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Practice Levels

Zeppelins
Zeppelins are simple aircraft that float gracefully and move eloquently.

The emphasis at this level is on how your body floats, sustains balance, and moves in the water.

Objective Statement
The objective of the Zeppelin level is to nurture love for the sport of swimming, team pride, sportsmanship and YMCA character values while developing fundamental skills (such as streamlining, floating/balance, head/body position, proper kicking and breathing techniques, diving and somersaults) and teaching swimmers the rules and expectations they will need to follow throughout their development.

Considerations for Placement

  • Must be ages 6-8 for Zeppelin 1
  • Must be ages 9-12 for Zeppelin 2
  • Must display comfort and confidence in the water
  • Must float well, with proper head position, on back and stomach
  • Must be able to swim 25 yards of freestyle, without stopping, with rotary breathing and strong, rhythmic kicking
  • Must be able to swim 25 yards of backstroke, without stopping, with high hips and strong, rhythmic kicking
  • Must be physically and emotionally mature enough to handle a 60 minute practice, independent from parents
  • The Head Coach reserves the right to place any swimmer in any group based on the best interest of the individual​

 


Gliders
Gliders are simple aircraft that rely on a streamlined shape, as opposed to great amounts of propulsive force, in order to fly.

The emphasis at this level is not on generating more propulsion, but on reducing resistance in the water by developing better stroke form.

Objective Statement
The objective of the Glider level is to develop both a fast kick and a solid framework of stroke technique in all four strokes so that swimmers can perform each with legal form, including starts, turns and finishes, in addition to developing a basic understanding of simple training concepts such as set structures, intervals and sendoffs.

Considerations for Placement

  • Must be ages 8-10 for Glider 1
  • Must be ages 11-15 for Glider 2
  • Must have a skill set that demonstrates a mastery of streamlining, body balance, head position and kick timing, along with a strong level of competency in fundamental drills for each of the four strokes
  • Must be confident and competent enough to swim a 100 IM with legal form in at least 3 strokes
  • Must demonstrate a good attitude, maturity level, attentiveness, and willingness to take on greater challenges and more practice time
  • Glider 2 is the entry level placement for 13-14 year old beginners who will not be required to meet all of the requirements listed above
  • The Head Coach reserves the right to place any swimmer in any group based on the best interest of the individual

 


Stunt Pilots
Stunt pilots must become highly skilled flyers in order to perform the difficult aerobatic maneuvers they are known for.

The emphasis of this group is to develop a high level of skill and master the tricks of the trade (strokes, starts, turns and finishes).

Objective Statement
The objective of the Stunt Pilot level is to develop good efficiency in all four strokes (measured by distance per stroke, mastery of more advanced drills, and the ability to maintain proper stroke technique over longer distances) so that athletes can begin to train at higher intensity and higher volume, and to nurture the proper practice habits, attitudes and values that will help them excel later on.

Considerations for Placement

  • Must be ages 9-13
  • Should be able to swim all four strokes with legal form, including legal starts, turns and finishes
  • Should be able to compete confidently in a 200 freestyle and 200 IM at a swim meet
  • Should be able to swim a 500 freestyle with a 6-beat kick, breathing every 3 pulls, without skipping any flip turns in 10:00 (2:00 pace)
  • Should be able to complete 10 x 100 FR.K @ 2:15
  • Must demonstrate a good attitude, maturity level, attentiveness, and willingness to take on greater challenges and more practice time
  • The Head Coach reserves the right to place any swimmer in any group based on the best interest of the individual

 


Mach 1 Supercruisers
Supercruisers are aircraft that can maintain speeds faster than the speed of sound without the use of afterburners.

The emphasis at this level is improving top end speed and training faster and more efficiently over longer periods of time.

Objective Statement
The objective of the Mach 1 level is to prepare swimmers to train and compete at a high school varsity level while improving stroke technique and efficiency and nurturing good practice habits, nutrition, goal-setting, and leadership skills.

