The object of training sessions is obviously to improve fitness in order to improve performance in the games. There are several areas which always need work:

Training sessions should be aimed at one or all of these. Many people say that the best training is playing hard games. While this may not be completely true, training sessions should still reflect the way that the game is played. For example in a game you are typically underwater for only 5 - 10 seconds each time. However you may be working hard during that time. Players seldom swim in straight lines in a real game - forwards being one exception.

This gives rise to the following objectives for training:

  • 1 Include sessions for speed. These may be straight line, but should also include changes in direction.
  • 2 Include sessions for breath-hold and recovery rate. These would normally be repetitive forced cycles under water. (Note it is believed that forced breathold training actually causes the body to make a chemical adjustment that improves the breathold (Carbon dioxide resistance improves). Surface training will not encourage this change).
  • 3 Include sessions for body work under water. This means work which does not only involve the legs but also uses the arm muscles as is the case in a real game.
  • When training a group or team the exercises should be made competitive. Relays are an effective means of providing competition (make sure the winning team is rewarded or the losing punished) as well as providing an easy means of controlling the recovery time. The sessions described below could be used for individuals or for relay exercises.


    A length is taken to be 25 metres.

    5.2.1 Warmup

    10 lengths arms and legs on the surface.

    10 lengths legs only on the surface. This may be done with a vertical flutter board for strength training.

    10 lengths half under, half on top.

    5.2.2 Sprints

    10 lengths freestyle on top every 30 seconds.

    2 lengths slow

    10 lengths under water every 45 seconds.

    2 lengths slow

    5.2.3 Underwater Work

    10 lengths under water every 45 seconds with a puck flicking it forward and swimming on to it.

    10 repetitions swimming with the puck four lanes out from the wall; turn and swim back to the second lane; turn and swim back to the fourth lane; turn and swim back to the wall - flick to the wall. Alternate the side to which you turn.

    5 lengths slow underwater, or puck skills for 5 minutes.


    The basic skills can be practised out of the water, but where possible they should also be practised in the pool. These may be done individually but it is ideal to work in twos or threes.

    S Stoke

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