BSL Year-Round Competitive Training Groups
Birmingham Swim League has a long-standing tradition as one of the top teams in the Southeastern LSC and national competition. The swimmers in the following groups not only learn how to become great swimmers who train hard, but also acquire values that will teach them to be model citizens and upstanding people throughout the rest of their lives.
Age Group Foundations
Age Group Foundation is the introductory group to BSL. This group primarily focuses on building the foundational skills needed to progress in all 4 strokes. Swimmers will begin learning the basics of competition skills, including starts and finishes. Basic dryland routines may be introduced to increase coordination and balance.
Recommended Equipment: Water Bottle, Kickboard, Fins
Age Group Development
Age Group Development builds upon the foundations previously learned while developing more advanced skills. Swimmers are taught advanced drills while further developing competition skills, including starts, turns, and finishes. Dryland routines may be introduced at the beginning of practice to increase coordination and athleticism. Swimmers in Age Group Development generally compete in local competitions. Swimmers are normally 10 years old and younger.
Recommended Equipment: Water Bottle, Kickboard, Fins, Mesh Bag
*Test set to progress into Refinement = 8 x 100 @ 1:45 (short course) / 4 x 100 IM @ 2:15
Age Group Refinement
Age Group Refinement works to further develop the skills previously learned while refining specific technique and competition skills. Swimmers will be introduced to aerobic and interval training while maintaining efficient and repeatable stroke mechanics. Intermediate dryland routines are introduced to develop athletic skills and core strength. Swimmers in Age Group Refinement generally compete in local and regional competitions. Swimmers must be 10 years old OR 9 years old with a minimum of 6 Southeastern Time Standards.
Recommended Equipment: Water Bottle, Kickboard, Fins, Mesh Bag, Pull Buoy
*Test set to progress into Performance = 10 x 100 @ 1:30 (short course) 1:40(long course)/ 4 x 100 IM @ 1:50
Age Group Performance
Age Group Performance is the most advanced level of the BSL age group program. Swimmers will continue to refine repeatable stroke mechanics while focusing on conditioning and training consistently. Swimmers will be challenged with intense swimming sets with a focus on race and meet preparation. Intermediate and advanced dryland routines are introduced to develop athleticism and core strength. Swimmers in Age Group Performance generally compete in all scheduled local and regional competitions. Swimmers must be 12 years old or 11 with a minimum of 6 Southeastern Time Standards.
Recommended Equipment: Water Bottle, Kickboard, Fins, Mesh Bag, Pull Buoy, Hand Paddles
* Test set to progress into Senior Group = 8 x 100 @ 1:15(short course)/ 1:25(long course) / 6 x 100 IM 1:30
Senior shifts focus from skill development to seasonal performance and training. Emphasis is placed on aerobic endurance while advanced dryland and strength training is introduced. Morning practices may be available for older Senior group athletes. Swimmers in Senior strive to attend all available practices to ensure consistent and progressive training. Senior swimmers compete in all scheduled local and regional competitions. Swimmers must be 14 years old with a minimum of 6 Southeastern Time Standards or 15 years old with all four legal strokes.
Recommended Equipment: Water Bottle, Kickboard, Fins, Mesh Bag, Pull Buoy, Hand Paddles, Snorkel
Senior Elite is the top training group of BSL. Swimmers are expected to maintain the highest level of practice and meet attendance. Advanced drylands, weight training, and additional morning practices are implemented. Practices are designed specifically for individual race and stroke needs, while preparing for regional, national, and international competition. Senior Elite swimmers must be invited to join the group by the Head Coach.
Recommended Equipment: Water Bottle, Kickboard, Fins, Mesh Bag, Pull Buoy, Hand Paddles, Snorkel, Parachute
*Swimmers are expected to successfully complete the test set multiple times (as this will be the expected speed in the group they move into)
*Test sets are not announced ahead of time, and can be tested anytime at the coach's discretion.
*All group placements are subject to the discretion of the BSL Coaching Staff. BSL Coaches use a variety of evaluation tools to determine proper group placement and advancement, including but not limited to: Age, Technique, Experience, Skill Level, Commitment, Physical Development, Meet Attendance, Practice Attendance, How close the swimmer is to making the test set.