TRYOUTS: We evaluate every swimmer before they register for the swim team to place him/her in the group they are best suited for. Please call us to schedule a tryout (424-901-3703), or Click Here to send us an email request for more information.
2019-20 ZAP STRUCTURE
The Zenith Aquatic Program is a character-based, swimmer-centered, coach-driven, parent-supported, and team-minded, year-round swim community. We understand that swimmers have different goals and reasons for swimming; our goal is to provide every athlete, regardless of ability, age, or commitment level, a place where they belong and can swim, be challenged and continue to grow personally and athletically. For a detailed look at the different levels, please see below.
For the 2019-20 swim year, ZAP offers different approaches to swimming:
1) High performance year-round swimming - Premier Team
2) Progressive age group year-round swimming - Premier Team
3) Pre-Competitive developmental swimming - Swim Squad (Seasonal - fall*, winter, summer*) *includes mini meets
4) Premier Team Prep - Advanced Squad
5) High School Swim Training (Group assigned depends on the current ability of athlete)
6) Jr. Guard Prep/non-competitive swim conditioning (fall, winter, spring)
7) Seasonal learn-to-swim (volunteer and job opportunities for ZAPPERS!)
There is no right or wrong approach to choose, it’s simply a matter of where your swimmer currently is skill-wise, and what is best for your family. We want to support the swimmers and help them accomplish the challenges they set for themselves. As long as what they want to do, are willing to do, and are able to do, all line up, we can move forward and help them realize their potential and eventually reach their zenith!
The coaches continually evaluate every swimmer in our program. We watch behavior and attendance patterns at practices and meets, overall performances in both, and carefully consider individual personalities and social development when placing swimmers in the different training groups. Group movement usually takes place in early September, November and March.
THIS PAGE FOCUSES ON OUR YEAR-ROUND PREMIER TEAM:
This phase of our Premier Team focuses on stroke development, building a love for the sport, and how to be part of a team. The groups in our Stroke Academy phase are for swimmers ages 5-10. For Stroke Academy 1 (SA1), we look for boys and girls ages 5-8 who are able to swim 50 yards of freestyle under 1:10 and 25 yards of unassisted backstroke. Some knowledge and experience with breaststroke and butterfly is helpful but not necessary. SA1 swimmers compete in Swim Squad meets as well as duel, tri, and designated Championship meets. Swimmers ages 5-8 who can "legally" swim complete 50 yards freestyle under 1:00, 25 yards in all 4 competitive strokes, a legal flipturn, and a racing start qualify for Stroke Academy 2. SA2 swimmers compete in Swim Squad meets as well as duel, tri, and designated BRW and Championship meets. Swimmers ages 5-8 who can swim a fluid 25 yards of freestyle and backstroke but do not meet the other Premierr Team requirements benefit well from Swim Squad.
Stroke Academy swimmers will learn basic practice and meet etiquette, body awareness, and how to balance in the water. Additionally, these swimmers will develop a forceful and efficient kick, while practicing strokes in a fluid, streamlined rhythm. Additionally, they will learn proper starts, turns, push-offs, and finishes.
Swimmers ages 9 and up, who can complete 100 yards freestyle 15 seconds faster than in the minimum requirement for their age for the LA County Jr. Lifeguard test, and "legally" swim 50 yards of all 4 competitive strokes, qualify for our IM Group. The individual medley, aka the "IM", is the focal point of our entire team curriculum so we look at this group as the future of our team. All our swimmers are working towards having a great 400 IM, so they are versatile and confident, and are much more valuable down the road to their high school and collegiate teams. To do this, swimmers must be proficient in all four strokes, and they must learn how to "train". Interval training, racing, are more formally introduced in this level. IM Group swimmers also practice proper "swim etiquette", emphasize balancing in the water and fluid, streamlined rhythm, and increase kick efficiency and endurance. Proper starts, turns, push-offs, and finishes are also part of the curriculum.
Most swimmers start out needing stroke refinement, stronger kicking, and increased endurance. If they do not meet the requirements above, or do but are not ready to commit to a full year, we recommend that they either join our JG Prep program or if they have a solid base in 3 of the four competitive strokes, they may join our seasonal Swim Squad or even Advanced Squad.
Groups in this phase: Stroke Academy 1, Stroke Academy 2, and IM
The Age Group levels of Premier Team, the Age Group group, as well as the Pre-Senior groups, prepare our swimmers for continual improvement in age group competition. We believe long-term success is a result of continual improvement, and continual improvement focuses on much more than swim skills alone; swimmers must learn to understand and trust the process. Learning the process is key in the Age Group phase of our team. Mindset, work ethic, communication, nutrition, life choices, time management, etc., all play an important role in the overall success swimmers have and are heavily emphasized in these groups. We strive to help swimmers be champions both in and out of the water as we realize the values and skills we instill at ZAP last much longer than their time here in our program. Age Group swimmers compete regularly in BRW meets as well as IMX Games, WAG, JAG, and JOs. AG and PS swimmers are able to practice on faster intervals and commit to an 80% attendance requirement.
Current groups in this phase: Age Group, Pre-Senior, Senior Development, Varsity @ Pen, and Senior 1
Being a high school student-athlete is never easy, but is done by teens all over the world. Learning to juggle academics, swim practice, family, and friends, can be a struggle outwardly just as much as inwardly. Each student-athlete must know their purpose (goals) and be able to prioritize the different areas of their lives around those goals. Once they know what they want to do, and then align the goals with what they are willing and able to do, then and then, can they honor the challenges and goals they set for themselves. The struggle then lessens and the competitive spirit and fire within ignites, and then electrifies.
High school student-athletes have more responsibilities and more choices to make in regards to how they spend their time: which classes to take and how much study time is needed for each, clubs to join, dances to attend, and as a swimmer, what kind of a swimmer they want to be. Choices and options can sometimes create stress and pressure because choosing feels like you have to leave things out, but when swimmers get really honest with themselves, think things out, and communicate openly with their parents and coaches, the process becomes much less daunting. Pressure can cause destruction but it can also create diamonds. Everyone feels pressure, but how you handle it makes all the difference.
Having been part of a club team for the past few years, ZAP senior swimmers have the advantage of being able to choose what they want their high school swim experience to look like. The following guidelines help swimmers to align their goals with the appropriate training group that will help them attain them:
High school participant: 3-6 practices/wk (Varsity, Senior 1, 2)
League Qualifier: 5 practices/wk (Varsity, Senior 1, Senior 2)
League finalist: 4-6 practices/wk (Varsity, Senior 1, 2, 3)
CIF Qualifier: 5-7 practices/wk (Senior 2, 3)
CIF Finalist: 7-8 practices/wk (Senior 2, 3)
CIF Top 3 Finalist: 8-10 practices/wk (think Sectionals finalists and Jr. National qualifiers) (Sr 3)
Current groups in this phase: Sr. 2, Sr 3
NATIONAL TEAM TRACK
Swimmers in the Senior Development and Senior 2 groups have demonstrated through both practice/meet attendance and performance that they are mentally and physically ready for a high-paced training plan. Athletes in these two groups are held to a higher standard of commitment and personal accountability. Groups in this phase: Sr Development, Senior 2
For more parent information, slide your cursor over the "Premier Team" tab for the entire drop-down menu!