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FAQ

FAQ's for Harlee Elite

How many training sessions should my child do each week?


There is no magic number of training sessions for every swimmer. Even at elite level, some swimmers swim 7 sessions a week, some of 9 and others 11...there is no magic number. A basic formula to determine sessions is to half the child’s age and minus two i.e. if the child is 10 then they would need to complete 3 sessions a week. However it really comes down to the FLAG Principle: Fatigue - if a swimmer is swimming 3 sessions a week and as a result is always tired, irritable and grades are failing then losing a session may help this. The optimal is largely based on their ability to adapt and recover from the training load. Level of Performance - chances are two sessions a week will not get you selected on the next olympic team and 14 sessions isn’t going to get you a PB at the under 9 championships. Available Time - if your child is in high school, playing water polo, learning violin, doing school projects on weekends, playing tennis and in the dance group and swimming five times a week then adding more sessions is not going to do anything. You need to keep in mind your child’s total commitments across all areas of their life before adding more training time. Goals - if your child has set high swimming goals then time and effort to achieve them will also be high.




My child is 10 and a great freestyler. What do they have to do to make it to the top?


The first thing to accept is that there is no such thing as a champion 10 year old freestyler. Swimmers who experience success pre teenage years do so due to accelerated growth. Another common situation is that as kids grow, change and develop their ability to swim the competitive strokes change. In the long term, the factors which determine success as a senior swimmer are the 4 P’s: Perseverance - the ability to try and try and try and never give up Patience - it takes time to become a great swimmer approximately ten years of consistent hard work Physical Training - it takes a high level of fitness, technical development and skill refinement to make it to the top Personality - top swimmers demonstrate common traits such as determination, commitment, the ability to overcome adversity and the capacity for accelerated learning Passion - you have to love it to do well




When should my child specialise in a stroke?


When swimmers grow and develop physically and mentally, they will be naturally drawn to particular strokes. It is common for swimmers' best strokes to change from year to year. There is no need to encourage kids into one stroke or another. It is better then to develop all four of the competitive strokes. Therefore don’t push a stroke onto the child let them figure it out.




Do swimmers need a special diet?


No. Not unless they have a medical problem or diet related condition that's been diagnosed by a nutrition professional. As a general rule, top swimmers follow a 4 more, 4 less, 4 me diet: More complex carbohydrates like rice, learn quality protein like chicken, water and fresh juices and fresh fruit and nuts. Less take away food, saturated fats and oils, process and pre packaged foods and sodas. Lots of parents want to know about supplements like vitamins, minerals and special substrates like creatine, glucose etc. If you would like more information on this then please don’t hesitate to contact us as we have numerous articles relating to this.




How do I find the best coach for my child?


At Harlee Elite of course! The best swimming coaches demonstrate the Four C’s we abide by this: Calm - the remain calm and composed on and off deck and set a great example Confident - they display a humble confidence, believe in themselves and coach because they love coaching Close - the pool where they coach is close to home or at least on the after school pick up route Caring - they are interested in kids becoming great human beings not just fast swimmers Credible - the have the appropriate experience, qualifications and understanding of swimming




School, swimming, social life...what’s the right balance for my child?


Your child is not a swimmer...they are a child. Who just happens to swim. Kids are drawn to the things that; the enjoy, they have friends and they are learning because their hearts and minds are engaged. If your kids are having fun with their friends and love what they are doing chances are the balance is right. If your kid starts to make excuses about not wanting to train then they are telling you the balance is not right and it needs changing. Listen to your child.




What should I expect in terms of results at meets?


• Your child enjoying swimming with their friends • You child learning to love challenging themselves and taking pleasure in competition • You child demonstrating all they have learnt in terms of technique and skills • Your child showing some self responsibility in their warm up, recovery and nutrition • Your child showing a sense of team by cheering on team mate and supporting others In terms of results...expect nothing. You should be happy that your child is loving the sport, learning new skills and life lessons.




Does my child need to be doing strength training in the gym?


No. Not unless they have an injury or weakness that has been identified by a professional sports therapist. We start introducing them to the gym when they are 14 (girls) and 16 (boys) therefore wait until guidance from the coach. The three key areas of dry-land training are to focus on; Flexibility (stretching of muscles) Mobility (movement around joints) Stability (stable core)




What can I do to be the best swimming parent?


Give the child unconditional love, total support, compassion and belief in themselves. Develop the person they are and then work on the athlete. Trust the process and most importantly trust the coach.





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