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Practice Levels

Explanation of Practice Levels Structure:

  • The BAC athlete practice progression model is designed for the total athlete physically, mentally, and emotionally for long-term success.
  • Early stage emphasis is to develop technique and a love for the sport
  • A gradually increasing commitment is essential and required as the athlete moves up in practice levels.
  • Given the age and ability appropriate amounts of practice, skills, drills, and aerobic conditioning are used to prepare for long term success as a swimmer & a person.
  • Swimmers are trained as a whole, meaning one stroke and distance is not favored over another.

 

Practice Level Assignments:

  • Before placing an athlete in a practice level, the following criteria are considered:  level of commitment, practice attendance, training ability, stroke & skill development, level of maturity & responsibility, age and previous experience, meet performance and best times, space availability, and meeting entrance requirements.
  • Often parents want what is the most convenient for their schedule, this however is not the most beneficial for the success of the athlete or the team.


Practice Level Promotions:

  • Meets attendance expectations for current group / demonstrates the commitment to meet attendance requirements for next level.
  • Consistently trains above the level of the current practice group.
  • Has mastered stroke and skill expectations of current practice group.
  • Fits age and experience parameters of the next training level.
  • Demonstrated a willingness to  compete and train at the the next level.
  • There is a 30 day trial period at the new level / coaches will determine if the athlete is mentally and phyiscally able to meet expectations of higher level.
  • If a swimmer meets the entrance criteria of the next level, it is not a guarantee they will move up / the objective requirements as well as subjective criteria of the coaches will determine a promotion.

 

Practice Level Demotions:

The following situations will cause a practice level demotion.  Please note, demotions are not permanent.

  • Not willing to make the meet participation commitment of the practice group.
  • Attends practice less often than group requires.
  • Not training successfully  on the required time intervals.
  • Needs injury rehabilitation.
  • Has seasonal sport or other activity conflicts.

 

PRINTABLE PDF VERSION OF LEVEL DESCRIPTIONS

 

DOG PADDLERS 
Age:
  8 years old and under

Required Entrance Skills:

Must have the ABILITY to

  • Swim a 25 freestyle
  • Swim a 25 backstroke
  • Tread water for 1 minute
  • Perform a sitting/kneeling dive

                            OR

  • Completed Level 6 with BAC Swim School

Practice Attendance:

  • Expected that each swimmer average 2 practices per week

Practice Focus:

  • Learning the fundamentals and rhythm of the 4 competitive strokes
  • Learning how to dive from the side of the pool
  • Breath control
  • Learning ready position for the front and back
  • Learning how to front and back streamline off the wall

 

Practice Test Sets:

  • Monthly 25 yard freestyle time trial

Promotion Requirements:

To move up to DEVELOPMENTAL

  • Demonstrate the required entrance skills for Developmental
  • Having a 50 yard time trial faster than 1:11.00 for 2 consecutive occurrences

Swim Meet Expectations:

  • Encouraged to attend 1 USA sanctioned swim meet per year

 

DEVELOPMENTAL
Age:  10 years old and under

Required Entrance Skills:

Must have the ABILITY to

  • Swim a 50 freestyle with rhythmic breathing
  • Swim a 100 continuously
  • Swim a 50 backstroke
  • Swim a 25 breaststroke kick and butterfly kick in streamline
  • Perform a standing dive from the pool edge

                            OR

Completed Level 7 with BAC Swim School

Practice Attendance:

  • Expected that each swimmer average 2-3 practices per week

Practice Focus:

  • Improvement of the 4 competitive strokes
  • Introduction and use of proper starts, turns, and finishes for each of the 4 competitive strokes
  • Improving the ability to circle swim
  • Introduction to interval training
  • Introduction to endurance training

 

Practice Test Sets:

  • Monthly 50 yard freestyle time trial
  • 5 minute swim for distance
  • 5 minute kick for distance
  • Team mini-meets

Promotion Requirements:

To move up to AGE GROUP

  • Demonstrate the required entrance skills for Age Group 1
  • Has attended 3 swim meets in the past year
  • Having a 50 yard time trial of :59.00 or faster for 3 consecutive months

Swim Meet Expectations:

  • Encouraged to attend 3 USA sanctioned swim meets per year

 

AGE GROUP 

Age:  At least 8 years old or on team for 2 years; (8-12)

Required Entrance Skills:

Must have the ABILITY to

  • Swim a 150 continuously
  • Swim a 100 backstroke
  • Swim a 25 breaststroke
  • Swim a 25 butterfly
  • Swim a 100 IM 
  • Perform a dive and hold streamline for 5 yards

                            OR

  • Completed Level 10 with BAC Swim School

Practice Attendance:

  • Expected that each swimmer average 3 – 4  practices per week with 1 dryland practice per week

