water bottle and a bag to keep them in. The Club has a shop desk open on Mondays where you can buy all of these items and more and get advice on types of swimming costumes, poolside clothing, etc you will need for competitions. As you progress there are other bits and pieces that are useful and the coaches will advise on this as you progress.
SO NOW YOU ARE A DOLPHIN
By becoming a competitive swimmer you are entering a sporting world rich in fun and friendship. The great thing about the sport is that it takes the swimmer to understand another swimmers joy in winning or his/her disappointment when things have gone against him/her. That’s because only swimmers are aware of the hard work that they and their team-mates have put into their training to maintain that unique condition known as water fitness.
Another great thing about being water fit is that you will find your heart, lungs and general stamina are so well developed that you will spring surprises on your non-swimming school friends when it comes to cross-country running and sports-day competitions.
If you stick at your swimming and work hard you will learn one of the most important lessons in life. Nothing is for nothing and hard work brings its own reward.
Good luck and we look forward to seeing you progress to your full potential as a Dolphin swimmer.
Slough and Eton Dolphin Swimming Club Web Site and Data Base
Why is the Web Site and Database Important
Trying to keep in contact with a club of our size can be quite a headache at times. As the club is growing and evolving and therefore becoming more successful we have to have an efficient means of contacting our members. To do this we use the Club Website.
The web site provides details of squad training times, details of upcoming events and importantly if there are any late notices of changes to training for example due to pool closure.
You should look to check the web site routinely to keep up to date with events and the opportunities for entering internal and external competitions, training tips and social events.
As your swimming develops the data base will become increasingly of use. This tracks your personal best times and progress. So you will need to be able to log into the data base to access the times swum at meets and time trials to record in your log book.
What does that mean to me??
It means that if your details are not entered on the database then you may not get to hear about updated news/important information. This may include newsletters/information about open meets and training times. The new database is very selective and targets certain groups i.e. one training squad or perhaps certain swimmers going to a particular event. In short if you don’t check the website regularly you won’t know what is going on within your club and may miss out
What if I don’t have an E mail address or access to a computer?
You need to make your situation known to a committee member on a Monday night via the club table. We will arrange for newsletters and other information to be picked up on that night. Obviously this is not as efficient as using the web and you need to keep in regular contact with the committee who will only be too happy to help you.
I do have a computer/ e mail address but don’t use it very often and I am not very competent
There is a bit of the Marmite thing going on here! Love them or hate them, the PC is here to stay. Within a club or our size we have to look at the most efficient way of contacting our members. Sue Topchik is available poolside to talk to anybody who has problems with the website and database. She will even help you on the phone whilst you are navigating your way around the site. All you have to do is come to the club desk on Monday nights (6.15-8.00)
How do I enter my details on the Swim Club Manager?
What’s on the site?
Training squads and timetables,
Up to date info i.e. cancellation of training sessions/amendments on pre publicised events i.e. time trials,
Detailed swimmers info i.e. personal bests/rankings/times/race history,
Meet section where you can also download application forms,
Much much more……
I really can’t enter my details on the website.
If you are unable to enter your details on the database then you can request a form from the club table on a Monday night and fill it in. A member of the committee will do it for you.
What if I change my details??
It is each swimmers responsibility to up date their details on the data base which can be done easily. This is important as it means that we have the right contact numbers for you and for filling in the registration details with the ASA.
Training and Competition Information
AIMS FOR SWIMMERS
The progressive aims of the swimmer should be:
* To be selected for novice galas
* To be selected for Inter-club galas and Open Meets.
* To aspire to reach the next squad up
* To be limited only by natural ability not by limited commitment
All prospective swimmers will be assessed by the Chief Coach and grouped according to ability and not age. Each swimmer is assigned to a Squad and there is a Squad Coach assigned with responsibility for each of the Squads. Swimmers progress is assessed each term swimmers progress through the squads as and when they are ready. The squads and their training times are listed on the website.
Aim: Introduction to club Swimming to develop skills to become a competitive swimmer
All swimmers should attend at least 1 session every week
Strongly recommend 2 sessions are attended regularly before moving to Competition squad.
Skill and stroke based training
Starts and Turns Development
Aim: A further introduction to club Swimming with the aim to compete regularly
All swimmers should attend at least 2 sessions every week
Strongly recommend 3 sessions are attended regularly before moving to Bronze squad.
Skill and stroke based training
Starts and Turns Development
Try to attend some Open Meets
Aim: To develop racing skills, gain county qualifying times. Progress to Silver squad.
To achieve county times realistically a minimum of 4 sessions a week
It is expected that a training log is kept - sheets available online
Stroke and skill based training with some endurance training introduced
Starts and turns practised thoroughly
Regularly attend Open Meets
Aim: Win Medals at counties. Qualify for Regionals, Attain National Times.
Swimmers must should 5 sessions every week including at least 1 morning session
Swimmers should aim to do 7 to be competitive at regional level
Endurance and performance training
Swimmers should be available for all open meets recommended by the squad coach
Adult swimmers, from recreational through to National/International Competition.
Swimmers objectives vary from and includes training for fitness, for triathlons, for open water swims (such as the channel) and for Masters regional and national level competitions.
SLOUGH & ETON DOLPHIN SWIMMING CLUB
NUTRITION BEFORE & DURING COMPETITION
A good nutritional meal should be eaten two hours before you swim.
A SHORT TEAM GALA
Bring water or a weak squash on poolside, there should be no need to eat. Bring a packed lunch for the journey home. No glass bottles.
Ensure you drink plenty of water or weak squash regularly throughout the meet.
Bring a cool bag with healthy mini snacks to eat throughout the day.
Small pasta salads
Small filled pitta breads
Small number of energy sweets
Low fat breakfast bars
At breaks between sessions if available
Order jacket potato with coleslaw/beans
Wholemeal bread sandwiches (chicken or tuna)
Fresh fruit salad
Small amount of tea/ coffee
Avoid fast foods like McDonalds/ Burger King/ Kfc and No junk food i.e. crisps or fizzy drinks.
Time permitting; all swimmers should warm up in a training costume/trunks and change in to a dry racing costume/trunks for their event.
Always keep warm, wear the Slough Dolphin tee bag shirt, hooded sweater or tracksuit top. Keep your legs warm with tracksuit bottoms or long shorts.
Where possible a dry costume/trunks should be worn for each event.
Slough Dolphin hats should be worn at all team galas.
Bring at least two towels, more if you are competing in several races.
Dry yourself after each event, drink water, if there are no warm down facilities then have a warm shower and stretch after each race.
All swimmers must have footwear either trainers or flip-flops. Wear them right to the start of your race; if muscles become cold it is impossible to perform well.