Coaching the Swimming Club Awards

The six progressive Swimming Club Awards help children make the transition from the Swim England Learn To Swim Programme to a club level swimmer.

All six awards should be delivered by fully-qualified swimming coaches.

The resources and links below are to assist anyone coaching the swimming club awards.

Before downloading the resources, it is important to watch the video below; a webinar about coaching the awards, presented by the Swim England Talent team.

Outcomes and Coaching Points

Click or tap on the name of the award below to view the outcomes for each stage. Alternatively, you can download a PDF with the full list of outcomes for each award.

Swimming Club Award 1
  1. Use a pace clock to set off at a set interval agreed by the coach (e.g. every 5 or 10 seconds apart).
  2. Perform a front float using the X, Y, and I (streamlined) positions. Hold each position for 5 seconds.
  3. Perform a back float using the X, Y, and I (streamlined) positions. Hold each position for 5 seconds.
  4. Demonstrate a streamlined position standing on dry land. Describe the position using the ‘top to toe’ checklist.
  5. Push from a wall into a front streamlined position underwater.
  6. Push from a wall into a back streamlined position underwater.
  7. Give four examples of items of swimming equipment and describe their use in 
training.
  8. Demonstrate how to use each of the items of equipment above.
  9. Kick 25 metres front crawl with arms at side.
  10. Kick 25 metres backstroke with arms at side.
  11. Kick 25 metres butterfly with arms at side.
  12. Kick 25 metres breaststroke with hands on a small board or arms at side.
  13. Perform a sitting dive from the side of the pool.
  14. Perform a back dive from a standing position in the water.
Swimming Club Award 2
  1. Complete a short set (e.g. 8 x 25 metres) on a set turnaround time (e.g. every 60 seconds). You must set off at a prescribed interval (e.g. every 5 or 10 seconds).
  2. Push off from the wall into a front streamlined position underwater and dolphin kick for a minimum of 5 metres.
  3. Push off from the wall into a front streamlined position underwater and perform a breaststroke underwater pull out.
  4. Push off from the wall into a back streamlined position underwater and dolphin kick for a minimum of 5 metres.
  5. Demonstrate appropriate hydration strategies over a minimum of four training sessions.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of when and what to eat in relation to a training session.
  7. Perform the front crawl single arm drill with one arm by the side for 25 metres.
  8. Perform the backstroke single arm drill with one arm by the side for 25 metres.
  9. Perform the butterfly drill, three scull then one swim for 25 metres.
  10. Perform the breaststroke drill, two kicks then one pull for 25 metres.
  11. Perform an effective approach, rotation and touch for front crawl and backstroke turns and an effective approach, touch, rotation and touch for butterfly and breaststroke turns.
  12. Perform a kneeling dive from the poolside.
  13. Perform a backstroke start from the wall, ideally with feet in a trough.
Swimming Club Award 3
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the four phases of the Raise, Mobilise, Activate, Prime (RMAP) warm up. Perform one exercise from each section.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of effective stretching protocols. Perform two key stretches.
  3. Complete a short set (e.g. 8 x 25 metres) on a set turnaround time (e.g. every 60 seconds), using the pace clock to estimate the swim time on each repeat. Set off at a prescribed interval (e.g. every 5 or 10 seconds).
  4. Push off from the wall into a front streamlined position underwater and dolphin kick for a minimum of 5 metres. Transition through the surface of the water using an alternate kick into front crawl swimming for a minimum of five strokes.
  5. Push off from the wall into a front streamlined position underwater and dolphin kick for a minimum of 5 metres. Transition through the surface of the water into butterfly swimming for a minimum of five strokes.
  6. Push off from the wall into a front streamlined position underwater and perform a breaststroke underwater pull out. Transition through the surface of the water into breaststroke swimming for a minimum of five strokes.
  7. Push off from the wall into a back streamlined position underwater and dolphin kick for a minimum of 5 metres. Transition through the surface of the water using an alternate kick into backstroke swimming for a minimum of five strokes.
  8. Demonstrate an understanding of process goals.
  9. Swim 25 metres full stroke front crawl demonstrating the connectivity of rotation into limb actions, starting with the correct push off from the wall, underwater phase and transition to stroke.
  10. Swim 25 metres full stroke backstroke demonstrating the connectivity of rotation into limb actions, starting with the correct push off from the wall, underwater phase and transition to stroke.
  11. Swim 25 metres full stroke butterfly demonstrating the ability to resist short axis rotation to produce symmetrical limb actions, starting with the correct push off from the wall, underwater phase and transition to stroke.
  12. Swim 25 metres full stroke breaststroke demonstrating the ability to resist short axis rotation to produce symmetrical limb actions, starting with the correct push off from the wall, underwater phase and transition to stroke.
  13. Perform an effective push off and transition to stroke for each stroke turn.
  14. Perform a standing dive from the poolside into a streamlined position underwater.
  15. Perform a backstroke start from the wall, ideally with feet in a trough, into a streamlined position underwater.
  16. Perform a simulated single step relay takeover action with combined arm swing on poolside.
Swimming Club Award 4
  1. Warm up using a minimum of two Raise, Mobilise or Activate exercises and one Prime exercise.
