The team's groups are designed as a stepping stone process, each group preparing swimmers to train and compete at the next level. Remember that group assignments are always a work in progress. Some swimmers may develop quickly within the first few weeks of practice and need to move to a more advanced group. Please see our "Join the Team " page for group assignments and practice schedules and contact a coach with any questions.
Note that there are no practice attendance requirements (except for National to attend certain travel meets) for any group, since we realize swimmers are busy with many other activities. However, the more you attend the more you will get out of the sport!
For information about our springboard diving groups see Diving Tab.
Orange Group (or "Competitive Lessons)
For swimmers who have already participated in swim lessons and would like to explore joining Wheaton Swim Club. The orange group is offered in 4 six week sessions throughout the year. The focus of this group will be to introduce all aspects of competitive swimming, including all four strokes, racing dives and competitive turns. This program is designed for the swimmer who has mastered proficient freestyle plus backstroke and is ready for the next step of learning.
This is Wheaton Swim Club’s first level of competitive swimming. It is intended for swimmers between the ages of 6 and 10 who are new to competitive swimming. Swimmers in this group will continue to learn the basics of competitive swimming throughout the season. Swimmers in this group should be able to swim multiple lengths of freestyle and backstroke, plus be able to swim two lengths of either butterfly or breaststroke, and also an introductory knowledge of the fourth stroke. They should be confident in the water and able to work well with others in a group setting.
This group is for swimmers between the ages of 6 and 12. The bronze swimmers should be able to swim the multiple lengths of the pool in all four competitive strokes, and have some knowledge of flip turns and racing starts. Swimmers in this group should have previous team experience or have achieved the group requirements through a lesson program. Conditioning will be added as the group progresses.
The Silver group is intended for the swimmer between the ages of 7 and 10 years old. Swimmers in these groups will have the basics aspects of competitive swimming reinforced to them though out the season. As the group is ready, more and more aerobic conditioning will be added to practices to prepare them for the Gold group. Swimmers in these groups should have previous swim team experience. One day a week will be dedicated to a one hour "starts and turns" practice most weeks. The group meets five to six times a week.
The Gold group is intended for swimmers between the ages of 8 and 12 who have several seasons of competitive swimming experience. The Gold group will focus on stroke technique and race strategy with the addition of a consistent conditioning program. In this group swimmers begin to truly master practice habits such as understanding group dynamics, lane etiquette, pace clock reading, and much more. Swimmers in this group will also learn the basics of weekly and season training cycles which they will apply to the rest of their careers. The group meets five to six times a week in the spring and six to seven times per week in the summer.
Junior National Group
This group is for the exceptional 10-14 Year Old swimmer who swims as their main sport and who is mature enough to handle a large portion of the National team's training. Swimmers must qualify by participating in Wheaton Swim Club's winter 12 & Under Jr. National group or similar USA or YMCA program. The majority of this group will compete at the Junior Olympic (Age Group State) level with goals of making the USA Sectional meet as older swimmers; the majority also participates year-round with the Wheaton Swim Club. Only those swimmers who show an unusual balance of maturity and commitment will be considered for this group throughout the year. This group meets six times per week in the spring and eleven times per week in the summer. (Note: although we do not enforce specific attendance requirements swimmers who are unable to attend less then 70% of the practices would benefit more from the Gold or Senior Level Groups.)
Senior Group (and Senior High School)
This group is designed for the "renaissance athlete" who participates in many sports or activities, wants to maintain conditioning or stroke work for their high school swimming season or summer club team, or for the triathlete who is interested in improving technique and conditioning for the swimming leg of their race. This group is also intended for the 13 & Over swimmer who does not qualify for the National Team but is intent on improving their practice skills in an effort to move into the national team. This group meets four to five times per week in the spring and six times per week in the summer.
National Team (and National High School)
Any athlete who competed with the Wheaton Swim Club National Team in the past, or new members with similar experience in other USA or YMCA programs. The National team is for the committed athlete, but continues to focus on all aspects of swimming, including technique, psychology, nutrition, and race strategy, in addition to its heavy training load and dry land exercises. The group will train once a day during the school year, and two times a day during the summer and other holidays. Swimmers in this group train in preparation for the Illinois Swimming Championships, USA Sectionals, Jr. Nationals and Senior Nationals. This group includes Olympic Trials Qualifiers, Jr and Senior National qualifiers, over 25 High School state qualifiers, over 25 Sectional qualifiers, and over 40 Senior State qualifiers. Participation in this group will be determined by the coaching staff and based upon swimmer's past season attendance and practice performance. A minimum of 80% attendance level is strongly recommended, and is required for out-of-state championship meets.