Background-image
Partners
Westport+Weston+Family+Y
Swim+Outlet
Speedo
Swim Groups

Swim Groups

Overview

The Water Rat Swim Team uses an age group program designed to develop the child physically, mentally and emotionally in a systematic fashion. A well-defined, long-term approach of gradually increasing degrees of commitment is essential to reach peak performance levels during a swimmer physiological prime.

The emphasis in the early stages of participation is placed on developing technical skills and a love for the sport. In the later years, a more demanding physical and psychological challenge is introduced to the training program.In addition to emphasizing long-term rather than short-term results, we have established training groups for swimmers that are compatible in respect to abilities, commitment levels and goals.

At each level, the goals and objectives are specific and directed toward meeting the needs of the swimmer. The long-term goal of total excellence is always in mind. As each child is different, he or she will progress at his or her own rate. The coaching staff recognizes this fact by making team assignments based on a swimmer's physical, mental, and emotional level of development.

Pre-Competitive Team

White I & White II Groups

Ages: 6 - 8

Description

As an extension of our Water Rats Swim Team we are offering a pre-competitive swim team program for participants 8/under. A child must berecommended for this group by a coach on staff or a swim instructor at the Westport Y to the coaching staff. Swimmers will be taught the 4 competitive strokes and get prepared to be on a swim team in the future or keep in good physical shape. 


The “White I” group is for novice swimmers new to competitive swimming who can swim 25 yards of freestyle and backstroke. Emphasis at this level is on having fun while learning the competitive strokes. The primary age group is 7-8 years old. The group is a low cost low commitment program. 

 

The “White II” group is for novice swimmers new to competitive swimming who can swim 25 yards of freestyle and backstroke. Emphasis at this level is on having fun while learning the competitive strokes. The primary age group is 5-7 years old. The group is a low cost low commitment program.

 

Our pre-competitive swimmers do not compete in sanctioned swim  meets.

 

Practices are offered twice a week and there is no minimum attendance requirement.


Focus

Emphasis will be to introduce the proper technique for all four competitive strokes through drills and games. Dives and turns will also be introduced. Basic swimming etiquette such as circle swimming will be taught.

Prerequisites:

·         Able to swim 25 yards freestyle with face in the water;

·         Able to swim 25 yards backstroke with arm recovery;

·         Able to listen and work well in groups;

·         Demonstrate a willingness to wear proper swimming attire such as competitive suit, swim cap and goggles.

8/Under Program

Red Group

Ages: 8/under

Description

This group is for beginner level swimmers 8/under.

Focus

Emphasis will be to introduce the proper technique for all four competitive strokes through drills and games. Dives and turns will also be introduced. Basic swimming etiquette such as circle swimming will be taught.

Swimmers should attend at least two practices per week and are encouraged to attend any meets that are offered.

Prerequisites:

  • Able to swim 25 yards freestyle with face in the water;
  • Able to swim 25 yards backstroke with arm recovery;
  • Able to listen and work well in groups;
  • Demonstrate a willingness to wear proper swimming attire such as competitive suit, swim cap and goggles

Blue Group

Ages: 8/under

Description

This group is for beginner level swimmers ages Under who understand the basic concepts of all four competitive strokes and can swim 25 yards of legal freestyle, backstroke and either butterfly or breaststroke.

Focus

This group will focus on developing four legal strokes through drills and games. Racing dives and turns will be taught. Basic understanding of pace clock work will also be introduced. Swimmers should attend at least two practices per week and are encouraged to attend any meets that are offered.

Prerequisites:

  • Able to swim 50 free in under 55 seconds;
  • Able to swim 25 backstroke in under 28 seconds;
  • Able to listen and work well in groups;
  • Demonstrate a willingness to wear proper swimming attire such as competitive suit, swim cap and goggles.

Age Group Program

Discovery III

Ages: 9-10

Description

This training group is the entry level to the WRAT Age Group program. Swimmers must demonstrate the ability to swim freestyle and backstroke proficiently and have a rudimentary knowledge of breaststroke and butterfly.

