Express Swim Team offers six ability-based practice groups that match the swimmer's ability, athleticism and experience in the sport. As swimmers improve and develop, they will advance to the next level in the program. Returning members should consult the training group assignments and recommendations. Members new to the program will be evaluated to determine placement within the Express Swim Team program.
Super NOVA is the first competitive level of the Express Swim Team. This group will included the majority of the 8 & Under swimmers who are just starting out in the sport as well as Novice 9-10 year olds with limited swimming experience. Practices for the Super NOVA group are offered four days per week for 45-minutes. Swimmers are encouraged to attend 2- 3 of the practices. The program emphasis is on learning all four competitive strokes and other competitive skills. Swimmers will participate in dual meets, all Express-hosted meets, USS Swim meets when ready and the season-culminating Conference meet.
The Bronze Team is the second competitive level. Swimmers in this group are generally ages 11&Under with limited to some competitive experience. Practices are available 4-5 days per week for 60-75 minutes. We recommend that swimmers attend 3-4 practices per week. Bronze swimmers will focus on stroke technique, legal starts & turns. Goals are for swimmers to become legal in all four strokes and participate regularly in swim meets. Advanced Bronze swimmers will have achieved an IM Ready score in competition, and/or achieved 9-10 B time standards working towards achieving 10&Under Regional and State times. Swimmers will participate in dual meets, USS meets and all Express-hosted meets as well as any championship meets they qualify for.
The Silver level are typically 12&Under years old and have some Express or summer seasons of experience. Practices for this group are offered 4-5 days per week for 60-75 minutes. Silver swimmers will focus on stroke technique for all four strokes, starts and turns with a goal of competing legally in all 4 strokes to achieve an IM Ready score in competition. All Silver 2 swimmers will increase their aerobic training and racing strategies and will focus on achieving 11-12 "B" time standards. Swimmers will participate in dual meets, USS meets and all Express-hosted meets as well as any championship meets they qualify for.
Gold level swimmers are generally ages 14&Under. Gold swimmers will continue to focus on mastering all four competitive strokes and successful racing strategies. The Gold training group is the highest level Age Group program on the Express Swim Team. This group includes our top age group swimmers ages. Season goals for swimmers in this group by meeting standards in the following areas: IMX/IMR Score; 200 IM time; 10 X 100 @ 1:30; Regional/State time standards; and T-30. Practices are offered five days per week for up to 2-hours per day. Athletes training in this group generally maintain a 85% attendance and meet participation rate. Swimmers have a state-level focus and generally swim with Express on a year-round basis. Swimmers in this group will participate in dual meets, USS meets, all Express-hosted meets and any championship meets they qualify for.
The Senior Team is our highest competitive level and will include our most successful athletes. Practices are offered 6 days per week for 2 hours. Athletes participating in this group are generally high school-aged athletes who swim year-round and represent their high school teams during their respective seasons. Swimmers in this group are interested in taking their swimming to the next level. Many have a state and national-level focus and generally maintain an 85-90% attendance and meet participation rate. High School aged swimmers are required to participate in monthly swim meets during the non-high school portion of their season to maintain their IHSA eligibility. All swimmers are expected to compete in the highest level championship meets for which they qualify for.
HS MEN (Pre-season)
The HS Men (Pre-season) program is designed for those HS Men wanting to prepare for their High School season. Their season runs September through November. Practices are available 4 days per week – Monday through Thursday for 90 minutes. Participants will compete in two Express-hosted meets (October and November) to maintain their IHSA eligibility.