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Swimmer development with England Talent Swimming

The Swim England Talent team aim to create an integrated, inclusive and progressive talent development pathway to identify and support talented athletes.

Talent Pathway Selection Criteria and Guidelines 2023-2024

These guidelines are robust and transparent whilst also promoting fairness and inclusion to all of our aspiring young swimmers.

We will continue to collaborate with our Counties, Regions and British Swimming/Para-Swimming to develop our pathway activities to further enhance the athletes daily training environment, enabling swimmers and coaches to have continued support along their journey.

We understand that talent development is complex and not linear, and to help embrace this we will continue to consider, the use of discretionary selections. When activating these discretionary selections, all or some of the following will aid decisions:

  • Chronological, developmental and training age of the swimmer
  • A swimmer’s engagement, commitment, attitude and work ethic
  • A discussion with the athlete’s home coach on the commitment and potential of swimmer(s)
  • Discussions with British Swimming/Para-Swimming

Pathway overview and rationale

“To guarantee the delivery of quality English swimmers and coaches on to British Swimming’s World Class Programmes.”

  • The strategic goal of Swim England Talent is to create a system that will identify, support and enhance the development of athletes for the Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games of the future. Programme activities are designed to engage with swimmers whose age and stage in the ‘England Talent Pathway’ is of relevance and continues the trajectory into World Class Programmes.
  • This allows Swim England National Talent Officers/Coaches to identify swimmers to attend programme activities using surveys, event rankings and discretionary considerations.
  • It is our philosophy and intention to promote a fully inclusive, athlete centered, process driven, talent development pathway. We encourage conversations with all stakeholders, on how to continually help, support and encourage selected athletes throughout. This allows the finite resources of the programme to be applied in a flexible and targeted manner to best support individual needs in line with the overall pathway aims.

Take a look at the General Conditions for the pathway. Below is more information about each step of the pathway.

Swim England Regional Para-Swimming Training (RPST)

This is an inclusive training opportunity for para-swimmers to receive impairment specific support, guidance and development of their stroke mechanics and racing skills on all four competitive strokes. The training sessions are delivered by each region and supported by the Swim England Talent team.

Regional Para-Swimming Training aims to:

  • Increase number of swimmers and coaches within the Para-swimming pathway
  • Identify and develop talented athletes
  • Increase skills and knowledge of athletes to create a seamless transition onto national talent programmes
  • Increase skills and knowledge of coaches / workforce within each region
  • Develop knowledge of parents and guardians to support the para-swimmer

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Key consideration criteriaOpen
Swim England County Development Programme (CDP)

This is the first step on the Swim England Talent Pathway and is developed in partnership with all of the Swim England Counties. This programme is delivered by each home county and supported by the Swim England Talent team.

Programme aims to support athletes and the workforce to:

  • Develop fundamental movement skills and core aquatic skills to advance physical literacy
  • Develop technical skills across all four competitive strokes
  • Create awareness of Swim England’s culture and its associated talent programmes
  • Develop the characteristics in-line with the age and ‘Development’ stage of the Optimal Athlete Development Framework (OADF)
  • Increase opportunities for the workforce delivering at this stage of the pathway, to experience and facilitate an integrated and inclusive training environment

ResourceDownload
Key athlete eligibility criteriaOpen
Swim England Regional Development Programme (RDP)

This is the second step on the Swim England Talent Pathway and is developed in partnership with all of the Swim England Regions. This programme is delivered by each region and supported by the Swim England Talent team.

Programme aims to support athletes and the workforce to:

  • Further develop fundamental movement skills and core aquatic skills to advance physical literacy
  • Further develop technical and skills across all four competitive strokes and turns
  • Understand the culture of Swim England and its associated talent programmes
  • Develop the characteristics in-line with the age and ‘Development’ stage of the Optimal Athlete Development Framework (OADF)
  • Increase opportunities for the workforce delivering at this stage of the pathway, to experience and facilitate an integrated and inclusive training environment

ResourceDownload
Key consideration criteriaOpen
Swim England Regional Distance Development Programme (RDDP)

Running parallel to the RDP is a distance swimming initiative which includes an open water swimming experience. The programme aims to increase the number and standard of swimmers competing in distance events. This programme is delivered by each region and supported by the Swim England Talent team.

Programme aims to support athletes and the workforce to:

  • Gain a greater understanding and insight of training requirements and opportunities within distance swimming.
  • Experience practical elements of open water environments.
  • Develop technical and racing skills in distance pool events and open water environments.
  • Understand the culture of Swim England and its associated talent programmes.
  • Develop the characteristics in-line with the age and ‘Development’ stage of the Optimal Athlete Development Framework (OADF).
  • Increase opportunities for the workforce to gain knowledge, experience and understanding of effective distance swimming practices and different aquatic environments.

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Key consideration criteriaOpen
Swim England National Age Group Development Programme (NAGDP)

This is the third step on the Swim England Talent Pathway and is managed and delivered by the England Talent Team.

Programme aims to support athletes and the workforce to:

  • Develop technical efficiency and effectiveness across all four competitive strokes.
  • Develop tactical awareness through development of race process goals.
  • Develop self-awareness and self-reflection.
  • Understand how the Swim England inclusion and culture policies encourage access to a supportive and innovative learning environment to all.
  • Develop the characteristics in-line with ‘Future Performance Potential (FPP)’ stage of the Optimal Athlete Development Framework (OADF).
  • Increase opportunities for the workforce delivering at the FPP stages of the pathway, to experience and facilitate an integrated and inclusive training environment.

