The Spokane Waves Aquatic Team uses a “progressive” age group program designed to develop the child physically, mentally and emotionally. A well designed and long-term approach of gradually increasing degrees of commitment is essential to reach peak performance levels throughout their career.

In addition to emphasizing long-term rather than short-term results, it is important that we establish training groups of swimmers that are compatible in respect to Experience, Commitment, Practice Attendance, Work Ethic, Goals, Age, Physical and Social Maturation, and Ability.

First and Foremost these are training groups and swimmers looking to advance must exhibit the capacity to train and the maturity to handle the work load of the more advanced group.The coaches are responsible for placing swimmers in practice groups. This is based on the age and ability level of each individual. When it is in the best interest of the swimmer, he/she will be placed in a more challenging group by the coach.

Group Descriptions and Expectations

A swimmers focus, attitude and long term development will be taken into account for each group, which is why all move ups are ultimately left up to the coaches discretion.

Ripples to Bronze (Recommended attendance to Bronze: 3 times a week)

  • Shows consistent focus and attentiveness required of a Bronze level swimmer

  • Consistent, legal free and backstroke strokes

  • Familiar with names of drills for freestyle and backstroke

Bronze to Silver (Recommended attendance to Silver: 3-4 times a week)


  • Work ethic consistent and dedicated enough as viewed by the coaching staff

  • Ability to use pace clocks

  • Know all 4 competitive strokes legally

  • Compete in 100 IM legally

Silver to Gold (Recommended attendance to Gold: 4-5 days a week)


  • Work ethic consistent and hard enough as viewed by the coaching staff

  • Proper execution of all strokes and drills taught in the Silver group

  • Ability to use pace clocks and know intervals

  • Compete in at least one team meet a month

Gold to Senior (Recommended attendance to Senior: 6 days a week during SC season)

  • MUST BE AT LEAST 13 YEARS OLD (or turning 13 in the next season)

  • The swimmer must be able to demonstrate throughout gold group practices that they are ready for senior level workouts

  • Work ethic is consistent and hard enough as viewed by the coaching staff to swim full Senior group practices

  • Behavior and attitude appropriate with role model status

  • Be able to understand a practice with warm ups, pre-sets and main sets including rounds

  • Child and Parent meeting with the Senior coach about expectations

  • Must have excellent Practice attendance

  • Swimmer has made the commitment to swimming and understands the expectations required to excel at the next level of training