So…what is Deepings Swimming Club (aka DSC) & Swimming all about?
Deepings Swimming Club is a competitive swimming club that has been around for more than 40 years. Swimming is a sport that encourages discipline, team spirit and individual competition. We will give your swimmer every opportunity to make the most of the sport they enjoy and progress as far as they can.
The Club develops all areas of a swimmer’s technique and fitness to prepare them for competitions at all levels. It is important that all swimmers attend all training sessions available to their squad. Swimmers can also compete in time trials, club championships, galas and eligible open meets.
Swimming is a sport where you train as a team, compete as an individual, or compete as a team in relays… you will be part of the bigger Deepings Swimming Club family. Swimming is a great sport to be in, giving children different skills including commitment, discipline, routine, fitness, team work to name a few… but importantly it’s a hobby and should be full of enjoyment and give swimmers a sense of achievement!
What does it mean to be a swimming parent?
As a swimmer’s parent your commitment is one key to your swimmer’s success. Without you, they will not be able to train or compete. You are encouraged to watch your swimmer train, but if you get too bored or too hot sitting in the balcony ask us how you can get involved. We are a club run by volunteers, so our swimmers need your help and support.
We invite parents to participate in the running of the club by either helping out when needed at various competitions, train to become poolside helpers, time keepers at competitions or join the committee.
As a parent what do I need to provide for my swimmer?
Being new to swimming, it can be daunting knowing what equipment to buy, how to “fit” a swimming costume and some phrases can be like listening to a foreign language! Hopefully this helps…
For training a swimmer needs:
- A swimming costume for girls or trunks for boys.
They should be relatively tightly fitted as baggy suits are really difficult to train in, dive in and turn in. Please ensure your son’s trucks have a string waistband…because there is nothing more embarrassing for your swimmer than learning to dive competitively than worrying if your trucks are going to be up to the job! Girls costumes need to fit well across the chest for similar reasons! Also try to ensure there isn’t too much of a gap at their lower back because on diving and turning gaps have a tendency to fill up with air….this can make your swimmer
o embarrassed by the jacuzzi behind them as they push off the wall…..We’ve all been there! Pool chemicals quickly rot swim suits, particularly lycra, so we’d recommend a chlorine resistant or PBT fabric as it will last and last. We’d also say not wash your swimming costume in a washing machine with detergent as it will quickly disintegrate.
- A swimming hat, silicon hats are longer lasting and more resilient than latex ones.
o The hat is not to keep their hair dry, it makes the swimmer streamlined and faster in the pool
o For longer hair it keeps hair out of their face when breathing and stops hair getting tangled in goggle straps
o To pop a hat on quickly and easily pop a little talc inside, get your swimmer to hold their hair up at the back and support a folded edge on their forehead. You can then stretch the back of the hat over their head enclosing the hair your swimmer is holding as you go.
- Swimming goggles
o Goggles….ensure your swimmer tries these on their eyes before you buy, as there are so many shapes sizes and styles. They should create a nice seal around the eye. Pay attention to the bridge of the nose and nose band to ensure it’s adjusted to fit your swimmer as there is nothing worse than leaky goggles!
o If the goggles you buy has two straps…one strap goes at the top of a swimmer’s head, the other lower down.
o If your swimmer needs glasses, particularly for distance vision you can get very reasonably priced prescription swimming googles. Scriven’s Optician’s in Deeping, for example, have these for £30-£40. Other stockists are available.
- At least one sports bottle of drink…but preferably two
o Swimmers sweat….a lot…but you don’t see it! It’s said that 1% dehydration can impact your swimmer’s performance by up to 40%. Training can be tough and the environment is hot. Please ensure your swimmer has a drink available for your swimmers welfare.
o Suitable drinks include water and squash… please avoid high sugar energy drinks, caffeine drinks and fizzy drinks.
- A kick board i.e. a flat float!
o Make sure it’s not too long for your swimmer’s arms, as this is used for resting the arms and just kicking your legs!
o Hand holes in competitive swimming are not used….your swimmer will be asked to “streamline” on their floats i.e. putting their hands together so their arms make a narrow triangle shape from the shoulders to hands.
o We do have a small stock of these if your swimmer needs to borrow one.
