Ultimate Novice Template + Sample Sets

This is Swim Smart's Ultimate Novice Template designed for competitive 8 and Unders. This program's focus are to teach all the strokes evenly. Younger swimmers need to focus everything on technique and great kick based strokes. Sprinting in this program is mostly about getting a racing mentality and working on sprint technique. Most important in this program is what we don't work on. No warmup, IM sets and minimal dive and turn work. We want to write motor patterns (habitual technique) for each stroke during each workout. The best way to do that is to focus on one thing at a time and really hammer home perfection on each drill. We are teaching body awareness!
This template assumes workouts last about 60 minutes each. Since many programs have such a differing amount of days per week they train their novice group, the template is written to accommodate whatever your schedule is. Just keep following the days in order, and no matter how many times a week you train, it will still give the same result.
There are no intervals written into these sample sets. Novice kids can just leave on your send-off and 5 seconds apart. Trying to get them to focus on following a clock is… challenging. Focus more on doing the drills in the order written, rather than worry about time. Don't be afraid to repeat sets and do them over. Repetition will save time and build better habits.
Everything Novice swimmers do should have a mental aspect to it. Counting strokes or doing a specific drill, even when sprinting. They should be given concrete "goal oriented" thoughts like 16 strokes per 25. Not abstract goals like "DPS." Drills should be specific, don't leave it up to them. Always focus on building their strokes from a streamlined position. Getting a great technique at this age is all about reducing drag, we can condition them and build power later when they are older. Efficiency is everything!!
We love to treat every set as an expanded swim lesson. The strokes should constantly be built up from the streamline position with a kick driven and efficient stroke.