The success of the SPY Swimming program is built on a philosophy of achievement and fun for our swimmers and families.  To assist our swimmers and their families in understanding the expectations of the athletes in the various practice group levels, SPY has developed the following guidelines in determining the placement or advancement of our swimmers from group to group.  The guidelines facilitate our coaching techniques and assist the athlete in understanding specific group objectives and required responsibilities for their assigned group.


COMMITMENT: 8 75-120 minute practices per week. 11 month season. 80% cumulative attendance required. Swimmers are expected to participate in high level competition as determined by the coaches.

QUALIFICATIONS:Swimmers are selected to this group by the coaching staff after showing exemplary attendance, performance, and commitment as an Investigator or coming from another club in similar circumstances. Normal minimum for consideration is a qualifying time for either YMCA National Meets or major USA Swimming events.  While high school or summer swimming is allowed in season, a recognition exists that SPY is the primary training mechanism and the primary team identification.

FOCUS: The Spies group is made of national-level athletes, and is performance based. Swimmers may be moved out of the group at the discretion of the coaches for non-performance or lack of meeting the expectations of the group. Training will be the primary focus, although technique and racing strategy are the other primary preparatory mechanisms within the group.

Goal setting, team identity, and independent participation are all characteristics of this group.


COMMITMENT:  6  75 to 120 minute practices per week 11 Month season.

QUALIFICATIONS:  Ability to train at a high level. Swimmers should have a minimum of District qualifying cuts in all events for which they train, and are expected to make a full-year commitment to the program.

FOCUS: Investigators are preparing to train and swim at an elite level. Most athletes will be 13 years of age and older, with the occasional 12 year old. Training is multi-modal, including education, dryland training, and both short and long course training and competition.

Self discipline and commitment are expected, and a certain level of independence in training and swimming while away from team practices is to be expected.

This is a transitional level into our national program, but also represents the pinnacle for those swimmers who do not desire a full-time commitment to swimming at an elite level.


COMMITMENT: 5 60-90 minute practices per week. 11 month season.

QUALIFICATIONS:  4 legal strokes, racing distances of up to 500 yards, and ability to repeat 5 - 200 yard swims and race each stroke at 100 yard distances; swimmers should have made at least 1 District cut. Swimmers are asked to work out with the club team year-round, although on a reduced schedule through the summer months to allow for participation on community swim teams.

FOCUS:  Sleuths is the entry level to full-time swimming with the goal of eventual development into regional and national-level swimmers. Generally swimmers will be 11-14 years old. Training becomes more of the focus of this group, although increasing refinement of stroke technique is done in order to promote the ability to train at a higher level and obtain racing speed.

The goal for this group is participation at LSC championships and YMCA District competitions. Some dryland training is incorporated into practice, and strength development is a focus as swimmers reach physical maturity


COMMITMENT: 4 60-90 minute practices offered per week. 7 month commitment

QUALIFICATIONS: 4 legal strokes, ability to swim repeated 6 - 100 yard swims legally with proper turns, legal starts and an ability to develop one or more strokes into a 200 yard racing event.

FOCUS: Detectives is a group that provides an introduction to competitive swimming for swimmers age 9-12. Racing technique and mid-level training is the emphasis and an ability to listen and apply coaching direction is critical to swimmers in this practice group.


COMMITMENT: 4 60-75 minute practices offered per week. 7 month season

QUALIFICATIONS: 4 competitive strokes, one or two fast strokes, ability to swim 4 -100 yard swims legally and with proper turns

FOCUS: The P.E. practice group is a developmental and basic training group for swimmers age 9-12. Training becomes more important, and swimmers work on increased distances, stroke mechanics and race strategy.


COMMITMENT: 3 45 minute practices offered per week.

QUALIFICATIONS: 3 legal strokes, ability to swim 100 yards, coaches’ selection; racing dive preferred

FOCUS: The Gumshoes practice group is a developmental group for swimmers age 6 - 9. The primary focus of this group is instructional, and centers on perfecting all four competitive strokes and using them in a competitive situation.