There are seven levels of achievement offered by the Oregon City Swim Team, along with a Masters.
This is our Learn to Swim level. The minimum requirements are the ability to swim, unassisted, one length of the pool freestyle and one length backstroke, and to have a love of the water. In this group swimmers will learn the basic technique of the four competitive strokes, develop diving skills, and be introduced to something we call Sensory Swimming in which athletes learn to ‘listen’ and pay attention to how their body and the water responds to stimulus. At this level, the goal is to better familiarize each individual with coordinated movement in the water so they can become comfortable and confident swimmers. OCST offers Novice swimmers 3 practices per week, 45 minutes each, all year round. Average age of Novice swimmers ranges from 5 to 11.
EXPLORE (RED GROUP)
This is our Learn to Compete level. Here swimmers will explore concepts and ideas of the competitive side of swimming and will be ready to attend swim meets. These swimmers know all four competitive strokes, and while much of the work is technique-based they will begin to be introduced to training principles. Learning how hard work and fun go hand-in-hand is a big part of an Explore swimmer’s experience. Swimmers at this level will gain a better understanding of their strengths in the water, and learn to foster their weaknesses in order to make themselves as well-rounded a swimmer as possible. The exploration they will be experiencing is one of self-discovery: some of the goals of Explore are to learn their potential, test their limits, and conquer new and exciting challenges in the sport of swimming; to be the best version of themselves they can. OCST offers Explore 3-5 one hour practices per week. Additionally a 10-30minute dryland session is included either before or after each practice depending on the day of the week. Average age of Explore swimmers ranges from 8 to 12.
SPRINT (WHITE GROUP)
This is our Learn to Race level. While Sprint swimmers are continuing to work on stroke mechanics, a solid amount of practice is devoted to some training aspects and racing strategies. These swimmers will begin to learn more advanced training skills, like remembering times, checking their heart rate, counting strokes, and following the pace clock. Through these training techniques, Sprint swimmers will learn the love and exhilaration of Speed as they discover new and exciting ways to achieve their potential. With the increased intensity of this group, what becomes necessary is a greater understanding of the commitment and sacrifice required to achieve whatever goals you may have, as well as the important role teamwork plays in accessing personal potential. These swimmers are expected to work hard and give their best, not just for personal growth but also for love of Team. Practices are six days a week and range from 1 hour to 1 ½ hours and include a 10-30 minute dryland session as a part of the practice. Average age of Sprint swimmers ranges from 10 to 13.
RACE (BLUE GROUP)
This is our Learn to Train level. At this level swimmers begin to spend more time on training sets and building endurance while still emphasizing technique. Race swimmers will learn to set personal and team goals, develop seasonal strategies for competitive and personal success, and learn ways to lead balanced and healthy lives both in and out of the pool. As expectations and intensity increases, so does the necessity for a greater time commitment and sacrifice to the sport of swimming. For this reason it is important for Race swimmers to learn how to balance their busy lives in order to experience continued success both on the pool deck and in their personal lives. While many can continue being dual sport athletes, in Race is where swimmers will decide to take themselves to the next competitive level and begin to specialize in the sport of swimming. Additionally, a more intense dryland program is introduced to supplement conditioning and improve functional movement as a greater physical load is put upon Race athletes. Practices are six days a week and range from an hour and fifteen minutes to 2 hours, with 30-40 minute dryland sessions 4-5 a week. Average age of Race swimmers ranges from 11-15.
TRAIN (SILVER GROUP)
This is our Learn to Perform level. Swimmer’s in Train have shown a commitment to swimming and are well versed in technique and race strategy. Here they are expected to set goals, demonstrate self-discipline and regularly attend practice. In Train, success is measured by the content of one’s character as the training challenges presented strain limits and the stiffness of competition intensifies. In Train, what is fostered is pairing a positive attitude with great effort to unlock personal and team success, and a greater understanding of what kind of personal sacrifice is necessary to perform at the highest level they can. The dryland program increases its strength and conditioning elements becoming more of an integral piece to the training regime rather than just a supplement. Practices are six to eight days a week depending on the time of year, and range from an hour and a half to two hours with a daily 30-40 minute dryland session. Average age of Train swimmers ranges from 12-16.
PERFORMANCE (GOLD GROUP)
This is our Learn to Achieve level. Performance swimmers demonstrate excellent swimming ability and work capacity, and are expected to be mature, responsible and more self-managing athletes. They are expected to make an exceptional commitment to swimming by showing up to an average of 95% of practices. Swimmers in Performance will learn the strategies necessary to pull off their greatest performances and work as hard as they can towards that end. They will implement all of the skills they have learned to be successful athletes and successful people, and to achieve their goals at the highest level they can. Practices are six days a week with up to three mornings a week. Performance swimmers are generally 14 years old to collegiate age.
On OCST, we know that not everyone who loves the water finds value in competition, or wants to commit to training every day of the week. This group is designed for athletes that want to swim for more recreational or general fitness reasons or to compliment a primary sport outside of the water without having the same time commitment expectations as swimmers who are on a more long-term competitive track. If an athlete wants to be a part of the competitive side of things, as a Fitness swimmer you can compete in any home meets or fun meets that we do throughout the year. And if at any time Fitness swimmers want to be more serious about the sport, they can slide over to the appropriate level squad for their speed and age (space permitting) with the intent to meet the commitment level expected of that group. Fitness meets only three times a week for 1 hour and 15 minutes water time, with an optional 30 minute dryland session beforehand.
This group is tailored to the High-school-aged swimmer—or Middle-school-aged swimmer at a Race group level—who have multiple responsibilities in life beyond the pool and are unable to make the full competitive track commitment detailed in the Race, Train and Performance groups, but wish to continue a training regime to maintain their swimming fitness. Challenge swimmers may compete in any meets throughout the year that are not travel meets, or meets with qualifying standards, including Championships. If a member of the Challenge group is willing to take on the larger full-time commitment required of their age/skill level appropriate group, they can slide over to the competitive track (Race, Train or Performance) with the intent to meet the commitment level expected of that group (space permitting). OCST provides one hour of water time up to five days a week and pre-practice dry land activities three times a week.
Masters Swimming provides organized workouts and competitions for adults aged 18 and over. Programs are open to all adult swimmers (fitness, triathlete, competitive, non-competitive) who are dedicated to improving their fitness through swimming.