Focus

This training group emphasizes stroke development and basic competitive skills. Practices are designed to focus on very specific instruction at a pace that is geared toward the beginner level of competitive swimming. Swimmers are encouraged to attend at least two practices per week. Swimmers may participate in a number of dual and invitational meets. Attendance at these meets is encouraged and swimmers must attend at least one of these events. 

Prerequisites

  • Able to listen and work well in groups
  • ​Able to wear proper swimming attire such as: competitive suit, swim cap, training fins and googles.
  • Able to swim 50 yards freestyle under 55 seconds
  • Able to swim 50 yards back stroke under 65 seconds
  • Able to swim 3 x 50 freestyle on an interval of 1:30
  • Able to kick continuous 100 yards of freestyle.

Discovery II

Ages: 9-10

Description

This training group is the middle level 9-10 Age Group program. Swimmers will demonstrate the ability to swim freestyle and backstroke proficiently and have a rudimentary knowledge of breaststroke and butterfly.

Focus

The primary emphasis of this training group is on stroke development and basic competitive skills. Practices are designed to focus on very specific instruction at a pace that is geared toward the beginner level of competitive swimming. Swimmers are encouraged to attend at least two practices per week. Swimmers may participate in a number of dual and invitational meets, attendance at these meets is encouraged and swimmers must attend at least one of these events

Prerequisites:

  • Able to listen and work well in groups;
  • Able to wear proper swimming attire such as: competitive suit, swim cap, training fins, and goggles;
  • Able to swim 50 yards under 45 seconds;
  • Able to swim 50 yards backstroke under 55 seconds;
  • Able to swim 4x50 freestyle on an interval of 1:15;
  • Able to kick a continuous 100 yards of freestyle

Discovery I

Ages: 9-10

Description

This training group is the top level of the 9-10 Age Group program. Swimmers must be legal in all four competitive strokes and show a willingness to make a commitment to their training and competition.

Focus

The primary emphasis will be on developing stroke technique through advanced drills. Swimmers will learn to use the pace clock and must be able to complete “sets” of 15-20 minutes in duration. Swimmers are encouraged to participate in all scheduled practices and are expected to attend a minimum of three practices per week. Swimmers will also be expected to attend all scheduled swim meets.

Prerequisites:

  • Able to wear proper swimming attire such as: competitive suit, swim cap, training fins and goggles;
  • Able to listen and work well in groups;
  • Able to swim 5x100 freestyle on an interval of 1:45;
  • Able to swim 1 x 100 IM in under 1:35;
  • Able to kick 4 x 50 freestyle on 1:15;
  • Able to swim 5 x 50 non-freestyle stroke on :10 seconds rest;
  • Must be willing to swim 500 yard freestyle in competition;
  • Must be willing to swim 100 of non-freestyle in competition.

Challenger I

Ages: 11-12

Description

This training represents the highest level of training available in the Age Group program. Swimmers must show a high level of commitment to training and a willingness to maintain consistent practice attendance, training intensity and focus. Swimmers should also be willing to travel to out of state competition and train over weekends and holiday breaks.

Focus

The group continues to build on the technique-oriented base that also includes a large component of aerobic conditioning. Swimmers must be able to complete challenging sets with complex intervals that are 30 to 60 minutes in duration. Swimmers are expected to train as often as their schedules allow with a minimum of 5 practices per week. Multiple dry-land sessions will also be required. The Challenger I team is required to participate in all scheduled meets for the season.

