Stingrays (7-9 years old)
The Stingrays are still very early in their swimming development. Upon entering the group swimmers should:
- Be able to consistently streamline to the flags
- Be legal in all 4 strokes (For at least 4 cycles of Butterfly and Breaststroke)
- Be able to swim multiple 25’s or 50’s of freestyle and backstroke
- Understand what a flip-turn is
- Be able to kick all 4 strokes legally
The focus with Stingrays is always how to swim well and how to have fun while doing so. Stingrays will be encouraged to race in practice, whether it is kicking or swimming or on a relay. Stingrays should swim in meets and are invited and encouraged to race in our 9 & Under Developmental meets. Practice Recommendations: 2-3 practices per week
Dolphins (9-11 years old)
The Dolphins are a developing group of young swimmers who are very proficient in Freestyle, Backstroke, and Underwater Dolphin, and are gaining strength, power, and coordination in both Butterfly and Breaststroke. Dolphins are always being coached so that mechanics are the priority, while they are being challenged progressively through a season of practices.
- The Dolphins may be split into two groups, Dolphin 1 and Dolphin 2, depending on the swimmers’ age and ability level. The Coaching Staff will determine in which group each Dolphin should swim.
- Upon entering the Dolphin 1 group swimmers should:
- Be legal in all 4 strokes
- Be able to read the clock consistently for send-offs
- Understand at least 1 drill for each of the four strokes
- Be able to flip turn consistently and effectively
- Know how to use Underwater Dolphin
- Be working toward swimming all offered events and distances
- Dolphin swimmers are expected to attend all home meets and are encouraged to attend away meets
- Equipment Requirements: Snorkel, Fins, Buoy, Cap, Goggles
Practice Recommendations: 3-4 practices per week
Upon entering the Dolphin 2 group swimmers should:
- Be able to train all 4 strokes in practice effectively (25’s in butterfly)
- Be able to get past the flags consistently off of flip-turns using Underwater Dolphin
- Be able to use the clock to get times and for proper send-offs
- Be willing to swim all events and distances
- Dolphin 2 swimmers are expected to attend all home meets and are encouraged to attend away meets
- Practice Recommendations: 3-5 practices per week
The focus with Dolphins 1 and 2 continues to be proper stroke development while building proper and consistent training habits such as breathing patterns on freestyle and butterfly, Underwater Dolphin, racing on finishes, and kicking hard. The Dolphins develop these skills through fun, engaging, thoughtful, and challenging sets. They are learning to set goal times and understanding that consistent work yields the best results.
Most Sharks will be in Middle School. These swimmers are not only honing their technical proficiency in the all of the strokes and Underwater Dolphin, they are also learning to train within multiple energy systems, set long and short-term goals, and have fun doing it.
Upon entering the Shark group swimmers should:
- Be able to train all four strokes effectively
- Be able to do IM training
- Work independently to maintain stroke technique as training demands increase
- Be active, respectful listeners
- Be able to understand how to correlate practice performance with meet performance
- Be working to compete in all offered events for their age group
- Sharks swimmers are expected to attend all home meets and are encouraged to attend away meets
- Be able to train IM consistently and effectively
- Be utilizing Underwater Dolphin consistently in practice and races
- Approach each practice with the intent to demonstrate a willingness to work hard, be respectful, and race
- Sharks 2 swimmers are expected to attend all team meet
- Practice Recommendations: 4-6 practices per week
Junior swimmers are either in Middle School or just beginning High School. The Junior Group will continue to work on stroke development while also training harder in the aerobic energy system on a more consistent basis.Junior swimmers are working to either prepare themselves for the demands and rigors of the Senior group or transition into our High School group. Athletes in the Junior group are expected to begin to take personal ownership over their swimming, including setting seasonal goals and relating those goals to expectations in practice.
Upon entering the Junior group swimmers should:
- Be the driving force in the family on being at practice on a consistent basis
- Be able to train using different energy systems, understanding what is expected of them depending on the constraints of any given set
- Have a plan for turning goal times at meets into consistent goals during practice
- Be able to train all strokes effectively
- Be working to maximize the effect of Underwater Dolphin kicking into all practices and races
- Junior group members are expected to attend all team meets
- Practice Recommendations: 5-6 practices per week
Marlins (12 & Up)
The Marlin Group is designed for athletes 11 and older who want to swim in middle school and/or high school but require both additional skill development and endurance to train with the Junior or Senior 1 groups. This is also a great group for athletes who desire to continue swimming in Middle School or High School but not at the intensity or with the same commitment level expected of athletes in the Junior and Senior 1 groups. Practices for Marlins will be offered 4 times a week, from 75 to 90 minutes long. The focus for Marlins will be to compete at the highest possible level in the events offered in Middle and High School Swimming and will be encouraged to participate in USA Swimming meets, but will not be required to attend them.
Athletes coming into this group should:
- Be able to swim all four strokes
- Understand starts and turns
- Have a desire to improve at every level of swimming
Practice Recommendations: 2-4 times per week
The Senior 1 group is designed for athletes who are in high school and are either working their way to be able to eventually train with the Senior Group or cannot or do not wish to commit to meeting the attendance and effort expectations of the Senior Group.
Athletes in the Senior 1 group will continue to build on the skills and training base developed at the Junior group level, with shorter practices than the Senior group that are focused on technique, power, speed, and endurance. The focus for the Senior 1 group will be to compete at the highest possible level in both High School and USA Swimming competitions.
The Senior 1 athletes will be invited to attend weekend practice with the Senior group. Senior 1 members wishing to transition into the Senior group will have to demonstrate consistent practice attendance, strong practice performance, and the ability to train well with the Senior group on during joint practices.
Upon entering the Senior 1 group swimmers should:
- Have swum on a competitive team in the past
- Be able to swim all four strokes legally
- Be willing to work hard to improve in all 4 strokes
- Practice Recommendations: 2-6 practices per week
- Equipment: Fins, Paddles, Snorkel, Pull Buoy, Equipment Bag
The Senior group is the top group at Ensworth Aquatics. Senior swimmers should be committed to swimming as their top athletic priority. Senior level swimmers must be self-disciplined enough to prioritize their academics and athletics effectively to be successful at each without having to sacrifice either. The Senior group may be split into two groups depending on the make-up of the group during any given season and the number of coaches available to the group. Any split of the group would still follow the same practice schedule.
Athletes interested in training with the Senior group must:
- Be committed to participate in all scheduled practices and competitions. Athletes are responsible for communicating with their coaches prior to missed practices.
- Be able to add to the overall success of the group through commitment, positive attitude, willingness to work hard, and support of teammates
- Be realistically working to achieve either Sectional, Futures, Junior National, or National time standards
- Be consistently on time for practice
- Be able to specialize in events as they get older while being willing to train all energy systems and distances during any given season
- Practice Recommendations: All scheduled practices
- Equipment: Fins, Paddles, Snorkel, Pull Buoy, Equipment Bag
A NOTE ON MORNING PRACTICE and DOUBLES
There will be times during the school year, holidays, and the summer when athletes will be expected to participate in two practices a day. Athletes in the Senior group will be responsible for communicating with coaches about their individual expectations regarding morning practices. Athletes will also be responsible for living up to their individual expectations with regards to morning practices.