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5.0 THE SWIM CLUB

The Barracuda swim club is an age group club that is divided into several groups for the purposes of training and competition. These groups are determined by the coaching staff and are indicative of the level of skill of the swimmer. Generally, they also follow age groups with a few exceptions. There are two general divisions, the pre- competitive program and the competitive program.

5.1 Prince George Barracuda Age Limit Policy

“In the year a swimmer reaches the age of 19, that swimmer will no longer be eligible to swim with the Prince George Barracuda Age Group Club. The only exception to this policy is if a swimmer is in full time attendance at a Secondary or Post Secondary Educational Institution, they may at the discretion of the head coach be eligible to swim with the club. After the age of 18, swimmers may opt to swim with the Barracuda Masters Program.”

5.2 Developmental Program

The pre-competitive groups are designed to prepare young swimmers for the demands of a competitive program. The focus at this stage is solidly on skill development. This is approached through a series of drills, aerobic activities and dry land skills, which are set out in a format that allows learning in a fun environment. These swimmers train three to four times per week. Many will have the opportunity to compete at regional or at – home mini meets.

5.3 Competitive Program

This program is designed for the swimmer who is seeking an advanced level of training and skill development. As the swimmer progresses through this program, the development of technical skills is combined with mental training and an increasing focus on endurance. These swimmers train four to ten times per week and their season extends to the end of June or even into July. They may compete at as many as eight to twelve meets during the year.

All group sizes are limited because of space in the pool and the need for close supervision. Swimmers can be moved up or down throughout the season as skills develop and spaces become available. There are attendance expectations for all groups; swimmers who fail to meet these expectations may be asked to move to a different group.

5.4 Group Structure 5.4.1 Youth / National

This is the top group of swimmers in the Barracuda Swim Club. These swimmers exhibit a solid background in competitive swimming and training skills. They have a strongly developed work ethic, are disciplined, and dedicated to pursuing excellence in the sport of swimming. These swimmers are expected to attend all top-level meets they qualify for. Attendance requirement is 75% minimum.

5.4.2 Elite

The Elite swimmer is focused on stroke and training technique, and age group swimming. They are dedicated swimmers who have decided to pursue excellence in swimming, and therefore exhibit a solid background in the sport. These swimmers are expected to attend all top- level meets they qualify for. Attendance requirement is 75% minimum.

5.4.3 Development I

In this group, emphasis is placed on stroke and competitive skill development. These swimmers have competitive swimming experience but are still encouraged to have an interest in other sporting activities. Swimmers will find this group to be challenging and fun. Expected attendance is 75% minimum.

5.4.4 Development II

This group is for novice swimmers. They focus on stroke and skill development, as well as body awareness and feel of the water. There are several levels in the program to accommodate varying skill levels. In this group, practices are designed be fun and worry free. Expected attendance is 75% minimum.

5.4.5 Development III

This group is for young swimmers new to the sport. Emphasis is placed on fun, while learning the basics of stroke technique. Swimmers are divided into groups according to their skills. Training is set out in a format that allows for learning in a fun environment. Expected attendance is 75% minimum. This level is also strictly non- competitive. These swimmers are not registered to compete in any sanctioned meets.

5.4.6 Junior / Senior Development

This group is for swimmers who wish to continue in the sport, but train at a reduced schedule. The focus of this group is on continued stroke development and refinement of competitive skills. This group will have the option of competing regionally and will be eligible to compete at a higher level if they qualify.

5.5 Practice Times

The regular schedule for the various swim groups is available at registration. However, during Christmas and Spring Breaks, the schedule will vary, as well as during the month of September when we use the Four Seasons Pool. Updates will be included in the newsletter and posted on the Bulletin Board. Please check with your coach if you have any questions. The practice times are very rigid for several reasons. Firstly, pool time itself is very expensive and is strictly adhered to, as there are many users of the pool; being late therefore, reduces training time. Secondly, dry land and water training is designed as a team Endeavour; tardiness affects those in your group as well as yourself. Finally, an important aspect of swimming is commitment and self-discipline, one element of which begins at the time practice starts. The coaches clearly expect swimmers to be on time; wise parents will themselves ensure punctuality. Please note that the expected time to be on deck is always 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time of practice.

5.6 Attendance

As noted earlier the expected level of attendance is 75% minimum. Level of attendance is directly proportional to the level of performance, especially at the higher levels. Help your swimmer by expecting a high standard of participation and attendance from day one.