- A pull buoy i.e. a float shaped like a solid figure of 8!
o This is used to rest the legs and concentrate on the arms. It’s slotted between the top of the legs between your thighs, or can sometimes be used between the knees or ankles. The coach will give your swimmer instructions.
o We do have a small stock of these if your swimmer needs to borrow one.
- Fins / flippers
o Fins are used for strengthening the legs or to give extra propulsion making it easier to concentrate on the arms.
o Fins tend to be sold in size ranges…so for example shoe size 3-5. They don’t need to fit perfectly, but they do need to stay on in wet kicking feet. If your swimmer’s fins are slightly too big a short sock can help until their feet grow a bit. Alternatively, a wide fabric elastic strap can be used to hold the fins on.
o We do have a small stock of these if your swimmer needs to borrow a pair while they are young and growing.
- You can buy kit mesh bags for everything your swimmer needs for training.
Please bring all your belongings, in your clothes bag onto poolside when training… or use a locker.
For competing a swimmer needs:
- A swimming costume for girls or trunks for boys.
o This should fit the swimmer like a second skin. No gaps and little stretch to keep the swimmer streamlined and drag free. These can be made of lycra as they create less drag and are thinner than chlorine resitant fabrics. There are specialist costumes available, but these aren’t needed but you may consider these if your swimmer makes the more elite competitions.
- A swimming hat with the club logo (available from the Club shop). We’d also recommend a spare in case of rips!
- Swimming goggles. We’d also recommend a spare pair in case of broken goggle straps.
- At least one sports bottle of drink….preferably two because the poolside is a hot environment and swimmers sweat both in the water and on poolside.
- A spare towel for drying off after warm up or races
- A club branded t-shirt and shorts/tracksuit bottoms to keep the muscles warm…but not too hot. Fast drying fabric’s are recommended because it’s cold sitting in a wet t-shirt. For more advise speak to our swim shop. Club kit with our logo is available from the Club shop.
- For longer competitions, a pack lunch containing sandwiches or pasta and fruit is preferable. Avoid sweets and most definitely avoid crisps.
Please bring all your belongings, in your bag onto poolside when training… or use a locker if the gala rules prohibit bags on poolside.
The Club to ensure that swimmers are trained to a level to enable them to compete successfully operate a system of Squads. As Swimmers progress they will be promoted through the squads in accordance to the squad criteria and will move through the squads. We continually assess the swimmers so when they are ready to move we will pass you a squad move form, for your consideration and consent.
Being “swimming fit” is a difficult thing to maintain unless you are swimming. It said that for every one missed session, it takes two to get back to where you were before you missed one! For your swimmer to stay on an equal footing to their peers they have to be in the pool training.
In the Junior Development Squads will we will get your child fit but also teach them skills such as:
- Competitive starts, at the deep end first, progressing to their competitive start award allowing them to dive safely at the shallow end. We will teach swimmers to dive from starting blocks.
- Competitive turns like front crawl and backstroke tumble turns
- All four competitive strokes: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Front Crawl
- Relay take overs (one swimmer diving over another on the touch of the swimmer in the pool)
- What to expect in a competition… and anything else your swimmer needs to know
When can a swimmer compete and what can they compete in?
As a Club we like to prepare all the swimmers for competitions and the hold Time Trials, these help the swimmers to:
- Understand how swimming galas/competitions work
- Learn how to finish events with electronic timing
- Demonstrate improvement in speed and technique
- Manage nerves and practise for competitions
- Record times ready for entry to open meets or selection for league swimming galas
The Club enter many Competitive Events these can be done from the age of 9 (age defined by the Amateur Swimming Association/ASA):
Inter Club or League Swimming Galas
To compete in these swimming galas the “Selection Committee” at the club, will look at times swimmers have recorded from time trials and previous swimming galas (on the PB Chart*) and select a team.
A pre selection list goes on the notice board to see which swimmers might be available. If you swimmer is available please tick the notice board. At this point you are committing to your swimmer attending the gala if they are on the final selection sheet.
When the final selection sheet goes on the notice board please reconfirm your swimmer’s attendance with another tick. This is the final stage. Your swimmer then needs to attend the gala at the time and venue advertised.
