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Level 1- Stroke School

Stroke School is GSA’s introductory group for 5 to 8 year old swimmers. Stroke School  swimmers will learn the basics of all 4 competitive strokes in an encouraging atmosphere.  The coaches focus on teaching proper stroke technique, introducing starts and turns, and developing a joy of swimming using games, activities, and challenges. The interpersonal skills necessary to compete in the sport of swimming also will be taught – working with teammates, following directions, listening to the coaches, and having fun.

Participation in local swim meets is encouraged so that coaches can assess a swimmer’s progress; however, it is not required for Stroke School swimmers.

Practice Recommendations

2 to 3 practices a week are recommended but not required.  Each practice session lasts 1 hour. Swimmers can expect to work up to swimming 500 to 1,200 yards/meters per practice session. Swimmers at this level are encouraged to participate in other sports and activities.

Pre-requisite for the Stroke School Group:

Able to complete a 25 yd freestyle AND 25 yd backstroke without assistance.


Level 2 - White

The White Group is GSA’s introductory group for 9-10 year old swimmers as well as advanced 7-8 year old swimmers.

The White Group focuses on teaching the basics of all 4 competitive strokes and starts and turns in a fun and challenging environment.  The coaches will emphasize proper stroke technique, starts and turns, and building cardiovascular endurance through drills, sets and enjoyable activities. The coaches will continue to work on the interpersonal skills necessary to compete in the sport of swimming– working with teammates, following directions, listening to the coaches, and having fun.

GSA recommends that White Group swimmers participate in monthly local swim meets to assess their progress. This group’s season-ending goal is to have its swimmers participate in local, regional, and state level championship meets.

Practice Recommendations

3 to 4 practices a week are recommended but not required.  Each practice session lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Swimmers can expect to work up to swimming 1,400 to 2,200 yards/meters per practice session.  Dry land training is offered in addition to the water time. Dry land activities include simple exercises that improve agility and coordination. Swimmers at this level are encouraged to participate in other sports and activities.

Pre-requisites for the White Group

7 – 8 year old swimmers (must have 2 out of 3):
-Able to compete legally in all four strokes in a meet;
-Has two or more 9-10 year old B or faster times; or
-Able to complete a 200 IM and a 200 Free in a meet.
9-10 year old swimmers:
-Able to complete a 50 yd freestyle AND a 50 yd backstroke without assistance.


Level 3 - Red

This Red Group is designed for 9-12 year old swimmers with previous swim team experience.

The Red Group will continue to work on stroke technique while introducing race strategies in practice by learning and performing stroke-specific drills during practice.  Training will begin to include a focus on longer distance events and IMs.  The coaches will introduce race strategies and techniques used by swimmers in the next level practice group and continue to emphasize the importance of working with teammates, following directions, listening to the coaches, and having fun.

The Red Group coaches will work with swimmers to understand and use USA Swimming time standards to set personal goals and to achieve these goals using interval training in practice. Turning swimmers into athletes while nurturing and growing the love of the sport and the team is the goal of this group.

GSA recommends participation in monthly swim meets with the focus on Red Group swimmers qualifying at the end of the season for regional, state, and national level championship meets.

Practice Recommendations

4 to 5 practices a week are recommended but not required.  Each swim practice session lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Swimmers can expect to work up to swimming 3,500 yards/meters per practice session.  In addition, two dry land sessions a week are offered for swimmers when not participating in another sport.  Swimmers at this level are encouraged to participate in other sports and activities.

Pre-requisites for the Red Group:

9-10 year old swimmers - Have 9-10 year old BB or faster times in 2 different strokes; and
11-12 year old swimmers - Have 11-12 year old B/C times.


Level 4- Blue

The Blue Group is designed for advanced 11-14 year old swimmers with previous swim team experience who can consistently attend practice 4 to 5 days per week.

The Blue Group coaches focus on stroke technique while working on overall athletic conditioning and endurance using freestyle and IM training.  An emphasis will be placed on learning and applying race strategies and techniques.  Each Blue Group swimmer will establish personal goals and work towards achieving those goals using interval training in practice.  Coaches will hold bi-weekly meetings to focus on competitive excellence and personal development.  Topics will include training, teamwork, time management, nutrition, race strategies and mental training.

Participation in monthly swim meets is required with the focus on swimmers qualifying at the end of the season for state and national level championship meets.

Required Practice Commitment

Attendance at 5 practices per week including Saturday is a reuirement for Blue group swimmers.  Each swim practice session lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes.  Swimmers can expect to work up to swimming 4,000-5,000 yards/meters per practice session.  In addition, two dry land sessions a week are offerred for Blue Group swimmers when not participating in another sport.

Pre-requisites for the Blue Group

11-12 year old swimmers - Have 11-12 year old BB or faster times in at least 2 different strokes; and
13-14 year old swimmers - must have previous competitive swimming experience and the ability to train at group level
For current GSA swimmers – must have consistently attended Red Group practices.

 
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