Team Entry Requirements and Athlete Progression Model (including Training Group Descriptions)

Each swimmer is assigned to a specific practice group by the coaching staff after an initial skill evaluation when joining the team. The Coaching leaderhip staff makes all decisions regarding initial group placement and all subsequent group changes for an athlete, and they will initiate communication with parents when a swimmer becomes ready for another group level. Although times are a partial basis for group placement, the PAWW program focuses on swimming skills and techniques as well as aerobic and strength conditioning, and works to ensure success for swimmers as they move up levels so they will be comfortable and consistent with the demands of the group they are moving to. Swimmers will be required to meet certain skills, perform at specific levels on test set results, and exhibit certain behavioral criteria to be promoted to the next swimming level. 

PAWW - BASIC Entry Level Requirements (Beginning Level - White 1)

  1. Ability to swim 25 yards unassisted in freestyle and backstroke

  2. Ability to focus and good listening skills while in a group

  3. Positive willingness to try new skills

If you would like to be evaluated for team placement please contact Head Coach Lori - [email protected]

The Coaching Leadership staff has the right to use their discretion when placing swimmers into groups without having met all of the below chriteria. 


WHITE 1 AND 2 TRAINING GROUPS

Primarily for swimmers age 6-10 or older swimmers who are brand new to the sport. Focus is on developing basic competitive swimming technique in all 4 competitive strokes, developing strong body line and correct movements for locomotion, and introducing athletes to PAWW’s practice, leadership, and racing rules so they can begin to race in swim meets and learn the team’s culture.

WHITE LEVEL BASIC REQUIREMENTS

  • Ready with all gear at practice and puts equipment away at end of practice
  • Behaves properly in locker room and other unsupervised areas
  • Listens with focus to coach instructions and asks questions to gain understanding and actively participates showing eagerness to learn
  • Begins to understand pace clock and makes all assigned sendoff intervals
  • Cheers and encourages teammates, tries local and developmental competitions at least twice per season and talks to coach before and after races
  • Shows positive interest in group leadership and developing leadership skills
  • Shows interest in learning best times

WHITE 1

WHITE 2

Age: 6-10
Skills: New to swim team; has working knowledge of 4 competitive strokes; kick development
Competition: Introduction to racing
Practice: 2-3 days per week
Meets: TBD by coach
Skills Needed for Entrance into White 1: Ability to swim 25 yards unassisted in freestyle and backstroke

Age: 6-10
Skills: Young but understands skills; intro to clock awareness; intro to starts & turns; learn proper lane etiquette
Competition: Introduction to new events & relays; intro to long course
Practice: 2-3 days per week
Meets: 1 meet per month

Skills Needed for Entrance into White 2: Endurance and skills to swim multiple laps without stopping

*Test Sets are designed to assess improvement and to consider when a swimmer should be considered for the next level group.  The coaching staff keeps records of what each swimmer's strengths and weaknesses are.  We will assess abilities in kicking, swimming each of the four competitive strokes, starts and turns and swimmers ability to train in various ways and distances on an interval and at race level effort. 

 

 


YELLOW TRAINING GROUP

Primarily for swimmers age 9-13. Focus is on integrating and refining swimming technique in all 4 competitive strokes, automating strong body line and correct movements for locomotion, increasing conditioning and strength expectations, learning to utilize intervals and paces in training, and utilizing PAWW’s practice, leadership and racing rules to regularly compete in swim meets and to begin to act as service leaders within the team 

YELLOW LEVEL BASIC REQUIREMENTS

Must meet all White 2 requirements plus the below additional requirements: 

  • Understands pace clock and makes all assigned send off intervals

  • Listens and follows instructions promptly without chronic need to re-explain instructions

  • Cheers and encourages teammates, helps others during workouts, looks for ways to make the group more cohesive

  • Regularly competes in local and developmental competitions and talks to coach before and after races