If selected and confirmed, if for any reason the swimmer cannot compete on the day (e.g. due to sickness) please notify the person in charge of the gala (contact details will be on the gala selection sheet). If a swimmer pulls out at this stage it could mean that the club cannot field a complete team and other swimmers who a down to do a relay don’t get the chance to swim.
Swimmers will not know what they due to swim until they get to the gala. Putting a team together is a difficult task and swimmers have to trust the judgement of the selection committee.
There are different types of galas:
- Friendly/Inter Club Galas – these are arranged by local clubs to give swimmers a chance to compete and are arranged at various levels of ability. Sometimes there are trophies to be won at these galas.
- Local League Galas – we choose which leagues to enter depending on the swimmers we have in the club. At time of printing we compete in the Fenland League. This is a competitive league and the swimmers are selected based on swimming times. This is swum in rounds and leading to a final where clubs battle for promotion and to avoid relegation. This gala works to cut off times so if a swimmer is too fast for an event then they cannot swim this in the next round.
- National League Galas (East Midlands area) – the most prestigious and senior club competition. Being selected for this gala is seen as an honour. This is swum in rounds and leading to a final where clubs battle for promotion and to avoid relegation.
Open meets/ Licensed open meets
Open meets can be entered by anyone, from any swimming club, assuming the swimmer is of ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) age 9. The age group the swimmer competes in depends on the meets rules, for example they may want the swimmers to compete based on the swimmers age on the day.
There is a fee to enter open meets and they are advertised on the swimming club notice board. There are various open meets available on line.
Swimmers choose what they enter. There are often heats and finals. Although we attend a lot of these as a club swimmers are competing as individuals for trophies or medals. There are also normally awards for top, boy, top girl and top club.
Grand Prix events are a linked series of open meets where points are accumulated at each gala and ranked the swimmers before awards are given.
Licensed Open Meets are the same as Open Meets but you need to have achieved an entry time to compete. The pool has to be licenced for the times to count as qualification for top competitions, this is nothing for you to worry about, the licencing process involves measuring the pool for example to ensure it meets regulations.
Swimmers who compete in these galas are normally trying to achieve qualifying times for Championship meets - County Championships, Midland (Regional) Championships and National Championships.
Licensed Meets are swimming events licensed by Swim England. This means they have to meet certain standards to ensure fair competition.
The English swimming licensed meets calendar contains a range of ‘open’ meets, designed to give all competitive swimmers in England the chance to achieve their true potential.
All licensed meets are subject to ASA laws and regulations and the ASA Technical Rules of Racing. They are graded into four levels. For a detailed description of each level download our Open Meet Licensing Criteria PDF here.
Level 1 Meets are long course (50m) only and cover National, Regional and County Championships. Their purpose is to enable athletes to achieve qualifying times for entry into National, Regional and County Championships.
Level 2 Meets are short course (25m) only and cover National, Regional and County Championships. Their purpose is to enable athletes to achieve qualifying times for entry into National, Regional and County Championships in short course.
Level 3 Meets are long and short course events. Their purpose is to enable athletes to achieve times for entry into Regional and County Championships and other Meets at Level 1 or Level 2.
Level 4 Meets are entry level events in pools 25m or greater. Borough Championships are an example. They are for inexperienced athletes and swimmers seeking to compete outside their club environment. If times are good athletes progress to Level 3 Meets.
Qualifying entry times are set a year in advance. Entry times can be achieved in 25 meter long pools or 50 meter length pools as there are official conversion tables to give equivalent times.
County Championships – swimmers usually compete in a pool 25 meters long. In recent years the championships have been held in Louth. This championship sees the top swimmers in Lincolnshire County competing against each other. Ultimately, swimmers are competing to become County Champion and qualify for Midland Championships.
Midland (Regional) Championships – This championship sees the top swimmers in the Midland Region competing against each other. Ultimately, swimmers are competing to become Midland Region Champion and qualify for National Championships.
National Championships – This championship sees the top swimmers in the country competing against each other.
International Championships – This is when you are competing for your country.
Every year in the DSC holds its Club Championships. This is like an open meet but is only for Deepings swimmers. This is where swimmers can go head to head against swimmer in their age groups in the events they choose. These championships are held for swimmers to improve their times, gain entry times for Championship Meets and compete to become overall Club Champion. We offer a full program of events, including long distance events.
