Practice Group Descriptions

The coaching staff makes decisions on group placement based on a season long process of watching swimmers daily practice and meet habits for returners. These are guidelines that help the coaching staff place athletes in the appropriate practice groups and are not absolute. The coaching staff and head coach have final say on all group assignments regardless of written guidelines.  All group assignments are subject to change by the coaching staff at any time throughout the duration of the swim season.

These are entrance requirements and should be looked at as such.  Each group will be trained to improve in all aspects of their swimming and to aim beyond the next group’s requirements creating a progressive long term approach.    

Nova

The Nova group consists of swimmers ages 5-8 (K-3nd grade) who can complete 25 yards unassisted on their front and back. Swimmers must be comfortable in the water in a group setting.  During practices, they will complete several 25-yard lengths with adequate rest and learn the correct technique through instruction and drill repetition. Swimmers will learn how to perform starts, turns and competitive swimming lane etiquette.  On land swimmers will begin to expand their movement vocabulary through regular dryland work.  The goals of the Nova group is to develop a love for the sport of swimming and begin to experience competition. Swimmers are taught the important aspects of being a respectful teammate and good person through the lessons of sports. There are no attendance requirements for the Nova.

  • Required equipment:
    • Practice suit (team suit for meets)
    • Goggles
    • Kickboard
    • Fins  Speedo - (soft rubber)
    • Swim cap for swimmers with long hair (team cap for swim meets
    • Team shirts (for swim meets)
  • Swim meets:
    • Meets are recommended but not required.  Silver Circuit meets and FAST hosted meets in which swimmers qualify for are best.
    • Team suit, team cap, and the 3 team shirts are mandatory for participation

Fireball

The Fireball group is for swimmers ages 7-8 (2nd-3rd grade) who can swim all four strokes legally for 25-50 yards. They can also perform a 100 IM without stopping. Swimmers in Fireball have a beginning knowledge of racing skills like starts and turns.  Practice for Fireball is technique based with a beginning introduction to training.  On land swimmers will work on expanding their movement vocabulary and motor skills.  Swimmers in our Fireball group compete in regular swim meets to develop racing skills and knowledge.  The Character values Dedication, Responsibility, Respect, and Teamwork are the foundation for the goal of Fireball to develop the passion for competitive swimming, while having fun and being challenged at practice in a healthy and positive way.  Swimmers will be prepared for the next level of swimming in Hammerhead and Tigershark.  There is no attendance requirement for Fireball.

Practice -100IM without stopping   with all 4 stroke legal turns

  • Required equipment:
    • Practice suit (team suit for meets)
    • Goggles
    • Kickboard
    • Fins  Speedo- (soft rubber)
    • Swim cap for swimmers with long hair (team cap for swim meets)
    • Team shirts (for swim meets)
  • Swim meets:
    • Meets are mandatory for those wishing to move to Tiger Shark.
    • Silver Circuit meets recommended and FAST hosted meets in which swimmers qualify for.
    • Swimmers making silver state and or state are expected to participate.  Please schedule family trips for after the championship meets. 
    • Team suit, team cap, and the 3 team shirts are mandatory for meet participation

Hammerhead

The Hammerhead group is for swimmers ages 9-11 (3rd-5th grade) who can complete 25 yards unassisted on their front and back. Swimmers should be comfortable in the water in a group setting.  During practice they will complete several 50-yard lengths and above with adequate rest. While at practice Hammerhead swimmers will focus on technique and skill development to support their long term growth as an Athlete.  The goal of the Hammerhead group is proper technique and learning to race.  Also, an important goal in Hammerhead is teaching the FAST character values of Dedication, Responsibility, Respect, and Teamwork.  These values are the foundation for success at FAST.  Swimmers will be prepared for the next level of swimming in Tigershark, Discovery, and Ascend.  There are no attendance requirements for the Hammerhead group.

