Training Rules & Methodology

Training Rules Movement of swimmers between lanes

Parents will sometimes see swimmers moving into different lanes and groups for certain sessions. This has led to a certain degree of confusion and needs explanation.
There are three instances when swimmers may be asked to swim with a different group:

  1. As a swimmer progresses and nears the point where they are ready to move to the next group, we will ask that swimmer to swim with the higher group for a session or group of sessions in order to gauge if they can cope with the additional workload.
  2. A particular swimmer may excel in one stroke and if their group is learning skills they already have AND the higher group is doing that particular stroke in that session, then we may invite a swimmer to “swim up” for that session.
  3. In rare instances if a lane is overcrowded AND there is space in the group above AND coaches feel they can cope with the workload, then a swimmer may be asked to “swim up” for that session. This approach provides us with the greatest flexibility so we can offer the best possible support for every child.

When a swimmer is ready to move permanently and has successfully tried out in the higher group, then they may be invited to move to the higher group permanently if there is space available. In this case coaches will always speak to the parents and swimmers involved, explaining the requirements of the new group and session times etc.

Understaning Training Methodology

Three stages of learning have been identified:

  • Cognitive or Understanding Phase

In the first stage of learning performances are inconsistent and not success is not guaranteed. Performing the skill requires all of the athletes attention and so they rely on the coach for cues. This is a process of trial and error with a success rate of 2 or 3 out of 10 attempts. Correct performances must be reinforced through external feedback.

  • Associative or Verbal Motor Phase

Performances are becoming more consistent as motor programmes are being formed. While the simpler parts of the skill now look fluent and are well learned, the more complex elements requires most of the spare attention. The athlete is starting to get a sense of internal ‘kinaesthetic’ feedback when they perform the skill well. They are starting to detect and correct their own errors and success rate has risen to 5-7 out of 10.

  • Autonomous or Motor Phase

In the final stage of learning, performances have become consistent, fluid and aesthetically pleasing. The motor programmes involved are well learned and stored in the long-term memory. There is now spare attention which can be focused on opponents and tactics. To retain the new skill at this level, it must be constantly practiced to reinforce the motor programmes. Success is now 9 out of 10.

Information gained from:-

Measuring Personality  Information gained from:-

Intrinsic motivation

This is motivation from within. A desire to perform well and succeed. The following will be true:

  • Desire to overcome the problem or task
  • Development of skills and habits to overcome that problem
  • Rehearsal of successful habits until they are perfect
  • A feeling of pride and enjoyment in performing the skill
  • Repeated goal setting in order to progress and maintain motivation

Goals must be all of the following in order to be attainable:

  • Smart
  • Measurable
  • Agreed
  • Realistic
  • Time related
  • Exciting
  • Recorded

Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation comes from a source outside of the performer. These are things which can encourage the athlete to perform and fall into two groups:

Tangible rewards: Physical rewards such as medals and money. These should be used sparingly with young athletes to avoid a situation where winning a prize is more important than competing well

Intangible rewards: Praise, recognition and achievements. These should be used on a regular basis to encourage the athlete to repeat the behaviour which earned the praise.

  • Measuring and assessing individual personality traits may be useful in identifying and predicting future sporting talents from a young age
  • There are however, questions over validity and reliability as well as the time consuming and expensive nature of such testing

The following are methods by which personality can be measured:

  • Interviews
  • Questionnaires
  • Observation

Interviews and Questionnaires allow an element of ‘cheating’ by answering questions in such a way as to influence the outcome. During observations the individual must be aware of the process as observations in secret are unethical. This however, leaves the testing open to changes in the individuals behavior as a result of being watched.

 Trait Theories

A trait is:

‘ A relatively stable, highly consistent attribute that exerts a widely generalised causal effect on behaviour’

The following are examples of personality traits:

  • Shy
  • Outgoing
  • Arrogant
  • Relaxed
  • Temperamental
  • Sensitive

……..the list goes on!

These features of an individuals personality are unconnected to situation and are arranged in a hierarchy where some traits are more dominant than others

 Eysenck’s Theory

Hans Eysenck was a German born psychologist who’s work on personality is still used today. He identified two dimensions of personality which act as continuums, with an individuals personality falling anywhere along the two lines, as shown below

These two dimensions are stable/unstable and introverted/extroverted. For example, if an individual is introverted (shy of social contact) but stable, they are likely to be reliable, calm and controlled. An extroverted (enjoys social affiliation) unstable individual is likely to be tough, aggressive and excitable.


Narrow Band Approach

The narrow band approach is a more straightforward approach to personality which states that every person has either a Type A or Type B personality.

Type A: Impatient; highly strung; intolerant; high stress levels

Type B: Relaxed, tolerant; low stress levels

 Sheldon’s Somatotyping Personality Formation

This theory is based on body shape relating to personality:

Ectomorph (tall, slim figure): Self-conscious; tense; private; introverted

Endomorph (short, rounded figure): tolerant; sociable; relaxed

Mesomorph (muscular, athletic figure): extroverted, risk taker, assertive

Bandura’s Social Learning Theory

Bandura believed that personality is learnt through our experiences, observing those around us and imitating their behaviour.

Lewin’s Interactionist Approach

Lewin’s theory states that behaviour is a combination of both inherent (built-in) personality traits and environmental factors. The following equation describes the theory:

B = F (P.E)

Behaviour is the Function of Personality and Environment

The theory also states that Personality traits can be used to predict behaviour in some situations, but this is not exclusive.