Marlins Practice Groups Descriptions

The following are brief descriptions of the focus of each of our practice groups. Please note that the decision to change groups is made by the Head Practice Group Coach in each group, and confirmed by either of the Head Coaches; requirements may be modified as needed at the coaches’ discretion in the case of individual swimmers, and in the interests of balancing group sizes. Swimmers should not necessarily expect to move up to a new group every year; each swimmer develops differently, and group assignments will be made with each individual’s strengths and needs in mind.

In order to get the full benefit of these differentiated groups, swimmers MUST attend the groups to which they have been assigned. All swimmers are expected to attend SAL dual meets from November – January. USA swimming is encouraged for all swimmers, especially those who wish to extend their season beyond January; swimmers who would like to do this should sign up for USA swimming in the fall and attend one or more USA meets during the short course season.

The focus is on becoming legal in all four strokes and developing a familiarity with basic technique stroke drills. Head first racing dives and flip turns are introduced and practiced. Practice Frequency: 3 times/week. 1 hour practices

USA swimming competition is available to swimmers at 9 years old.

Practice Frequency:

1 hr practices

The Blue group is for swimmers ages 9 and up who are new to swimming or need additional stroke refinement and endurance work to comfortably participate in the 90 minute practices in the next group. Swimmers in this group will have the same objectives at the Bronze group but also focus on longer distance practice sets and flip turns.

USA swimming competition is available to swimmers at 9 years old. USA swimming is suggested.

Practice Frequency:

1 hr practices

The focus in this group is fine-tuning all four strokes and becoming comfortable with basic technique stroke drills. Swimmers are becoming fast at the freestyle flip turn. The backstroke flip turn and open turns are introduced and practiced. Swimmers will continue to improve their skill sets in using the pace clock in practice and learn to maintain focus and attention throughout the entire practice.

USA swimming is suggested.

Practice Frequency:

1 hr practices

The focus in this group continues with fine-tuning of all four strokes, including minor portions of the stroke such as hand entry, head position, kick, timing, breathing, and fast starts. Swimmers work to become proficient at doing all turns quickly and correctly, including breast stroke pull-outs and being comfortable with 6 dolphin kicks off the wall and no breathing off the wall. Athletes will see minor to moderate conditioning without sacrificing stroke technique, and will master using a clock for practices.

USA swimming encouraged.

Practice Frequency:

1.5 hr practices

Dry land intro

Athletes in this group will be mature and ready for longer sets and conditioning.  They will have the attention, desire, interest and some self-motivation to become a faster swimmer; they are our “junior Seniors”.

Drills will resemble Senior group drills, focusing on fine tuning stroke technique and also efficiency, speed work and low drag drills. Swimmers will be able to do longer conditioning sets than previous groups without sacrificing stroke technique.

Conditioning drills will become more prominent, including limited breathing drills, distance per stroke, efficiency, low drag etc. Conditioning will focus on aerobic as well as anaerobic sets.

USA swimming strongly encouraged.

Practice Frequency:

1.5 hr practices


Dry land practices

Athletes are mentally capable of long workouts in this group, welcome the challenge of 6 days/week workouts and are self-motivated to improve, set and attain goals, and attend high level meets. They have the desire to become the best swimmer they can be and understand that this is achieved through hard work alone.

Strokes, starts and turns will be broken down and rebuilt via drills to focus solely on stroke efficiency, minimizing drag, increasing propulsive force and maintaining proper breathing. Conditioning will become a major focus in the workouts with focuses on aerobic and anaerobic development. Emphasis will be placed on heavy kicking and developing neuromuscular memory to ensure technique integrity under heavy physical stress.

USA swimming is expected with participation in meets over the course of the season.

Practice Frequency:

2 hr

dry land practices

4 practices per week is strongly encouraged

*All swimmer group assignments are subject to coaches’ sole approval and discretion


Updated October, 2014