Practice Group Requirements

SSC takes great pride in developing its training groups to best fit the needs of its swimmers and families. The coaching staff considers many factors in determining a swimmer's group placement. These descriptions are guidelines and our coaching staff reserves the right to make exceptions and will remain flexible to consider special circumstances or abilities. A swimmer may be moved up or held back if in the coach's opinion a deviation from these guidelines is warranted. We consider everything in totality and have the swimmer’s best interests in mind. Our desire is for the long-term development of the swimmer.

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SSC Training Groups and Levels of Progression

Below outlines the guidelines for moving swimmers up to the next group and how to determine a swimmer's group placement. If you have any questions about this information, please contact Coach Matt.

How to Move to the Next Group

Group Name

(Age Range)

Skills Needed to Enter Group

Group Expectations

Flying Fish

(10 & under)

  1. 25-yard Freestyle (with side breathing)
  2. 25-yard Backstroke

To learn the correct technique for 4 competitive strokes. Will learn freestyle flip turns, open turns for backstroke, and breaststroke and butterfly turns.  Will be learn racing starts as the skill level progresses.

Stingrays

(10 & under)

  1. Coach’s discretion
  2. 200 Free with flip turns, solid stroke technique, and no stopping
  3. 2 x 100 IM (:30 RI) with consistently legal strokes

To further develop correct technique as taught in Flying Fish, with expectations that technique can be maintained for longer distances. Will also learn backstroke flip turns and the underwater pullout for breaststroke. Continue to develop starts as skill level progresses. Basic interval and “set” understanding will also be taught.

Sharks

(10 & under)

  1. Coach’s discretion
  2. Have understanding and ability to use the pace clock during workouts.
  3. Be race start certified
  4. 12 x 50 IMO (:20 RI) with consistently legal strokes and turns. (Demonstrate the ability to do dolphin kick in streamline during Butterfly, Backstroke, and Freestyle and 5-yard pullouts on Breaststroke)
  5. 200 IM performed legally in a meet under 4:00 SCY or 4:15 LCM
  6. 500 Freestyle with proficient turns, streamlines to 4 yards & breathing every 3 strokes, performed under 11:00 SCY

The Shark group is our top 10 & Under group and the majority of the swimmers in this group will begin to focus on championship level swimming. The focus will be on the continued development of proper stroke techniques and great starts and turns. Athletes at this level will also begin to understand the concept of training and will learn the framework for workouts. This will prepare them for the next group levels but will also allow them to see rapid improvements in their ability to handle the competitive meet event list.

Lionfish

(11-14)

Lionfish Silver:

  1. Swimmers must complete a 25-yard Freestyle with side breathing and a 25-yard Backstroke
  2. Swimmers must have a basic understanding of Breaststroke and Butterfly.

Lionfish Gold:

  1. Coach's discretion
  2. Have understanding and ability to use the pace clock during workouts.
  3. 200 IM under 4:00 SCY or 4:30 LCM
  4. 500 Freestyle SCY under 10:00 or 400 Freestyle LCM under 9:00
  5. 12 x 50 IMO (:15 RI) with consistently legal strokes and turns
  6. Timed 500 Freestyle Kick SCY under 13:30

The Lionfish group is a transitional group that will have a range of swimmers from advanced beginners to Divisional level. Along with the increase in age range compared to the groups above, swimmers in this group will start to learn dedicated IM training and will be introduced to both more independent work as well as test sets. At all times, they will be challenged to maintain excellent strokes, starts, and turns.

Sea Dogs

(11-12)

  1. Coach’s discretion
  2. 200 IM under 3:15 SCY or 3:45 LCM
  3. 500 Freestyle SCY under 7:45, or 400 Freestyle LCM under 7:15
  4. IMX Score (see below)

* 10-year-old athletes, please see below.

Our Divisional and State Group for 11-12 athletes as well as 10-year-old Zone qualifiers. This group will focus on preparing athletes for championship meet swimming.

Standards updated March 15, 2022. 

