Clarence Swim Club offers age/ability specific training and practice groups for swimmers of all ages and ability levels, challenging and developing each individual to the best of their ability.

Individual group placement is based on a swimmers level of ability, maturity, level of commitment and age. From season to season, the makeup of any given group can fluctuate  to some degree within these parameters based on the overall makeup of the team.

Swimmers and parents are encouraged to inquire about a swimmer’s status in a group, and what they may need to do in order to move to the next level.


Barracudas: The Barracuda group is an introduction to competitive swimming. Swimmers start at the beginning level of a curriculum that progresses as they move up from one group to the next. We strive to develop swimmers through a fun and supportive environment, where sportsmanship and team-building are always emphasized. Technique comes first, speed comes later. The ability to swim correctly will pay big dividends in the athlete's competitive future.


Piranhas: Piranhas are expected to be able to legally perform all four strokes (with the possible exception of breaststroke), be comfortable with flip turns and diving, as well as be able to complete sets of 200 yards and longer in practice without stopping. Swimmers will continue to focus on basic stroke mechanics as they follow the same progression introduced in the Barracuda group. Though Piranhas swim more than the Barracuda group, the emphasis is still technique first, speed later. Increased attention is placed on racing skills, such as starts, turns and underwater kicking. The expectation is that swimmers participate in most of the meets recommended by their group coach.


Sharks: Sharks are expected to handle basic interval training, with the ability to both complete sets and know when to start. As swimmers enter the Sharks group, they should be comfortable with all four strokes and be able to compete in events 100 yards and longer. Swimmers should be ready to work on endurance and basic interval training. They are ready, willing, and able to spend more time in the pool than the Piranha group. While stroke technique is still the No. 1 priority, much of their practice will involve aerobic training, with some race-specific training mixed in. Many Shark swimmers will compete in the end-of-season championship meets and are encouraged to maintain a minimum average of at least 3 out of the 5 practices offered each week.


Juniors: Juniors are required to swim distance sets of 200 yards and more, and must be able to do so in freestyle and IM. The main goal of the Junior group is to prepare swimmers for the demands of the Senior group. This group is made up of the top 11- to 14-year-olds, as well as high school age athletes who aren't ready to swim in the Senior group because of their age, ability, or commitment level. The focus is on improving swimmers' strokes and endurance to the point that they can make a smooth transition to the Senior squad. Qualifying for the Niagara LSC Championships and, for some, the Eastern Zone meet, are the two main goals for Juniors.


Seniors: The Senior group is for swimmers who have chosen swimming as their primary sport. Athletes must demonstrate a strong command of all four strokes, be able to train at a high level without losing technique, and have decided to make a strong commitment of time and energy to reach their goals. These swimmers train with an eye toward state, regional and national level meets.  Swimmers are expected to be self-motivated and make at least 10 out of the 12 practices offered over a two-week period. While some swimmers may choose to participate in other activities, the intent of every athlete should be to improve over the course of a season, and not just stay in shape for high school swimming.