When is it time for my swimmer to move up to a higher group? 

 

Team Philosophy

Our coaching staff's philosophy for group move ups is simple: if you are continuing to show improvement-- technical, aerobic, or time wise--in your current group, there is no need to move up a group.

Think of swimming as a card game-- don't play a card before you need to do so. We want to make sure that kids always have room to grow, and prematurely moving up to higher groups can stunt long term development (similarly, this is why we don't have our younger kids practicing every day of the week for hours upon hours). Too much training at younger ages can cause burnout, poor technique, injuries, and many other issues. 

For 99% of cases, group placement is for the season/clinic session. 

 

Group Placement Factors

If you think it's time for your swimmer to move groups, please first check to see if they have satisfied all of the group criteria listed on this page and ensure they can commit to the higher group's practice and meet attendance requirements.

Beyond that, please ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the swimmer currently outperforming their current group in practice (eg, always leading the lane, finding the practice too easy when others are finding it difficult)? This should be obvious and consistent
  • Has the swimmer maxed out their potential in their current group? Have they stalled with technique, aerobic ability, or race times, and the only solution is to move groups? In the case of stalled meet results, do they have the most technically efficient strokes in the group, or can they still benefit from the technical education at the lower level before moving to more intense training?
  • Even if a swimmer has meet times comparable to swimmers in the next group (or has beaten them in a race), do they have the maturity and focus to practice there without disruption? Can they follow the more complex sets and drill progressions in the next group and get value from that practice?
  • Can their stroke technique hold up under the increased training demands of the next group?
  • If moving up beyond AG1, can the swimmer read the clock, follow intervals, circle swim, and otherwise demonstrate the practice etiquette for the next group up?
  • Behaviorally, do they fit with the average age of the next group? This includes swimmers who may be on the younger end age wise of their group-- for example, an 11-12 in seniors is expected to behave, focus, and practice like a 13 & over (no "well, they're only 11..." excuses)

If the answer to all questions above is YES, then please reach out to the coaching staff for discussion. The coaching staff will always have the final say, but we are open to hearing parent perspectives so we can make an educated decision for the swimmer.

 

Timing

We will do bulk move ups at the beginning of the Fall/Winter season. Move ups for Spring Clinic and Summer Training are limited to swimmers who urgently need to change groups.

 

Age Exceptions

We do have the following age exceptions provided your swimmer can practice at the next level:

  • Swimmers may only swim on the developmental team for one year (ages 9 and older) or until they turn 9 (if they have multiple years in Dev 1 as an 8 and under). We will make exceptions for swimmers who lack body coordination or otherwise have special considerations.
  • Age Group 1 is limited to 10 and unders, so swimmers who turn 11 should plan for Age Group 2 at minimum (this includes graduates from Developmental 2)
  • Swimmers who turn 14 may not continue to compete on the age group team and should, at minimum, swim with Juniors
  • There are no age up criteria from Juniors to Seniors
  • If your swimmer has a birthday but is still within the age range for their group, they do not need to move

In the situations where developmental team graduates or age ups (11 year old AG1s or 14 year old AG3s) cannot practice with the next level, we suggest looking into private swim lessons.