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Practice Groups

Practice Group Placement Standards

Team Groups

The Y Swim Team is divided into several training groups, done with the consideration of the swimmers’ development of technical skills, training abilities, maturity, competitive levels, time standards and group availability. The progressive structure of these groups provides a setting in which swimmers are continually challenged yet are able to experience individual and team successes. All group placement decisions are made by the entire coaching staff and done so in the best interest of the swimmers and their long term development.   


Time Standards

Some groups may have time standards used as reference for team member placement in the practice groups. Each year, USA Swimming establishes time standards, or "Cuts" for each of its major meets, from BB or age group meets through Olympic Trials, swimmers are always striving to make their next cut.  While we use time standards as a good point of reference, the coaches reserve the right to move swimmers up or down based on personal recommendation.


Novice

The Novice Group provides younger swimmers with the opportunities to develop the fundamental skills of the four competitive strokes, turns and starts, plus to learn basic racing skills.  Generally, swimmers will be placed in training groups based upon their age and ability.  Although participation in other sports and activities is normal, swimmers are encouraged to attend 2-3 practices a week because good attendance is one of the considerations for promotion.

Placement into Novice

  • 5 – 11 years of age
  • Can swim in deep water  
  • Can swim 25 yards freestyle demonstrating breathing to the side and good body position
  • Can swim 25 yards backstroke demonstrating good body position 
  • Can swim 25 yards breaststroke or butterfly is a plus 
  • Can demonstrate a forward dive from the edge of the pool


Age Group I

The AG1 group focuses on continued development in stroke technique and efficiency plus the introduction of aerobic training.   Swimmers are strongly encouraged to attend three practices a week.  Although attendance is not required, it is necessary to build a foundation for moving to AG2

Placement in AGI

  • 8 – 12 years of age
  • Has demonstrated legal technique in all four strokes
  • Has achieved at least one or more 10 year old “B” National Age Group Motivational Times OR has strong coach recommendation to be moved up
  • Has a strong attendance record (2-3 days a week)
  • Has demonstrated on a daily basis the desire and ability to perform at a higher level
  • Demonstrates YMCA core values and good sportsmanship at practices and meets
  • 8 & Under swimmers can be promoted to AG1 if they have achieved three or more 10-year-old “B” National Age Group Motivational Times, have a strong attendance record (2-3 days a week), have demonstrated on a daily basis the desire and ability to perform at a higher level and have shown the maturity to work with older swimmers


Age Group II

AG2 continues to refine stroke technique and efficiency, plus sets a strong foundation for aerobic training with longer freestyle sets and IM sets as the staples for the workouts.  Strong workout habits are taught and swimmers are expected to attend three workouts a week.

Placement into AGII

  • 10 – 13 years of age. 
  • Has achieved at least one, preferably more, 11 year old “B” National Age Group Motivational Times OR has strong coach recommendation to be moved up
  • Has a strong attendance record (3 days a week)
  • Has demonstrated on a daily basis the desire and ability to perform at a higher level
  • Has coaches’ recommendations
  • 9 year olds can move if they have achieved three or more 11-year-old “B” National Age Group Motivational Times, have strong attendance (3 days a week), have demonstrated on a daily basis the desire and ability to perform at a higher level and have shown the maturity to work with older swimmers
  • Demonstrates YMCA core values and good sportsmanship at practices and meets


Senior I

The Senior 1 group is for those swimmers who are dedicated to improving their skills in swimming with an eye to either becoming more competitive in the sport, or to continue their competitive swimming career.  Stroke technique and aerobic training are emphasized at every workout.  Swimmers are asked to come to workouts on a regular basis.  Participation in other activities is normal and encouraged; however, good attendance and a good attitude are major considerations to advance to Senior 2.

Placement into SI

  • 11 years of age
  • Can demonstrate legally the following strokes and distances:  200-yard Freestyle, 100-yard Backstroke, 100-yard Breaststroke and 50-yard Butterfly. 
  • Can demonstrate a forward dive from the edge of the pool
  • Has coaches’ recommendations
  • Demonstrates YMCA core values and good sportsmanship at practices and meets
  • Has achieved at least one, preferably more, 13 year old “B” National Age Group Motivational Times OR has strong coach recommendation to be moved up


Senior II

The Senior 2 Group provides a rigorous training regimen plus continued efficient stroke technique for swimmers who have made a strong commitment to the sport of swimming.  Members in this group are looking at the regional competition with strong qualifying standards. Swimmers are encouraged to attend an average of 90% of practices.

Placement in SII

  • 13 years of age. 
  • Achieved at least one, preferably three or more, 13 year old BB National Age Group Motivational Times OR has strong coach recommendation to be moved up
  • Attended 90% or more of the offered workouts for Senior 1.
  • Demonstrated on a daily basis the desire and ability to perform at a higher level.
  • Coaches’ recommendations
  • 11-12 year olds must achieve two or more 13-year-old BB National Age Group Motivational Times plus have attended 90% or more of the offered workouts, have demonstrated on a daily basis the desire and ability to perform at a higher level, and have shown the maturity to work with older swimmers.
  • Demonstrates YMCA core values and good sportsmanship at practices and meets