The following is a letter from our NEW Coach Aaron Belsham to our Squad Members in the Gold and Silver Groups
Hi, I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself, I’m Aaron and I’m the new coach delivering the programme for the Improver Silver and Gold Squads under the guidance of Chris Mooney and Cam Roberts at Flinders Aquatic Academy.
I’m a father of 4, Triathlete, IRONMAN Certified Triathlon Coach, Athletics Australia Coach, Level 1 Master Trainer (S&C) and of course most importantly here, I’m a Swimming Australia Teacher of Competitive Swimming.
My belief is that by nurturing the children’s enthusiasm for swimming, and teaching proper technique, we are further developing the skills that will allow them to become life-long swimmers.
Many swim coaches will simply race the children up and down the pool until only the strongest survive to make it to an elite level. The rest simply vanish into oblivion, some never wanting to see a pool again!
I believe in taking a very different approach to this, and this resonates with the overarching philosophy here at Flinders Aquatic Academy.
My plan is to technically improve the children’s swimming, by swimming a variety of drills, explaining to them the reasons behind the drills, the technique points in each stroke, and what I’m looking to correct with those drills. A significant portion of each session is typically dedicated to kick, drills, and technical aspects such as turns, starts and finishes.
I also plan to develop their aerobic capacity, and build their strength. To do this, we will swim a lot of butterfly, and freestyle, butterfly for strength, freestyle for aerobic capacity (and strength), making up the balance with the rest of our strokes, and of course SOME maximal efforts to develop their speed and anaerobic capacity.
A basic breakdown of my programme going forwards would be (very roughly):
40% stroke technique
40% aerobic capacity
10% speed and anaerobic capacity
Not every session will leave your children red in the face and ready for an immediate nap on the car ride home (but some just might), some sessions may simply be technical, aerobic, and turns.
Every session will be different in some way, but they’ll all be a building block on the way to your children becoming well rounded, fit, healthy, and injury-free swimmers, ready to move up to becoming part of our more competitive programme if they desire that or simply to be able to take this valuable skill forwards for the rest of their lives.
I do want to set some expectations of course:
- I expect that all of the children will arrive ready to listen, and participate actively in the sessions, they should be fed, and have adequate hydration (a water bottle at least) with them for the session, especially now it’s heating up.
- I expect all of the children to be ready to jump in 5 minutes before their session starts, if they are only just putting their swimsuit on, or getting their gear out of the shed 5 minutes before we start, they are already late. Ready to jump in means “Cap on, goggles on, gear on the pool deck or in hand”.
- I expect all of the children to give everything their absolute best shot, and most of all, to have fun!
I’m looking forward to the rest of the term and the future working with this squad, and I’m excited to be part of the Flinders Aquatic Academy team, and invite you to chat to me on pool deck any time you have any concerns or questions.
Coach Aaron Belsham