The short answer is … as many as the coach recommends and the swimmer is available for. However, there is no one right answer to this question. Basic training principles tell us that every swimmer is unique. Eight sessions a week for one swimmer may be ideal: for another it may not be enough: yet for another it may be excessive. In addition, each sports has unique demands. However, there are a few guidelines:
- Most sports are built around skills and techniques. No matter how many sessions are done, how many kilometers are covered, ho much weight is lifted, the most important aspect of many sports is good technique.
- The body will respond to the stresses and loads placed upon it, providing it is given enough time and the right conditions to recover and adapt. In other words the more training, the more emphasis on rest and recovery.
- Young simmers should not work at high intensity for sustained periods.
The last guideline is perhaps the most important. Too many coaches, when faced with the situation of swimmers not improving, try to increase the intensity level of the training, believing that more work means better swimmers.