Senior Performance / Senior Development:
The main focus for the Senior groups are to prepare them for high caliber meets. The goals for these groups are to have everyone at a Regional level and work towards Provincial level, as well as Junior National, Eastern Canadian and Senior National level. Endurance and skills are elevated with these swimmers to prepare for advancement into university/college programs. Drills are not only used to advance stroke technique, but to also improve starts, turns and finishes. The athletes will be above the stroke correction stage and focusing on the specific technique adjustments (small increments). By this stage, the swimmers should all know how to read the pace clock and be able to complete sets on their own. All four strokes will be used in middle distances and sprints, while freestyle will be the main stroke for long distances. Individual and Relay race strategies will be implemented to have each athlete swim their best race possible. The overall impression of this level should be viewed as a highly competitive, tough training and very focused swim groups. These swimmers should still have amusement at every practice and at the same time, take things very seriously.
Age Group Performance / Age Group Development:
These swimmers should already know the fundamentals of competitive swimming and should have some introductory knowledge of how to use the pace clock. The goals for these groups are to have everyone surpass the grassroots/novice level of swimming and head towards the Regional and Festival level. Drills are used on a regular basis to allow corrections and adjustments on each of the four strokes. These athletes should be above the stroke development stage and focusing on correcting all of their stroke techniques. Middle distance sets will continue to become longer and more difficult to allow some endurance work, instead of the constant drills and sprints. The swimmers in this group will advance to the point where they can experience different sets and pace times with the top end group. The athletes should always have fun no matter what, but still put effort forth at every practice.
This is the bridge part of the program where we take the learned fundamentals the newer swimmers have acquired and focus on developing them further. It is essential to have this stepping stone between the Jr. BYST and Age Group program to ensure a solid transition into regular competitive swimming. From twice a week when they began to double their time in the pool with 4 practices a week is quite the change. Although regular work in the water will be done at every practice, there will still be plenty of fun activities in the pool to encourage the athletes to grow their passion for the sport. These swimmers will have the opportunity to travel to both entry level competitions with the Jr. BYST program and take part at other invitational meets with the Age Group swimmers.
Junior BYST (Entry Level Competitive Swimming):
Swimmers who are 7 years of age or older and are the grassroots of the sport. FUNdamentals are taught consistently and the main focus is on stroke development. There are three 12 week sessions throughout the season. These swimmers will be competing at local invitational meets so they can gain experience to participate at sanctioned meets in the future. They will be introduced to the pace clock and all of the basics of competitive swimming. Once they learn how to perform drills properly and can complete sets without any issues, they will be moved into the bottom end of the Novice program (usually on a yearly or sessional basis). This group will have sets that mainly contain 25m, 50m, 75m and 100m distances. They should always have fun first and learn second, in order to keep that happy feeling about competitive swimming.
The main situations to overcome are to correct and adjust all technical aspects of every stroke for all swimmers, as well as implement race strategies to allow times to drop substantially. Regardless of the caliber of the swimmer, the coaches will try to establish a set way for each swimmer to perform drills, starts, turns and finishes to create unification amongst the team. These racing mechanics will be encouraged and practiced regularly to avoid future bad habits. All swimmers will not be pushed further than their limits, however, those who want to succeed will be expected to perform at their full potential at as many practices and meets that their time allows.