  • Required equipment:
    • Practice suit (team suit for meets)
    • Goggles
    • Kickboard
    • Fins  Speedo- (soft rubber)
    • Swim cap for swimmers with long hair (team cap for swim meets)
    • Team shirts (for swim meets)
    • Gym clothing (weather appropriate) for dryland (shoes/shorts etc…)
  • Swim meets:
    • Meets are mandatory for those wishing to move to Tiger Shark or Challenge II.
    • All meets assigned by the coaching staff are recommended. 
    • Swimmers making silver state and or state are expected to participate. 
    • Team suit, team cap, and the 3 team shirts are mandatory for meet participation

Tigershark

The Tigershark group is for swimmers ages 9-11. (3rd-5th grade) They can swim all four strokes legally for 50 -100 yards. The swimmers in Tigershark can perform legal turns and starts, and have the goal of reaching B, BB, A and State time standards. The emphasis is on improving technique, using the pace clock during practice, completing more challenging swim sets to gain endurance, and gain race experience. Swimmers in the Tigershark group are expected to compete in swim meets during the season.  The goal of the Tigershark group is to develop the FAST Character values of Dedication, Responsibility, Respect, and Teamwork while improving endurance and learning advanced racing skills.  There is a priority placed on Long Term Athletic Development as swimmers are prepared for Discovery and Ascend. There is an expected attendance of 75% or higher in the group.

Practice- 10x50fr @ 1:05  4x100IM @ 2:20  10x50 kick @ 1:20

  • Required equipment:
    • Practice suit (team suit for meets)
    • inline FINIS snorkel
    • Goggles
    • Water bottle
    • Pull buoy (small)
    • Kickboard
    • Fins  Speedo- (soft rubber)
    • Swim cap for swimmers with long hair (team cap for swim meets)
    • Team shirts (for swim meets)
    • Gym clothing (weather appropriate) for dryland (shoes/shorts etc…)
  • Swim meets:
    • Swim meet participation is mandatory for those wishing to move to Challenge II
    • Swimmers making silver state, state, and zones are expected to participate in their season ending meet
    • Not participating in meets or championship meets could change future group placement
    • Team suit, team cap, and the 3 team shirts are mandatory for meet participation

Discovery

The Discovery group is for swimmers ages 12-14 (6th-9th grade) who can complete 25 yards unassisted in two strokes. During practice they will complete several 50-yard lengths and above with adequate rest. Discovery swimmers will continue to learn legal turns, starts from a block and develop a better endurance for racing.  The goal of the Discovery group is proper technique, improving fitness, and learning to race. Discovery also has an emphasis on the FAST Core Character values of Dedication, Responsibility, Respect and Teamwork. There are no attendance requirements for the Discovery group.  Swimmers in Discovery are prepared for the next level of swimming in the FAST High School Group, High School Sport Teams, and Challenge I.

  • Required equipment:
    • Practice suit (team suit for meets)
    • Goggles
    • Water bottle
    • Pull buoy (small)
    • Stroke maker hand paddles (just larger than the hand)
    • Kickboard
    • Fins  Speedo- (soft rubber)
    • Swim cap for swimmers with long hair (team cap for swim meets)
    • Team shirts (for swim meets)
    • Gym clothing (weather appropriate) for dryland (shoes/shorts etc…)
    • Snorkel (finis or Speedo)
  • Swim meets:
    • Swim meet participation is mandatory for those wishing to move to Challenge I or Challenge II
    • Swimmers making silver state, state, and zones are expected to participate in their season ending meet
    • Not participating in meets or championship meets could change future group placement
    • Team suit, team cap, and the 3 team shirts are mandatory for meet participation

Ascend

The Ascend group is for swimmers ages 11-13 (6th-8th grade) who are working to achieve B, BB, A and State time standards. Swimmers in this group have goals to race and be contenders in the Championships meets at the end of each season. The goal of Ascend is to grow each swimmer’s fitness level and confidence as swimming sets lengthen in duration and intensity.  Swimmers focus on racing skills that will allow them to reach the next level of the sport in the Challenge I and High School Groups. There is also an emphasis on the Character traits of Dedication, Responsibility, Respect and Teamwork. There is an expected attendance of 75% or higher in the group.

