Swimming 301 Pre-Course Workbook

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Welcome to the online pre-course workbook for Swimming 301.

As you complete the questions in this online form, our system is building a final workbook document in the background.   Once all questions have been completed, you will be EMAILED a copy of the final workbook document in PDF format.

You will be asked to upload the final workbook PDF file when registering for your Swimming 301 course. We recommend printing the workbook and bringing it to your Swimming 301 course.

If you wish to save your progress as you complete the online form, use the Save my progress and resume later link provided at the top and bottom of each page.   You will be asked to provide an email and password.  Simply return back to the online form and use the resume a previously saved form to continue with the form from where you left off.    As a backup, an email will be sent to you so you can easily access your password and link to the partially completed form at a later time.

If all else fails, you are always welcome to contact our Coordinator, NCCP for help - nccp@swimming.ca


Tell us about yourself

** If you are unsure of your NCCP CC#, please visit http://coach.ca/check-nccp-certification-s13876 and follow the instructions provided.

Previous Experience

About the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP)

What is the NCCP?

Being a coach takes passion and dedication. Being a great coach, however, often requires additional guidance and support. The National Coaching Certification Program was developed by CAC and its partners to give coaches that extra advantage. The program targets 67 different sports, in both official languages, and is the recognized standard for coach training and certification in Canada.

NCCP workshops are designed to meet the needs of all types of coaches, from the first-time community coach to the head coach of a national team. Each year, more than 50,000 coaches take an NCCP workshop. Since the program began, more than 1 million coaches have participated, making it one of the largest adult education programs in Canada.

The NCCP is comprised of three streams and a total of eight “contexts”, each with its own coaching requirements. Each sport is responsible for identifying how many of the eight contexts are relevant to their sport. As part of the program, all coaches (regardless of sport or context) are trained in ethical decision-making and sport safety.

To view a narrated presentation about the new NCCP model, click here.

To download a PDF illustrating the new NCCP model, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why am I required to complete this workbook?

A: The pre-course workbook introduces key topic areas covered in the Swimming 301 course. The information and resources in the workbook, if implemented by you as a coach, will improve your coaching effectiveness.

Q: What happens when I submit this online workbook?

A: An email will be sent to you with a completed version of your workbook responses   The document is PDF format.  To view this document, you must have Adobe Reader - this is available for free at http://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/

Q: What do I do with the PDF document once I have completed the workbook?

A: SAVE the document somewhere you will be able to retrieve it.  You will need to upload the document when you register for the Swimming 301 course.  It is also reccommended that you bring a printed copy with you to the Swimming 301 Course.

Q: Where do I find a list of upcoming courses?

A: A current list of approved courses - NCCP Course List

Q: How do I register for a Swimming 301 course?

A: To register for a Swimming 301 course you must be a COACH member of Swimming Canada and CSCTA.   Members register for a Swimming 301 course from the NCCP Course List - click on the Login link.    You must login with your Swimming Canada / CSCTA username and password - then select the NCCP menu heading.   Under Active Courses, you will find the Swimming 301 courses.

Q: If I have questions, who do I contact?

A: For more information on the NCCP program, please visit:



Your Provincial Partners

Coordinator, NCCP – Carol Vadeika – nccp@swimming.ca

Evaluation standards for a Level 3 Senior Coach


Coach will understand the core certification standards used to assess and evaluate a Level 3 Senior Coach.


There are several key steps that a coach must successfully complete and/or demonstrate sufficient knowledge or understanding of, in order to successfully become a certified Senior Coach. One must first understand what is required and expected of them.

To help you with this activity download and review the Senior Coach Evaluation Guide.


Senior Coach Evaluation Guide 
(right click and use "Save link as" if link does not open automatically)

The outcomes, criteria and evidences in the Senior Coach Evaluation Guide describe what a certified Senior Coach should be able to do, on a consistent basis.


Download, read and make self-assessment notes on your current skills as compared to the Level 3 Senior Coach Evaluation Guide, then answer the question below.

Swimming 301 Course Description

To help prepare you for the upcoming 301 course, please download and read the summary of all modules that will be covered in the course.

Swimming 301 Course Description  (right click and use "Save link as" if link does not open automatically)

Your Coaching Role

Tell us about your coaching situation, and the roles and responsibilities you have in your coaching role. Throughout this workbook and the Swimming 301 course, be sure to relate your answers and activities to your own coaching situation.

Swimmer Information


Tell us about the best Train to Train or Train to Compete stage swimmer that you coach by uploading benchmark data from competitions, growth measurements, best times and splits.


