LESD Training Groups
WHITE GROUP: The White Group is the entry level group for our youngest swimmers new to the sport/team. The prerequisite for this group (and joining the team) is the demonstrated ability to swim a length of the pool legally in any of two strokes without stopping. For swimmers not quite ready for the White Group, LESD offers swim lessons.
The goal of the White Group is to have the swimmer learn an appreciation for swimming in a fun team atmosphere while progressing to four legal strokes, turns, starts and finishes. Within the LESD progression model, the ultimate goal is graduation to the Red Group.
RED GROUP: The Red Group teaches the four competitive strokes, the correct start and turn for each of the strokes, and the basic rules and regulations of competitive swimming. Red Group swimmers are introduced to some of the history of the sport, the need of being attentive and disciplined in practice, and the other factors that determine the total development of the Red swimmers. We also provide the swimming activities that will give the child satisfaction and great fun while in practice.
For entry into the Red Group, athletes must demonstrate the ability to swim a length of the pool legally in three of the four strokes, and can correctly perform either the pull or the kick in the fourth. Our swimmers are taught the most technically advanced stroke/start/turn technique through numerous stroke drills. We expect Red swimmers to master all the strokes and their respective turns, including flip turns, crossover turns, and underwater breaststroke pullouts. We run stroke drills every day to try and make strokes as efficient as possible. Technique work is conducted daily.
In addition we try to teach our swimmers the finer points of the sport. We teach them about two hand touches, over the water arm recoveries, where the dolphin kick goes in the underwater breaststroke pullout, good breathing patterns, what you should and shouldn’t eat before or during swim competitions, what things to look for when arriving at a swim meet, what three things should always be done before leaving a swim meet, etc. We also focus on good sportsmanship…and we learn team cheers!
Finally, we specifically set aside time during each practice to have fun.
BLUE GROUP: The Blue Group is comprised of swimmers who have made the commitment to the sport of swimming and want to be successful in their races by placing high, and more importantly, improve their times and reach their goals. It is important for children in this group to begin to understand the time and dedication needed to be a successful swimmer and to achieve their goals. The Blue Group is designed to teach children how to be successful while having fun with creative sets and working as a team.
There are two main goals of Blue Group swimmers: 1) To continue to build on stroke technique and the rules of swimming that have been taught in the red and white groups, and 2) Begin to build a speed and endurance base to prepare swimmers for competition in meets and to swim on the next level.
Approximately half of a blue practice is comprised of drills to work on each stroke, the turns, and starts. In addition to an overview of all the strokes, one aspect of swimming is focused on each day. This includes streamline, turns, and specifics of stroke technique. The main focus for the day is then integrated into main sets where the swimmers swim faster and longer.
The second half of practice is made up of 1-2 focus sets. Main sets are designed to help swimmers use interval training while learning how to read a pace clock. As the season progresses, swimmers begin to learn how to swim fast and know if they are working hard by using the pace clock to compare their times. These focus sets help build endurance and speed for the swimmer and are done in all four strokes.
Members of the blue group have one thing in common…a passion for swimming. They love to work hard, swim fast, improve time, competing with each other at practice and meets, and know how to make the sport of swimming fun for all those involved. We continue to focus on teamwork and sportsmanship.
BRONZE GROUP: The philosophy guiding Bronze swimming is that it is the long-term interest of the swimmer that is to be served, and that the fundamental goal of Bronze is to make each swimmer the best SENIOR swimmer that he or she can be. While many Bronze swimmers are fast and highly competitive in age-group competition, that is a by-product of the larger aim of the program. To achieve success with this philosophy, the following are the necessary goals of the Bronze group:
Provide swimmers with the most effective and efficient stroke techniques possible. While there is no single stroke technique that is perfect for all swimmers, there is a perfect stroke for each individual swimmer, and this is developed through repetition of stroke drills in ALL strokes on a daily basis.
Provide swimmers with a background of aerobic endurance. Endurance is a facet of conditioning that will last and benefit the swimmer throughout his or her swimming career and in later life after a competitive swimming career is completed. Endurance is developed daily through over distance and short rest training, while still reinforcing proper technique and stroke mechanics. [Anaerobic sprint training is NOT a regular feature of training at this level, although some sprint and race specific training is introduced at this level.]
Provide swimmers with the attitude necessary for success in swimming. Attitude is virtually EVERYTHING in swimming. It includes focus, consistency and self-discipline in practice, a strong will to compete and win in races, and an understanding that swimming at a high level of proficiency is FUN and should be enjoyed. We also strive to cultivate and reinforce qualities of a great competitor including good sportsmanship, teamwork, and fair play.
SILVER GROUP: The primary focus of the Silver group is to prepare the swimmer for the next level of swimming. We refine technique in all four strokes and IM, frequently encouraging our swimmers to compete in multiple strokes, and distances. In addition, we train the swimmer to become more "athletic" (i.e. work on coordination, race technique and strategy, flexibility, conditioning, and core strength), while continuing to build on the endurance base formed in the Bronze Group.
The main idea of the silver program is to have each swimmer ready to tackle the next level of swimming. With this in mind we want every swimmer to be capable of swimming all strokes; thus allowing that swimmer to be the most productive for his/her team. We also work on all distances in the each stroke; we do not classify each swimmer as a "distance swimmer", "sprinter", “Backstroker", etc but rather as a swimmer who is willing to try new things and swim whatever is necessary to help the team.
There are six practices per week for the Silver group during the winter season and 8-9 practices per week in the summer season. Since the next level of swimming requires anywhere from 8-11 practices per week, we strongly encourage the swimmers to make each practice. Otherwise they will find themselves not able to handle the next group.
At this level we also like to work on "race technique". Swimming fast is always good; but knowing how to swim a race can sometimes be even more important. We expect the swimmers to set goals (we will teach them the finer points of goal setting), and know what it takes to reach those goals, as well as knowing how to swim the best race to help reach the goals. We also expect each swimmer to learn to be "tough"; to come thru the discomfort of hard work and become a better person as well as a better swimmer.
GOLD GROUP: The Gold team is composed of those individuals who realize that greatness only comes through dedication, desire, and a willingness to make sacrifices. These swimmers have a sound understanding of the strokes, starts, turns and the rules and regulations of competitive swimming. The Gold swimmers embark on a very intense physical training program that involves 6,000-8,000 yards per water workout, training one to two times daily, and is expected to participate in a strength and flexibility program. The swimmers learn the strategies for swimming the different events and they develop the skill for being a competitor.
During the first third of the season much over distance training is included in the workouts of the Gold Group. This training provides a solid base of physical fitness for the remainder of the season. During the middle third more quality sets of swimming are involved in the practices. These sets are structure toward the event the swimmers are training for. Since endurance can be lost in a matter of days, use of over distance training is continual. The last third of the season brings more quality sets, starts, turns are polished, and time is spent developing the proper pace for each individual event.
More emphasis is also placed on proper diet and rest, and a positive attitude toward swimmers, both in general and in regard to the swimmers upcoming races. If any one of the factors of rest, diet, attitude, or conditioning is not given proper attention the swimmer will never realize their full potential.
Gold swimmers have made a commitment to swimming. They have set high goals for themselves, and they are willing to make the effort, spend the time and make the necessary sacrifice to achieve these goals.