Age Group Training
Yardage Versus Technique
For Swimmers Under 10 the emphasis at practice should be a balance of anaerobic and aerobic work. With a focus on stroke proficiency and not yardage.
For Swimmers ages 10- 13 years old, practice should include the Introduction of stroke and turn efficiency, race strategy and breathing control. Swim aids such as fins should be introduced to encourage better kick, straighter legs, higher hips- not to get swimmers through more yardage.
The Emphasis in training for age group swimmers should be on Technique- because prepubescent swimmers do not need as much yardage.
In fact, too much yardage increases risk of injury, Burnout, And, according to a swimscience.net article, Studies show over-training before age 14 can actually reduce the chances of later success.
Don't get me wrong, An Early start to swimming benefits all swimmers. It helps build muscle. It improves balance and coordination. Some studies have shown early swimming may actually improve cognitive function. Swimming is not the issue- But Early specialization and over-training can trigger athlete burnout and limit, or, in some cases even stop improvement.
How many kids are hurt by well meaning but ill-informed coaches? Ignorance is no longer acceptable when The data is little more than a google search away. Age group Training should be approached from a more structured, scientific standpoint, and understanding the safest ways to train swimmers should be included in coaches certification- Not just left to choice.