How Many Training Sessions Should Your Child Participate In Each Week?
The answer to this question varies for every swimmer and is based on several key factors, including Fatigue, Level of Performance, Available Time, and Goals.
Fatigue: The optimal number of training sessions for each swimmer is largely based on their ability to handle and recover from their training load. If a swimmer is already tired, irritable, and their grades are falling due to training three times a week, increasing the number of sessions may not be beneficial.
Level of Performance: The frequency of training sessions should reflect the level of performance being targeted. For instance, two sessions a week may not be enough to reach Olympic level, while 14 sessions a week may be excessive for a swimmer competing in under-9 state championships. World-class swimmers typically train for 24 hours a week and spend the rest of the time sleeping and eating, so the harder you want to push, the more you have to train.
Available Time: Before adding more training sessions, consider the child's overall commitments and responsibilities. If they are already participating in several activities, such as school, playing sports, taking lessons, and doing projects, adding more swimming sessions may lead to exhaustion and fatigue. Remember, children need time to relax and play with friends as well.
Goals: As kids progress through each level of swimming, they may need to add an extra pool session or gym workout to develop the necessary skills, fitness, and technical abilities. As a general guide, as kids move up the ranks, they should plan on adding additional training sessions.
For example (Note: this is a guide only):
Swimmer level / Sessions per week
Water safety / Learn to swim – 1-2
Mini squads / Learn to swim transition – 2-3
District / Local Swimming Galas – 3-4
Regional Swimming Championships level – 4-6
National Swimming Championships level – 6-8
International Swimming level – 8 plus
In conclusion, there is no magic number of training sessions for every swimmer. The frequency of training sessions should be based on the child's ability to handle and recover from the training load, their level of performance, available time, and goals. As a parent, it's important to monitor these factors and adjust the training schedule accordingly. The best person to consult on the matter is your child's coach, we certainly do not advise trying to manage this yourself.
If you're considering enrolling your child in a swimming club or have any questions about what it's like to be a swimming parent, we encourage you to get in touch with us. Our team of experienced coaches and staff are dedicated to providing the best possible experience for every swimmer and their families. Don't hesitate to reach out and ask any questions you may have. We're here to support you and your child's swimming journey every step of the way.