Please encourage your swimmer to enter the Club Championships.
Who will be at the galas/open meet/championships?
Any gala, open meet or championship that the club attend, a Coach will attend to support the swimmers.
Depending on the event there may also be other officials on poolside to help out:
- Coach – the coach supports the swimmers advising them on the warm up to do, tips before the race and feedback after the race
- Team managers – these help the swimmers get to their events at the right time and knowing what the event is
- Time keepers – these are at the lane end to time the swimmers swim and record it
- Starter – starts the race
- More importantly there will be other swimmers that your child is likely to have swum with or met before.
For all competitions, it is important that the swimmer prepares; here are some guidelines to help you
- Eat a carbohydrate based dinner in good time before the competition so it’s digested (2 hours before) and ensure the swimmer is hydrated
- On poolside swimmers should sit together as a team. There will be a designated team manager to look after the swimmers. The team manager will ensure they are informed of the events they are swimming and when it is time to go up for their race. There will also be a swimming coach available to assist with prerace nerves on how to swim/dive/turn etc!
- Swimmers must ask the team managers before:
o going to the toilet
o going to see parents
o going to change at the end of their events
This is so we know where swimmers are, ensure they are safe and aren’t disappearing before they have completed all of their events.
What is a PB Chart and what happens to the times my swimmer achieves during competition?
PB = Personal Best.. i.e. the fastest times a swimmer has ever sum.
Every time a swimmer competes they achieve a time. The results of the competition are processed by a volunteer onto a database. If a swimmer has done a 100m swim, for example, there maybe a 50m split time recorded. The volunteer checks if the swimmer has done a new 100m personal best, but also checks to see if the split time is a personal best. Competition history and new personal bests are all recorded.
The volunteer also check swimmers personal bests to see if any records have been broken, either internal Club records or external records such as County records.
My swimmer has joined the Junior Development Squad’s… what competitions should I be looking at entering them for?
Galas; Your swimmer is chosen by the club to swim. Keep an eye on the notice board for gala selection sheets.
- Junior Feland League
Open Meets; You enter your swimmer for a fee. Keep an eye on the notice board/website for notification and entry details. These will also be listed on the calendar on Swim Club Manager.
- Club Championships (hosted and arranged by DSC)
- Rob Welbourn Open Meet (hosted and arranged by DSC)
- Tulip Meet at Spalding
- Grantham Grand Prix (a series of open meets)
- Fenland Open Meet
- Northampton Long Course Meet
- Boston Open Meet
- Louth Open Meet
Food is fuel….. what should my swimmer be eating and drinking?
Adequate recovery is an integral part of a swimmer’s training plan. Recovery includes a variety of processes:
- Refuelling: Carbohydrate stores
- Rebuild & repair: Building new muscle & cells to aid adaption to training
- Rehydrating: Replacing fluid & electrolytes lost in sweat
The best recovery strategies help the body to become fitter, stronger and faster. It also helps the immune system to manage the stress of training.
Post Training Recovery
Timing is key to optimal recovery, refuelling should begin within the first hour after training, ideally eat as soon as possible!
o The main fuel used during training is carbohydrate in the form of muscle glycogen. It is important to restock your glycogen stores after training, especially if recovery between sessions is less than 8 hours. Low glycogen stores can cause fatigue and impair power and endurance. After intense sessions aim for 1g carbohydrate per kg body mass.
- Rebuild & Repair
o Eating protein immediately after training is important to help muscle growth and repair. This is especially important to make sure that the work put in counts! Approximately 16-25g protein should be consumed within the first hour after exercise.
o Both water and salt losses need to be replaced as dehydration can negatively affect performance. 1.6L of fluid should be consumed for every 1kg body weight lost during training.
Good recovery options include:
Also see our website for more information:
We hope that you find this information helpful, if you have any questions on competitions, please speak to a member of poolside staff or a committee member. We have been involved for a number of years…we can forget and take for granted “swimming speak” so if you aren’t sure get in touch.
If you think there is a handy section we should add to this document, please do tell us.
Deepings Swimming Club, Development Officer and Coach