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You are welcome to come along to a trial session at Hitchin Swimming Centre on Sundays at 19:05. The coach will ask you to swim a few lengths to gauge how strong a swimmer you are. The coach will also ask you to swim various strokes - don't worry if you are not perfect in all of them, especially fly. The idea is to see which squad you will be in and to see how your training should be focused. Depending on the outcome of your trial, the coach will decide on whether to invite you to join the club. They will then tell you which squad you will be in, and when training times are. Once you have joined the club you are ready to start training and are on your way to becoming very fit, having fun and developing as a swimmer.
 
How good a swimmer must I be
During your trial the coaches will assess your swimming ability. In order to join the club, we ask that:
· You are able to swim at least 100m of front crawl
· You are able to swim at least 100m of breast stroke
· You are able to swim at least 100m of back stroke
You are able to dive in – at the deep end from standing at the side.
Any swimmer who has reached level 7 of the National Plan for Teaching Swimming is likely to meet the above standard.
In exceptional circumstances, the Club may accept swimmers who have not reached the above standard. In particular, the criteria will be adjusted to take into account disabled swimmers. 
 
How much training is involved
This will depend on how old you are and what level of stamina you have. See the Swimmers Area for current training sessions. The coaches will advise on the level of training that is suitable to start with. We are used to swimmers coming from swimming lessons to the club and appreciate this is a big step up. For such swimmers, we would normally ask you to attend at most two 1-hour sessions per week. As your fitness builds up, the coaches will advise on any adjustment to your training schedule..
 
Will I be able to cope with the training
We appreciate that joining the club is a big step up for swimmers from swimming lessons. During sessions the coaches will take this into account. A lot of our swimmers come from swimming lessons so we are very experienced at managing this move.
 
Will I get technical training
Absolutely yes. The club follows Sport England’s Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) approach. This is about laying a strong technical foundation in swimmers from the outset and adding on top stamina and strength - some other clubs do it the other way around, which does not always work because swimmers peak too early in their swimming career.
 
The LTAD approach is also followed by most swimming lesson providers and there is a natural transition from swimming lessons to the swimming club.
 
The club will have personal development plans for each swimmer which will help them fulfil their swimming potential. In the early stages of their swimming this will focus on technique as well as building confidence. Later on more work will be undertaken on stamina and strength. The older swimmers also do land training working on core muscle control and strength. As the swimmers develop they will also be taught about sensible diets, recovery and other key aspects to developing as a strong sportsperson.
 
Are the coaches qualified - what is the coaching policy
Hitchin Swimming Club’s policy with respect to coaching is:
 
· It is our intention to provide suitably qualified and experienced coaching staff at all times.
· This means that coaches are suitably qualified and experienced to undertake the level of coaching they are performing with the level of swimmers they are coaching.
· The Head Coach is responsible for the overall direction of the coaching within the club. This includes setting out the medium and long term objectives for the swimmers, and the coaching practices necessary to achieve this.
· All other coaches work under the direction and guidance of the Head Coach.
· The club recognises the ASA teaching and coaching qualifications as evidence of suitably qualified coaches.
· On occasion, and due to unforeseen events, the club may use non-qualified coaches. Parents will be made aware of this in advance of the session and may withdraw their children from that session.
· Currently only the Head Coach may take Land Training.