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Practice Groups

Poseidon Swimming
Practice Group Descriptions

Poseidon offers practice groups for swimmers of all ages and ability.  Whether your swimmer had a great summer swim team experience, recently took swim lessons or is currently a member of a high school swim team, Poseidon has a place for you!  We welcome swimmers to join us at any time of year, not just at the beginning of the swim season.

Poseidon’s goal is to create a long term passion for the sport of swimming for families in the greater Richmond community.  To accomplish this goal, we strive to make swimming fun, exciting and fulfilling for each Poseidon swimmer.  Stroke technique and efficiency, cardiovascular endurance, and starts and turns are stressed in each practice group in a manner tailored to the age and skill level of the group.  Dry land training supplements the time spent in the water.  This training includes age appropriate exercises to improve a swimmer’s overall fitness level, and to strengthen the key muscle groups that are important for swimming.

New swimmers joining Poseidon are individually evaluated by a coach in order to place them in a practice group that matches their age and ability.  Minimum requirements for practice groups allow our coaches to work more effectively within their practices with a cohesive group of swimmers.  The Poseidon coaches always have each swimmer’s best interest and long-term development in mind when assigning a practice group. 

The Poseidon coaches are responsible for determining when it is appropriate to move a child to a higher practice group.  These determinations are made throughout the swim season and also in June for the following year.  The coaches consider the age and physical ability of the swimmer, practice attendance, meet performance, and the emotional readiness of the child for the training required by the higher practice group. The coaches will consult with parents before making any changes during the swim season. 

Click on the links below for more information on the practice groups for the current swim season. Please note that the pre-requisites for each group are only guidelines.  The coaches use their judgment and expertise to determine the practice group most appropriate for the swimmer and his/her long-term development and enjoyment of the sport. 

Please call us at 833-796-3278 to schedule an evaluation, or Click Here to send us an email request for more information.

*All Group Placements are designed for the swimmers best possible situation to succeed and is always at the coaching staffs discretion. Thanks for the support in this process.

 

Level 1- Explore White

The Explore White Group is Poseidon’s introductory group for 5 to 8 year old swimmers. Explore White swimmers will learn the basics of all 4 competitive strokes in an encouraging atmosphere.  The coaches focus on teaching proper stroke technique, introducing starts and turns, and developing a joy of swimming using games, activities, and challenges. The interpersonal skills necessary to compete in the sport of swimming also will be taught – working with teammates, following directions, listening to the coaches, and having fun. 

Participation in local Richmond swim meets is encouraged so that coaches can assess a swimmer’s progress; however, it is not required for Explore White Swimmers.    

Practice Recommendations

2 to 3 practices a week are recommended but not required.  Each practice session lasts 1 hour and includes dry land training. Swimmers can expect to work up to swimming 500 to 2,000 yards/meters per practice session.  Dry land activities include simple exercises and games. Swimmers at this level are encouraged to participate in other sports and activities.

Pre-requisite for the Explore White Group

  • Able to complete a 25 yd freestyle without assistance.

 

Level 2- Explore Blue

The Explore Blue Group is Poseidon’s introductory group for 9 to 12 year old swimmers as well as advanced 7- 8 year old swimmers.

The Explore Blue Group focuses on teaching the basics of all 4 competitive strokes and starts and turns in a fun and challenging environment.  The coaches will emphasize proper stroke technique, starts and turns, and building cardiovascular endurance through drills, sets and enjoyable activities. The coaches will continue to work on the interpersonal skills necessary to compete in the sport of swimming– working with teammates, following directions, listening to the coaches, and having fun. 

Poseidon recommends that Explore Blue swimmers participate in monthly Richmond area swim meets to assess their progress. This group’s season-ending goal is to have its swimmers participate in district, regional and state championships.   

Practice Recommendations

3 to 4 practices a week are recommended but not required.  Each practice session lasts 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes and includes dry land training.  Swimmers can expect to work up to swimming 2,000 to 3,000 yards/meters per practice session.  Dry land activities include simple exercises and skills. Swimmers at this level are encouraged to participate in other sports and activities.

