SCARLET-WAVE MULTI-LEVEL DEVELOPMENT APPROACH
The Scarlet-Wave Club program has been structured on the premise that there are basic phases of athlete development in age group swimming. At each level of the program, we continually try to evaluate and adapt to the multitude of factors, both scientific and sociological, that impact the growth and development of young athletes. Experience has taught us that the perfect age group program is a moving target that changes as the population we serve changes and as we learn more and more about the development of young people.
Following is an outline description of the phases of development and the basic premises that currently guide our thinking at each of these levels.
Novice and Advanced Novice Groups: Basic Skills-Ages 11 & under.
These groups are introductory level groups to competitive swimming. Novice meets 2x per week and Advanced Novice meets 3x per week. In order to begin at the Novice level of our program, swimmers must be able to swim a minimum of 25 yards freestyle and backstroke. The teaching to conditioning ratio is 80-90% teaching and 10-20% conditioning.
Age Group 2 and Age Group: Basic Skill Development – Ages 9-12.
These two groups focus on fundamentals and basic motor learning skills and coordination in the water. Both groups swim 4x per week, but Age Group swims slightly longer practices than Age Group 2. The swimmers at these levels learn more complex stroke drills and continue to work on developing basic technical skills in all four strokes. The percentage of basic swimming endurance increases at this level. The ratio of teaching to conditioning is 65-70% teaching and 30-35% conditioning. Swimmers in Age Group also begin swimming on a year round basis. An optional summer program is offered to swimmers in Age Group 2.
Senior Prep: Basic Training Development - Ages 9 to 12.
At this age advanced swimmers who have already demonstrated a high level of commitment to the sport move into the Senior Prep program. Swimmers who move into this practice level are able to swim all four strokes and maintain good technique on low intensity interval work. Practice is held 5-6x per week. This phase is a transitional level where the emphasis begins to change from primarily teaching to a relatively equal balance of technique work and physiological development (i.e. building an engine for future success). The ratio of teaching to conditioning is 40-50% teaching and 50-60% conditioning. It is of prime importance that these athletes train on a year round basis.
Senior Advanced: Progressive Training - Ages 13 to 18.
Most team members move into the senior levels of our program at age 13. The Senior Advanced Group has built in flexibility in the schedule for those swimmers who have made swimming one of several activities they participate in or are still developing their skills, conditioning and /or commitment. Commitment level is decided upon jointly between the athletes, parents and coaches on an individual basis. Practices are offered 5x per week. For most, the program structure calls for more time to be devoted to physiological conditioning than to teaching fundamentals. The ratio of teaching to conditioning is generally 35% teaching and 65% conditioning (but can be highly individual), after early season technique emphasis work.
Senior Zone / National-Sectional Group: Elite Training
- Ages 13 & Over.
Swimmers with the appropriate dedication, desire, experience, and talent move to the advanced training level of our program at 13-18+ years of age. The training program in these groups is very demanding with a heavy emphasis on distance-based and IM physiological training for most athletes. Practices are held 6-9x per week. The ratio of teaching to conditioning is 25% teaching and 75% conditioning once the early season technique emphasis has been set into place (3-5 weeks). Attendance and commitment expected.