Our 8 & unders hard at work at practice!

WFYD Practice Groups

Here at the Wallingford Family YMCA Dolphins, we try to find a place for each swimmer who is interested in participating on the team. All of our training groups are based on a progressive system of competitive swimming development. The primary considerations for placing a swimmer in a group are their abilities, commitment and experience. A secondary consideration is the swimmer’s age. The Wallingford Family YMCA Dolphins coaches may be flexible with age ranges in determining the best practice group for each swimmer.

Pups - Age 6 to 8 

Pups represent the transition from swim lessons into the competitive swim team.  The primary goal for this group is to teach stroke technique and to teach swimmers about competitive swimming. The competition focus is on YMCA dual meets and Yankee Clusters. There isn’t an age restriction for this group.

Required skills:

  • Continuous 25-yard swim on stomach
  • Continuous 25-yard swim on back
  • Willing to jump into the pool

Age Group 3 - Age 8-11

The major focus is centered on having fun and learning the sport. Solid practice habits are reinforced and training sets are introduced, along with stroke technique and development. The competition focus is on YMCA dual meets and Yankee Clusters.

Required skills:

  • Continuous 25-yard swim on stomach, with face in the water & alternating arm strokes
  • Continuous 25-yard swim on back with arms coming up and out of the water
  • Demonstrate knowledge of all 4 racing strokes (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, & freestyle)
  • Continuous 100 yard swim
  • Ability to jump or dive into the pool

Age Group 2 - Age 8-11

Swimmers have some competitive experience and are looking towards building upon a solid base of stroke technique. The primary goal for this group is stroke refinement, endurance and conditioning. Competition is centered on YMCA Dual Meets and USA Meets.

Required skills:

  • Continuous 50-yard swim on stomach, with face in the water & alternating arm strokes
  • Continuous 50-yard swim on back with arms coming up and out of the water
  • Demonstrate knowledge of all 4 racing strokes (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, & freestyle)
  • Continuous 100 yard swim
  • Ability to complete a dive from the blocks.

Age Group 1 - Age 8-11

Proper stroke technique is still an emphasis along with reinforcement of proper practice habits. There is an increase in emphasis on conditioning after the beginning portion of the season. The competition focus shifts to achieving USA CT Regional Championships, Age Group Championships Time Standards and possibly Zones qualifying standards.

Required skills:

  • 6 x 50s on :50 freestyle 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of all 4 racing strokes (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, & freestyle)
  • Ability to swim 3 of the 4 racing strokes legally by USA swimming rulebook standards
  • Continuous 300-yard freestyle
  • Ability to complete a dive from the blocks.

Junior 2 - Age 11-13
Swimmers have some competitive experience and are looking towards building upon a solid base of stroke technique. The primary goal for this group is stroke refinement, endurance and conditioning. Competition is centered on YMCA Dual Meets and USA Meets.

Required skills:

  • Continuous 50-yard swim on stomach, with face in the water & alternating arm strokes
  • Continuous 50-yard swim on back with arms coming up and out of the water
  • Demonstrate knowledge of all 4 racing strokes (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, & freestyle)
  • Continuous 100 yard swim
  • Ability to complete a dive from the blocks.

Junior 1 - Age 11-13
Proper stroke technique is still an emphasis along with reinforcement of proper practice habits. There is an increase in emphasis on conditioning after the beginning portion of the season. The competition focus shifts to achieving USA CT Regional Championships, Age Group Championships Time Standards and possibly Zones qualifying standards.

Required skills:

  • 6 x 100s freestyle on 1:20
  • Demonstrate knowledge of all 4 racing strokes (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, & freestyle)
  • Ability to swim 3 of the 4 racing strokes legally by USA swimming rulebook standards
  • Continuous 300-yard freestyle
  • Ability to complete a dive from the blocks.

Senior 2 - Age 13-18
Proper stroke technique is an emphasis along with the addition of preparation for longer events and reinforcement of proper practice habits.  The primary goal for this group is stroke refinement, endurance and conditioning. Competition is centered on YMCA Dual Meets and USA Meets.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of all 4 racing strokes (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, & freestyle)
  • Continuous 500-yard swim
  • Ability to complete a dive from the blocks.

Senior 1 - Age 13-18
Swimmers in this group are at the highest level of training and competition.  The focus of Senior I is high volume training, energy cycles, sprint work stroke refinement, stroke cycles, and goal setting. 

  • 6 x 100s freestyle on 1:10
  • Ability to swim 3 of the 4 racing strokes legally by USA swimming rulebook standards
  • Continuous 500 freestyle in under 8 minutes
  • Ability to complete a dive from the blocks.