General Team Expectations
Swimmers need to come to practice:
1. Registered: Swimmers must be registered online with Rocket Fish, pay their annual registration fee and be registered with USA Swimming (paper form to be filled out at the pool accompanied by a separate check to Southern California Swimming). Unregistered swimmers will not be allowed to swim.
2. Ready: Hydrated, rested and ready to perform. Please have your kids mentally, physically, and emotionally ready to for an excellent day of swim practice.
3. Team Suits: Girls need to be in a one piece, competition-style, black, team suit. Boys will be in competition-style black jammers or briefs (“Speedos”).
4. Goggles & Cap: Each swimmer should have two (2) pairs of goggles at the ready. Team caps and tees will be issued at their first practice.
5. Swim Bag: For neatness, security, and preparation each swimmer needs to have their dry clothes, towel, cap and goggles stored neatly in their swim bag.
6. Warm Clothes: Swimmers need to wear or have warm clothes for before and after practice packed in their swim bags. Sweatshirts or jackets in swim bag should be a standard. Swimming near the beach can bring unexpected weather and quick temperature changes. We want our swimmer warm and toasty both before and after practice.
7. On Time: Parents are expected to pick up and drop off their swimmers on time. We cover valuable information and lessons before entering the water. Pick up: please park and walk up to the pool deck for pick up. Swimmers will not be released into the parking lot to wait for their parents. Late pickups are frowned upon so please be on time.
8. Watching Practice or Drop-Off: You are welcome to stay in the bleachers and watch practices. Dropping-off is also fine as long as it’s on the pool deck.
9. Family Participation: Parents are expected to participate and volunteer in our team events. It’s the team participation in special events in which we all get to know each other and have more team fun.
10. Dual Goal Team: Understand and support our Dual Goal Team: Character Development and Swim Development. This is the best way to grow our swimmers into productive, thriving and thoughtful student-athletes. Everything we do is dedicated to building up our team members into being the best they can be – in and out of the pool. Your support of and participation with our dual goal philosophy helps cement the values that we teach.
11. Swim Meets and Practice Minimums: Each practice group has practice minimums and participation expectations for swim meets. Please review and adhere to your child’s swim group practice minimums and swim meet expectations.
12. Support Rocket Fish in word, attitude and action. We are a team that operates with the triangle of support: Athletes, coaches, and parents are expected to support the goals and expectations of Rocket Fish with their words, their actions and attitudes.
Goals and Expectations per Group
Learn-to-Swim (C Group)
Group Goal: Learning freestyle and backstroke in a SAFE and FUN, team-oriented, positive, character-first atmosphere. By the end of their C Group experience it’s our goal for our swimmers to LOVE SWIMMING, LOVE the TEAM, and be able to swim an efficient freestyle and backstroke with correct stroke details. As the C Group advances they will be learning the elements of butterfly and breaststroke. If they love swimming and love the team, their coaches and teammates, and our positive environment, they will continue to attend practice for many reasons!
C Group Expectation: C Group swimmers need to be age 5 minimum, enjoy the water, and have had private or rec-program swim lessons to the point that freestyle and backstroke are familiar to them. General age range is 5-7. At a minimum, students need to be able to float on their own for five seconds, kick with straight legs, and be water safe. Rocket Fish should not be their first exposure to swimming, water safety or “big arms.” Emotionally and socially, these students should be confident being on their own with an instructor and can listen and take group instruction effectively.
C Group Progressions: We teach our C Group the basics of freestyle and backstroke body position, flutter kicking, arm strokes, timing of the arms and legs, and breathing cycles. We also teach them lane etiquette, how to push off the wall, swim in circle pattern, listening position, and how to be good a teammate in-and-out of the water. For our character development in this age group we discuss the concepts of T.E.A.M. (Teamwork, Effort, Attitude, and Making a Commitment) as well as their role in being a good student, a good family member and a good teammate.
C Group Practice Minimums: Twice a week is the expected minimum for our C group with more practices available. We strongly suggest attendance at least twice a week in order to learn and see improvement.
Junior Competitive Team Group (B1) and Stroke Development Group (B2)
The B Group is divided into two main groups: B1 (Jr. Comp) and B2 (novice & intermediate).
Jr. Competitive (B1-advanced): The Jr. Comp Group is generally older, stronger and more experienced preparing to move up to the Competitive A Group. General age range is 8-10. Due to their experience and practice they know and practice the four strokes and turns (legally) and can practice without as much rest and stroke instruction (steady paced workout). The B1 swimmers are a novice competitive group and all swimmers in this group will race in swim meets.
Junior Competitive Group Goals and Expectations:
1. Strokes, Turns, Finishes: Legal strokes, efficient in all four competitive swim strokes, turns and finishes.
2. Character First: Practice character-first principles at the pool, school, with their families and friends.
3. Meets and Team Events: Attend offered meets, display enthusiasm for meets and competition and challenging themselves. Meets held on a once-per-month basis are mandatory for this group. Meets are important for this group as it gives them important feedback on how they are doing (via time improvements) and objective observation and feedback on the legality of their strokes. This group understands the importance of practicing racing.