Considerations for Placement

  • Must be ages 13-18
  • Should be able to swim all four strokes with legal form, including legal starts, turns and finishes
  • Should be able to swim a 1,000 freestyle with a 6-beat kick, breathing every 3 pulls, without skipping any flip turns in 16:30 or less (1:40 pace)
  • Should be able to complete 10 x 100 FR.K @ 2:00
  • Must demonstrate a good attitude, maturity level, attentiveness, and willingness to take on greater challenges and more practice time
  • The Head Coach reserves the right to place any swimmer in any group based on the best interest of the individual

 


Mach 2 Supercruisers
Supercruisers are aircraft that can maintain speeds faster than the speed of sound without the use of afterburners.

The emphasis at this level is improving top end speed and training faster and more efficiently over longer periods of time.

Objective Statement
The objective of the Mach 2 level is to prepare young athletes to compete at the regional, state and zone championship level through an age-appropriate training plan designed to build a strong aerobic base and improve stroke efficiency, which will allow swimmers to succeed in events such as the 500 freestyle, 400 IM, and 200’s of each stroke.  In addition, swimmers will be educated about nutrition, goal setting, leadership, race strategy and mental preparation that will help them excel as they get older.

Considerations for Placement

  • Must be ages 11-14
  • Must be able to swim 2,000 yards freestyle in 30 minutes (1:30 pace)
  • Must be able to compete confidently and legally in a 500 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 200 breaststroke, 100 butterfly, and 200 IM in a swim meet
  • Swimmers ages 11-12 should have a regional or state qualifying time
  • Should be able to complete 10 x 100 FR.K @ 1:50
  • The Head Coach reserves the right to place any swimmer in any group based on the best interest of the individual

 


Mach 3 Supercruisers
Supercruisers are aircraft that can maintain speeds faster than the speed of sound without the use of afterburners.

The emphasis at this level is improving top end speed and training faster and more efficiently over longer periods of time.

Objective Statement
The objective of the Mach 3 level is to prepare athletes to compete and succeed at the regional, state and zone championship level, and ultimately reaching the national level, while nurturing the right attitude, leadership qualities, goal setting habits, mental toughness and time management skills that will enable them to handle higher levels of commitment and higher volumes of training, both mentally and physically.

Considerations for Placement

  • Must be ages 13-21
  • Must swim 2,250 yards freestyle in 30 minutes (< 1:20 pace)
  • Must maintain attendance of 75% or better, calculated every month
  • Should be faster than a 13-14 Y Area Champs qualifying time in an event other than the 50 Free
  • Should be able to compete confidently and legally in a 1,650 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly and 400 IM
  • Should be able to complete 10 x 100 FR.K @ 1:40
  • Must demonstrate exemplary character values, attitude, maturity and solid practice habits on a regular basis
  • The Head Coach reserves the right to place any swimmer in any group based on the best interest of the individual

 


Moon Landers
The Moon Lander is a highly advanced piece of technology that symbolizes the peak of man’s achievement.

The emphasis at this level is to become finely tuned athletes with no limits in sight.

Objective Statement
The objective of the Moon Lander level is to provide a practice environment specifically for athletes who are committed to excellence and competing at a national championship level. Guidance will be provided to help kids deal with the challenges of being an elite level athlete, helping to cultivate skills such as mental toughness, time management, decision making and goal setting, and providing assistance with their college search and healthy living.

Considerations for Placement

  • Must be ages 12-21
  • Must have achieved at least one individual YMCA National cut in any course
  • Must maintain attendance of 85% or better, calculated every month
  • Should be able to swim 2,600 yards freestyle in 30 minutes (< 1:10 pace)
  • Should be able to complete 10 x 100 FR.K @ 1:40
  • Must demonstrate exemplary character values, attitude, maturity and solid practice habits on a regular basis
  • The Head Coach reserves the right to place any swimmer in any group based on the best interest of the individual

 


Graduates

Overview
The Graduate level is offered as an opportunity for JETS graduates who have gone on to college to continue to swim for the team while they are in town on holiday and summer breaks.  Graduate swimmers must maintain a full YMCA membership; however, there are no program fees or fundraising requirements.  Swimmers will be expected to help lead the team by methods such as coaching, helping at swim meets, or sharing their experiences at a team meeting.

Considerations for Placement

  • Must be ages 18-21
  • Must have been registered with the JETS at some point in the past
  • Must have completed at least one semester of college
  • Must still be enrolled in college coursework