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RAYS Groups Info

There is a place for all level of swimmers here with the RAYS - from the beginner wanting to learn how to swim, to the advanced swimmer with dreams of swimming in college or the Olympics!  Please feel free to call Head Coach Preston Parrish at the Aquatics Center (803-817-POOL) with any questions about our program.

The guidelines that are linked below broken into a few categories on how each group progresses onto the next.

Attendance Suggestions & Offering:

          Every group for the Rays we as professional coaches have given you a suggestion on the number of practices a swimmer in each particular group should be attending. This number for some groups is a suggestion and other groups a minimum requirement to be in the group. This minimum or suggested number of practices is what we as professional coaches believes in necessary for the proper development of your swimmer in the sport. If your child wants to attend more than what is suggested that is GREAT, we are doing our jobs! However, please consult with your coach. We don’t want to overload a young athlete with too many workouts at a young age. We have developed a progression that when followed will be very successful.   


Average Age:

                These ages are the high and low in each group as of the previous Season. By no means are these the set ages for each group.



Practice Guidelines:

                Every Training group for the RAYS we have established basic practice expectations. These expectations help the coaching staff come placement time and also for seeing what swimmer are ready for the next level. Three practice skills sets are addressed: Individual Medley Training (IM), Freestyle Interval Training; and Kicking Interval Training. The coaching staff believes that these practice guidelines will foster a challenging and fun learning environment for each training group.


Competition Suggestions:

                The RAYS is a year round competitive swim team and all swimmers placed into any of the age group levels are strongly encouraged to compete in every swim meet possible. The Mini-Rays will have their own smaller competitions where they compete against each other. Mini-Rays that show the competitive skills and desire to swim in USA/YMCA formatted meets can be allowed in swim meets only at the coach’s discretion (An additional $80 registration fee will be owed to compete in the year round meets). The emphasis of swim meet participation progresses with the levels of the groups. Swim Meet participation throughout both seasons (short and long course) is required for some groups. Under each training group is a minimum amount of meets the coaching staff in asking that particular group’s swimmers to attend. The RAYS attend 7 to 10 meets from September to April (Short Course Season) and 5 to 7 meets from May to July (Long Course Season).


Group Moves:

               This is a topic that is very hard to put an exact qualification on. However, as professional coaches we use these areas to assess group moves. 

Training Ability, Commitment Level, Swim Meet Participation, Group Availability, Competitive Skills, Parent involvement (Volunteering) in the SWIM program and in some cases Academic grades.

*Fall Group assessments for the new season are based on these categories throughout the Summer Long Course Season. If your swimmer does not compete or practice regularly throughout the summer Long Course season they will need to do a placement swim.

General Group Guidelines 

Rock Hill Aquatics Center Training Site: RHAC

Clover School District Community YMCA: CSDY Training Site

Gregory Family YMCA - Lancaster, SC

Fort Mill YMCA @ Baxter: FMB Training Site (Starting Oct 2018)

Charlotte Ave YMCA: 

  • Swim Lessons and Summer Swim Team Only; Contact

Chester YMCA

  • Swim Lessons, YMCA Winter Swim Team (Hurricanes) Contact

Any Questions Please Email Coach Preston @