Practice- 10x100FR @ 1:45 6x100IM @ 1:50 10x50 kick @ 1:10

  • Required equipment:
    • Practice suit (team suit for meets)
    • Healthy snack
    • Goggles
    • Water bottle
    • Pull buoy (small)
    • Stroke maker hand paddles (just larger than the hand)
    • Kickboard
    • Fins  Speedo- (soft rubber)
    • Swim cap for swimmers with long hair (team cap for swim meets)
    • Team shirts (for swim meets)
    • Gym clothing (weather appropriate) for dryland (shoes/shorts etc…)
    • Snorkel (finis or Speedo)
  • Swim meets:
    • Swim meet participation is mandatory for those wishing to move to Challenge I
    • Swimmers making silver state, state, and zones are expected to participatein their season ending meet
    • Not participating in meets or championship meets could change future group placement
    • Team suit, team cap, and the 3 team shirts are mandatory for meet participation

Challenge 1

The Challenge 1 group is for swimmers ages 12-15 (7th-9th grade) who are State qualifiers or have 13/14 A times in multiple strokes. The purpose of this group is to teach an advanced knowledge of the sport and appreciate the process as they move forward in their own swimming careers. Goals of the Challenge 1 group is to become a contender at Senior Zones, Sectionals, and Junior Nationals.  There is an expected attendance of 80% or higher in the group.  Swimmers are prepared for the next level of competition in Arete and SR group.  There is an emphasis on The FAST Character values of Dedication, Responsibility, Respect and Teamwork daily at practice.  Additionally Challenge 1 swimmers are taught nutrition, goal setting, and mental toughness concepts.

Practice-15x100 @ 1:25 6x200IM @ 3:15 10x100 kick @ 1:50

  • Required equipment:
    • Practice suit (team suit for meets)
    • Healthy snack
    • Goggles
    • Water bottle
    • Pull buoy (small)
    • Stroke maker hand paddles (just larger than the hand)
    • Kickboard
    • Fins  Speedo- (soft rubber)
    • Swim cap for swimmers with long hair (team cap for swim meets)
    • Team shirts (for swim meets)
    • Gym clothing (weather appropriate) for dryland (shoes/shorts etc…)
    • Snorkel (finis or Speedo)
  • Swim meets:
    • Swim meet participation is mandatory 
    • Swimmers making silver state, state, zones, sectionals, and nationals are expected to participate in their season ending meet
    • Not participating in meets or championship meets could change future group placement
    • Team suit, team cap, and the 3 team shirts are mandatory for meet participation

FAST - Loveland Site

Age  8th Grade minimum

Technique- All levels, swimmers will be assigned lanes based on ability

Attendance-  none required

Performance-  none required

Practice - none required

  • Required equipment:
    • Practice suit (team suit for meets)
    • Healthy snack
    • Goggles
    • Water bottle
    • Pull buoy (small)
    • Stroke maker hand paddles (just larger than the hand)
    • Kickboard
    • Fins  Speedo- (soft rubber)
    • Swim cap for swimmers with long hair (team cap for swim meets)
    • Team shirts (for swim meets)
    • Gym clothing (weather appropriate) for dryland (shoes/shorts etc…)
  • Swim meets:
    • Swim meet participation is optional
    • Two to three meets will be specifically targeted for setting training goals.
    • Team suit, team cap, and the 3 team shirts are mandatory for meet participation

High School

The High School Group is for swimmers 14 years of age and older (9th grade and up). These swimmers are focused on development for high school swimming.  Swimmers are coached to represent their High School at CHSAA sponsored meets including Dual meets, Conference Championships and High School State meets.  Swimmers represent their High School while upholding the character values of Dedication, Responsibility, Respect and Teamwork.  Technical goals of this group are to improve stroke technique, improve strength and fitness. There are no attendance or swim meet requirements for the High School group and swimmers are encouraged to participate in outside afterschool activities.

