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Swim Groups

OCSC is a community-based United States Swimming Club for boys and girls ages 6 and up. Our goal is to provide every member an opportunity to improve swimming skills and achieve success at his or her level of ability, from novice and recreational swimmer to national competitor. OCSC provides age appropriate training geared toward challenging each individual and developing their skills to the best of their abilities. Before a young swimmer may join OCSC, they must complete Tigershark Swim Camp. This allows coaches to evaluate skills as they pertain to competitive swimming. Swimmers are then encouraged to either join swim club or enroll in additional swim lessons.

Tigershark Swim Camp: This camp is for those with or without swim team background, who are interested in joining OCSC. At the conclusion of Tigershark camp, if coaches agree the swimmer is ready to join, the swimmer is placed into the appropriate group for his or her development.

Pre-requisite for successfully completing Tigershark Camp:  Knowledge of four main strokes, (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly) including proper breathing technique and the ability to swim multiple lengths of the pool without stopping. Coaches will evaluate all swimmers and at the conclusion of camp, provide suggestions on OCSC group placement or the need for further lessons.

Required equipment and preparation for all OCSC swimmers:

Simply Swimming, a partner of OCSC swimming, is a full-service swim shop in Middleton. Susie and her staff of swim outfitters have most equipment your swimmer would need at competitive and affordable prices.

Below is a must-have list of swimming gear and equipment needed by all OCSC swimmers:

  • Fitted one-piece practice suit or jammer (no trunks or bikinis)
  • Correctly fitting goggles (an extra pair in case they leak or break is preferred)
  • Cap for girls (an extra in case it breaks is preferred)
  • Water bottle with name on it

In addition, we encourage your athlete to start building a swimmer's tool kit by getting the suggested equipment for each group:

  • Leopard Sharks:  Fins
  • Hammerhead and Sand Sharks:  Fins, kick board, & mesh equipment bag
  • Thresher Sharks: Fins, kick board, pull buoy, & mesh equipment bag
  • Bull Sharks:  Fins, kick board, pull buoy, paddles, & mesh equipment bag
  • Squali:  Fins, kick board, pull buoy, snorkel (many prefer without the valve), nose plug, & mesh bag
  • Tiburones:  Fins, kick board, pull buoy, snorkel (many prefer without the valve), nose plug, 2 tennis balls, and mesh equipment bag are required for all Tiburones.
  • Makos:  Fins, kick board, pull buoy, snorkel (many prefer without the valve), nose plug, paddles, 2 tennis balls, and mesh equipment bag are required for all Makos.

More equipment information:

  • Fins:  Some sizes are available for use at the pool, but the club will not be buying new pairs.  If we get the majority of kids to have them, we will have a great inventory of gently used pairs for sale or gifted in the future.  Fins are used nearly every day.
  • Kick boards & pull buoys: Some are also available at the pool, but nice for kids to have their own if they are able.  They are used to isolate the kick or the pull only.
  • Mesh bag:  For holding equipment in.
  • Snorkels:  Valuable tools to master head position & technique.  Many beginners have trouble with the snorkels with valves and prefer a snorkel without a valve.
  • Paddles:  For strength training and technique enhancement during pull sets.
  • Nose plug/clip:  often used with some swimmers when using their snorkel to keep water out of their nose.  Some also like to use for backstroke underwater streamlines.
  • Tennis balls: Used for drills and to roll out tight muscles.

For ALL OCSC Swimmers

  • Individual progress is related to the amount of effort put forth by each athlete. This translates into practice attendance as well as practice behavior.
  • Swimmers influence practice behavior in each other by encouraging teammates and by putting forth their best effort for themselves and their team.

Coaches further develop the concept of team behavior, instilling in the swimmer the notion that while they race as an individual, they compete as a valuable part of a larger group: Oregon Community Swim Club (OCSC).

Leopard Sharks: The focus of the group is swimming all four strokes legally with technical proficiency, learning and improving starts and finishes, breathing control, learning and completing a 100 IM, learning how to be a great teammate, learning sportsmanship and team spirit and having tons of fun and enjoying the camaraderie of their teammates.

There is no minimum practice requirement or meet commitment but coaches advise that swimming is like a bank account, you can only take from it what you put in to it. Meet participation should be as frequent as the new swimmer wants and family scheduling permits. Generally the swimmers who participate often will develop their love for the sport, ability and performance at a faster rate than the swimmers who do not.