  2. Perform a post swim stretching routine using a minimum of four key stretches.
  3. Complete a short set (e.g. 8 x 25 metres) on a set turnaround time (e.g. every 60 
seconds), aiming to complete each repeat at a set pace (e.g. 40 seconds) to get a consistent rest (e.g. 20 seconds). Set off at a prescribed interval (e.g. every 5 or 10 seconds).
  4. Set one process goal relating to improving stroke technique.
  5. Swim 50 metres of each stroke (25 metres butterfly) demonstrating effective 
breathing and timing, starting with the correct push off from the wall, underwater 
phase and transition to stroke. 3
  6. Swim 100 metres individual medley, starting with the correct push off from the wall, 
underwater phase and transition to stroke with legal touch turns.
  7. Perform a legal and efficient turn on each of the four strokes from 10 metres in to 10 
metres out from the wall.
  8. Perform a legal and effective sequence of movements for each of the three individual 
medley transition turns.
  9. Perform a track start using a starting block.
  10. Perform a backstroke start using a starting block.
  11. Perform a relay takeover arm swing and step from the side of the pool into the water.
  12. Perform a single step relay takeover from the side of the pool into 25 metres front 
crawl swim.
Swimming Club Award 5
  1. Warm up using a minimum of three Raise, Mobilise or Activate exercises and one Prime exercise.
  2. Complete a post swim stretching routine using a minimum of six key stretches.
  3. Complete a short set (e.g. 4 x 50 metres) on a set turnaround time (e.g. 90 seconds), 
aiming to swim each repeat at a set pace (e.g. 60 seconds) to get consistent rest (e.g. 30 seconds). Take a kick and stroke count on each repeat. Set off at a prescribed interval (e.g. every 5 or 10 seconds).
  4. Set one process goal relating to improving a swimming skill e.g. a start, turn or finish.
  5. For each stroke, swim 4 x 50 metres full stroke (4 x 25 metres butterfly), counting 
and maintaining an even underwater kick and stroke count.
  6. Swim 100 metres individual medley from a track start on the starting block, 
incorporating legal and effective transition turns, starting with the correct push off 
from the wall, underwater phase and transition to stroke.
  7. Perform a legal and efficient turn on each of the four strokes at race speed from 10 
metres in to 10 metres out.
  8. Perform a legal and effective push off from the wall and transition to stroke for each 
individual medley turn.
  9. Following the starting procedure used in competitions, demonstrate the correct timing 
of ascent onto the starting block. Then perform a track start using a starting block demonstrating an effective set position, take off, flight, entry, underwater phase and transition to full stroke.
  10. Following the starting procedure used in competitions, demonstrate the correct timing of entry into the water. Then perform a backstroke start using a starting block demonstrating an effective set position, take off, flight, entry, underwater phase and transition to full stroke.
  11. Perform a legal and effective finish on each of the four strokes.
  12. Perform a single step relay takeover from the starting block into 25 metres front crawl swim.
  13. Perform a single step relay takeover from the starting block into 25 metres front crawl swim, taking over from an incoming swimmer.
Swimming Club Award 6
  1. Warm up using a minimum of four Raise, Mobilise, Activate exercises and one Prime exercise.
  2. Perform a post swim stretching routine using a minimum of eight key stretches.
  3. Complete a short set (e.g. 4 x 50 metres) on a set turnaround time (e.g. 90 seconds), 
aiming to swim each repeat at a set pace (e.g. 60 seconds) to get consistent rest (e.g. 30 seconds). Take a kick and stroke count on each repeat and determine the Stroke Efficiency Index. Set off at a prescribed interval (e.g. every 5 or 10 seconds).
  4. Set one process goal relating to improving technique on individual medley turns and relay takeovers.
  5. For each stroke, swim 4 x 50 metres full stroke (4 x 25 metres butterfly), maintaining underwater kick count and an even stroke count. Time each swim and determine the Stroke Efficiency Index for each. Start each with the correct push off from the wall, underwater phase and transition to stroke.
  6. Swim 100 metres individual medley from a track start on the starting block incorporating legal and efficient medley transition turns at race speed.
  7. Perform a legal and efficient turn from 10 metres in to 10 metres out at race speed for each of the individual medley transition turns.
  8. Following the starting procedure used in competitions, perform a track start using a starting block. Demonstrate an effective set position, take off, flight, entry, underwater phase, pull out and transition to stroke into 50 metres full stroke swim (either front crawl or breaststroke) or 25 metres full stroke swim using butterfly. Perform at race speed, timed to 15 metres.
  9. Following the starting procedure used in competitions, perform a backstroke start using a starting block. Demonstrate an effective set position, take off, flight, entry, underwater phase, pull out, transition to stroke into 50 metres full stroke backstroke at race speed, timed to 15 metres.
  10. Perform a legal and effective finish on each of the four strokes at race speed, timed 10 to 15 metres in.
  11. Perform a single step relay takeover from the starting block into 50 metres front crawl swim at simulated race speed.
  12. Perform a single step relay takeover from the starting block into 50 metres front crawl swim taking over from an incoming swimmer at race speed.

Coaching Registers

Use our digital or print registers to track the progress of participants through the six awards. Click or tap ‘interactive version’ or ‘print version’ to download each PDF.

You can also download a Progression Spreadsheet which highlights technique improvements you should look for as your swimmers move through the Awards.

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