Tonbridge Swimming Club - Participation and Squad Pathway

In September 2015, Tonbridge Swimming club introduced a new participation and squad pathway for the Club.  This structure was revised in 2016 by Peter Withey. The Programme was again remodelled and rolled out to the club in April 2019.

The new programme and squad pathway is based on the Swim England Optimal Athlete Development Framework (OADF) in tandem with the Athlete Development Support Pathway (ADSP) which is an upgraded version of Long term Athlete Development.  The key considerations are of which progressive development and optimal training windows of opportunity related to physical considerations.  The club was chosen as a pilot for the Swim England Club Awards in late 2017 and now has adopted this pathway (in conjunction with the existing NPTS framework). 

There are 5 considerations (pillars):

  1. Technical development

  2. Tactical, Competition strategy

  3. Physical components of fitness and aspects of the ADSP

  4. Psychological, Mental skills and aspects of the ADSP

  5. Lifestyle, Performance focused, work, rest education, Family, Social, Nutrition and Hydration

The Athlete Development Support Pathway allows coaches to balance athletes training competition, recovery and lifestyle through development age (maturation) rather than chronological age.  It is athlete centric coach encouraged pathway.  It is inclusive, meeting the needs of those with a disability and underpins every level of teaching and coaching in swimming

The 5 stages are Fundamentals/Swim skills/Training to Train/Training to compete/Training to win

There are two strands to Tonbridge Swimming Club’s programme:  our Competitive Squads and our Club 2 Squad.


Full details of our Competitive Squads are given within the individual squad criteria documents which can be found under the Squad Criteria Documents tab.  This also details the attendance and performance criteria expected for each of our Squads.

Club 2 Squad

Club 2 Squad is a squad created for 2 groups of swimmers, generally aged 10 and over.
Due to limited pool time, as a club we are now only able to offer spaces in competitive squads if the attendance, performance and age criteria are reached. The Club 2 Squad has been created for existing TSC swimmers who still wish to compete on a limited basis but are unable to commit to the minimum training attendance required by the competitive squads or for those that have not achieved the minimum County, Regional or National QT relevant to their age group, as specified within the relevant competitive squad criteria. These swimmers are offered 2 training sessions a week.

Within the Club 2 Squad is also another training group for those existing swimmers who do not want to be part of the competitive stream of the club, but would still like to gain the health benefits of an aquatic sport. It should be noted that this squad is not open to external entry and is only for existing TSC swimmers.

There is a requirement from the participants in both of these Club Squads to make themselves available, if they are selected, for team or relay meets.

There is no absolute right of swimmers in their any of our Competitive or Club squads to remain there.  If they can no longer commit or meet the criteria for their squad then they will be allocated to a Club squad.  All swimmers will take part in time trials and the annual Club Championships.  Progression through the squads will be assessed by the squad coach and set criteria.

Swimmers have been selected to train in their respective squads based on ADSP protocols and their own specific needs analysis skills set. Obviously, there will always be some exceptions to the rule.  As a member of the Tonbridge SC competitive squads, swimmers will be expected to attend and complete the required amount of sessions and open meets per year set out in the squad’s criteria.  Swimmers who do not attend training or complete full sessions on a regular basis will see a slower progression, may risk their place in the squad and be prevented from reaching their full potential.

Please click HERE to view the LTS Squad Criteria

Please click HERE to view the Squad Pathway Pyramid.