Team Partners
Bronze Group

Director/Coach: Bert Bergen

Coaches: Haley Hokanson, Hannah Maffris

Bronze (Ages 6-10)
(Space is limited and not all groups have space available).  We have worked hard to create a schedule with as many options as possible. Groups and times may not be mixed. Please don’t ask for exceptions. In order to maintain practice quality, swimmers must attend at the time for which they are registered.

Overview:  San Clemente Aquatics "Bronze Level" is centered around achieving the technical standards for all four strokes by introducing and familiarizing swimmers with drills, stroke mechanics, rules and regulations as well as age appropriate social interaction and support.

Program Frequency/Duration:

  • Three times weekly
  • 45 minutes each session and each class will swim about 900-1200 yards per session.
  • Year-round program
  • Revolving roster between new team members and “graduated” swimmers as skills are achieved.


  • Boys: jammers or briefs, goggles.  Cap optional
  • Girls: 1-piece competition suit, goggles, cap (required).  Hair must be completely inside cap
  • Swim training fins
  • All swim gear can be purchased at SCA team vendor, Making Waves.  Go to the link on our website to order gear.   

Board shorts, trunks, rash guards are not permitted in Bronze Group practices. 



  • Dual meets as scheduled by SCA.
  • Coach selected USA Swimming sanctioned meets. Typically 6-8 sanctioned meets annually.

Curriculum:  Designed around a 6-week long training cycle. Bronze introduces and trains applicable components of each stroke. Each practice consists of 3-5 minutes warm up including freestyle and kicking, 15-17 minutes of technical drills focusing on stroke mechanics, proper head and body position, flip turns and streamlining, 15-17 minutes of cardio-focused interval swimming utilizing a pace clock or established send off for the group and 7-10 of kicking training including fins.  

Typical Training Cycle:

Weeks 1-2 Emphasis: Freestyle, backstroke, turns

Weeks 3-4 Emphasis: Freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, proper finishes

Weeks 5-6 Emphasis: Freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly, turns, finishes


Freestyle Terms & Concepts:  Streamlines (torpedoes), no slapping, eyes down, swim downhill, high catch, early vertical forearms, no crossing center line, and relaxed recovery. Swimmers will learn and utilize basic components of catch, push, recovery, learning where/when we breathe, the benefits of breathing every 3 strokes, and swimming downhill (booty higher then head).  Finishes—avoid lifting the head in front for the wall, keeping head down, driving to the finish while snapping though the push at the hip with rotation to lengthen the arm for the touch.  

Backstroke Terms & Concepts: Streamlines (torpedoes), "flying" starts with head back and NO double pull downs (“pick which arm goes first!”), tall arms, “point and throw” achieving shoulder rotation, and "thumb out, pinky in".  Swimmers are to always keep chin back, "tummy dry", and pointed toes boiling the water.  Kick starts at your hip.  Your knee is a hinge that lifts and lowers our pointed toe for the kick.  We'll learn stroke count from the flags to the finish so you can stay on your back to the end!

Butterfly Terms & Concepts:  Where does our kick begin? The chest! On deck, we'll practice “taking a bow” and pressing chest down--as hips go up…continue and increase speed. Two-hand touch “if our arms are doing the same thing at the same time, our hands touch the wall at the SAME TIME”.  Two kicks for each complete pull cycle: “kick at the top, kick at the bottom”.  Always keep feet together, toes pointed--we have a dolphin or mermaid tail. Big sweeping (around, not over) recovery with straight arms, thumbs down. Breathe with hands at tummy with a big kick forcing the arms out ("karate chop!") and around, finish breath with eyes down BEFORE our arms cross our shoulder line.

Breaststroke Terms & Concepts:  We'll review flat foot vs. pointed toe. Swimmers are placed on deck on their stomachs with their feet in the air, knees together with flat feet.  Feet to ground, flat, and rotate around knees, finishing with a squeeze and pointed toe and “two Mississippis” to encourage a strong finish and glide. Initiate stroke with a pull, not a kick. Pull in front, not to thighs. Only stroke in all four where we don’t allow our hands to brush by our thigh! Visual for shape of pull: “Trace around the pizza and slice through the middle”. “Pull, breathe, kick, glide! (and stretch!)" Two hand touch: “If both arms are doing the same thing at the same time, we touch the wall at the SAME time!”

Starts and Turns:  Starts are emphasized early through a seated dive in the yard pool for warm up and strong streamline reinforcement throughout practice. Progression includes a seated dive, to a kneeling dive to a standing shallow dive to a “take your mark” competitive start. Field trips to the meter pool as meet prep for block diving is implemented monthly before scheduled meets.

Turns in breaststroke and butterfly begin with finishes. Legal touches of the strokes set-up swimmers for the basic components of open turns. Freestyle flip turns are introduced and encouraged through drills and games. Freestyle flip turn progressions begin with practicing somersaults in the pool ("chin down, knees up"), then lengths of "flippy freestyle" and coach-led "zoomer" push-offs to true flip turns into and off the wall.  "The wall is hot lava, so get in and out fast into your torpedo and dolphin kicks!"  Teaching competitive turns in backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke are also reviewed extensively.

Criteria to Move from Bronze to Silver Groups

Swimmer must be at least 7 years old.

Swimmer must be able to follow coach directive 90% of time during workouts.

Swimmer must be on time for workouts 90% of time.

Swimmer must be able to swim five (5) x 50 yards freestyle on the 1:20 interval with legal flip turns, legal start and finish.

Swimmer must be able to swim a legal 100 IM with legal butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle lengths with legal turns and start and finish.

Swimmer must understand the concept of streamline and be able to demonstrate streamline during practice 100% of the time. ­­­

Swimmer must be able to demonstrate maturity to work within a group environment 100% of the time.

What does it mean by Legal Strokes?