Should my swimmer move up?

Should my swimmer move up?


Coaches receive this question regularly, which is understandable.  It can be difficult to explain to a parent the nuance of swim groups without the whole process appearing highly subjective and arbitrary.   


There are a lot variables that go into organizing swimmers into workable groups.  In order for swimmers to work together as a team, they need to be able to swim in a predictable and organized fashion.  The higher the group, the greater the need for organization, technique, leadership, detail, and drive.  The key variables, technique, leadership and drive, are the coaches go-to, when looking at promoting swimmers in the pool.  Additionally, swimmers are progressed through our groupings based on other factors such as speed, age, physical and cognitive development, attendance and emotional maturity.


A swimmer’s physical and cognitive development are paramount in the design of groupings, guidelines and day to day practices. Our approach to swimming is for the long term development of our athletes.


SMAC swimmers are eligible for group placement, and “moving up” at any point in the season when both current and advancing coach feel the swimmer is ready. We look for swimmers to be able to move into the middle of the group, meaning they need to be about as strong as an average swimmer in the group, not the weakest swimmer. Technique, physical ability, committment and mindset are all important things coaches look for when moving a swimmer. Moves are usually made in the fall and spring and a group of similiar swimmers will sometimes move together. Please be aware that not participating in Long Course training can affect your child's group placement for fall, as many swimmers see much progress in technique and endurance over the summer.


If you have questions or concerns about your child's placement, please speak with the head coach. Coaches will meet to consider your concerns and make the overall best decision for your child. Please respect the coach's decisions in these matters. Negativity and comparison to other swimmers in not necessary or productive and will not be tolerated.

Things my child should work on if he/she wants to move up:

* Be prepared when coming to practice with proper equiptment, cap, goggles, etc.

* Be on time, or let a coach know if you will be repetitively late for a specific reason.

*Attend the number of practices required for your current group. If possible, attend all practices offered.

* Work hard to set an example in technique.

*Listen carefully to coach's directions and kindly help others in your lane who may not understand.

* Show good sportsmanship: respect teammates, parents, coaches and officials AT ALL TIMES on and off deck.

*Attend all meets required for your swimmer and as many additional meets as possible.

Please remember, and remind your swimmer, that in the age group years SOUND TECHNIQUE is the most important aspect we look at for future advancement. There is always something to be learned, worked on or perfected in a practice. Our primary goal is to ensure that foundational skills are in place so that swimmers can enjoy future success. "Pushing" a swimmer through more yardage will only hurt them until these technique issues are addressed. We need your help on this, to remind swimmers that if they want to move up, they need to first commit to a skills focus, being coachable, and becoming automatic in sound technique. Speed  or age alone will never determine group placement.Thank you so much for working with us to help our team be the best that it can be!