The Mini Piranha Program is designed to help bridge the gap between learn-to-swim lessons and our Piranha swim team. Mini Piranhas enjoy a comprehensive swim program with limited team social events. Through a positive and enjoyable environment, swimmers will be coached on carefully designed progressions and fundamental development.
The Mini Piranha Program is designed for children who strive to advance to the 6 & Under swim team group. Minis:
Are 4 to 6 years old (older children may start as a Mini until they qualify for team),
Can swim (dog paddle or big arms) approximately 15 feet unassisted (from the wall to the flags);
Are unafraid to put their face in the water; and
Can follow coaches’ directions.
Prior to the start of Minis, a coach will evaluate each child in the pool to help you confirm they are eligible and ready to join the Mini Piranha Program.
2018 Minis Practice Schedule and Important Dates
Registration: opens February 28th, 2018
Evaluation dates: (*not required for returning swimmers and swimmers in Spring lessons)
Thursday, April 19th, 1:30-2:30pm
Saturday June 2nd, 12:30-1:30pm
Practice Schedule (June 11 - July 19):
Mini Meet: Friday, July 20
Minis Social: Minis Popsicle and Picture Party tentatively scheduled for *Friday, June 15th* at 12:45 p.m.
Is my child ready for the Mini Piranha Program?
Minis is not learn-to-swim program. Swimmers that don’t meet Minis requirements are recommended to seek learn-to-swim lessons, which are available at many Lamorinda locations. In addition, Ranch will also be offering some learn-to-swim lessons with our junior coaches during the summer.
How do I determine if my child is a Mini or 6&U?
If your child is able to complete 1 lap of freestyle without holding the lane line and is comfortable swimming on their back without assistance, then they are ready for swim team. If you choose to join the Minis program and they can complete the above, they will be recommended for swim team at the beginning of the season. Please note, strokes don’t need to be perfect.
If you are having a difficult time making the decision between 6&U and Minis many look to the social nature of swim team as a tipping point. As part of the Ranch Swim Team, your child will have the opportunity to participate in the 6&U Social, Time Trials, Swim Meets, Dive Clinics, Team Secret Pals, Buddy Night (kids love this one!!), Last Blast Parties, OMPA and Awards Night.
Finally, note that while 6&U kids have both a morning and late afternoon (5pm) swim practice options to choose from (offered 3 days per week), Minis is offered only once per day.
Which team or social events are Minis included in?
The goal of the Mini Piranha Program is to teach kids to love swimming and the community that comes along with swim team. Minis are included in the team’s Pancake Breakfast, Ranch Fiesta Night, Team Photos, Movie Day, Friday Fun Lunches and Pasta / Skit Night (although there is no skit for the Minis). The Minis program does their own secret pals week which is separate from that of the swim team.
Do parents of Mini Piranhas have social or meet jobs?
If you only have a Mini Piranha (and no other swim team swimmers), you are not required to sign up for Social or Meet Jobs. Also, Minis do not need to have a team suit, or wear fins.
What level can I expect my child to be at the end of the Mini Program?
The goal of Minis program is to have each swimmer ready for team by the end of the season. Generally, but not absolutely, Minis are recommended for swim team when they are able to complete 1 lap of freestyle with side breathing, and 25 yards of backstroke without assistance.