News For


Published by The American Swimming Coaches Association

5101 NW 21 Ave., Suite 200

Fort Lauderdale FL 33309


What’s We Do In Age Group and Stroke School Practice

Written by the ASCA Staff (Who actually do coach senior, age group, and novice swimmers every day.)

Parents, you are always welcome to observe practice and if you do you might see two or three different ability levels doing different things depending on the objectives for that day for each group.  Above all else, their safety and well being is our primary concern. 

In general, there are eight different things we do in practice, usually not all in the same day.  We work on skills including freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and starts and turns for each stroke.  We do drills which emphasize various aspects of each of the strokes.  We race -- giving the swimmers a chance to swim fast which helps develop coordination, strength, and racing strategies.  We work on basic cardiovascular conditioning doing longer swims of 200 to 1000 yards at a time depending on ability or by doing “sets” of shorter swims with limited rest, for example swimming ten times 50 yards with 15 seconds rest between each swim.  We have fun — we play a game once or twice a week or we do relays.  Fun can mean more than playing a game, it can also mean learning something new or swimming farther or faster.  We provide opportunities for fun every day.  We present life skills sometimes during a pre-planned 5 to10 minute interactive discussion and sometimes during an appropriate teaching moment.  Topics range from learning how to listen to instructions; to positive self talk, to personal responsibility.  We also offer dryland training which helps increase coordination and strength.  All of our dryland for age group and novice is done without weight equipment and the greatest care is taken to use proper technique and to be safe.

The final ingredient, and our favorite, is to challenge the young people to do something difficult -- something they might not have thought they can do.  The role of the coach is to set the appropriate challenge before them, to prepare them to meet the challenge, to cheer them on, and finally to praise them for a job well done.  Stroke Work, Stroke Drills, Racing and Speed Work, Cardiovascular Conditioning, Fun and Games, Dryland Training, Life skills, and Challenge:  these make up our day to day practice routine.

A Short Note on Practice Times

Practice starts on time every day.  That means we begin the first exercise right at the beginning of our practice time.  If children are late, we welcome them and get them going right away.  If the work being done at the time they arrive requires a warm-up we will accommodate that need in order to avoid any risk of injury or strain.  Practice also finishes on time.  If your child needs to leave earlier simply approach the coach directly and we will get the child out of the water immediately.  Please do not approach the poolside to directly take your child out of the water – see the coach first.  You may also send a note with your child if they need to get out earlier.