Practice Focus:

  • Improvement of the fundamentals for each of the 4 competitive strokes
  • Learning to perform a start from the diving block
  • Improvement of turns for each of the 4 competitive strokes
  • Advancement of endurance training
  • Advancement of interval training
  • Typical practices will be between 3000 - 4000 yards
  • Beginning to demonstrate leadership during pratices

 

Practice Test Sets:

  • Monthly 50 yard freestyle time trial
  • 10 - 20 minute swim for distance
  • 10 - 20 minute kick for distance
  • Team mini-meets

Promotion Requirements:

To move up to PRE SENIOR

  • Demonstrate the required entrance skills for Pre-Senior
  • Must have attended 4 swim meets in the past year
  • Having a 50 yard time trial of :40.00 or faster for 3 consecutive months 
  • Completing at least 800 yards during a 20 minute swim for 2 consecutive occurrences

Swim Meet Requirements:

  • Attend 3 – 4 USA sanctioned swim meets per year

 

PRE-SENIOR
Age:
  At least 11 and has been on the team for two years (11-14 year olds)

Required Entrance Skills:

Must have the ABILITY to

  • Swim a 300 freestyle continuously
  • Swim a 100 backstroke, butterfly, and breaststroke with legal turns
  • Swim a 200 IM with legal turns
  • Have 1 “B” USA Swimming time standard

 

Practice Attendance:

  • Expected that each swimmer average 4 – 5 swim practices and 2 dryland practices per week

Practice Focus:

  • Maintaining the importance of the fundamentals of each of the 4 competitive strokes while increasing the intensity of training
  • Improve leadership during practices
  • Increasing aerobic development
  • Typical practices will be 5000 -6000 yards

 

Practice Test Sets:

  • They will rotate monthly between 3 different test set distances:  1500 swim for time, 3 x 400 swims for time and 10 x 100 swims for time

Promotion Requirements:

To move up to SENIOR

  • Demonstrate the required entrance skills for SENIOR
  • Has “BB” USA Swimming time standards in two freestyle distances and one other stroke
  • Practice test set times for 2 of 3:
    • 10 x 100 freestyle with an average of 1:10 or under
    • 3 x 400 freestyle with an average of 5:30 or under
    • 1500 freestyle at 20:00 or under

Swim Meet Requirements:

  • Attend 5 USA sanctioned swim meets per year

 

SENIOR

Age:  At least 13 years old

Required Entrances Skills: Must have the ABILITY to

  • Swim a 400 freestyle continuously
  • Swim a 400 IM with legal turns
  • Demonstrate both of the following sets:
    • 10 x 100 freestyle on 1:30
    • 5 x 100 IM on 1:45
  • One of the following sets must be demonstrated:
    • 4 x 100 butterfly@2:00
    • 4 x 100 backstroke@2:00
    • 4 x 100 breaststroke@2:00

Practice Attendance:

  • Expected that each Swimmer averages no less than 5 swim practices a week
  • Expected that each swimmer comes to 2 dryland practices per week
  • Swimmers are committed to the sport year-round with a few scheduled breaks.

Practice Focus:

  • Continued refinement in each of the 4 competitive strokes
  • Advancement in training concepts
  • Introduction and use of racing strategies
  • Increased aerobic development
  • Introduction and use of practice and meet goals
  • Typical practices will be 7000 yards

 

Practice Test Sets:

  • They will rotate monthly between 3 different test set distances:  1500 swim for time, 3 x 400 swims for time and 10 x 100 swims for time

Swim Meet Requirements:

  • Attend 6 USA sanctioned swim meets per year
  • Maintain test set time requirements

 

PRE-COMPETITION

Age:  Ages 5 – 18 (any swimmer not interested in competing)

Swimmers in this group are NOT allowed to participate in any BAC team activities due to insurance policies. 

Required Entrance Skills:

Must have the ABILITY to

  • Swim independently for at least 25 yards on front AND back
  • Tread water for 1 minute

                            OR

  • Completed Level 6 with BAC Swim School

 

  • Preferred to have basic knowledge of swimming skills

 

Practice Attendance:

  • Encouraged to attend 2 practices per week

Practice Focus:

  • Introduction to knowledge of swimming for fitness
  • Introduction to all 4 competitive strokes
  • Introduction to dives from side of pool
  • Introduction to interval and endurance training (if age/skill level allows)
  • Typical practices will be between 500 – 2000 yards, depending on age/skill level

 

Promotion Requirements:

To move up to ANY COMPETING PRACTICE GROUP:

  • Must meet requirements for desired practice group
  • Must have attended the majority of practices offered for Pre-Competition
  • Must have coach approval
  • Must be willing to attend meets, both at home and out of town

Swim Meet Requirements:

  • None required