Group Descriptions

 The Clarence Swim Club offers training and practice groups for swimmers of all ages and ability levels. It is the goal of Clarence Swimming to offer age specific training for all of our athletes geared towards challenging each individual and developing each individual to the best of THEIR abilities.

The groups are as follows:


Barracudas: The Barracuda group serves as an introduction to competitive swimming.  Swimmers will start at the beginning level of a curriculum that will progress as they move up from one group to the next.  We strive to develop swimmers through a fun and supportive environment where sportsmanship and team building are always emphasized.  We teach that technique comes first, speed comes later.  The ability to swim correctly will pay big dividends in the athlete's competitive future.


Piranhas: At this level Swimmers are expected to have 4 legal strokes ( breaststroke will sometimes be an exception) be comforable with flip turns and diving as well as be able to complete swims of 200 yards and longer in practice without stopping.  In the Piranha group, swimmers will continue to focus on basic stroke mechanics as they follow the same progression as was introduced in the Barracuda group.  Though more swimming is done in the Piranha group than the Barracuda group, the emphasis is still technique first, speed later.  Increased attention is placed on racing skills such as starts, turns, and underwater kicking.  The expectation is that swimmers participate in most of the meets recommended by their group coach.


Sharks: Shark swimmers are expected to be able handle basic interval training with the ability to both complete the sets and know when to go.   As swimmers enter the Sharks group, they should be comfortable with all four strokes and be able to compete in events 100 yards and longer. Swimmers are ready to work on endurance and basic interval training.  They are ready, willing, and able to spend more time in the pool than the Piranha group.  While stroke technique is still the number one priority, much of their swimming will be in the context of aerobic training with some race specific training mixed in.  Many of the swimmers will be competing in the end of the year championship meets and are encouraged to maintain a minimum average of at least 3 out of the 5 practices offered each week.


Juniors: In the junior group, swimmers need to be able to swim overdistance sets of 2000 yards or more and need to be able to  in both freestyle and IM. The main goal of the Junior group is to prepare swimmers for the demands of the Senior group.  This group is made up of many of the top 11-14 year olds as well as high school age athletes who are not ready to swim in the Senior group because of their age, ability, or commitment level.  The focus of the group will be on improving swimmers' strokes and endurance to the point that they can make a smooth transition to the Senior squad.  Qualifying for the Niagara LSC Championships and, for some, the Eastern Zone meet are the two main goals in the Junior group.


Seniors: The Senior group is for swimmers who have chosen swimming as their primary sport.  Athletes must demonstrate a strong command of all four strokes, be able to train at a high level without losing technique, and have decided to make a strong commitment of time and energy to reach their goals.  These swimmers are training with an eye towards state, regional, and national level meets.  Swimmers are expected to be self-motivated and make at least 10 out of the 12 practices offered over a two week period.  While some swimmers may choose to participate in other activities, the intent of every athlete should be to improve over the course of a season and not just stay in shape for high school swimming.

Group placement:

Individual group placement is based on a swimmers level of ability, maturaty, commitment and age. From season to season the make up of a given group could fluxuate within these parameters,  to some degree,  based on the overall make up of the team. 

Swimmers and parents should feel free to enquire about a swimmers status in a group and what they may need to do in order to move to the next level.