Pre-requisites for the Explore Blue Group

  • 7 – 8 year old swimmers (must have 2 out of 3):
  • Able to compete legally in all four strokes in a meet;
  • Has two or more 9-10 year old B or faster times; or
  • Able to complete a 200 IM and a 200 Free in a meet.
  • 9-12 year old swimmers
    • Able to complete a 25 yd freestyle without assistance.

 

Level 3- Junior Group

This Junior Group is designed for 9-12 year old swimmers with previous swim team experience.

The Junior Group will continue to work on stroke technique while introducing race strategies in practice by learning and performing stroke-specific drills during practice.  Training will begin to include a focus on longer distance events and IMs.  The coaches will introduce race strategies and techniques used by swimmers in the next level practice group and continue to emphasize the importance of working with teammates, following directions, listening to the coaches, and having fun.

The Junior Group coaches will work with swimmers to understand and use USA Swimming time standards to set personal goals and to achieve these goals using interval training in practice. Turning swimmers into athletes while nurturing and growing the love of the sport and the team is the goal of this group.

Poseidon recommends participation in monthly swim meets with the focus on Junior Group swimmers qualifying at the end of the season for regional and state championship meets.  

Practice Recommendations

4 to 5 practices a week are recommended but not required.  Each swim practice session lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Swimmers can expect to work up to swimming 4,000 yards/meters per practice session.  In addition, two dry land sessions a week are required for those swimmers when not participating in another sport.  Swimmers at this level are encouraged to participate in other sports and activities.

Pre-requisites for the Junior Group:

  • 9-10 year old swimmers - Have 2 or more 9- 10 year old BB or faster times.
  • 11-12 year old swimmers - Have 11-12 year old B/C times.

Level 4- Age Group Bronze

Age Group Bronze is designed for advanced 10-12 year old swimmers with previous swim team experience who can consistently attend practice 4 to 5 days per week. 

The Age Group Bronze coaches focus on stroke technique while working on overall athletic conditioning and endurance using freestyle and IM training.  An emphasis will be placed on learning and applying race strategies and techniques.  Each Age Group Bronze swimmer will establish personal goals and work towards achieving those goals using interval training in practice.  Coaches will hold weekly meetings to focus on competitive excellence and personal development.  Topics will include teamwork, time management, nutrition, race strategies, mental training and other life lessons. 

Participation in monthly swim meets is required with the focus on swimmers qualifying at the end of the season for regional and state championship meets. 

Required Practice Commitment

4 to 5 practices a week are required.  Each swim practice session lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes.  Swimmers can expect to work up to swimming 4,000-5, 000 yards/meters per practice session.  In addition, two dry land sessions a week are required when not participating in another sport.   

Pre-requisites for the Age Group Bronze Group:

  • 10 year old swimmers - Have Multiple 11-12 year old Age Group champs qualifying times; or
  • 11-12 year old swimmers - Have 11-12 year old BB or faster times; and
  • For current Poseidon swimmers – must have consistently attended Junior Group practices.

 

Level 5- Age Group Silver

The Age Group Silver Group is designed for all 13-14 year old swimmers who are new to competitive swimming or have previous swim team experience but do not meet the requirements for the Age Group Gold Group.   

The Age Group Silver coaches will focus on proper stroke technique using stroke-specific drills while teaching race strategies and techniques.  Each Age Group Silver swimmer will establish personal goals and work towards achieving those goals using interval training in practice.  Coaches will focus on competitive excellence and personal development.  Topics of discussion will include teamwork, time management, nutrition, race strategies, mental training and other life lessons.

Participation in monthly swim meets is recommended with the focus on swimmers qualifying at the end of the season for district, regional and state championship meets.

Practice Recommendations

4 to 6 practices a week are recommended.  6 practices a week are recommended for those swimmers working towards meeting the requirements of the Age Group Gold group.  Each swim practice session lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes.  Swimmers can expect to work up to swimming 5,000 yards/meters plus per practice session.  In addition, 3 dry land sessions a week are recommended.  Swimmers at this level may participate in other sports and activities.

