Learn to Swim Companion

A guide for parents and learners

Pre-Competition Development Awards

All Awards

The Pre-Competition Development Awards help to develop the skills and confidence needed for those who want to enter swimming competitions.

Two Awards focus on revising and consolidating the efficient performance of the four competitive strokes and the racing skills needed.

Working towards the Pre-Competition Development Awards will help your child with stroke development, kicking, turns and using a pace clock, followed by the more demanding aspects of training development.

All aspects of both skill development and stroke development must be completed to the satisfaction of an examiner, and all swimmers must have reached the standard of the Swim England Competitive Start Award before attempting the starts section of these Awards.

The two different sections of the Pre-Competition Development Awards may be completed on two separate occasions.

Pre-Competition Development 1 Award Objectives

Skill Development

Floatation

Hold a mushroom float for five seconds, move to a star float on the back and hold for five seconds, rotate to a stretched, motionless (pencil float) on the front, face in water, hands and feet together and hold for five seconds.

Streamlining

Push off just below the surface holding a stream-lined position, arms fully extended above the head for a) five metres on the front and b) three metres on the back.

Sculling

In a horizontal position, scull, travelling head first with hands at the side (using a figure of eight action) for a) five metres on the front (canoe) and b) five metres on the back (standard).

Treading Water

Show these three different methods of treading water, two for 20 seconds and one for 10 seconds with a short rest between: a) flutter kick b) breaststroke kick and c) eggbeater kick.

Use of Clock

Show consistent ability to use the pace clock accurately (+/- 1 second) for starting on four single length swims.

Stroke Development

Efficient Strokes

Show an efficient stroke on three of the competitive strokes held for one length*.

Related Stroke

Perform each of the following drills for one length on each:

  • Front crawl:- catch up drill with control of entry and regular breathing.
  • Backstroke:- one arm at entry point, one at side; 10 kicks then change arm positions.
  • Breaststroke:- arms in front, thumbs locked, breathe then kick and glide.
  • Butterfly:- underwater, three kicks hands at side, breathe; three kicks hands in front.
Kicking

Show efficient kicking held over one length* on each of the four competitive strokes using a float only on freestyle and breaststroke; hands at the side on backstroke; arms fully extended in front on butterfly.

Turns

Perform an efficient turn for each of the four competitive strokes swimming for five metres in and out of the wall.

Starts

Perform an efficient start for each of the four competitive strokes, holding a streamlined position with arms fully extended above the head for a minimum of five metres from the point of entry.

* One length is a minimum of 20 metres and up to a maximum of 25 metres.

Pre-Competition Development 2 Award Objectives

Level 2

Skill Development

Sculling

Scull in a horizontal position for 10 metres using two of the following methods performed separately.

  • Head first on the back, hands at the side.
  • Feet first on the back, hands at the side.
  • Feet first on the back, arms fully extended above the head.
  • Head first on the front, arms fully extended above the head (a gentle flutter kick is permitted).
Treading Water

With the hands held at the side, using two of the following methods, tread water for 20 seconds on each and continue for a further five seconds holding one hand above the surface.

  • Flutter kick.
  • Breaststroke kick.
  • Egg beater kick.
Use of Clock

Show consistent ability to use the pace clock accurately (+/-1 second) to time:

  • Short rest periods (5/10 seconds) between four single length* repeat swims.
  • One swim over two lengths*.
  • Turn around time for four single lengths* on one minute.
Land Exercises

Show the following four loosening exercises, performed with control and accuracy.

  • Single arm circling.
  • Double arm circling.
  • Trunk circling.
  • Full body stretch.

* One length is a minimum of 20 metres and up to a maximum of 25 metres.

Stroke Development

Efficient Strokes
  • Show effective swimming on one stroke held over four lengths.*
  • Show effective swimming on another stroke held over two lengths.*
  • Show effective swimming on two other strokes held over one length.*
Advanced Stroke

Related drills. Perform the following two drills for a minimum of 20 metres to a maximum of 25 metres on each of the four competitive strokes.

Front crawl

  • Kicking + single arm, arm in front, breathe to pulling side every three pulls and return head to centre.
  • As above, but alternate pulling arm after every three pulls.

Backstroke

  • Kicking + single arm, the other arm at the side.
  • Kicking + single arm, the other arm at the side, alternate pulling arm after every three pulls.

Breaststroke

  • Three kicks + one pull with long stretch between each kick.
  • Alternate three kicks + one pull; two kicks + one pull; one kick + one pull with long stretch between kicks.

Butterfly

  • Four kicks + one pull, hands held in front between each pull.
  • Four kicks + one pull, three kicks + one pull; two kicks + one pull, hands held in front between each pull.
Kicking practices

Show efficient kicking on each of the four competitive strokes over one length* using a kick board only on front crawl and breaststroke.

Combinations of starts/strokes/turns/finishes

Swim two lengths* showing efficient start; turn; finish on one front stroke and on back stroke.

Swim one length* showing efficient start; turn on another stroke.

Swim one length* showing efficent turn; finish on another stroke.

Short repetition sets

Swim six x one length* on a stroke of personal choice, holding a consistent time (+/-2 seconds).

Swim three x two lengths* on another stroke of personal choice, holding a consistent time (+/- 3 seconds).

Top