Leeland Express Sponsors and Partners
Developmental Swim

Developmental Swim Program

The Leeland Express will be offering the Developmental Swim Program (DSP) for our swimmers who are almost, but not quite, ready for competitive swimming on a swim team.  The goal of this program is to help those swimmers who have had previous swim lessons, or experience in the water, develop their swim strokes, confidence, and understanding of the rules in order to join the swim team and compete in our last dual meet. To participate in a meet, swimmers must be able to swim the 25 meter Freestyle, unaccompanied and with minimal use of lane line “assistance.”

DSP swimmers who have competed in at least one meet (ages 6 and under) or at least two meets (ages 7 and over) are eligible to swim in Division Finals.


Each swimmer will be evaluated prior to acceptance in the program.

Participants must be:

  • A minimum age of four (4) as of June 1st and toilet trained
  • Eager to participate in a formal swim lesson with an instructor
  • Comfortable entering the water without a parent or guardian
  • Comfortable putting their head down and face in the water

Registration Information

Registration runs concurrently with swim team registration.  All new and returning swimmers who have not participated in a previous Rappahannock Swim League (RSL) meet are required to try out for the team.  Swimmers who are unable to initially swim the length of the pool, but meet the requirements of the Developmental Swim Program, can participate in this program.  If a swimmer does not pass the evaluation, their registration fee will be refunded.  Due to the limited amount of pool space and number of volunteer coaches, the program will be capped at 32 swimmers.

Program Cost

The cost of the program is $100.00 per swimmer, regardless of the number of swimmers registered in the family.  In the event that a child is originally registered as an 8 and under swim team member but is more suited for the DSP, any additional registration fees may be paid on the pool deck and must be collected prior to participating in the program.


Evaluations will be conducted on June 12th, 13th and 14th from 6-7:00 pm.  DSP families will be notified of their evaluation date and time.  DSP swimmers will only attend ONE evaluation unless otherwise stated by the DSP Head Coach.  After the initial evaluations are complete, the program will run in conjunction with the 8-and-under practice starting Monday, June 19th.  The last DSP practice this year is Friday, July 28th.  Those DSP swimmers who have competed in at least one meet (for ages 6 and under) or at least two meets (for ages 7 and over) and would like to swim at Finals, may continue to practice with the 8-and-under swimmers until the end of the season.  

Program Details

The safety of your child is our number one concern; our goal is to have a coach-to-swimmer ratio of no less than 1:3.  The program is staffed with a DSP Head Coach and several DSP Group Leaders, but please understand that some of our DSP coaches are volunteers.  If there is a day that we do not have enough volunteer coaches on deck to accommodate a 1:3 ratio, we may have to limit the number of developmental swimmers participating in the water for the day.

Parent/Guardian Requirements

The DSP Coach may limit practice time each day to what is applicable to each swimmer.  Children leaving the pool for any reason, or needing to use the restroom during the session, must accompanied by their parent, as DSP Group Leaders will need to remain in the pool with the rest of their assigned Developmental Swimmers.  For these reasons, and in accordance with the pool’s 11 and under swimmer rule, a parent or guardian must be on deck and easily accessible throughout the entire practice.

We ask that you arrive promptly to each practice.  Swimmers that arrive more than 5 minutes after the start of the session may be unable to participate that day.  We want to ensure our coaches are able to focus and work with the entire group of swimmers in the water, for the entire session. If you child has one of those off days where they are unwilling to stay in the pool, we will ask that they sit out the session. After consultation with the Head Coach, if the DSP Coach feels that this program is not the best match for your swimmer, the team reserves the right to remove the swimmer from the program and refund the fee on a prorated basis.  The success of this program is a direct result of the interaction and communication between our coaches and parents. Our Head Developmental Swim Coach is available to meet with our swim team parents before, or after each session.

We look forward to working with our developmental swimmers again this season!