Pre-requisites for the Age Group Silver Group:

  • 13-14 year old swimmers – Have times slower than 13-14 year old state championship qualifying times.
  • 12 year old swimmer based on personal issues.

 

Level 6-Age Group Gold

Age Group Gold is designed for advanced 13-14 year old swimmers who have state championship qualifying times or for 12 year old swimmers that have multiple state qualifying times for 13-14 year olds that will compete as a 13-14 at the season ending championship meet. Tracking towards the Senior II group is a priority for Age Group Gold swimmers. 

The Age Group Gold coaches emphasize proper stroke technique while working on overall athletic conditioning and endurance.  Distance freestyle events and 400 IM will be the primary focus with a secondary focus on event specific training. The advanced race strategies and techniques used in the Senior II group will be introduced. 

Each Age Group Gold swimmer will establish personal goals and work towards achieving those goals using interval training in practice.  Coaches will emphasize, encourage, and highlight important topics associated with achieving success both in and out of the pool.  Topics will include teamwork, time management, nutrition, race strategies, mental training and other life lessons. 

Participation in monthly swim meets is required with the focus on Age Group Gold swimmers qualifying for state championships, NCSA Junior Nationals, and USA Junior Nationals.

Required Practice Commitment

6 practices a week are required with the addition of doubles at the coach’s discretion.  Each swim practice session lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes. Swimmers can expect to swim 5,500 to 6,500 yards/meters per practice session.  Age Group Gold swimmers are required to attend an additional 3 dry land sessions per week. 

Pre-requisites for the Age Group Gold Group

  • 13-14 Age Group Champs qualifying time;
  • 12 year old swimmers that have multiple Age Group Champs QT and
  • For current Poseidon swimmers – must have consistently attended 5-6 practices per week plus dry land in the prior year.

 

Level 7- Senior I

The Senior 1 Group is designed for high school athletes who enjoy swimming but wish to participate in other sports and activities during the high school years. 

The Senior I coaches will focus on a mixture of freestyle, IM, stroke, and sprint work while reinforcing correct stroke technique.  Learning and improving race strategies and techniques will also be emphasized. Each Senior I swimmer will establish personal goals and work towards achieving those goals using interval training in practice.  Coaches will hold weekly meetings to discuss topics such as leadership, academic excellence, team spirit, and drug and alcohol avoidance. 

Participation in monthly swim meets is recommended with the focus on swimmers participating in district, regional and state championship meets at the end of the season.

Practice Recommendation

6 practices per week are recommended for continued progress and development but are not required.  Each swim practice session lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours.   Swimmers can expect to build up to swimming 5,000 yards/meters per practice session.  3 dry land sessions a week are recommended but not required.  

Pre-requisites for the Senior I Group

  • High School age; and
  • Previous swimming experience.

 

Level 8- Senior II

Senior II is designed for advanced swimmers who have made a commitment to focus on swimming as their only high school sport.   

The Senior II group focuses on all distances as well as stroke specific training.  The coaches regularly discuss leadership skills, personal accountability, team support, hard work and overall healthy life style habits (nutrition and drug/alcohol avoidance) to help guide the athlete to personal excellence in life. Each Senior II swimmer keeps a personal log book or journal to foster open and honest communication between the athlete and the coach and to help keep the athlete on track towards meeting his or her personal goals. 

Participation in all senior meets is required with a focus on swimmers qualifying for senior championships, sectionals, Junior Nationals and USA Nationals.

Required Practice Commitment

8 practices a week and all dry land sessions are required.  A swimmer unable to consistently meet these requirements may be moved to a lower level group until the athlete demonstrates the required practice commitment. 

Pre-requisites for the Senior II Group 

  • 15 and older swimmers with multiple Senior Championship qualifying times;
  • 13 -14 year old swimmers with Senior Championship qualifying times and the coach’s recommendation; and
  • Current Poseidon swimmers – must have consistently attended practice 7 times per week in the prior year.