ResourceDownload
Key consideration criteriaOpen
Swim England National Youth Development Programme (NYDP)

This is the fourth step on the Swim England Talent Pathway and is managed and delivered by the England Talent Team.

Programme aims to support athletes and the workforce to:

  • Develop effective technical and tactical racing skills.
  • Understand how training processes in the pool and on land underpin race day performance.
  • Develop self-awareness and reflective practice.
  • Understand how the Swim England inclusion and culture policies encourage access to a supportive and innovative learning environment to all.
  • Develop the characteristics in-line with ‘Future Performance Potential (FPP)’ stage of the Optimal Athlete Development Framework (OADF).
  • Increase opportunities for the workforce delivering at the FPP stages of the pathway, to experience and facilitate an integrated and inclusive training environment.

ResourceDownload
Key consideration criteriaOpen
Swim England Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE)

This is the fifth step on the Swim England Talent Pathway and is managed and delivered by Swim England in partnership with Loughborough College. The DiSE qualification and programme delivery offers the perfect environment for talented athletes to combine their sport and education. Over two academic years, it supports and complements the athlete’s further education and enhances their daily training environment.

Find out more about DiSE.

Swim England Youth Performance Squad (YPS)

The sixth step of the Swim England Talent Pathway is the Youth Performance Squad. The primary objective for this squad is to develop international arena skills and prepare swimmers for international competitions.

Programme aims to support athletes and the workforce to:

  • Expand knowledge and understanding to achieve technical excellence.
  • Master and execute consistently, race process goals in multiple environments.
  • Apply training and race data to formulate detailed race models for specific events.
  • Understand and apply a range of strategies that deliver high quality arena skills to perform under pressure.
  • Understand how the Swim England inclusion and culture policies encourage access to a supportive and innovative learning environment to all.
  • Develop the characteristics in-line with ‘Future Performance Potential (FPP)’ stage of the Optimal Athlete Development Framework (OADF).
  • Increase opportunities for the workforce delivering at the FPP stages of the pathway, to experience and facilitate an integrated and inclusive training environment.

ResourceDownload
Key consideration criteriaOpen
Swim England Senior Performance Squad (SPS)

The seventh step of the Swim England Talent Pathway is the Senior Performance Squad. The Senior Performance Squad is a combination of swimmers that are demonstrating a level of performance that could lead to inclusion onto British Swimming’s World Class programme or representation for Swim England at Senior International Level.

This programme aims to create resilient and robust athletes and inspire them to achieve world class status. In addition the squad aims to identify athletes that show clear potential in achieving podium success in Victoria 2026 and LA 2028.

This programme will:

  • Help swimmers to identify and enhance their performance behaviours and skills.
  • Provide individual and bespoke performance plans.
  • Continue to drive the end of season performance philosophy.
  • Contribute to Team England success and ultimately increase medal count at Victoria 2026 and future Olympic/Paralympic Games.
  • Develop the ‘Great British Swimmer’ OADF skills and attributes.
  • Develop arena skills through International competition opportunity through out 2023/24 swimming season.

ResourceDownload
Key consideration criteriaOpen
Swim England Distance Swimming Project (DSP)

Swim England are working in partnership with British Swimming to further develop international success in the distance swimming events; 800m Freestyle, 1500m Freestyle and Marathon Swimming.

Project aims to support athletes and the workforce to:

  • Deliver and monitor effective distance training programmes within the swimmers daily training environment.
  • Create a network with other athletes, coaches and club programmes to share best practice in distance swimming.
  • Achieve performance outcomes displaying potential to be successful at the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028 and beyond, in the distance and marathon swimming events.
  • Develop the characteristics in-line with ‘Future Performance Potential (FPP)’ stage of the Optimal Athlete Development Framework (OADF).
  • Increase opportunities for the workforce delivering at the FPP stages of the pathway, to experience and facilitate an integrated and inclusive training environment to support the development of distance swimming within club programmes.

ResourceDownload
Key consideration criteriaOpen
World Aquatics Points / British Para-Swimming Points progression

WAP/BPSP are produced by the world governing body and are used as a tool to aggregate performances linked to the world record in an individual event and classification. These points, while not conclusive or exhaustive, allow us to have an informed opinion on relatable performances. The stepped progressions in World Aquatics/BPS points we have used, consider the age and development stage of both male and female swimmers. We are using this as a minimum performance consideration to select athletes.

Coach selections
  • Selection of coaches to contribute to the delivery of Swim England Talent activities will be made by the Swim England Coach Development Manager, in consultation with Swim England National Talent Officers/Coaches for each specific event and/or programme. Selections will seek to achieve a balance of staff to ensure quality of delivery and offer coach development opportunities.
  • To promote inclusion, continued professional development and Swim England Talent philosophies, coaches interested in attending programme activities on a voluntary basis to assist in the programme or observe activities should note their interest to an England National Talent Officer/Coach.
  • We expect coaches expressing an interest in coaching national programmes to have previously engaged in county and regional activities.
  • Coaches must hold current and in date Swim England DBS and Safeguarding certificates.

If you have a question about England Talent Swimming, please contact the team at [email protected]

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