Progressions for Team Advancement

 

The Greater Philadelphia Aquatic Club uses a progressive age group program in which the swimmer will be instructed and developed on physical, mental and emotional levels in a systematic fashion.  A gradual increase in commitment over a period of years is essential to reaching peak performance levels during the swimmer’s physiological prime. The emphasis for beginning swimmers in the early stages of our program is the development of the technical aspects and skills necessary in the sport of swimming.  The coaching staff at this level will also try to emphasize the fun aspect of the sport in order to help the swimmers understand why they participate in swimming as members of the GPAC team. As the swimmers progress through the program more requirements will be made in terms of attendance, as well as physical and mental training. 

 

The emphasis of the program is on both short-term and, more importantly, long-term results.  We would like to see swimmers begin on this team at the lowest level and progress gradually through the program, as they progress through adolescence toward young-adulthood, and be recognized as graduating seniors in their final year with the program.  Because long-term goals and a steady but gradual progression through the program is necessary, training groups are comprised of swimmers with similar swimming ability, commitment levels and overall goals.  This is the most productive manner to group the swimmers if the swimmers are to advance through the program in the proper way.  The best interest of the team will always come first when determining the placement of each individual swimmer.

 

The following group guidelines will serve as the outline for what skills are necessary for placement in each practice group as well as what is expected of each swimmer in order to reach the next level.  The coaching staff will continually evaluate the swimmers based on these group guidelines and make recommendations at the end of the season as to which swimmers need to be moved to the next level.  Swimmers placed in a certain group are expected to maintain the level specified in these guidelines.  If a swimmer is struggling to maintain these guidelines the coaching staff may elect to place the swimmer in the next level down.  Again, this is done to be sure that the swimmer is able to progress through the program at the right rate as well as ensure that the entire team’s best interest is kept in focus. 

                        

The needs of each swimmer and the team as a whole are at the forefront of the specifications and direction of these goals and objectives.  Short-term, or yearly, goals will be emphasized within each practice season within each group.  A long-term goal of overall achievement of excellence is always going to be emphasized.  As everyone on this planet is different, each child will progress through the program at a different rate.  The coaching staff will do its best to be sure that each swimmer is in the best group for them and that each practice group is comprised of swimmers of like abilities and goals.  While it would be ideal for swimmers of the same age to be in each group the reality is that ability is how the groups need to be assembled.

 

Categories

Mini

Bronze

Silver

Gold

Senior 1

Senior 2

National

Ages

8 and under

6-10

9-13

11-14

13 and up

13 and up

High School and above

Attendance

1-2 x week

suggested

2-3 x week

suggested

3-5 x week

suggested

4-6 x week

suggested

4-6 x week

suggested

80% overall attendance mandatory

80% overall attendance mandatory

Practice Length

60 min

1 – 1.25 hours

1-1.5 hours

1.5 -2 hours

2-3 hours

2-4 hours

2-4 hours

Season Length

9 months

9 months

9-11 months

9-11 months

9-11 months

9-11 months

11 months

Daily Yardage

up to 1,000

1,000 – 2,000

2,000-4,000

3,500-5,500

4,500-8,000

6,000-11,000

6,000-11,000

Double Practices

No

No

No

No

No

Some

Required

Weekend Practices

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Basic Goals

Learn Fundamentals of Swimming

100% Technique

Increase knowledge of swimming and training concepts, intro to competition

75% technique, 25% training

Increased personal responsibility necessities of training and commitment

50% technique, 50% training

Refinement of skills and goals introduction of training levels

25% technique, 75% training

Increased focus on swimming over other activities, balance of swimming, social, school and family

10-20% technique, 80-90% training

Focused on moving from competing on the local level (JOs) to the regional level (Sectionals).  Swimming is the primary sport.

10-20% technique

80-90% training

Focused on the highest levels of swimming at the regional and national level, exploring for college swimming options

10-20% technique

80-90% training

Areas of Development

Proper technique of all 4 strokes

Starts, turns, kick, 4 legal strokes, using the pace clock

Legal IM swim and kick, 200s of freestyle, 100s of stroke, refine all skills

Goal setting, race strategy, focused on 200s of stroke and 400 IM

Improving beyond what is done with summer league and high school teams. 

Develop mental, physical and emotional aspects to highest level

Becoming the best swimmers in the South Jersey area and focused on National recognition in the sport.

Competitive Performance

Introduction to Competition – TARGET Jan. mini meet

Mini, dual meets, A/BB/C or BB/C level meets, local championships

10 and under BB times in 50 strokes and 100 IM

10 and under AA times in strokes and 200 IM

11-12 AA times in the 100s strokes and 200 IM

Dedicated to attendance requirement and reaching the Sectional level

Requires meting with Head Coach.  Must have Sectional cut times. 




 

 

Categories

Mini

Bronze

Silver

Gold

Senior 1

Senior 2

National

Training Categories

(achievement necessary to be and remain in the group)

Able to swim lap of freestyle without stopping, can complete practice

2 x 50 of each stroke without stopping during the 50s, relatively legal

6 x 50 free on 1:00

3 x 100 IM on 2:20

can complete

5 x 100 freestyle

10 x 100 free on 1:30

5 x 200 IM on 3:40

10 x 100 kick w/o fins on 2:00

10 x 100 stroke on 1:50 (2:00 breast)

10 x 100 free on 1:25(30)

5 x 200 IM on 3:30

Complete Timed 3000

Proficient kick

 

 

Warm-up @ 1:25

freestyle base (1:15 by Jan.)

