Ages 10 & Under :
RISSO - For newcomer swimmers, ages 10 and under. To be eligible for this group, the child must be able to stay on task for a 50 minute workout and swim 25 yards without stopping. These swimmers can complete if the coach is confident they can swim without stopping to grab lane ropes or the wall. They learn the beginning of stroke mechanics and gain an understanding of what it takes to be on a swim team. The coaches will have games and instruction for them, as well as a short main set. These swimmers begin to develop the skills that help them compete. Throughout the season the coaches will work with Risso swimmers to become legal in all 4 strokes and will recognize the beginner swimmers' strengths and build on those skills. For example: if a child is a natural at breaststroke, the coaches will work on that stroke with the swimmer so they can swim breaststroke at swim meets. Swimmers in this group will typically swim in heat 3 or 4 in their events, and will swim 25 freestyle, 25 backstroke, and in one or two relays at swim meets.
ORCA - To be eligible for this group, the child must be able to swim the backstroke without turning on their stomachs and should be able to breathe to the side during freestyle. Typically, the swimmers in this group are in the 6-10 age range, probably graduated from the Risso group last year, are legal in at least 3 of the strokes, and have either 1 year of MAFD experience or natural swimming ability as a newcomer, allowing them to bypass the Risso group. This group will work hard to become legal in all 4 strokes throughout the season, and will typically compete in heat 2 or 3 in their events.
CLYMENE - These swimmers will be serious about competing and are legal in all four strokes (or are legal in 3 strokes and very close to legal in the 4th stroke). Ages usually range from 7-10 years, with some competitive swimming experience in previous years (but not required, if the child is a natural). This group will begin learning flip turns midway through the season and will practice individual medley sets a few times a week. Coaches rely on this group to score points for the team in their age groups, so competition, sprinting skills, and detailed technique will be heavily emphasized. Swimmers in this group typically swim in heat 1 or 2 in their events.
BOTTLENOSE - This is the advanced 10 and under group. Most swimmers in this group have experience practicing flip turns and have competed in races of 50 yards or greater in the past. Interval sets with heavy emphasis on the individual medley will be frequent during practice. The coaches have learned each swimmer's strengths and weaknesses in this group and will conform the workouts to build the skills each individual swimmer needs. These swimmers are encouraged to know their times in their best events and work hard to improve those times at every meet. This group is also welcome (and encouraged) to attend practice on Tuesday and Thursday morning from 7:30-9am to swim with either the Spinner or Striped groups. Swimmers in this group typically swim in heat 1 in their best events and score many points for the team throughout the season.
Ages 11 & Up:
SPINNER - This group is reserved for novice swimmers ages 11 and older and must remain focused for 1 hour and 15 minutes of coaching instruction. The swimmers will learn all 4 strokes throughout the season and will hopefully be legal in all 4 strokes by mid July. Since swimmers ages 11 and older swim 50 yard events, we will start flip turns with this group in early June and hopefully master them by late June. The goal the coaches have for this group is to help swimmers find their favorite stroke, develop that stroke for speed, and continue to develop skills to improve swimmers' weaknesses. Basic swimming technique and drills will be heavily emphasized with multiple sets, typically consisting of 25-50 yards for each rep in June, and sets like 6 x 100 yard swims on intervals of 2 minutes and 30 seconds in July. These swimmers will typically swim in heat 3 or 4 during meets.
STRIPED - These swimmers typically have some competitive swimming experience in the past (not required if a newcomer swimmer is a natural), know how to do flip turns, and are legal in all 4 strokes (or legal in 3 strokes and very close to legal in the 4th stroke). Age range is usually 11-14 in this group, and they usually swim about 1 mile each practice. Lots of instruction is used in this group to prepare the swimmer for more interval and main sets. In early June, we will be doing sets of 8 x 50 on 1:30, and by the end of the season, doing the same set on 1:10 and also 8 x 100 on 2:10 to build endurance. Coaches will assign sprint sets daily to this group while also placing heavy emphasis on drills and stroke technique. The coaches encourage the Bottlenose group to practice with the Striped group on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. This group typically swims in heat 1 or 2 in their events, know their times, and know how to practice hard to improve their times.
SNUBFIN - To be eligible for this group, the swimmer is experienced and competitive. These swimmers enjoy hard sets and require more repetition in drills and laps to ensure the technique lasts through the longest and hardest sets. These swimmers can swim 8 x 100 free on a 2:00 interval in June and hopefully 1:50 in July. These swimmers usually compete in heat 1 or 2 in their events, know their times, and are highly motivated to work hard in practice to improve those times. Age range in this group is typically 12-16. This group will typically swim 2000-2500 yards each practice.
DUSKY - To be eligible for this group, the swimmer is serious about competitive swimming. The swimmer should be able to swim 10 x 100 on a 1:45 and 8 x 50 on :50. This group will sometimes be separated into sprint and distance groups in 2 different lanes, because the swimmers in this group know their strengths and know what events they usually swim in meets. The coaches will work hard to play to these swimmers' strengths and improve their times with rigorous coaching, emphasizing advanced technique, racing strategies, and endurance. Swimmers' ages in this group typically range from 13-18 with significant competitive swimming experience. In a standard Dusky practice, the swimmers will complete 2500-3500 yards.
HOURGLASS-This lane is reserved for year-round swimmers, ages 13-18. They will typically do similar workouts as the Dusky swimmers, but with slightly faster intervals and a few hundred more yards per practice. For example, Instead of 10 x 100 on 1:45, these swimmers would do 12 x 100 on 1:30 instead. They will receive workouts similar to what they would get at Prime or TNAQ practices.
See You at Swim Practice!