DEVELOPMENTAL PROGRAM: AGES 5 - 8

Our Developmental groups on Edina Swim Club are called Gator 1, Gator 2, and Gator 3.  Swimmers in our Developmental groups are age 5-8 and range from entry level to competitive swimmers. The primary goal of all Gator groups is to have fun and get excited about swimming on a team.  Practices revolve around skill, technique, and learning.   Our staff consists of professional and credentialed coaches that are great at working with children of this age. Gator swimmers will receive a lot of feedback at each practice. The descriptions for Gator 1, 2, and 3 are as follows:

GATOR 1
This is our introduction to competitive swimming group. In Gator 1, swimmers begin developing all 4 competitive strokes.  Additionally, they will learn about competitive starts, flip turns, open turns, and the rules and regulations involved in USA Swimming. To be placed in Gator 1, swimmers must be able to:

  • swim 25 yards of Freestyle and Backstroke strongly, comfortably, and continuously in order to qualify for our entry level training group. For Freestyle, their face needs to be in the water, arms recovering over the surface, have a strong, consistent flutter kick, and breathing to the side. For Backstroke, their head needs to be back in the water, body high on top of the water, and have a strong, consistent flutter kick.

Gator 1 practices are offered 3 times a week. Gator 1 swimmers may participate in any novice meets that are offered. Group equipment consists of a mesh bag to carry their own water bottle, kick board, and fins. Please label all personal equipment.

GATOR 2
Swimmers will continue to work on technique in all 4 strokes in Gator 2.  Additionally, they will learn about competitive elements of racing, pace clock reading, and they will be introduced to swim sets. Practices move more quickly than Gator 1. To be placed into Gator 2, a swimmer must be able to:

  • Swim 100 yards of freestyle 
  • Swim 100 yards of backstroke
  • Perform 25 yards of legal breaststroke & dolphin kicking
  • Perform flip turns for freestyle & backstroke
  • Must be able to leave the wall correctly by using a proper set-up and underwater streamline
  • Perform a start off the side/blocks
  • Perform a backstroke start

This group is offered 4 practices a week. Gator 2 swimmers are encouraged to compete in 1 meet per month and all qualified finals meets. Group equipment consists of a mesh bag to carry their own water bottle, kick board, and fins. Please label all personal equipment.

GATOR 3
This is our top group for Gators age 8 years old and younger. This group remains focused on technique but also adds elements of competition and race readiness. Practices move more quickly than Gator 2. The criteria for advancement into Gator 3 are as follows:

  • Swim 200 yards freestyle @ 3:30 or faster with flip turns
  • Legal 100 IM (individual medley)
  • Flip turns/open turns with streamlines and dolphin kicking where applicable
  • Must be able to perform an underwater pull-out for breaststroke
  • 6 x 100 freestyle with flip turns @ 2:30
  • 6 x 50 flutter kick @1:30
  • Minimum of 4 x (8 and Under Gold times)

Gator 3 is offered 5 practices each week. The coaches would like to see swimmers attend at least 4 times each week. Swimmers are encouraged to participate in one meet per month and all qualified finals meets. Group equipment consists of a mesh bag to carry their own kick board, fins, pull buoy, and Jr. snorkel. Please label all personal equipment.