The Swimming Drill Book

THE book that matters most to swim teachers for developing competitive swimmers from learn to swim.

Every teacher should have a copy and the best way to have it is on an eBook so that the diagrams can be shown to swimmers.


Mini Squad Entry and Promotion Criteria

Entry from Grades 7,8 or 9 dependent on:

  1. Times achieved in Galas (open and development)
  2. Kick: 50s under 1.30 mins, 100s under 3 mins.
  3. Aerobic. T15. Minimum distance 600m
  4. Sprint: 16 x 50 on TRT 1.30


  • FC, BC, BR as 200m swims
  • FLY as 4 x 25

Test Sets:

  • 6×100 TRT 2.45
  • 2 x 200 TRT 6

Grade 9. (Complete a set lasting 800m)

  • + Competitive starts and turns
  • Need to include Timed Swim as part of the promotion process a couple of weeks before final assessments are due.

Grade 8. (Complete a set lasting 600m)

TRTs less demanding than required for Mini Squad.

Grade 7. Aerobic demands and repititions a long way short of Mini Squad requirement.

Promotion from Mini Squad to Bronze

  • Dependent on Minimum attendance of 2 out of 4 sessions offered per week. (3 ought to be the minimum)
  • Competition circuit for County Times and expected level of qualification
  • Minimum Open Meet Entries: 4
  • Attitude and application. Excellent

Therefore, for any swimmer to be promoted from Grades 7 or 8 they need

a) to be pressing towards County Standard times

b) be proficient at all strokes

c) have the skills d) prove their commitment by regular attendance, certainly 2 if not 3 times a week

e) achieve the time swim and other aerobic tests.

LTAD Learn to Train Girls 8 -11. Boys 9 – 12 years

Learn to TRAIN


(Girls 8 to 11 years. Boys 9 to 12 years)

If you experienced it as a parent or saw it over several years through the swimming club, you will have a view on how boys and girls differ and the quite different growth spurts they go through, both physically and mentally.

Personally I’d teach boys separately from the girls ’til they are 15 or 16 – not achievable though.

Don’t you find you have a class splits down the middle where there are equal numbers of girls and boys? And how a boy on his own in a group of girls might not last long? If we’re going to address the problem of so few boys being attracted to or staying in the sport, then clubs should get their heads around the gender differences.

In our club this learn to train phase is at the top end of teaching groups, say grades 7 to 10 (here treating Mini Squad as a teaching level).

Whilst we promote on merit, skills and times being achieved, meeting the entry requirements for squads, if not training groups, we ought to be more conscious of the need to get competent girls out of teaching as they reach 11, while with boys we could run for another year.

Mini Squad at present has girls and boys 8-12 and splits into two distinct groups. To achieve our long-term goals to gain Swim21 Competitive Development Status we need more coming in age 8 (girls), age 9 (boys) so that they are ready to compete for in the age 9 category.  This in turn means bringing them through teaching stages faster, but with not less efficiency. This can only be achieved is the more committed swimmers a) start younger – age 7 into the club; b) swim more often – twice a week initially and three times a week+ from age 8/9; c) talent spotting to fast track skills and stamina into skills groups at both pools.


At this stage young athletes show no fear but lack the skill level so accidents can occur. They are extremely active, but they still need to rest. As ligament growth is not yet complete they still cannot withstand too much stress.


They show short attention spans and enjoy repetition of fun activities They are eager to learn.


They are sensitive to criticism and need oodles of positive feedback. They are eager to please the coach and are prone to sneak on each other are cliquish & competitive!


Positive feedback

Swimming drills are repetitive anyway, so try to make them fun with constant variety.

Use their eagerness to learn, a few minutes on the side of the pool every week and they can quickly pick up all kinds of valuable lessons.



T2T3 and MINI, One hour. IM with work on turns.

T2T3 and MINI

A mixed 45 mins to 60 mins aerobic session based on IM, with  emphasis on turns.

WARM UP + fins

Mini as 75s. T2T3 as 100s.

3x 75m as 25m FC kick, 25m FC drill, 25m FC swim                          45/60

3 x 75m as 25m BC kick, 25m Bc Drill, 25m BC swim                         45/60


Emphasis on streamlined drive off the wall with extended UW phase in turns

1 x25m FC UW for as far as possible, scull to breathe.

8 x 50m in IM order as 50m of each twice: (Possibly lane clear/or as a relay so up to 2 mins rest between each)





1 x25m FC UW for as far as possible, scull to breathe.


From the blocks for a competitive  start and aim for a technically correct and competitive turn every time.

FC 4 x 100m

1 x 100m FC kick                                                                             r.10

1 x 100m FC Zip up drill                                                              r.10

1 x 100m FC arms only                                                                 r.10

1 x 100m FC swim                                                                            r.10



3 x fc

3 x bc

3 x br

3 x fly

(RELAYS IF THERE IS TIME/or 25m sprints)


100/200m as 2 x 50 or 2 x 100 as reduced stroke on FC

or Silent swimming on FC/BC

FLY G6,G7,G8, G9 Mini & Bronze 45 mins / 1 hour

G6, 7, 8 & 9 MINI, BRONZE

A versatile 45 mins to 60 mins aerobic session based on FLY, with FLY progressions, emphasis on starts and turns and some fun alternative activities.


4 x 50m as 25m BC kick, 25m BC swim                          50/60/1.15

4 x 50m as FC kick, 25m FC swim                                               50/60/1.15

Emphasis on streamlined drive off the wall with extended UW phase in turns

8 x 50m as

1st FLY dive, BC,

2nd BR dive, FC

Drive at start from the blocks

FLY 4 x 100m or 8 x 50m (16 x 25m)

8 x 25m (4x 50m)(2 x 100) FLY kick                                             r.10

8 x 25m (4x 50m)(2 x 100) Drills / 2+2+2                         r.10

4 x 25m (2 x 50m / 1 x 100m) Full Stroke


4 x 25m alt as Fly, Fly into BC


3 x fc

3 x bc

3 x br

3 x fly


100/200m as 2 x 50 or 2 x 100 as reduced SC on BC