  • Shows positive group leadership skills; leads lanes and helps guide lane management

  • Knows best times in two events

YELLOW

Age: 9-13
Skills: Consistent kicking; breath control; body awareness/balance; refined starts, turns & strokes; intro to race strategy; learn proper lane etiquette
Competition: Learning importance of TEAM, 200/500 free; legally swim 50s & 100s of all strokes & 200 IM; increased participation in long course
Practice: 3-4 days per week
Meets: 1 meet per month – 2 days per meet
Skills Needed for Entrance into Yellow: Good listening skills; ability to kick consistently;swimming background that includes all 4 strokes

Test sets continue to assess improvement and the likeliness a swimmer will be successful in the lane's pace demands while swimming with proper technique.  There are also performance standards that can be achieved in practices or meets for selected events that also indicate readiness to advance to the next level.


BLUE TRAINING GROUP 

For swimmers age 10-13 who have achieved an advanced level of competitive racing success at the championship level and have exhibited a higher level of commitment to their swimming and leadership development. Focus is on providing more advanced training and technique to match the level of competition they have achieved and to prepare them for high level competitive senior swimming in the future. Swimmers are expected to have a high level of accountability for intervals and paces in training, and actively utilize PAWW’s practice, leadership, and racing rules to regularly compete in multiple level swim meets and to independently act as service leaders within the team’s culture on a regular basis.

BLUE LEVEL REQUIREMENTS

Must meet all Yellow level requirements plus

  • Good training habits are the expectation of a swimmer at the BLUE (Senior Prep) level. Leadership skills advance from simply doing their habits properly to becoming a good example of how to do these habits correctly. 
  • A higher commitment level is also demanded in the this level, as progress occurs with consistency in training. 
  • We like to see a commitment of 3-4 practices each week in this level.
BLUE
Age: 10-13
Skills: Distance per stroke; excellent kick – especially underwaters; great turns & details; maintain excellent body balance; learn proper lane etiquette
Competition: Learning importance of TEAM, 400 IM/200 of strokes; 1000/1650 free if ready; sportsmanship; long course emphasis
Practice: 4-5 days per week
Meets: Attend one 3-day meet per month with focus on highest level end-of-season championship meet tqualified for
Skills Needed for Entrance into Blue: Ability to complete the following sets with strong proficiency in streamlines, turns, kicking, etc.
8 x 50 free @1:00
8 x 50 kick @1:15
12 x 25 @:40 (4 butterfly, 4 backstroke, 4 breaststroke)
6 x 100 free @1:40

Test sets continue to assess improvement and the likeliness a swimmer will be successful in the lane's pace demands while swimming with proper technique.  There are also performance standards that can be achieved in practices or meets for selected events that also indicate readiness to advance to the next level.


BLACK 1 and 2 TRAINING GROUPS


For swimmers age 13-18. Focus is on developing advanced competitive racing technique and conditioning consistent with senior and high school level competition. Swimmers are expected to have a high level of accountability for intervals and paces in training, to regularly compete in swim meets, and to positively act as service leaders within the team’s culture on a daily basis.

BLACK LEVEL REQUIREMENTS

Must meet all Blue level requirements plus

Additional Habits:

  • Exhibits respectful, selfless and sportsmanlike behavior everywhere

  • Swim sets with minimal supervision, holding proper interval and set count, Understands and makes all assigned send off intervals and can use clock to calculate repeats

  • Knows times and stroke counts on sets requiring time or count

  • Motivates, Challenges, Cheers, and Knows names of all teammates

  • Attends the recommended swim meets for their level and is on time to warmups, talks to coach before and after races

  • Swimmer competes in all events offered in his/her age group and knows best times

Cognitive:

  • Begins learning about nutritional requirements of training and competition

  • Begins understanding how to utilize split information in training, Begins understanding race strategy for different events