This task will provide the Swimming 301 Learning Facilitators with more information regarding the level of swimmer you coach, as well as how you collect and interpret your data.


Upload the following information for your best Train to Compete swimmer:

  • Technical benchmarks: best start, turn, finish speeds, stroke counts and stroke rates.
  • Best times and splits for both Short Course and Long Course meets.
  • Growth and development measurements tracked since swimmer`s "growth spurt" began.
  • Other items or benchmarks tracked.
Your Best Swimmers Information


Upload all of the data you collected below. You can upload multiple files by clicking the links titled "Add another response".

Task #1 Seasonal Training Plan (STP)


Coaches will demonstrate their ability to create a 16-28 week Seasonal Training Plan.


This task is done to evaluate where a coach is currently at in terms of their season planning, prior to attending the Swimming 301 course.

There is a seasonal training plan template provided for your use, however, you can upload your plan in any format you choose.


Seasonal Training Plan Template (right click and use "Save link as" if link does not open automatically)


Create a seasonal training plan that covers 16-28 weeks of training and competitive opportunities for the group of swimmers you coach.

The training plan you design should be a single periodization, with one peak competition phase.

The seasonal training plan template provided is an excel file called Seasonal Training Plan Template. To complete the template, follow the coding instructions provided on the template. Or you can upload a plan in your own format.

Your final seasonal plan must allow another coach to read the plan and pick up where you left off without any question as to what stroke, turn, or programming element was planned and prioritized for that week.

The seasonal training plan should include the following elements:

  • Length of the season, breaks and other planning logistics (e.g. holidays, travel, school, exams, etc.)
  • The plan must include the three main periods of your season, preparation, competition and transition.
  • The number of training sessions and competition sessions in your season.
  • Major program objectives related to the specifics of: Physical, motor skills, lifestyle, mental, tactical and technical
  • Prioritization of training through the season, and monitoring of all training areas.

Task #2 Microcycle


Coaches will demonstrate their ability to plan a week of training for a specific phase in your Seasonal Training Plan.


This task is done to evaluate where a coach is currently at in terms of their weekly planning, prior to attending the Swimming 301 course.

There is a microcycle plan template provided for your use, however, you can upload your plan in any format you choose.


Microcycle Plan Template  (right click and use "Save link as" if link does not open automatically)


You can upload your own Microcycle Plan, or choose to use the template provided.

To complete the template, begin by noting the week # from your season, and then identify your week's "Top 2 Objectives" for dryland and water sessions. 

Complete your planned schedule for the week, indicating the timeslots for morning (AM) and afternoon (PM) dryland and water sessions.

For each planned training session, provide a very brief note referencing the athletic abilities you will focus on for each session.

Task #3 Practice Plans


Coaches will demonstrate their ability to plan an effective practice which matches the previously submitted weekly plan from Task #2.


This task is done to evaluate where a coach is currently at in terms of their practice planning, prior to attending the Swimming 301 course.

There is a practice plan template provided for your use, however, you can upload your plan in any format you choose.


Practice Plan Template (right click and use "Save link as" if link does not open automatically)


Practice Plan Sample (right click and use "Save link as" if link does not open automatically)


You can upload your own practice plan, or choose to use the template provided.

To complete the template, begin by noting the week # from your season in the STP section, then complete all of the components of the practice plan. Be sure to note the different learning styles that you have addressed in the practice plan.

Task #4 Develop Athletic Abilities


Coaches will demonstrate their ability to plan and develop athletic abilities for their swimmers.


Developing Athletic Abilities is a key topic in the Swimming 301 course. This activity allows you to demonstrate your ability to not only identify what the key athletic abilities are for individual swimmer development, but also how to develop and test the development of these abilities.



Identify and rank the top three athletic abilities you want to train two swimmers who are in their second mesocycle of a yearly training plan.

You must identify the athletic abilities for each swimmer, develop a sample set for each, list the frequency you will conduct the set and develop a test for the athletic abilities.

The two swimmers are as follows:

  1. Male, 18 year old Sprinter (LCM 100m 53.34) Training 8 Water and 2 Dryland sessions per week.
  2. Female, 16 year old Distance Swimmer (LCM 800m 9:12.37) Training 9 Water and 2 Dryland sessions per week.
18 Year Old Male Sprinter (LCM 100m 53.34) Training 8 Water and 2 Dryland Practices per Week

16 Year Old Female Distance (LCM 800m 9:12.37) Training 9 Water and 2 Dry Land Practices per Week

Task #5 Coaching and Leading Effectively


Coaches will demonstrate their ability to develop a coaching philosophy, identify effective leadership practices and apply them to their practices.