4. Attendance: A minimum of 3 times per week is mandatory with more practices encouraged. We’ve got work to do! Practicing more sets them up for success and is necessary to build a competitive foundation.
5. Preparing for A Group: Physically, mentally & emotionally preparing for the A Group. The physical demands of the A Group require high-capacity aerobic training and using the pace clock for interval training. Jr. Comp will be offered training sessions emphasizing this type of training. It’s important to develop an excitement and positive attitude about training and preparing themselves for the physiological and mental challenges required of swim athletes.
Stroke Development Group—B2 Novice and Intermediate:
The Stroke Dev. Group is generally younger, freshly-graduated from the C Group, needs more basic stroke technique and refinement. Age range is 7-9. Brand new swimmers, ages 9 to 12 often swim in this group as their gross motor skills develop quicker than the little ones. This Group begins to learn all four strokes and swim practices in a “workout” style.
1. Strokes, Turns and Finishes: Through the use of fun songs, examples, dryland stroke modeling, in-water body manipulation, and other teaching techniques, swimmers learn legal and efficient strokes, turns and finishes in all strokes.
2. Character First: Swimmers learn our character-first principles at the pool and practice them at school and with their families and friends.
3. Meets and Team Events: Enthusiasm for attending meets and team events develops in this group. Meets are not mandatory but highly encouraged. Meets are a helpful way to underline swim principles, determine stroke legality, understand their swim times and build swimming into their family lifestyle. Team events for this level is critical due to the social connections and friendship-building aspect of team togetherness. Our events help to enhance social bonds with other swim team members and other teams thus making swim team practices and meets more fun and familiar.
4. Attendance: A minimum of 3 times per week is suggested with more available.
5. Living the swim lifestyle: At this age and level of experience, swimming needs to be fun and enjoyable. Also, the fundamentals of the strokes, the legal and efficient ways to perform the strokes, starts, turns and finishes need to be ingrained and physiologically memorized. Speed: If they are swimming fast at this age all the better however our focus is on learning the strokes properly with good technique. If they love swimming, love their teammates and feel connected to the team they will want to keep swimming and keep attending practices meets. Building a strong swimmer and a solid team is all about this positive team feeling from all sides and all ages of the parent-athlete-coach triangle.
Competitive Team (A Group)
In all sports, where do high-level, high-school athletes come from? Where do collegiate athletes and Olympians come from? They mostly come from dynamic, high-quality, highly-competitive athletic teams, which simultaneously train for character, technique, aerobic and anaerobic systems, mental toughness, self-discipline, and competitive grit.
In competitive swim races it’s necessary for swimmers to have the ability to swim fast and efficiently for multiple laps, even going faster at the end of their races! In order to achieve this level of racing competency and skill, swimmers need to expand their overall capacity in the sport and then train at or beyond this level. We’ve all seen swimmers in top levels of fitness who can swim multiple laps with excellent form, totally focused, total concentration on their speed, form and effort, and hit their best times!
Goal: Our A Group is focused on producing thoughtful and team-oriented, character-first values who, through their dedication, discipline, and grit become high-quality, high-achieving athletes into their teens, their twenties and beyond. Age range 10+
Character: We measure success by how our team members act and behave in all situations in-and-around the pool, at home, at school, in their social lives, and social media. We are nurturing and teaching our athletes to be kind, thoughtful, hardworking, disciplined and generous people who make good, sound decisions.
Swimming: We measure success by how much improvement each swimmer on the team makes over time and how much our team improves as a whole. Our A Group team is able to handle sets that are longer in yardage, with less rest, at higher speeds, but still with excellent stroke technique. We see seek to improve our swimmers CAPACITY and then UTILIZE that capacity to train them to be the best they can be.
Competitive Team Top Five Elements
1. Embracing Character First principles everyday in every action, word, & deed. Live it.
2. Strokes, Turns, Finishes: All strokes to be legal and technically correct, with an eye on increasing efficiency, streamlining and reducing drag, building power and speed in and out of the walls. The Four Dolphin Kick Rule (4DR) is in effect on every wall, every lap.
3. Meets and Team Events: This group attends all meets and team events and is prepared, helpful, thoughtful, professional, relaxed, focused, and ready to perform in every situation. Meets are mandatory for this group unless a medical situation dictates otherwise. Meets are important for this group as it gives them important feedback on how they are performing (time improvements) and gives an opportunity to express their character-first skills as they have success (staying humble), deal with adversity (stay strong & positive), and become mindful of teamwork (being thoughtful to coaches, parents and fellow teammates). It’s important for this group to understand how to best prepare mentally and physically for races and then how to perform at their personal best at every opportunity.
4. Attendance: A minimum of four (4) times per week is mandatory with more practices encouraged. We’ve always got work to do! Practicing more sets them up for success and builds their capacity. We offer six to seven practices per week. Any less than four practices per week will diminish goals and the competitive edge.
5. Capacity Training and Utilization Training: Physically, mentally and emotionally, the Comp Team needs to push themselves to their personal best everyday to expand their personal capacity. Resting between sets will be limited to one minute or less between sets in order to continue to build capacity. Attending practices 4 to 7 times per week builds the aerobic capacity necessary for athletic development. Additionally, we UTILIZE our skills and fitness to reach new team achievements and personal bests.