Training Group Philosophy

Las Cruces Aquatics Team (LCAT) is a competitive USA sanctioned swim team, instructing swimmers from 6 to 14 years old (age group) to national level Seniors (high school age and above). Our training groups are designed to be a developmental ladder, teaching new skills and reinforcing good habits as swimmers progress through each group.  Our youngest swimmers (Bronze and Silver Groups) learn to develop a strong technical foundation for all four competitive strokes, including starts and turns, while also establishing valuable practice habits/skills.  As swimmers grow with our team (Gold and Senior), they continue learning more advanced skills and refine those already acquired.


Our goal when placing or transitioning a swimmer is to give every swimmer the best opportunity to learn, improve, and grow with our team.  We want to ensure that each individual is entering a group that is appropriate for their age, technical ability, fitness capacity, and level of commitment.  The group should be challenging to help elevate each athlete to reach their potential, without being overwhelming.  Most importantly, we want to place swimmers in a group that will support their short-term ambitions while also encouraging long-term growth.


Before athletes are placed or transitioned into a new group, swimmers and parents should become familiar with the group's requirements, such as attendance, meet, equipment, and training expectations.  It's important that all swimmers in each group are properly prepared for the new responsibilities.


Age Group Placement

  • Age group swimmers will be placed in an appropriate training group based on their tryout performance and/or capabilities.  During the tryout, our focus is on the swimmer's technical ability, willingness to learn, and overall interest in year round swimming.

  • Age, maturity, and previous times are also taken into consideration for group placement.


Senior Placement

  • Swimmers may be asked to do an individual tryout, depending upon their training and meet experience.  Swimmers with extensive training experience will be asked to set up a meeting with our Senior coaches.



  • Prerequisites for group advancement include: a positive team attitude, advanced character skills, a desire to be promoted, and willingness to embrace the increased training and attendance commitments.

  • We have two transition periods during the year.  Our main transition phase is in September, the beginning of the short course season.  Our second transition phase occurs in March/April, the beginning of the long course season; movement during this period is minimal.