Bluefins

(13-14)

  1. Coach's discretion
  2. 200 IM under 3:15 SCY or 3:30 LCM
  3. 500 Freestyle SCY under 7:00 or 400 Freestyle LCM under 6:15
  4. IMX Score (see below)

* 12-year-old athletes, please see below

Our Divisional and State Group for 13-14 athletes as well as 12-year-old Zone qualifiers. This group will focus on preparing athletes for championship meet swimming, the Senior group, and high school swimming. Advanced training concepts are taught and advanced effort levels are expected.

Seniors

  1. Coach’s discretion
  2. Incoming Freshmen in High School

This is our highest-level training group and is open to all swimmers of the appropriate age. A commitment to the schedule and to serious training and improvement is required.

 

IMX Requirements

Where IMX score is required as a part of the move-up criteria, swimmers must post an IMX Score by swimming the following events legally at swim meets:

  • 11-12 Group must post a 500 Freestyle SCY or 400 Freestyle LCM, 100 Butterfly, 100 Backstroke, 100 Breaststroke, and 200 IM EACH SEASON.
  • 13-14 Group must post 500 Freestyle SCY or 400 Freestyle LCM, 200 Butterfly, 200 Backstroke, 200 Breaststroke, 200 IM, and 400 IM ANNUALLY after their first full season as a 13-year-old.

Read more about IMX scoring here.

 

10-year-old and 12-year-old Athlete Requirements

For a 10-year-old to gain entry into the Sea Dog group, he or she must attain all 11-12 standards above, plus:

  • 10 & Under Zone cut required in at least two different strokes
  • Demonstrated high attendance and maturity
  • No technical issues across all four strokes, proficient and fast turns, and the ability to participate in more advanced swimming conversations
  • Ability to maintain underwater dolphin kicks at all times during practice

 

For a 12-year-old to gain entry into the Bluefin Group, he or she must attain all the 13-14 standards above, plus:

  • 11-12 Zone cut required in at least 2 different strokes
  • 10 x 100 Freestyle swim @ 1:30 SCY or 1:40 LCM while breathing every 3 strokes and maintaining proficient 6 yard + streamlines, holding at least 5 seconds of rest
  • 10 x 100 kick @ 2:00 SCY or 2:10 LCM both in Freestyle and one other stroke
  • Demonstrated high attendance and maturity to handle a more mature training environment
  • No technical issues across all 4 strokes, proficient and fast turns, and the ability to participate in more advanced swimming conversations
  • Ability to maintain underwater dolphin kicks at all times during practice

 

How do you determine your group placement?

1. Age is the first determining factor. Please note your age for the SCY 2021-2022 winter season is determined by your age as of March 11, 2022, and the LCM summer 2022 season is determined by your age as of July 28, 2022.

2. The 200 IM and 500 Freestyle SCY / 400 Freestyle LCM times are the next determining factor. There are a few different ways for you to look up these times:

  • USA Swimming DeckPass app. 
  • Sign in to our own website and look for My Times.
  • Go to the USA Swimming website.
  • Meet Mobile is slightly less accurate in tracking best times, as the Meet Mobile times are often in error and not technically "fully certified" in the eyes of Indiana Swimming/USA Swimming.
  • Reference the chart above to determine what specific 200 IM and 500/400 Freestyle time you are aiming for.

3. IMX Scores are the third main factor. Reminder from above:

  • 11-12 Group must post a 500 Freestyle SCY or 400 Freestyle LCM, 100 Butterfly, 100 Backstroke, 100 Breaststroke, and 200 IM EACH SEASON.
  • 13-14 Group must post 500 Freestyle SCY or 400 Freestyle LCM, 200 Butterfly, 200 Backstroke, 200 Breaststroke, 200 IM, and 400 IM ANNUALLY after their first full season as a 13-year-old.
  • You only need to accomplish these lists of events at a meet legally. There is not a minimum time standard per event. 
  • You can look at the same web/app sources referenced above to see if you have completed these events. 

4. If you have any questions about correct group placement, particularly during online registration, please contact Coach Matt at any time.