EGRA Age Group Swimming

The EGRA Waves program has 6 different groups that swimmers are assigned to based on ability, age, maturity and goals.  Each group will have a range of ages and abilities.  Our goal is provide a progressive, challenging and rewarding environment that helps all Waves swimmers reach their goals. 

Swimmers are assigned to groups based on ability and move to the next level when they acquire and demonstrate the necessary skills.  For a detailed description of each level, please read our Team Handbook.

Overview of Programs

Swimmers are placed in groups based on ability. Coaches will make all decisions on group placement and move-ups.

  1. The underlying philosophy for all groups is progression.  The goal is to have swimmers acquire specific, competitive swimming skills and characteristics at each level.  The outcome will be well-rounded swimmers with exceptional skills.  All  swimmers will progress at different rates, and this is taken into consideration when designing practices.
  2. Swimmers progress to the next level when they exhibit the necessary skills.  The following are taken into consideration: proficiency of skills, attendance at practice and meets, age, maturity and goals.  Each group may have a range of ages and abilities.  Placement in a group is the sole discretion of the coach.  Coaches will put swimmers into lanes based on their ability.
  3. The first three levels of our club (Pre-competitive, Blue and Bronze) emphasize learning all four competitive strokes proficiently.  Being proficient in all four strokes at a young age is beneficial for many reasons.  It allows for more options later in his or her career, lays a solid muscular and neurological foundation, and helps the team when he or she can do more than one stroke.  It isn't until later in a swimmer's career that he or she may begin to specialize in a certain stroke.  While swimmers may excel at certain strokes and distances, the emphasis is on swimming the Individual Medley (IM - a race in which all four strokes are swum by the individual). 
  4. The next two groups of club, Silver and Gold, begin to emphasize the benefits of training and how it relates to performance.  The emphasis of conditioning will still be the Individual Medley.  Silver will spend more time than Gold on technique, but training cycles also become a part of practice.  Once swimmers reach the Gold group, the emphasis begins to shift toward conditioning for peak performance in meets and training to reach the Senior level.  The season is systematically planned with specific phases to maximize swimming potential.  Swimmers in this group are motivated to improve his or her own skills, and this is reflected by a high level of attendance.  
  5. Senior swimming is for the committed athlete, who places a high priority on training for peak performance.  Swimmers in this group are placed into lanes/groups based on his or her goals and commitment levels.

Below is a brief description of each group and expectations:

Group Descriptions

Pre-Competitive (Age 6-8):

The emphasis of this group is to teach beginning swimmers and parent about competitive swimming.  At the coach’s discretion, swimmers are welcome to sign-up for specified meets.

Blue (Ages 7-9):

The emphasis of this group is to learn the basic skills necessary for competitive swimming: legal four strokes, flip turns, starts, etc, and strive for WMSL A Meet time standards.

Bronze (Ages 7-10):

The emphasis of the Bronze group is to expand upon the skills and progressions learned in Blue; eventually learning how to swim all four strokes legally, and be able to compete in the 100 IM (individual medley). Swimmers in this group should be striving for WMSL A Meet time standards as well as Junior Olympic (Q2) time standards.

Silver (Ages 9-11):

The emphasis of the Silver group is to expand upon what is learned in the Bronze group, and learning to progress stroke technique and endurance to the longer pool and longer events. Swimmers will work on competing in IMX events (200 IM, 200 free, 100 back, 100 breast and 100 fly) and be striving towards Junior Olympic (Q2) and State (Q1) time standards.

Gold (Ages 11-14):

The emphasis of the Gold group is to expand the training of the Silver group; getting more repeition in longer events, learning race strategy, goal setting, and understanding training cycles. Gold swimmers should be striving for Junior Olympic (Q2), State (Q1) and Zone (AAA) time standards, and improving upon their IMX Score.

  • 11-12 IMX Score: 200 IM, 200 free, 100 back, 100 breast, and 100 fly.
  • 13-14 IMX Score: 200/400 IM, 400/500 free, 200 back, 200 breast and 200 fly.

Senior (Ages 14+):

Our Senior program is designed for the athlete who wants to achieve a high level of excellence. Progression and preparation are key components as our goal is to swim at the highest level at championship meets. To prepare for peak performance, swimmers are expected to commit to a serious training program and balance other activities and school with swimming.

Swimmers will determine their short and long-term goals when enrolling. The coach may make changes to the swimmer’s placement based on his or her commitment and progress. The swimmer may also make a change to his or her goals and should do so by communicating with the coach.

The key here is that there is open communication between coaches, swimmers, and parents. Plans change, unexpected situations arise, and schoolwork may get heavy. It is reasonable to expect that the coach is understanding of such situations and that swimmers will communicate with the coach and find a suitable solution.

Please see our Senior Page for more information.