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- swimmers guide

A Guide for new swimmers and parents


Welcome to all new swimmers and, of course, their parents! The following information is given as a guide to help you pick your way through the minefield of swimming jargon and procedures.


NAASC is a swimming club, which aims to provide training and competition for swimmers from ages 7/8 years through to adult Masters section. Each of the local teaching clubs feed into the Club as do the Council lesson programmes. Swimmers are invited to a month's free trial before deciding whether they wish to commit to joining the Club properly. Currently there are 7 squads and swimmers will progress through these as their ability and prowess increases. We use 3 pools: Auchenharvie, Largs and Garnock for the core sessions plus long- course training at East Kilbride or occasionally Tollcross or Stirling. Land training is included with some of the sessions.

A committee runs the Club and queries should be directed to them, usually through the Pool Reps who are on poolside most sessions. We have a Head Coach and a coaching committee and they will be pleased to help in any way they can with swimming matters. Coaching queries should in the first instance be directed to the Team Manager.

The Club website is a valuable source of information and should be checked regularly for up-to-date info (e.g. cancelled or extra sessions, gala information etc) www.naasc.co.uk

There are also notice boards at each swimming pool.


1. Membership.  This is set each year at the Club AGM in December and currently is 45 annually. This covers the Scottish Amateur Swimming Association (SASA - governing body of swimming in Scotland) Capitation fee, and the West District Capitation fee. All swimmers are given a membership number, which is used for gala entries. Any remaining money goes to the running of the Club. Family discounts apply. For parents receiving income support or other benefits, assistance may be available with fees: please contact the Club Secretary.

2. Squad fees   Again; the amount varies with each squad. They are paid to the Club in 12 monthly instalments, preferably by standing order. Squad fees cover the cost of pool hire from the Council for training sessions.

3. Gala fees.  The amount depends on the number of races and galas that a swimmer enters and should be paid to our secretary as soon as your entries are accepted. Presently many races are 4-5 per event, and the club sometimes subsidises the more expensive Scottish events and British entries.



Swimmers should attend appropriate training sessions for their squad as advised by their coach. They should arrive on poolside 15 minutes before the start of their session for flexibility exercises and appropriate kit, such as floats, pull buoys, flippers and drinks bottles should be brought as advised by their coach. See fuller coaches information in Log Books.




These are handed out once you have been selected to join the club. This book is essential to your organisation of your time spent in the club. It is a guideline to gala entries/squads/nutrition. Swimming training takes lots of commitment and time management plays a major role.


There are various levels of competitions depending on a swimmers age and ability. Remember not everyone can win a medal but any swim which is a P.B (personal best) is an achievement to be proud of and shows that your training is going well. Everyone should keep a record of their own P.B’s but the coaches will help with this and the Club keeps a record on the Speed
Ladders, which are up-dated after every gala. The coaches plan in advance which galas the Club will attend each year to give a balance between training and competition. They will usually advise the younger swimmers which events to enter, although the older swimmers take responsibility for this themselves.

1. Club Championships

Within the Club there are 3 teams and everyone is allocated to one of these .The Club runs 3 events throughout the year for NAASC members when each swimmer can win points for their team and also for themselves; Sprints: - May, Sunday evening at Auchenharvie Team relays: - August, Sunday evening at Auchenharvie Club Championships: - October, all day event at Auchenharvie. A trophy presentation night with speeches and food night is held in November. These are ideal events for the younger swimmers to gain a little experience and for new parents to try time keeping.

2. Graded Meets

These are meets used to encourage younger swimmers of moderate ability by ensuring that the standards of entry are similar. This is done by publishing maximum and minimum time bands for each event and only swimmers whose P.B’s fit are allowed to enter. Typically they are for swimmers aged 8-14 years.


3. Open Meets

These are for the more able swimmers and are often age 11 years upwards. The host Club print consideration times and only swimmers whose P.B’s is faster can enter.  This still does not guarantee being accepted, as the standards can be high.


4. West District Championships

These are held over 6 weekends between February and December at various pools in the District - usually Ayr, Cumbernauld, Grangemouth, Johnstone Larkhall and East Kilbride and are aimed at swimmers from ages 12 years and under to seniors. Swimmers in the senior squads should be swimming regularly at these events. All Club swimmers should be aware of the consideration times and enter if they have them.  Although it is mainly individual events, points are allocated to participating clubs and the top 12 Clubs in the District are then invited to the swim-off in October- usually NAASC do very well in this event.

