Stingray Practice Groups


The Tucson JCC Stingrays offers training and practice groups for swimmers of all ages and ability levels. It is the goal of the coaching staff to offer age-specific training for all of our athletes geared toward challenging each individual and developing them to the best of their abilities. Our groups are loosely based on age but more focused on skill level, athletic ability, motivation, and mentality.


There is a lead coach for each group, but all coaches will work with every group to some extent. We see the value in athletes knowing all of the Stingrays coaches. There might be meets where only one coach is in attendance, and all swimmers should be able to identify that coach and be aware of that coach’s expectations. Swimmers should also be willing and able to take direction and tips from that coach. Interacting with the entire coaching staff during practices facilitates that. 


The Head Coach, along with input from the assistant coaches, sets the plans, goals, and directions for each group on a seasonal basis. The lead Assistant Coach for each group writes the practices for their group. Practices may vary day-to-day in focus and week-to-week in intensity. Practices–including test sets, burnout sets, kick sets, and drills–for all groups may be repeated from time to time. This helps to assess each swimmer’s progress and any needed modification to the season’s plan. Just as in any sport, repetition of a skill continues until the skill is mastered, and then it continues further to ensure the skill is retained. In swimming, this applies to drills to work on technique and interval-sets to work on pace, among other things. All athletes are expected to trust in the process, work hard, and maintain a positive attitude, no matter what challenges the coaching staff presents them with or what the set is for that day. 


While we do have expectations and goals set out for each group below, we also recognize that all swimmers are individuals and some athletes or families might have unique circumstances. In those cases, we do adjust expectations and goals on a case-by-case basis after full communication with the athlete and/or their family.


Group Placement and Move-Up Policy 

New swimmers will be placed in the appropriate practice group based on their ability and age. Evaluations for existing swimmers (advancing to a higher group or placement into a lower group) are made by the coaching staff throughout the season. Placement is decided by the coaches who may use their discretion in deciding the best learning environment for each individual swimmer. Recommendations will be communicated to the swimmer and parent.