  • Has a beginning understanding of effective goal setting

BLACK 1 BLACK 2
Age: 13+
Skills: Distance per stroke; excellent kick – especially underwaters and turns; efficient strokes; focus on details; consistent work ethic and performance in each and every workout; RACE IN WORKOUTS
Competition: Learning importance of TEAM, 400 IM/200s of stroke; 1000/1650 free if ready;sportsmanship; emphasis on long course; lead team at IL Regionals and Age Group States; qualify for IL Senior States
Practice: 4-5 days per week
Meets: One 3-day meet per month with focus on highest level end-of-season championship meet qualified for
Skills Needed for Entrance into Black 1: Ability to complete the following sets with strong proficiency in streamlines, turns, kicking, etc.
8 x 100 free @1:30
8 x 100 IM @1:40
8 x 100 kick @2:00

Age: 13+
Skills: Distance per stroke; intense focus on details, especially turns & underwaters; self-commitment to becoming a better athlete; raise minimum standards for daily work ethic and attention to technique; bringing an attitude of eagerness to excel to new levels in training and racing
Competition: Focus on TEAM; team success at IL Age Group States & Senior States; qualify for Sectionals & NCSAs (14 & under); emphasis on long course
Practice: 5-6 days per week; communication with coach when unable to attend is strongly encouraged; summer training is a priority
Meets: Strive for 100% meet attendance as prescribed by coach
Skills Needed for Entrance into Black 2: Ability to complete the following sets with strong proficiency in streamlines, turns, kicking, etc. Possess high performance goals at the state and national level; you have chosen to dedicate yourself to a singular sport
10 x 100 free @1:20
4 x 400 free @5:20
8 x 200 IM @3:00
10 x 100 kick @1:50

Test Sets now include performance standards that include distance events, competence in each stroke raced in a sanctioned meet and a faster send off standard one must be able to consistently do without sitting out to rest.  Race paces should be known and swum by the swimmer in practice.  Although a swimmer may still have a "weak stroke" that swimmer is able to keep up with a higher demand of training.


HIGH PERFORMANCE TRAINING GROUP

For swimmers age 16+ who have achieved an advanced level of competitive racing success at the championship level and consistently exhibit a high level of personal commitment for advanced senior swimming technique and training. Swimmers in this group will receive the most advanced training that PAWW has to offer, which is designed to bring our top level senior athletes to the highest competitive level attainable. These athletes are the top service leaders of our team and are expected to exhibit team leadership in daily practice and in all levels of racing, as well as positively modeling and teaching those leadership skills to other members of the team.

HIGH PERFORMANCE LEVEL REQUIREMENTS

Must meet all Black 2 level habits plus

Skills Needed:

  • Ability to complete the sets with strong proficiency in streamlines, turns, kicking, etc.
  • One Sectional or 3 IL Senior State qualifying time standards
  • Willingness to provide leadership to the program;
  • Focused on taking next step towards collegiate swimming competition;
  • Possess high performance goals at the national and international level

Habits Needed:

  • Understands the relationship of heart rate, pace and effort, requiring no supervision in training
  • Listens and helps teammates follow instructions when instructions were not understood
  • Knows times and stroke counts on sets requiring time or count
  • Through actions earns the right to lead by voice, and helps mentor less experienced teammates
  • Demonstrates ability to balance school, social, swimming and family
  • Actively influences teammates/peers in a positive manner

Cognitive:

  • Has general knowledge of energy systems and how they are used in training
  • Understands nutritional requirements of training and competition
  • Understands the importance of stroke counts for effective swimming through race and practice
  • Understands that training seasons are designed for peak performance at the highest level of competition at the end of the season. Understands improvement will not happen at every competition as a result.
  • Understands and utilizes effective goal setting principles

​Test Sets, performance standards and commitment are high in this level.  Many are state championship level swimmers in this group.  Practice attendance is at least 5-6 per week most weeks of all offered practices throughout a season.  Swimmers must be able to keep pace with a high performance group and this requires a high commitment to training.