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Practice Groups

Practice Groups

Group placement will be solely of the discretion of the PTSC coaching staff. There are many factors that go into determining group placement such as skill level, training history, level of commitment, meet attendance, performance, attitude and age.

In general, group assignments and changes will be done to start a new training session and not in the middle of one. Group changes will be made by the PTSC coaching staff only using a criteria established by the staff that assesses each individual's current skill level. Remember, we want all PTSC swimmers to have the most optimal competitive swimming experience, so our swimmers will be placed in groups in order to foster their overall development for both the short term and the long term. Our ultimate goal is for swimmers to enter our program at the Novice level and progress all the way through the ranks of the PTSC program.

Piranhas K-4th grade (ages 6-10)

Required Skills

  1. Ability to complete one length of the pool in a recognizable stroke without stopping.
  2. Ability to be apart from parents for up to an hour.
  3. It is recommended that beginners to competitive swimming complete the PTSC Novice Program first.
 
Goals
  1. Complete all four strokes legally.
  2. Complete all starts and turns legally.
  3. Achieve competent body position in water.
  4. Fun!
 
Competition Recommendations - primarily compete in Open / No Qualifying Time (NQT) / Mini meets. Group members are encouraged to participate in three SCY meets for the winter season, and one or two summer meets.
 
Attendance Recommendations - three practice sessions per week.

Dolphins 2nd-5th grade (ages 8-11)

Required Skills

  1. Compete in one previous meet.
  2. Complete 3 of 4 strokes legally.
  3. Complete 100 Free and 100 IM continuous without resting at walls.
  4. Competent starts and turns.
 
Goals
  1. Complete all four strokes legally.
  2. Complete all starts and turns legally.
  3. Continue development of competent body position in water.
  4. Begin understand and developing “long” strokes.
  5. Begin reading pace clock and understanding practice sets.
  6. IMR qualified.
  7. Fun!
 
Competition Recommendations - group members will compete in primarily Open / No Qualifying Time (NQT) / Mini meets. Group members are encouraged to participate five meets for the winter season, and two or three summer meets.
 
Attendance Recommendations - three practice sessions per week.

Orcas 4th-7th grade (ages 9-12)

Required Skills

  1. Four legal strokes.
  2. Ability to read clock and understand practice sets.
  3. Ability to swim continuous for 8 minutes with legal turns.
  4. Ability to compete in 200 IM.
  5. Competed in four previous meets.
 
Goals
  1. Begin competing in 500 free and 400 IM.
  2. IMX qualified within 12 months of joining group.
  3. Begin development of strong kick.
  4. Continue development of “long strokes”.
  5. Refinement of starts and turns
  6. Fun!
 
Competition Recommendations - group members are encouraged to compete in at least five meets in the winter season and three meets in the summer season. At least two of the summer meets should be Long Course Meters (LCM) format, as the group will train in a LCM facility.
 
Attendance Recommendations - four practice sessions per week.

Makos 6th-8th grade (ages 11-14)

Required Skills

  1. Full grasp of sets and intervals.
  2. Competed in six previous meets.
  3. Ability to swim continuous for 15 minutes with turns.
  4. Ability to compete in 400 IM and 500 Free.
 
Goals
  1. Continue competing in 400 IM, 500 free, and one long distance event per season.
  2. IMX qualified within 6 months of joining group.
  3. Continue to work towards strong kicking ability.
  4. Refinement of starts and turns to “high school ready” level.
  5. Ability to understand pace and race strategy.
  6. Begin rigorous dryland training and stretching routine.
 
Competition Recommendations - group members are encouraged to compete in six meets during the winter season, and three meets in the summer season. At least two of the summer meets should be Long Course Meters (LCM) format, as training is done in a LCM pool.
 
Attendance Recommendations - five practice sessions per week.  

Nationals 9th-12th grade (ages 14-18)

Required Skills

  1. Ability to complete a 135 minute practice.
  2. Commitment to attending morning practices before school begins.
  3. Commitment to weightlifting, yoga, and dryland practices four times a week.
  4. Strong understanding of intervals, sets, and “swimming language”.
  5. Strong understanding of race strategy and pace.
 
Goals
  1. To develop long term goals for the sport, beyond high school age.
  2. To become adequately prepared for collegiate swimming over a four year period.
  3. To gain a full understanding of race strategy and/or pacing and to work independently if necessary.
  4. To compete in at least three high level USA Swimming meets per year (such as Pitt Christmas, A Champs, and Senior Circuit meets).
 
Competition Recommendations - The PTSC Head Coach will determine competition schedule on an individual basis, with the understanding that WPIAL, PIAA, and Sectional/National Championships will be the highest priority of the year, and with regard to the varsity dual meet schedule. In the summer, National group members should compete in at least two Long Course Meters (LCM) meets.
 
Attendance Recommendations - being a member of the National Group requires a true commitment to the sport. To achieve the best of one’s ability in high school, these group members should be prepared to commit up to nine practices a week (5 afternoon practices lasting three hours, three morning practices, and Saturday morning practice).

Group Guidelines (last updated 8/28/2013)