5. National Events

Consideration times are published each year and achieving these times should be the aim of every swimmer, but the times are hard and "qualifying for the Scottish" is an achievement in itself. Our coaches plan the senior training programmes around these dates to allow swimmers to peak at the correct times
January     Scottish Short Course                         Tollcross
April         Scottish Age Groups (Long Course)    Tollcross
June/July   Scottish Nationals (Long Course)       Tollcross
These events give swimmers a chance to compete with the top Scottish swimmers and savour the atmosphere of an international competition and are the highlight of many swimmers careers. As a club NAASC has traditionally done well in these events and has produced many record holders and medal winners
over the years.

6. Team Events
For the younger swimmers age 8 -11years the Clyde Coast Mini League is the main event of the year. Three fixtures are held with other clubs at various pools between January and May each year and then the top 6 teams qualify for the final in June at the Citadel, Ayr. The team consists of approximately 30 swimmers with everyone’s (including parents) contribution and support is important. NAASC has won this event regularly in the past, which is a fantastic achievement for a relatively small Club, and is a reflection of the swimmers and coaches’ commitment and effort. The team is picked by age groups, we give the chance for all swimmers to race but on final day it is a team to win. The older swimmers compete in the Winter League, which is of a similar format though held on a single day in October and again NAASC are usually in the medal positions.

Meet information and eligibility report are sent to all swimmers concerned as soon as known. Always try to choose the highest level of gala for which you have times. Swimmers can then choose which events they wish to swim (having checked they have the correct consideration times) and send their entries (preferably by E-mail) to our secretary by the cut-off date. A few weeks before the gala, an email will be sent out showing your accepted entries and how much you need to pay. At this point you should send your payment to our secretary.  Any cancellations should be given to our secretary as early as possible to allow the organising club to give the swims to another swimmer. Once accepted and reserve entries have been received all entries have to be paid for whether you swim or no.


Please note there are separate times for short course (25m) and long course (50m) swims although conversion tables can be found on the web sites. Usually it is best to keep them separate when keeping your PB list. Age is taken as age on the day for most galas.

The club needs parents help in many ways - please volunteer to help where you can - we are delighted with all offers. At each of our home galas we have 4 sessions (2 on Sat, 2 on Sun) and we need 12 helpers plus about 10 Officials for each session, so all help is very much appreciated. New parents can try their stopwatch hand time-keeping at Club events and then proceed to "officialdom" later. The Club and West District hold various training courses throughout the year. As older swimmers and their parents leave the Club we need to replace them with new (and younger!) ones so please consider this. We need to supply a certain number of officials for West District events or a fine may be imposed. For our home Galas we have to supply the
appropriate number of officials for the Meet to be "accredited" and a failure to do this would mean that a swimmer's time would not be recognised as official - a disaster to a swimmer if their PB is not official or a record not recognised! We also welcome anyone able to help poolside or on the committee.

This is needed to help keep running costs of club down and fees reasonable. We hold 4 home galas per year at Auchenharvie (Feb, May, Sept and Nov) and they each make a profit of over 1000 at each meet. A lot of work is involved (see above) but this is essential to Club finances. Other events usually held are several bag-packing days per year at local supermarkets, a race-night, an auction, tombolas, raffles and swim shops at home galas. NB we have a kit shop which sells subsidised club swimwear products-swimsuits/club caps/hooded tops/rugby tops/T-shirts/floats etc. see pool rep/kit convener or web site. -they make great Xmas presents!

As the Club is spread out over 3 pools the committee tries to organise several events per year to allow parents and swimmers to meet. Recent events have included a race night, a climb up Goat Fell, and a cycle round Millport, a 10-pin bowling night and a junior disco. Ideas and help are always welcome. Previous years have seen weekend trips to galas in Ards (Belfast), Inverness and Edinburgh and a weeks training camp at Club La Santa in Lanzarote.        


Check www.naasc.co.uk for up-to-date club info and watch the Club notice boards.





PB - a swimmers personal best time for a given event.


Entry time - the time submitted by the club for a swimmer being entered in a gala. If entries are made well in advance, the entry time may not be the swimmers current PB


Consideration time - the maximum entry time for a particular event that the organisers of a gala will consider.


Flyer - a false start or early take-over in a race


I.M. - individual medley. The competitor swims all four strokes in the following order: - butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle.


