Coaching Survey – Q & A

We recently asked you to complete our Coaching Survey and in response to that have put together a list of commonly recurring questions from the Survey with answers. If you have any questions not covered below please reach out to me.


  • Q: More instruction on technique
  • A: Although everyone thinks that this is what they need, too much can be disruptive to the session and others in the lane.  It is a group swim session.  The coaches point out issues when they can and will aim to give more feedback.
  • Q: More use of swim aids
  • A: We are bringing more swim aids into the sessions.  We had to restrict the use of swim aids during Covid to minimise stopping and gathering at ends and to reduce the potential of sharing equipment when the governing body had told us to stop doing that.  Now we are reintroducing Pull buoys and paddles.  There is also the issue that not everybody has fins, paddles, kick boards etc so that does make it difficult to use if only a few members have or bring to the sessions.  Solution everyone needs to bring a bag with pull buoy, paddles, kickboard, bands, and fins.
  • Q: More drills
  • A: Although some people like drills a lot of people don’t so the happy mix is to do a warm-up followed by some drills that you then implement whilst doing the main session.  You can always ask the coach taking your lane if you can do additional drills during the main set if you want to do more and maybe let the others in the lane go first so you can then focus on the drills you want to do at the back of the group.
  • Q: More explanation of why we are doing certain drills and aim of the session
  • A: I will try to make this clear for each session for future.
  • Q: Pacing
  • A: This has been answered since the survey, see here. If you don’t have a watch either ask the coach to time or go off the pace clock. We will do a swim test in the next few weeks that we can repeat every two months to check on progress.
  • Q: More feedback for Juniors
  • A: The coaches will continue to give a lot of feedback to the juniors. 
  • Q: Timings of the swim sessions are quite late
  • A: We can’t do anything about this as this is the only time the club has access to the pool. 
  • Q: Lane discipline
  • A: The coaches will suggest swimmers start in speed order and we request members follow this guidance. But this has to be self policing and request members change their position if they are holding up other people in there lane or if you are being held up politely ask the person in front if you can swap places.
  • Q: Sessions are quite repetitive
  • A: To gain maximum fitness levels, to measure improvement and to make the session flow as smoothly as possible with all the different ability levels the sessions do need some level of repetition.  The swim sets change bi-weekly and are different on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


  • On Thursdays we are going to have 30 minutes of swim technique work in Lane 1 – this will mean that individuals selected by the coaches each Thursday on a rotating basis will be invited to go to lane 1 and work on specific drills that the individual can then work on.  Need to discuss this and work out exactly the procedure to keep it fair and everyone understands and knows what is going on.
  • Video Service – This will not be a swim analysis but will instead be members swimming a couple of lengths, filmed above and below water and then the video of each member being made available to those individuals to view. We will attempt to do this once a month and one person from each lane.
  • We will look at doing a coached open water session this year.  Have been a few issues with this in the past i.e., Covid, coach ratio numbers etc.  We will look to try to provide one this coming summer.


  • Q: Too busy or dangerous in the park.
  • A: If a group session were to be introduced on an evening in the park, during the summer months there are places and areas to reduce the busyness factor reducing the danger of accidents.  Small groups would also reduce the chances of accidents.  Riding in groups would also reduce the likelihood of any safety issue.
  • Q: Longer rides for Juniors
  • A: Juniors are not allowed to ride on open roads which is why we don’t do it.  We have two venues now that are very safe for Juniors to cycle, Claremont fan school and Hillingdon cycle circuit.  The club does have to pay for these sessions, and they will be on Sundays as these are the only days that we can get the facility hire.  If you are finding it difficult to get there, please let me know asap and a message can go out to potentially car share with others going to the venue.
  • Q: Can we have more Social cycling
  • A: This is already happening. There is a group every Sunday leaving HOP at 8.30 am. All abilities welcome.
  • Q: Would like to attend coached Turbo sessions at HOP. 
  • A: Aside from the Covid issue the last couple of years it is no longer financially viable and the majority prefer to do this virtually where you do not have to travel and take your bike etc to a venue. You don’t have to have Zwift to join in, just a bike and a Turbo trainer, the session is still coached.
  • Q: IT/kit/bike size barrier for juniors to join Monday night session. 
  • A: Please speak to Ralph and we can discuss ways of getting over this issue.  The club has Turbo’s and Junior bikes that we can loan out.


  • Q: Can we have Hill sessions. 
  • A: We can maybe look at doing a couple of hill sessions on weekends.  Issue is venue accessibility, lighting etc to make it suitable during the week.
  • Q: I don’t attend track as I am too slow
  • A: The track sessions are for all levels and speeds of runners.  If you think you are too slow, running on the track is ideal for you to improve and still be sociable.  All the sessions are geared for any speed of runner and we no longer put people in groups. We simply tell everybody the set and everybody runs at a pace suitable to them.


  • Q: Could there be coached parent sessions in parallel to junior? parents could become senior members
  • A: No, safeguarding issue, lack of space
  • Q: How do I join the WhatsApp group
  • A: Please contact one of the coaches who will put you in the group.
  • Q: More competitive, working with British Triathlon, Optima Racing
  • A: We try to be as collaborative as we can with other clubs but they need to want to race against us too and not miss their sessions.  We will try to organise more MOB match style events this year.
  • Q: Sessions detail on the web in case I can’t make it.
  • A: We try and do this whenever we can but cannot commit to publishing every session due to the amount of time involved doing this.
  • Q: It would be good to do a bit more running and possibly enter the cross countries starting next year. Perhaps there could be recommended run sessions updated monthly/every 6 weeks as a guide on the website for member to complete during the week.
  • A: We will look at putting up some recommended sessions onto the website. There was some discussion about a cross country team(s) last year but the conversation started a bit late to get registered in time. We will have a look at this again later in the year.


  1. Thank you – this is very helpful and I appreciate the level of effort that has gone into asking, synthesising, and responding to the questions. I am very happy with the responses above!

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