  • Required equipment:
    • Practice suit (team suit for meets)
    • Healthy snack
    • Goggles
    • Water bottle
    • Pull buoy (small)
    • Stroke maker hand paddles (just larger than the hand)
    • Kickboard
    • Fins  Speedo- (soft rubber)
    • Swim cap for swimmers with long hair (team cap for swim meets)
    • Team shirts (for swim meets)
    • Gym clothing (weather appropriate) for dryland (shoes/shorts etc…)
    • Snorkel (finis or Speedo)
  • Swim meets:
    • Swim meet participation is optional
    • Team suit, team cap, and the 3 team shirts are mandatory for meet participation

Senior Group

The Senior group is for swimmers 15 years of age and older (9th grade and up) who have A and Senior Zones time standards in multiple strokes. These swimmers excel in high school swimming and are working towards achieving Sectional and Junior national time standards as well as swimming in college. The daily emphasis for this group is stroke technique, strength, and details to improve racing skills. There is an expected attendance of 80% or higher in the group.  Swimmers are prepared for the next level of competition in Arete as well as Collegiate Swimming.  Dedication, Responsibility, Respect and Teamwork are the core character values that Swimmers are taught on a daily basis.

Practice- 10x200FR @ 2:40 4x400IM  @ 6:10 10x100 Kick @ 1:45

  • Required equipment:
    • Practice suit (team suit for meets)
    • Healthy snack
    • Goggles
    • Water bottle
    • Pull buoy (small)
    • Stroke maker hand paddles (just larger than the hand)
    • Kickboard
    • Fins  Speedo- (soft rubber)
    • Swim cap for swimmers with long hair (team cap for swim meets)
    • Team shirts (for swim meets)
    • Gym clothing (weather appropriate) for dryland (shoes/shorts etc…)
    • Snorkel (finis or Speedo)
  • Swim meets:
    • Swim meet participation is mandatory 
    • Swimmers making silver state, state, zones, sectionals, and nationals are expected to participate in their season ending meet
    • Not participating in meets or championship meets could change future group placement
    • Team suit, team cap, and the 3 team shirts are mandatory for meet participation

Arete

The Arete group consists of swimmers ages 14 and older (9th grade and up) who have a minimum of 3 Sectional Time Standards and include swimmers with Junior National or National time standards. These swimmers are also working towards a goal of swimming in college. Goals of the Arete group are to become a contender at Sectionals, Junior National, National, and International competitions.  There is an expected attendance of 90% or higher in the group.  Swimmers are prepared for the next level of competition in a Collegiate environment.  Arete swimmers uphold the character values of Dedication, Responsibility, Respect and Teamwork on a daily basis.

Practice- 10x200FR @ 2:30 4x400IM  @ 6:00  10x100 kick @ 1:35

  • Required equipment:
    • Practice suit (team suit for meets)
    • Healthy snack
    • Goggles
    • Water bottle
    • Pull buoy (small)
    • Stroke maker hand paddles (just larger than the hand)
    • Kickboard
    • Fins  Speedo- (soft rubber)
    • Swim cap for swimmers with long hair (team cap for swim meets)
    • Team shirts (for swim meets)
    • Gym clothing (weather appropriate) for dryland (shoes/shorts etc…)
    • Snorkel (finis or Speedo)
  • Swim meets:
    • Swim meet participation is mandatory for those wishing to maintain group status
    • Swimmers making silver state, state, zones, sectionals, and nationals are expected to participate in their season ending meet
    • Team suit, team cap, and the 3 team shirts are mandatory for meet participation