Bozeman Barracudas Training Groups
Our training division structure has been revised. We now have three primary training divisions each with somewhat overlapping age ranges to best suit individual athlete needs. Each of those three divisions will allow multiple days-per-week commitments (with appropriate associated dues) and will incorporate several sub-division group assignments to allow coaches to better match the technical, physical, competitive and social concerns of each athlete. We understand the desire and encourage multi-sport/activity. We want well rounded athletes and people. Our structure allows 2-, 3- or 4-days per week for more novice swimmers and 3-, 4-, or 5+ days per week for older, more competitive athletes so that we can appropriately accommodate the multi-activity swimmer, the fitness swimmer and the highly competitive swimmer. We understand that life happens and schedules change. Training days can periodically be modified to account for doctor visits, school activities, etc., with notice to and approval of the Lead Division Coach. See the following training group descriptions for additional information.
Development Division - The Development Division is for our youngest and more novice athletes including those age generally 10 and under. Training in this division focuses primarily on body awareness, proper swimming technique, general swimming vocabulary/knowledge, early competitive concepts, and having fun in the water and with our teammates. We focus on technique rather than competitive results, understanding that mechanically sound swimming will ultimately result in competitive advantage and fewer injuries. Swimmers in this division will improve stamina and strength, but will do so as a byproduct of our work on technique. We hope our swimmers in the Development Division begin a life-long love for the sport.
The Development Division offers 2-, 3-, and 4-day per week training frequency options. All Development Division practices are one hour in duration. Two-day per week training frequency is usually most appropriate for our first season swimmers and swimmers that take part in multiple activities. Two-day per week swimmers should contact Coach Matt for selection of their training days and should, if possible, include either a Friday or Saturday practice to ensure that start/dive training is available.
Three-day per week swimmers should choose either Mon/Wed/Fri or Tue/Thur/Sat practice days. Some flexibility in attendance days due to schedule changes or other commitments is available, as described above.
The 4-day per week option for the Discovery Division is available only with prior approval of the Lead Division Coach.
Challenge Division - The Challenge Division encompasses our middle training group to include swimmers that have attained a basic mastery of the four competitive strokes, the ability to properly perform turns and race starts, and have an understanding of and have demonstrated general race strategies and techniques. Challenge Division athletes are generally becoming more competitive. Many will have specific time or process goals and will qualify for upper level swim meets. Our training focus is still on stroke mechanics, but we introduce endurance and speed training, working to maintain proper technique when tired or swimming fast. The Challenge Division generally includes swimmers age 8 to 13.
The Challenge Division offers 3-, 4-, and 5-day per week training options. Practice durations include 1.5 hours for the 3-day per week swimmers to 2 hours for the 4- and 5-day per week athletes.
Senior Division - The Senior Division is for both our most experienced, competitive athletes as well as older swimmers that want to maintain fitness or prepare for HS swimming or other sports. We will implement detailed season training plans for the competitive athletes with the aim of performing exceptionally well at end-of-season meets ranging from the Montana seasonal championship meet to national level competitions. We will also provide appropriate training for the less-competitive or fitness athlete.
The Senior Division offers 3-, 4-, and 5+-day per week training options depending on athlete goals and ability. Two-per-day workouts are available for the most competitive athletes in the 5+-day per week option with Head Coach approval. All Senior Division workouts are 2 hours in duration.
Notes on Group Assignments -- Group Assignments and 'move ups' are some of the most difficult decisions coaches make. Many factors go into the decision-making process including age, ability, technical prowess, physical capacity and endurance, physical and emotional maturity, social needs and more. While there are many individual objective measures, the end result includes lots of subjectivity. One of the worst mistakes a coach can make is to move an swimmer up too quickly and have the athlete perceive failure. Additionally, we generally endeavor to keep training groups together for a season. However, if you have questions regarding athlete group placement, please contact the head coach. We will evaluate individual changes on a case-by-case basis as appropriate.