Swim Groups

Central Iowa Aquatics offers training and practice groups for swimmers of all ages and ability. CIA's goal is to offer age specific training for all of our athletes geared towards challenging each individual and developing each individual to the best of his/her abilities. If you have questions about which training group is correct for your swimmer(s), please call us at 515-369-8060 to sign up for a trial, or email for more information.


The Intro group is for swimmers who are making the transition between lessons and competitive swimming. In this group they will learn to legally swim all four strokes, be introduced to starts, streamline, drills and flip turns. This group practices for 1 hour on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Practice is held at the Urbandale Pool September-May and Ashworth Pool June-July.


The Blue pathway is designed for most of our families.  Whether your swimmer wants to attend every practice, is balancing multiple sports or swimming part-time to stay in shape the Blue pathway is the place to begin.


Age Group swimmers on the Blue pathway will continue to practice at Urbandale. There will be three stages of development, very similar to what we have had in the past.

  • Navy - This group is for the swimmer who knows all four strokes legally and is new to swimming competitively.  We ask that swimmers in this group attend local swim meets as their schedule permits. (This group is very similar to Discovery last season)

  • Royal - Royal swimmers are more experienced than Navy swimmers.  The Royal group may already have previous competitive swim experience.  The emphasis for this group is stroke development and refinement.  Training principles are introduced and regular participation in USA Swimming meets is highly encouraged.  (This group is very similar to Challenge 3 last season)

  • Sapphire -  The Sapphire group is more experienced than the Royal group.  This group continues to focus on stroke development and refine technique. Training principles and aerobic conditioning continue to be advanced.  

*** There are no practice requirements for any of the blue pathway of development.  Coaches will always encourage athletes who want to improve faster to attend more practices as the way to achieve faster results!***


The White pathway is designed for swimmers who have achieved a high level in the sport of swimming and are able to maintain a higher threshold in practice. It is expected that these swimmers compete at the highest level they can qualify for (unless mutually agreed upon by the family and coaches). Swimmers in this group have achieved National Age Group Motivational Standards and have long term goals that include competing at the Zones, Sectional, Junior National, National, Olympic Trial level and beyond. Daily attendance should be considered necessary to attain their goals.


The Age Group White pathway will continue to train at Urbandale. These swimmers will build on their skills and training from the Sapphire group with a continued focus on stroke technique, but with an additional focus on endurance in a fun and challenging environment. Individual and group goals will be established with a plan towards ownership of those goals and accountability as a group.  Leadership skills will also be introduced.  Swimmers in the Age Group White pathway will need a coach’s recommendation and meet the following objective criteria.

  • 10 and under: “AAA” National Motivational time in at least one 100 yards/meter event with a cruise interval time of 1:20 or faster.  

  • 11-12: “A” National Motivational time in at least one 100 yards/meter event with a cruise interval time of 1:20.

 Senior Program

To move into the Senior program (what used to be Performance) the athlete will be 13 for the most part, however, exceptions can be made by the coaching staff.  The Senior program will also have a Blue and White path.   

  • To be in Senior White you must be close to achieving A standards in one event in the 13-14 times and make most workouts, including morning workouts. Refer to the developmental chart for how to move into the High-Performance group!

  • Senior Blue is for everyone else over the age of 13!  


Please know that you can switch between Blue and White at anytime once you achieve the standards of the groups!  This will allow the swimmers who want to stay part-time to not feel the pressure of needing to do more, while also allowing a clear line of progression for those who choose to be more involved.


High Performance

Our High-Performance training group places an emphasis on training for and representing CIA at the National level. Training is designed to prepare swimmers for success at the Sectional and National levels. The highest level of commitment is expected from this training group. An invitation from the coaching staff is required to train with High Performance. 


The CIA Masters group welcomes adult swimmers interested in fitness and/or training. This is currently offered during morning practices, and only during the summer months.

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