Each SLA swimmer is placed into a practice group by the coaching staff when they join the team. The group placement decision will take into consideration a variety of objective and subjective factors such as age, physical maturity, social and emotional maturity, skill/technique development, level of aerobic conditioning, experience in the sport, and the level of commitment necessary required for success at the level of the program under consideration.
The SLA coaching staff takes a great deal of time making these decisions each season and you can rest assured that the group placement decision is made with care and concern for your child’s long term development as a competitive swimmer.
Group Progression Summary
Typically, beginner to intermediate level age group swimmers (swimmers age 14&under) will enter the SLA program at the Development level where they begin to focus on developing proper stroke technique in all four of the competitive strokes along with the racing starts and turns necessary for competition. Swimmers are exposed to swim meets at this level of the program and the focus of competition is the application of proper techniques at race speed.
SLA believes in developing age group swimmers who are capable of competing successfully in all four competitive strokes and a complete range of racing distances. It is for this reason that we prioritize swimming correctly from a technique perspective at each level of the program. Once a strong technical foundation has been developed, a swimmer will be moved to a training group that is appropriate for their age, skill, and level of commitment (practice and swim meet attendance).
The training groups will continue to focus on the technical side of the sport. However, the focus on the aerobic development of the athlete will begin to increase in importance. Swimming correctly over longer distances at faster aerobic paces will take years to develop and the training progressions are designed with this important aspect of long term development as a priority
The focus of competition at the training group level will involve correctly executing racing strategies and approaching the swim meet environment with a clear and goal-driven purpose. We introduce the athlete to the important life skill of goal setting as early as the Mini Development