Practice Groups


Stroke School is where SSC swimmers learn how to swim all 4 strokes and learn to train.

Stroke School is comprised of three groups; Freestyle Backstroke (FR/BK), Breaststroke Butterfly (BR/FL) and Pre-Competitive. The Stroke School is where the swimmers will learn how to swim with correct competitive swimming technique. These swimmers are encouraged to attend all of the provided SSC club nights to learn how a swim meet works and to help the coaches with ongoing evaluation of the team. USA swimming meets are optional at this division of the club. All stroke school swimmers are encouraged to participate in USA swimming meets when they feel ready.

Freestyle & Backstroke (FR/BK)

In FR/BK School your swimmer will learn how to swim catch up freestyle and backstroke with correct head position, arm strokes and hand entries, kicks and breathing timing. As well as FR and BK stroke technique your swimmer will learn how to perform the flip turn which is the wall transition used in freestyle and backstroke. Learning correct kicks for the breaststroke and butterfly will also be a strong component at this level. Learning the correct kicks in all four strokes is essential for progression to the next level of our stroke school. All FR/BK schoolers will learn how to enter the water in a shallow dive from a sitting, kneeling and crouching positions.

Breaststroke & Butterfly (BR/FL)

The main focus of this school is learning the correct stroke to kick timing in both breaststroke & butterfly. In BR/FL School your swimmer will build on the skills learned in FR/BK School. FR and BK skills are advanced to incorporate body rotation in both strokes with continued concentration on correct head position, arm strokes and hand entries, kicks and breathing timing. Swimmers are taught the correct arm strokes for BR/FLY and will learn the correct timing for both strokes. All BR/FL swimmers will learn how to perform a fast flip turn and the basics of BR/FLY open turns and IM transitions. Swimmers will learn how to perform a shallow standing dive from the wall and the dive block. Swimmers will become USA swimming dive certified before moving into our PreCompetitive School.

PreCompetitive (Precomp)

In the Precomp School, swimmers are now able to swim all four competitive strokes with the correct stroke mechanics and perform flip turns and open turn transition in BR/FLY and IM. Swimmers will begin to learn how a competitive group practice is run. They will learn how to use the pace clock, how to read sets on the white board and how to swim on base time intervals all while holding correct technique in all strokes and turns. Swimmers will begin to build their cardiovascular system by swimming longer and more challenging sets that will prepare them for what is expected in the competitive groups. PreCompetitive swimmers are expected to attend a minimum number of USA swimming meets to prepare themselves for the expectations of the competitive groups.


The Competitive Groups is where SSC swimmers learn how to train and to race.

The Competitive Groups are divided into three groups, BronzeSilver and Gold. Once swimmers reach the competitive groups they are ready to learn how to train harder and faster while holding correct stroke technique. These swimmers are striving to become more efficient, fast swimmers. Swimmers in this division of the club are ready to compete at meets and are trying to better their personal best times while shooting for the Maine State Championships and higher honors. Competitive group swimmers are committed to becoming the best swimmer they can be.

Swimmers at this level of the club set individual personal seasonal goals with their coaches and establish group goals for the season and year. Movement from group to group in this division is based on holding correct technique while swimming evaluation sets on a set base time interval. Each group evaluation base time standards get harder as the swimmer moves higher up the competitive group levels. 

As well as being able to achieve the base time required for the group move up, these swimmers are required to reach certain times on the USA swimming motivational time standards to move to the next group. These standards are available to view under the Times tab on our website. 


When there are a sufficient number of interested swimmers, SSC may offer a High School and Middle School Swim Team Preparation Group for High School and Middle School age swimmers looking for a coached practice. These practices would focus on correct competition strokes, turn and dive techniques. This group will also be working on building a stronger aerobic base for the high school and middle school swim seasons.