Train @ 1:20 free base (1:15 by Jan.)

10 x 200 stroke on 3:10

10 x 200 IM on 315

Warm-up @ 1:15 freestyle base

Train @ 1:10 free base

10 x 200 stroke on 2:40

10 x 200 IM on 2:50

Biomechanical Progression

(what you learn)

Swim without stopping when asked to unless necessary, swim all four strokes legally

Using the pace clock, swimming sets of 50’s of each stroke, 100 IMs

Training for 200 free, 100s stroke, 200 IM, all times faster than Bronze group

 

Longer stroke cycles with faster times, race pacing, training for the 200s of each stroke and 400 IM

Race pacing and DPS, understands training levels

Understands pacing, stroke rate, legal 400 IM,

Further understanding of race strategy and biomechanics of each stroke.  

 

Physical

 

Complete lap of freestyle without stopping, basic knowledge of other strokes

 

Can complete practice, swim continuous for 5 minutes.  Can complete 50s of each stroke and 100 IM

 

Complete 10 min. straight swim, some basic body weight exercises. Can complete 100s of each stroke and 200 IM.

 

Complete 20 minute swim, more advanced body weight exercises.  Can complete 200s of each stroke and the 400 IM.

 

Completes 3000 for time, 500 free under 8:00, longer dryland training

 

Completes 3000 for time ready for advanced dryland of med balls and light weights

 

Completes 3000 for time in under 37:30; ready for advanced dryland of med balls and light weights

Cognitive and Emotional

Practices without parents present on deck.  Can finish 60 minute practice

Remains with the team at all times at meets, does not cry during practice, can make corrections suggested by the coach

Pays attention to coaches at all times, does not cry after a “bad swim” Understands that “bad swims” happen and can correct mistakes

Understands the difference between long-term and short term goals.  Understands what is necessary to achieve their swimming goals. 

Understands the racing season breakdown, can balance school, social life and swimming

Focused on swimming as their sport of choice.  Understanding of what is necessary in and out of the pool to reach the next level in the sport. 

Focused on Goals and their swimming future after high school



 

 

 

  • It is assumed that each group requirements/expectations include those of all of the groups below them.
  • High school swimmers automatically move into the Senior 1 group regardless of ability to reach the various standards.
  • In the younger groups practice attendance is less of a requirement as we understand that swimmers have other commitments.  However the swimmers must maintain the competitive performance, training categories, biomechanical and physical requirements for a group to remain in it.  Everyone must remember that, with most things in life, you get out of it what you put into it.  You should not be afraid to make a commitment at any level.  It is ideal for the commitment level to increase as the swimmer progresses through the program in a gradual manner.  It would not be beneficial to go from swimming two days a week in the Silver or Gold groups immediately to a greater commitment of attendance, workout length and work output in the Gold or Senior 1 groups, respectively.  Attendance most definitely needs to consistently increase before workout length and workout intensity increases.
  • Parent’s/guardians will be provided with swimmer progress reports three times during the short course season (September through May) to update them on their swimmer’s progress and other important issues relative to the athlete’s progression physically, cognitively and emotionally.

 

GPAC Team Placement Criteria and Considerations:

  1. Level of commitment
  2. Training ability
  3. Practice attendance
  4. Stroke and skill development
  5. Level of maturity and personal responsibility
  6. Age and previous experience
  7. Meet performance and best times
  8. Space availability
  9. Satisfactory completion of placement test/tryout (if new to team)

 

Practice Group Promotions

The swimmer under consideration:

  1. Consistently makes choices that demonstrate the willingness to make the commitment level expected of swimmers at the next level.
  2. Meets attendance expectations for current group; demonstrates the ability to make attendance requirements for the next level.
  3. Consistently trains above the level of current practice group.
  4. Demonstrates ability to train successfully on base intervals at the next practice level.
  5. Has mastered stroke and skill expectations of current group.
  6. Exhibits level of maturity and responsibility typical of swimmers at the next level.
  7. Fits age and experience parameters of the next training level.
  8. Has demonstrated potential to compete successfully at general competition level of the next group.

 

Practice Group Demotions

The swimmer under consideration:

  1. Has demonstrated that he/she cannot make the commitment level expected of the practice group.
  2. Is not training successfully on base intervals for their current group.
  3. Attends practice consistently less often than the group expectations and, as a result, can not keep up with the rest of the practice group.
  4. Needs injury rehabilitation at a less strenuous level.

 

Process for implementing Group Changes (Person responsible is in parenthesis)

  1. Discuss potential change(s) with coach at next level (current coach).
  2. Discuss and receive approval for desired change(s) with Head Coach (current coach and next coach).
  3. Contact swimmer’s parent(s) to discuss team change and expectations at the next level (Current coach).
  4. Once parent has been notified, discuss change with swimmer and outline expectations for the next level (Current coach and next coach).
  5. Process roster change form to notify appropriate staff of effective date of team change (Head Coach).

 

Parents are free to inquire about group changes.  Changes will only be made after the March/April championship meets and before the season starts in September.  The Head Coach has final say on all group changes.