Coaching and leadership is covered thoroughly in the Multi Sport Module Coaching and Leading Effectively.

The task is designed to check for understanding at the Senior Coach level and determine if coaches have developed their own coaching philosophy and identified effective leadership practices for their coaching.


Part 1 - Coaching Philosophy

Explain your coaching philosophy in 4 to 5 sentences. Your philosophy should include each of the following 3 cornerstones:

Purpose - In your statement you must pick one reason from the following statements

  • Providing a positive sport experience for athletes
  • Providing the opportunity for athletes to achieve their full potential through sport
  • Using sport as a holistic means of individual development

Leadership - State your leadership style and how you plan to employ it in your philosophy statement (i.e. lead by "Participant, Command, or Laissez-faire style")

Values (personal and social) - A value is an enduring, deeply held belief that is a statement of personally or socially preferred ideals. When you determine your values as a coach, you need to pay attention not only to what is important to you but also what is important to society.

Part 2 - Leadership

Leadership is a skill that you demonstrate in many aspects of your day-to-day work. In this exercise you will react to two common scenarios that deal with parent communication and a shared vision.

Scenario 1

You just realized that the novice coach(es)had sent their group parents an email indicating that "a practice session would take place for the swimmers not participating in the Saturday out of town swim meet". This was a great initiative, but unfortunately it contradicted the same day head age group coach's email that notified the same parents that the pool was canceled due to the swim meet. As you might imagine a few parents were upset with this mixed message.

Scenario 2

Refer to your own philosophy that you as the head coach published. Describe your methodology that you plan to use from September to June to build and maintain a Shared Vision for your program with your coaching staff (you have 4 learn to swim and 3 age group squad teachers and coaches).

Part 3 - Intervention

Leading and coaching effectively may involve many interventions on a day-to-day basis. Read the following scenario and provide a solution.


You have been hired as the head or senior group coach in a community that has just opened a new Olympic size pool. The groups consist of 24 teens (aged 13-17 years) SNC Age Championship qualifiers. The problem with this situation is that the city just forced the amalgamation of two city clubs that had a historic rivalry. The city refused to deal with two clubs and all of their squabbling and politics that come with them.

It is early September and you have planned, booked, and published 5 consecutive weekly classroom sessions. You want to build the foundations for cohesive, positive, and powerful squad of leaders for your club and the swimming region.

You are armed with your Comp Dev Coaching and Leading Effectively: Reference Materials; now provide your plan for each of the 5 "Team Building" classroom sessions that you have planned for the early General Preparation Phase of your seasonal plan.

List and plan the agendas for each of the 5 Team Building sessions and list them in the spaces provided.

Part 4 - Communication

Communication Definitions:

  • The transmission of ideas and exchange of idea that leads to mutual understanding for common benefit
  • Communication is a cycle of transmitting and receiving messages. We often overemphasize transmitting the message. Research tells us that the most important skill in interpersonal communication is listening to understand. Stephen Covey, in his oft-quoted maxim, emphasizes the first rule of communication is "seek first to understand".
  • Communication always takes place in a context, and many factors interfere with the transmission and exchange of ideas and mutual understanding. One of the most important factors - and the one you have most control over - is your skills as a listener and transmitter of ideas.


You are the Head Coach and the Board of Directors (BOD) has approached you with a request to "mentor" the popular assistant coach who was charged with the Learn to Train group of 11 and 12 year olds.

This coach is a great motivator and the swimmers train as much as the next group up an age category, but the BOD hope that you can direct this coach to develop swimmers that have the best skills and basics so that they can apply those mastered skills when they get to Train to Train and hopefully Train to Compete with the senior group of teens.

Task #6 Key Performance Factors (KPF)


Coaches will demonstrate their ability to break swim skills down into teachable parts and teach these parts in a language understood by the swimmers using metaphors.


Key Performance Factors have been taught at all stages of Swimming Canada's coach education and are a vital part of coaching accurate technique.

In Swimming 301 we continue to build our Key Performance Factors starting with the Underwater Fish Kick.


Watch the Underwater Fish Kick Video and describe what you see, in each of the skills segments. Provide teachable metaphors for each of these segments, be sure to use a language that would be easily understood by your group of swimmers.


Underwater Dolphin Kicking

Breakout to Surface

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If you do not receive your workbook by email, please contact nccp@swimming.ca for assistance.


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