Swimming – National Squads & Coaching
Since the early 1900s, individual swimmers and teams have represented the SASA and subsequently Scottish Swimming in competitions at home and overseas.
The selection process of individuals for these teams or squads has had many forms, formulas and opinions depending on the Head Coach, Selection Committee and others.
The selection process in Scotland started with the “The Scottish Olympic Training Scheme” (click to access), which defined target times and focussed swimmers and coaches programmes to achieve these times.
Participation at a National and Overseas level, in the representation of Scotland, has been again over the years been competing at the Commonwealth Games or at Multi-Nations Meets or “Invitation” Meets of Scottish Teams versus overseas Clubs.
Individual representatives of the most senior teams or squads, over the years, have also been selected by the A.S.F.G.B and subsequently British Swimming to compete at International Meets sponsored by FINA and LEN and at the Olympic Games.
Although the National Squad environment has changed over the years and on a cyclical basis, new derivations are launched, the core principle is of focussed development and talent spotting.
From the early 1900s through to the early 2000s, the main elements were stroke development, physical development and strategy development, however in the early 2000s thoughts turned to the power of the mind.
“Mind-Set” has become an important element of swimmer development. When two swimmers are standing on the blocks with same physical attributes and stroke ability, what separates them – the MIND. The determination, the focus and everything else associated with the thought processes at that time and for the duration of their race will define whose fingers hit the touchpad first.
From the late 1800s through to the early 1960s, all swimming was classified as “senior” or “open”, with competitive “age group” swimming only being introduced in Scotland in 1964 and from then the various programmes were developed to include age group swimmers in the development through to Scottish Squad and Team level.
Over the years, the National Squad Programme has broadened to include younger swimmers, with the introduction of District Training Squads, Pathway to Performance, BoS Academies, DRP (District Regional Programme), Senior Bronze, Youth Development and from 2022 onwards, a full Squad programme based on “Academies”.