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Swim Groups

The Heart of Texas Aquatic Team offers training and practice groups for swimmers of all ages and ability levels. It is the goal of the Heart of Texas Aquatic Team to offer age specific training for all of our athletes geared towards challenging each individual and developing each individual to the best of THEIR abilities.

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CRITERIA, PLACEMENT & ADVANCEMENT TO THE NEXT PRACTICE GROUP

Swimmers are divided into practice groups within these levels according to ability level, maturity and age. As swimmers progress, the coach will determine when they are allowed to move into more advanced training groups. Swimmers are placed into training groups according to each group’s criteria, verifiable times and coach’s recommendations. Below is a basic description of each group and estimated ages, as well as group criteria and requirements. This is a competitive swim team and swimmers are expected to participate in meets. All new swimmers must try out in order to make the team.

The following criteria are used as guidelines when placing and/or moving a swimmer from one practice group to another:

Bronze (I & II) will consist of beginner to weak intermediate swimmers, new to the sport, who, for the most part, haven't yet competed in meets. This will be considered a learning/technique group with the main emphasis on technical development of all strokes, starts and turns. The primary focus of Group 1 will be repetition. Intra-weekly practices will have similar (sometimes identical) themes so that missing practices within a week should not result in missed technical emphasis (e.g. If a group is working on starts on Monday, then they will work on starts Friday, etc…).

Minimum Age: 7 during the current season

Silver will consist of similar swimmers to Group 1, but leaning more toward intermediate level. Swimmers in this group will have some competition under their belts. This will also be considered a learning/technique group but will have some added emphasis on aerobic base swimming as well. Recommended minimum weekly attendance is 2 sessions. Group 2 will, like Group 1, have a lot of repetition in training in order to make sure that the necessary technical emphasis is covered.

Minimum Age: 7 during the current season

Gold is the first of two "training" groups. The swimmer must have coach approval to be in this group. This group is for the more internally motivated swimmer and a positive attitude, maturity, attention to detail and goal setting, and a strong work ethic and training maturity will be required. Swimmers in this group should have good practice attendance (should strive to attend at least 4 sessions per week) and meet attendance will to a degree, be required.

Minimum Age: 10 during the current season

Junior is the transition group between the Gold and Senior groups. Swimmers in this group show the same level of commitment as those in the Senior group but are not quite ready for the same workload. Positive attitude, maturity, goal setting, strong work ethic, a high priority placed on the sport of swimming and the swimmer's training (both in and out of the pool) and a motivation to being the absolute best one can be is required in this group. A strong desire to take their training and competition to the highest level possible is also required. Very good practice attendance is required. Meet attendance will be required (to the best of the swimmer's ability with preference to specific goal meets).

Minimum Age: 13 during the current season

Senior is the highest and most intense training group on the team. The swimmer must have coach approval to be in this group. Positive attitude, maturity, goal setting, strong work ethic, a high priority placed on sport of swimming and the swimmer's training (both in and out of the pool) and a motivation to being the absolute best one can be is required in this group. A strong desire to take their training and competition to the highest level possible is also required. Very good practice attendance is required. Meet attendance will be required (to the best of the swimmer's ability with preference to specific goal meets).

Minimum Age: 13 during the current season

CRITERIA EXPLANATION

These criteria were developed carefully and critically for several reasons. First, it is important to have set standards that must be achieved before a swimmer moves to the next level. This will ensure his/her success at the new level and sets an equal playing field for everyone. Second, when swimmers know what they need to achieve in order to progress in the program, they have an easier time setting goals for themselves. Third, this will help the team improve as a whole as each swimmer strives for specific standards. As each individual improves, the team improves. Finally, it is a goal of the program that each swimmer reaches his/her full potential. By focusing on self-improvement through technique training, each swimmer should attain this goal. When moving a swimmer from one practice group to another, the coaches will also take into account the swimmer's level of commitment to the sport, the swimmer's maturity and make sure that the swimmer is mentally ready for the next level. Swimmers may be promoted to the next training group at any time during the season and ultimately the coach has the final say as to when a swimmer is ready for the next level. An important point to remember is that the coaches want to insure the success of each swimmer as they move from one practice group to another. It not advisable to move a swimmer up to the next level when that swimmer is not ready, regardless of mastering the above outlined skill requirements. Remember that each swimmer is also responsible for the criteria listed above. If a swimmer cannot maintain the standards listed for his/her practice group within the first four weeks of the season, he/she will be assigned to another practice group.