By Ella Hogg and Jack McGill
What is DRP?
DRP (district regional program) is run between the SASA Districts and the Scottish Swimming Performance Team. It is open to swimmers between 11 and 14-year-old who meet the relevant selection criteria. Swimmers take part in 3, day-long training sessions taken by a group of experienced coaches as well as a senior swimmer. On average around 200 swimmers from all across Scotland (from the ages of 11-14) get chosen to take part in these sessions.
How do you get selected?
In order to get into DRP, swimmers must get at least 4 times in at least 2 strokes. 50m times do not count, and at least 2 times must be for events which are 200m or over. After your times have been achieved, your coaches will fill out a growth mindset sheet send it in and then you will get notified if chosen to be part of the next group of DRP swimmers.
What happens in a session?
In each of the 3 sessions at DRP, swimmers have two sessions of swimming (including pre-and post-pool stretching), two sessions of land, one education section (which is where the head coach / senior swimmer talks to the swimmers about how to improve their swimming, whether it be the swimming itself or about nutrition in the foods we eat) and last but definitely not least, lunch- where swimmers finally get to eat!
What were our favourite parts?
Ella – My favourite part was when the senior and more experienced swimmer(s) talked to us about their personal experiences like how they train, their time at international competitions (like the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games), what they have done and still do to improve their swimming, etc.
Jack – My favourite part of DRP is getting to watch and meet the professional swimmers. In my 3 years of DRP I have met some big names of Scottish swimming such as Dan Wallace and Duncan Scott. Another good part is getting other coaches opinions on your swimming. This gives a different view on how to improve your swimming and develop in becoming a better swimmer. It reinforces what we are told at Hearts but are hearing it from a different perspective. That is why DRP is an such enjoyable and fun experience.
Why would I recommend it to other swimmers?
Ella – DRP is a fantastic opportunity for all swimmers fortunate enough to be selected, it is especially good for education purposes and tells you what you and your parents can do in order to become the best swimmer you can be. In conclusion DRP is perfect for all determined young swimmers willing to work and persevere through hard times with one main goal: to be the best you can be in and out of swimming.
Jack – DRP is great fun and gives you a chance to interact with people from other clubs as well as learning new and interesting skills. At DRP we are always doing exercises to help our swimming but in a more fun and active environment. Land training is not like the ordinary core circuits we do at Hearts. We do mobility exercises as well as playing reflex games and working on our balance.