Hammerhead Sharks:  This group is for younger swimmer's who are showing a high interest in competitive swimming, above average skill levels in all four strokes and the ability to begin to train harder. Focus will be on “Racecraft”, (starts, turns, finishes, breathing patterns, strategies for 100’s, 200’s, IM’s, the 500 free, mental preparation for racing), and swimmers in this group will be encouraged, but not required, to do 3 or more practices per week and 1 or more meets per month. 8 year olds, and very rarely, 7 year olds, will be recommended but not required to register for this group if they are showing a high level of proficiency in strokes, interest in doing 50’s and 100’s as often or more than 25’s, and compete in meets on a regular basis.

Sand Sharks: This group is designed for kids who love swimming but aren’t ready to compete on a regular basis, need technique more than fitness, and haven’t yet set high performance level goals for themselves in the sport. Focus will be on drills, learning about intervals and etiquette, developing an appropriate level of self-discipline and improved attention span while enjoying the fun and camaraderie of the sport. Swimmers who are unable to make it to Hammerhead practices because of the time may also be placed in this group. There are no minimum practice or meet requirements.

Thresher Sharks:  This group is for swimmers who want to enjoy the camaraderie of the club and improve technique while exploring what goals they’d like to set and what level of commitment they’d like to make. Focus will continue to be on technique, fun and camaraderie. There are no minimum practice or meet requirements.

Bull Sharks:  This group is for swimmers who want to continue their swimming career but due to participation in other sports or activities and/or goals that can be achieved with a lower number and/or less intense practices. Focus will be on technique, basic fitness and preparing or staying ready for high school swimming. No minimum practice or meet requirements for this group.

Squali: This group is for swimmers who have demonstrated regular meet participation, the desire to work hard to achieve swimming goals and compete at increasingly high levels and the desire to move into competitive groups with increasing training loads and expectations. Focus will be on goal setting, pursuit of excellence, racing, qualifying times, interval training, higher fitness as well as continued development of technique and racing strategies. Swimmers may be invited to this group if they attend meets consistently, (50% or more of the meets offered), show a desire to work hard, are thoughtful, respectful, disciplined, set high goals for themselves and demonstrate the ability to be excellent teammates. Swimmers in this group will be expected to try ALL age appropriate events at meets. An average minimum of 3 practices per week and 1 meet per month is required and swimmers are highly recommended to compete in ALL meets with qualifying times that they have attained. These swimmers should also be striving to become Tiburones and they should be prepared to move there if asked.

OCSC PERFORMANCE GROUPS: swimmers will be identified by coaches and met with individually to determine eligibility and readiness for this group. Physical and mental maturity, as well as emotional readiness are important components that will be considered.

Tiburones: These swimmers have “taken the next step” in pursuit of swimming excellence. This group is for swimmers committed to striving together, (Syn Athleo) and to achieve higher time standards. Focus will be on continuing the Squali work, gradually increasing duration and intensity of workouts and developing ownership and self sufficiency of and for the hard work needed to achieve the high level goals they’ve set. These athletes will be required to do an average of at least 3 practices per week and 1.5 meets per month and trying every event in their age group during the season.

Makos: For swimmers dedicated to Syn Athleo to swim beyond high school, who are physically mature and mentally prepared to compete at the highest level and do the work required to attempt to get there. These athletes must commit to doing most meets including ALL with qualifying times that they have achieved. Furthermore, excellent sportsmanship, team spirit and leadership will be required. Athletes will be held to a minimum of 5 practices per week and 7-9 meets per season requirement. Participation in this group requires a signed contract and a relationship of mutual trust and reciprocal effort with coaches and teammates. Invitations to be in this group AND continue to be there will be based on demonstrating and continually adhering to these standards and expectations.

Performance Group Expectations:

  • Demonstrate independence, self-discipline and a high level of self-motivation
  • Represent themselves as a team leader on and off the pool deck
  • Notify coach in advance if unable to attend practice
  • Volunteer to help/demonstrate skills for other shark groups minimum 2x/ month
  • Adhere to the OCSC Code of Conduct

Performance Group swimmers will be expected to purchase a mesh bag with fins, paddles, kickboard, snorkel, pull buoy and goal setting tools to keep at the pool for practice use. Tennis balls are also needed for drills. Simply Swimming will assemble a package deal. If this is a financial concern, please contact Coach Jim via email.