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Constructing a Season Plan for High School Swimmers - Build the Plan

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Updated March 25, 2012
CONTINUED FROM Designing a High School Swim Team Season Training Plan for Swimmers

Once the preliminary data is gathered and the season goals have been determined, the plan is built. An overall season template is utilized. Dates and phases are filled in, beginning with a two week end of the season Taper. The remaining weeks are divided into three equal blocks. The first block of weeks, a macrocycle, will be labeled Preparation. The next macrocycle is labeled Endurance, and the third block of weeks is the Specialization macrocycle. The process continues from a broad plan to fine detail, moving from general goals and objectives to specific workouts on a daily basis.

The overall template is the season plan. Within that plan will be phases of Preparation, Endurance, Specialization, and Taper. Within each phase will be weekly units, or microcycles. The final planning stage is the completion of daily practice plans.

Season Plan Template
The Overall season plan is completed early in the off-season or pre-season, as soon as all the pertinent dates are known. This allows time to review the plan and to get staff input, make revisions, and begin planning each mesocycle in more detail well before the season begins. The overall season plan or macrocycle is constructed by preparing a template or worksheet.

Sample Season Training Plan Template - Week by Week

_____ Week #
_____ Date
_____ Phase
_____ Stress
Meets:
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Conflicts:
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Notes:
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Goals:
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The template should include a season calendar as part of a cover page, with dates of events and meets, a general stress indicator by week, any other important notes, and objectives or goals for the each mesocycle.

Stress is a general estimate of the ratio between time spent on fitness, or the time required for recovery, and technique or teaching time. Lower speed swimming is considered less stressful than high speed swimming and requires less time for recovery, but it takes a longer duration of time for the same distance when swimming speed is slower. If the time spent on work that requires a long time to recover is high, then more time will be used for recovery, allowing for the higher level of practice performance to occur. This may limit the available time for active technique work.

Meets are also graded as A, B, or C meets. A meets are the focus competitions for the season, and would normally occur at the end of the season and athletes would be rested for them. B meets are important for qualifying or other performance concerns, and athletes may be slightly rested, but would not have undergone a full taper. C meets are considered as training sessions and would, at most, have one day of rest used in preparation for the event. When the season training plan is completed, copies could be distributed to everyone involved, including athletes and parents.

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