This is our entry level group - athletes should be able to swim freestyle and backstroke for 25 yards as a basic requirement. The emphasis is on developing comfort in the water, basic foundational knowledge of buoyancy and body position, and to develop the 4 IM strokes technique.
From the Mini-Marlins group, athletes move into this group. Athletes in this group focus mainly on further developing the four legal competitive strokes, having fun, and perfecting start and turn techniques, along with a basic introduction to training concepts and a major emphasis on athlete education.
From the Novice group, athletes move into this group. Athletes in this group are usually at least 10 years old and have met the Junior Group advancement criterion. This group is exposed to endurance training for the first time while trying to prepare for the 200-500 Freestyle and 200-400 Individual Medley races. Competing at swim meets is highly encouraged at a rate of about 1-2 times per month. An added emphasis is placed on collecting test set data and exposure to sports science education.
Minimum age for entry into these groups is 13 years old. Athletes entering the Senior group must display a strong desire to perform at the highest level they are capable of. Athletes are educated on the process of becoming an "elite" athlete in the sport of swimming. Aerobic endurance development is prioritized, with some specialization as a function of age.
The Marlins swim team dryland program is designed to address a deficiency in contemporary child development that lacks the emphasis on unstructured play that was a staple of childhood for previous generations of youth. Today's youth do not always have as many opportunities to develop skills like proprioception and body awareness organically. Therefore, to promote general athleticism and the ability to control the body's movements through space, our dryland program seeks to supplement those skills.
Dryland for our youngest athletes will emphasize concepts such as balance, proprioception, and core stability. As athletes progress through the program, they will be taught exercises routines that correct the muscular imbalances that often result from swimming. At the highest levels, we will focus on proper movement mechanics for basic strength building exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, and squats.
The overall goal is to supplement our swimming program by helping athletes improve their flexibility, athleticism, and muscular control, so that they can more easily make technical changes and avoid injury from overuse. We also seek to prepare our Senior swimmers for collegiate strength and conditioning programs so that continue to see improvements in their swimming after they leave the club.