The Bolles School Sharks practice groups fit the needs of swimmers of all ages and ability levels. Please keep in mind that age ranges are not absolute. Sometimes an older swimmer who is new to the sport may have to start with a group that is predominantly younger. Occasionally a very advanced younger swimmer may be moved into a group of older athletes. These group descriptions are provided to give you a sense of our team’s construction and the progression your child is likely to follow as he/she moves through our program.
Age Group Program (8th grade and younger)
Makos - This group is composed of the youngest competitive swimmers in the Bolles Sharks program. The main emphasis of this group is teaching the basic fundamentals of the competitive strokes. This consists of kicking, drilling, and the development of the skills necessary for competitive swimming.
Tigers - All swimmers within this group must be able to successfully swim each of the four competitive strokes in a legal manner as deemed by USA swimming, Inc. rules. Further, sharpening of competitive strokes through drills and kicking will be emphasized. Starts, turns, and mental skills for training for the next level will also be emphasized.
Hammerheads - This group is the level in which swimmers move from primary stroke and technique instruction to more emphasis on training. Drill work and kicking will continue to make up a large portion of this group; however, swimming sets will be added. At this level, goal setting will be introduced and swimmers will be expected to be more accountable for their progress in swimming. Consistent practice attendance is necessary for continued improvement and advancement to the next group.
Great White - Great White Sharks take on a much more rigorous training load than the Hammerhead Sharks while continuing to build upon the skills acquired at the Hammerhead level. Practice times are longer in conjunction with higher yardage requirements. Besides the increase in physical demands required, the swimmers will be expected to understand interval training and will learn how to train at different levels and speeds.. There will also be a greater emphasis on race strategies. The Great White Sharks represent the final step of the Bolles School Sharks Age Group Program.
Senior Program (9th - 12th grade)
Senior - The Senior Program provides training to athletes beginning in the 9th grade. Swimmers are typically placed into a group based upon age and ability level. The Bolles Sharks strive to ensure that there is a place for all athletes who have a desire to swim competitively, whether the swimmer is new to year-round swimming or is preparing to compete at the national or international level. The coaching staff is also careful to maintain a swimmer-to-coach ratio that allows for an optimal teaching environment. While the Senior Program is designed to train athletes in the 9th grade and up, not all of these athletes will train together. The Senior Program is typically divided into several groups, though the group classifications may change from year-to-year depending on the needs and numbers of the Senior Program, as well as the vision and philosophy of the coaching staff. The Senior Program will feature a National Group, which is reserved for athletes who have not only attained Junior National qualifying standards but are also committed to consistently training at the highest possible level.
In order to accommodate both Bolles School and non-Bolles School athletes year-round, the Senior Program is always divided into two distinct groups:
The Bolles School students training group, reserved for Bolles School students, who are also members of the Bolles School Sharks, and;
The Late Night program (technically early evening) which is offered to athletes who do not attend The Bolles School, yet wish to be members of the Bolles School Sharks year round team.
If you have questions regarding the training aspect of your swimmers experience it is best that you contact their assigned group's coach directly.
If you are a new member to the team and have questions regarding which training group your swimmer should enroll, please contact Age Group Coach, Gina Aguilar, at AguilarG@Bolles.org or 904.256.5219 to schedule an evaluation.
*Please note that all High School age swimmers will automatically fall into the Senior program.