Medley relay - four swimmers each swim a different stroke. The order is always backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle.


Declared winner - when no final is swum and the winner is declared on the times swum in the heats


Long course - events held in a 50 metre pool. Short course - events held in a 25 metre pool


Flexibility - exercises done to loosen muscles prior to starting swimming


Land training - training sessions in the gym for older swimmers


Lactate testing - checking the amount of lactate acid in a swimmer's blood after a particular training session. The result is used to assess the swimmer's progress, and to modify the sessions for the swimmer. Very small samples are taken.


T20 - the number of lengths a swimmer can complete in 20 minutes in a training session. Coaches use this to assess progress in training.


DQ'd and disq. - abbreviation for disqualified on result sheets and time cards


DNF - did not finish - seen on result sheets and time cards


DNS - did not swim - seen on result sheets and time cards


WNAX - clubs identity letters on time cards and programs


Time trial - internal meet held to establish times for entry to galas and team selection





1.       You must arrive on poolside 15 minutes before the official warm-up time.


2.       You must find out what strokes you are swimming and carry out a correct warm-up. If you are not sure what you should be doing, ask the coach in charge.


3.       You must wear your North Ayrshire kit with pride. If you wear a cap it must be a Club cap. You must wear a Club shirt to collect your medals.


4.       You must sit or stand where you are instructed. Do not leave poolside without your coach's permission. Stay with the team - do not go to the spectators area


5.       You must be QUIET once the whistle has gone to signal the start of a race. Once the race has started you may shout a loud as you like!


6.       You MUST NOT misbehave on poolside. Do not run. Do not push other swimmers. If you misbehave, the coach will ask you to leave, and you will take no further part in the training or gala. No bad mouthing other teams are tolerated.


7.       You must prepare yourself mentally and physically for your race by

a.       thinking about how you will swim

b.       doing some flexibility exercises before your race


8.       You must be aware of how the gala is progressing. Know when your next swim is due. Make sure you are at the start in plenty of time for your race.


9.       You must let your coach know as soon as possible if you are unable to swim in an event for which you have been selected. The coach has to organise the swimmers for each event, and if you do not advise them that you are not available in good time last minute changes have to be made. This takes up time the coach should be using to advise others.




Swim well -- enjoy yourselves -- aim for a PB in every race








1.       VERBAL WARNING AND DISCUSSION WITH PARENT - can be done on poolside and committee informed later.



2 and 3 above must come to the committee before action is taken. Members shall be notified in writing of the committee's decision and shall have the right of appeal.









The club swimmers are divided into seven squads – S1, S2, S3 and S4 – senior squads

J1, J2 and J3 – Junior Squads The following guidelines have been set to inform swimmers and parents of the standards expected of each squad. Swimmers who are moved into a higher squad are expected to achieve the times expected of that squad, and may be moved down if they do no meet the expected times.


J3: 1 – 2 sessions a week. Swimmers should be working toward improving stamina and technique.


J2: 3 sessions a week. Swimmers should continue working toward improving stamina and technique.


J1: 4 sessions plus Sunday evening. This squad’s either for swimmer’s to keep fit at on older age level but also a stepping-stone to achieve a fitness level to move to Bronze. Aiming for mini league.


S4: 5 sessions a week. The squad coach will advise each swimmer on what sessions they may attend. These swimmers should be aiming for consistency in land based exercise and pool training to be allowed to try a morning.


S3: 7 sessions a week. The swimmers should have achieved West District qualifying times in two of the four strokes. The times required for each age group will be displayed on the pool notice boards. A minimum of 6 training sessions should be attended per week including Sunday evening. Swimmers in the Silver squad are aiming at achieving national times and are picked for West District camps.


S2: 8 sessions a week. Swimmers have achieved West District times and trying to achieve Scottish national time. These swimmers are expected to attend at least 8 training sessions Looking forward to British qualifying times or West District silver squad,


S1: 10 sessions a week. Swimmers are those who are achieving number of sessions asked and trying to reach times for Scottish Nationals or British have achieved UK qualifying times in two strokes.


Young Masters: 16 plus; wishing to stay fit and have some fun and help out young swimmers.



Masters – 18 years plus; a high standard of discipline and commitment is expected from all squad swimmers at all times.



All squads are part of a team, which will work together to compete in league matches, mini meets, graded meets and galas.


If you have any other questions please ask your coach who will be happy to advise you.









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