Training Group Overview
The Barracudas use a progressive age group training and development program specifically compiled and applied for our Club from concepts of USA Swimming's American Development Model, numerous relevant professional coaching philosophies and progression programs, and Coach Harris’ personal experience. Our program for competitive swimming is designed to facilitate the long-term development of our swimmers. It generally requires a gradual increase of commitment over time, with commensurate athletic improvements throughout an age group career. Progression through the Barracuda program will be based on a number of factors, including social and sport enjoyment considerations, physical and mental maturity, technique, and performance. We strive for long-term success and an appreciation of swimming as a life sport. Parents and athletes should be mindful that moving swimmers up too fast may not be in the best interest of the athlete's long-term interest.
Our professional coaches MUST be trusted with decisions regarding athlete progression, as parents’ interpretations of these areas can be subjective. Coaches spend hours with their swimmers and hours off deck evaluating the best course for each swimmer bringing to bear appropriate raw data, experience, education, and creativity in thinking about which course of action is best for each individual’s swimming career.
The emphasis for younger swimmers and those in early levels of the team is on development and mastery of technical skills (strokes, turns, etc.) and love of the sport. In later levels, a more demanding physical and psychological challenge is offered, still with an overall goal of maintaining and enhancing an enjoyment and love for the sport.
The focus and expectations for each level have been developed and are applied specific to the skills, abilities, experience, general goals, physical and emotional maturity, and the developmental needs of the swimmers in each group. The coaching staff understands the fact that every swimmer is different and that he/she will progress at an individual rate. Our professional coaching staff have the ability and duty to reasonably meet individual needs by moving swimmers into appropriate training groups that sometimes may not meet the "traditional description" of that group.
Also, please note that designation of training groups may change from time to time in an effort to best suit the needs of the athletes and team at the time. Variables that may result in changes to defined training groups may include, for example: the availability of more coaching staff, more (or less) available facility time and space, changing numbers of swimmers at one or more levels, etc.
Group Names and Descriptions
Explorers (More about this group)
The goal of the Explorer group is to find enjoyment in the sport of competitive swimming while learning the basics of the 4 strokes. Swimmers will be introduced to flip turns, starts, and drill work that will improve their stroke technique. Events at meets will be limited to their abilities as seen by the coaching staff. Main focus is on a positive experience as a member of the Barracuda Swim Team. Recommended Practices: 2-3 per week
Discovery (More about this group)
Develop skills and techniques relevant to competitive swimming races from 50’s up to 100’s including I.M. races. Discovery Swimmers will be encouraged and expected to try new events at meets that are recommended by coaching staff. Discovery Group swimmers will begin training for endurance, but the main focus is on legal technique of all 4 strokes while increasing yardage.Recommended Practices: 3-4 per week
Sawtooth (More about this group)
Develop into a mature swimmer with self-discipline focusing on training for race strategy with proper stroke technique. Sawtooth swimmers will be capable of swimming all 4 competitive strokes, and all available events for their age group with confidence. Sawtooth Swimmers will develop skills and techniques relevant to competitive swimming races from 100’s up to 200’s including I.M. races. Sawtooth Swimmers will be encouraged and expected to try new events including 200’s of non-free strokes and 400 and longer races at meets that are recommended by coaching staff. Sawtooth Group swimmers will increase focus on training and endurance, however coaches will continue feedback on legal technique of all 4 strokes, starts and turns while increasing yardage.Recommended Practices: 4-5 per week
Sharpfin (More about this group)
Develop into a mature swimmer with self-discipline focusing on training for race strategy with proper stroke technique. Sharpfin swimmers will be capable of swimming all 4 competitive strokes, and all available events for their age group with confidence. Sharpfin swimmers will develop skills and techniques relevant to competitive swimming races from 100’s up to 400’s including I.M. races and 800 FR or higher distance events. Challenge division swimmers will increase focus on training and endurance, however coaches will continue feedback on legal technique of all 4 strokes, starts and turns while increasing yardage.
Blackfin (More about this group)
Encourage swimmers to improve in areas of discipline, motivation, academics and swimming skills necessary for success in high school, college and in life. Coaches will provide a positive swimming environment where Blackfin swimmers can grow, learn, and build leadership skills that will benefit team and individual achievement. Senior I/HS Prep swimmers will begin to find focus in desired events if planning for collegiate swimming career. Swimmers will continue to be expected to train and compete in a variety of events and strokes to encourage well-rounded swimming and prevent over-use injury.