Prerequisites:

  • Able to swim 10 x 100 free @ 1:30;
  • Able to swim 4 x 200 IM @ 3:30;
  • Able to swim 5 x 100 non-freestyle stroke @ :10 seconds rest;
  • Must be willing to swim 100's of non-freestyle in workout;
  • Able to kick 5 x 100 @ 2:00;
  • Must be willing to swim the 1650 free in competition;
  • Must be willing to swim 200’s of non-free in competition;
  • Able to understand intervals and use a pace clock

Challenger II

Ages: 11-12

Description

This training group is designed for the development of the older age group swimmer. Swimmers in this group should express a desire to improve their competitive swimming through conditioning and continued development of stroke technique.

Focus

Emphasis is placed on promoting increased commitment to training and conditioning. Practices include complex sets with a focus of 40 percent technique and 60 percent conditioning. Swimmers are expected to train as often as their schedules permit, but are expected to attend a minimum of four practices per week. TAG swimmers also are expected to participate in a majority of the team's scheduled swim meets and attend all championship meets for which they qualify (including Connecticut Regionals, YMCA States and the Connecticut Age Group Championship). Challenger II swimmers come from a wide spectrum of ability levels and have varied goals. They include high school junior varsity and varsity swimmers who want to keep in shape during the "off season"; middle school or high school athletes who are cross training to keep in shape for other sports; and Water Rats who are preparing for the next level of competitive swimming.

Minimum Prerequisites:

  • Able to swim 5 x 100 freestyle @ 2:00;
  • Able to swim 4 x 100 non-free stroke on 2:15;
  • Able to swim 1 x 200 IM @ 4:00;
  • Able to kick 4 x 50 @ 1:15.

Senior Program

Senior III

Ages 13/Over

The Senior III program is a bridge program offered to those age group swimmers who need more time to transition in to the Senior program.  The group is also open to high school swimmers who want to stay in shape during the offseason.

Senior II

Ages: 13/Over

Description

Although the Senior II group is the introductory group, it is a training group with high practice and meet expectations.

Focus

This training group is for swimmers aspiring to train at a higher level but not yet ready to make the commitment of attending four double practices per week. Swimmers in this group are introduced to a more intense aerobic and anaerobic training than they experienced in the Age Group program. Additional stroke development and refinement is incorporated into the training. Senior II swimmers must be willing to work hard during practice and they must compete in all meets.

Prerequisites:

  • Show the desire to become more committed;
  • Ability to swim all four competitive strokes in a training setting;
  • Ability to learn new training techniques which will take them to the next level;
  • Ability to swim 10 x 100 on 1:20 or 1:25;
  • Ability to kick 10 x 50 on 1:00;
  • Must compete in meets and represent the Water Rats in a championship meet.;
  • Attend 5 or more practices per week based on the season (short course or long course).

Senior I

Ages: 14/Over

Description

The Senior I group is the highest level of training for the Water Rat Swim Team and has very high practice and meet expectations.

Focus

Swimmers in this group develop their individual technical and racing skills in order to advance in their sport. This is the highest training group within the Water Rat Swim Team and it places more responsibility on its members than other groups. Members of this training group dedicate themselves to training, racing and their swim team. Athletes understand that being in the Senior I group makes them role models for younger swimmers and ambassadors to the community. Swimmers commit to excellence in their sport and to achieving high-level results in state and national championship meets.

Prerequisites:

  • Has shown a commitment to the sport;
  • Has shown a steady practice attendance of six to ten per week based on the season (short course or long course);
  • Can swim all four competitive strokes for 200 yards/meters, 1650 freestyle and 400 IM;
  • Ability to swim an intensive 2½ hour plus training session both mentally and physically;
  • Ability to do two practices per day and wake up early for the first practice;
  • Ability to listen well to the coaching given and apply what has been given;
  • Ability to swim 15 x 100 freestyle on 1:15 (short course);
  • Ability to kick 12 x 50 on 55;
  • Represent the Water Rats in a championship meet.

College Program

We offer a college swimming program that runs during summer and winter breaks. This serves our former Water Rat Swim Team members who want to continue training when their collegiate teams are not holding regular practices. It is also available to other visiting college swimmers, but only by invitation. All college swimmers must be approved by the coaching staff.