Team Information 

Mission and Values


Our team strives to provide an enviroment for its swimmers and families that is a safe, healthy, and positive place for them to be. We want to give them the best place to grow as athletes and people in an encouraging and supportive environment. Swimmers of all ages and abilities can learn that through hard work, they can develop skills that will help them throughout their lives.

Our team strives to use technical coaching, support, and competition to help each swimmer reach their greatest potential in the sport of swimming as a youth and to love the sport for life. Goal-setting team building, and skill work are used to build the plan, competition is our evaluator, and swimmers come out of our program as well-rounded athletes with a deep understanding of their sport. To train swimmers well technically, and teach them to be good teammates. To encourage them to be competitive with themselves and learn to set, and achieve, goals.


Team History

The Otters were started as a recreational swim team in 1989 at the Uptown YWCA. At the end of a session of swim lessons, graduating students were given a cookie shaped like an Otter by the mother of the team's first coach, and the name has stayed with us since.

The team stayed at a size of 20-40 swimmers for the next 12 years. As the YWCA opened its new location at Midtown in 2000, there was suddenly an opportunity to grow and improve the program.

Since 2001, the Otters have grown beyond their roots as a team in the YMCA league into one of the largest clubs in Minnesota. With over 300 swimmers, from age 6 to 22, the Otters compete in USA Swimming competition around the state of Minnesota and beyond. We also have had several active Paralympians, including a 2012 Can-Am Champion.

The Otters finished first and second, respectively, in the winter and summer Minnesota Regional Championships meets in 2013, and they came in 3rd in Class A in the winter 2013 State Championship Meet. In the fall of 2013, they finished as runner-up in the Minnetonka Team Challenge.


Who we are

Swimmers on Otters come from most schools in Minneapolis, and we also have team members from Golden Valley, St Louis Park, Edina, Richfield, and St Paul. The team is split up into five basic levels of swimmers, and we have numerous practice options at our three sites in Uptown, Midtown, and Downtown Minneapolis for each group.

In addition to regular practices, the Otters hold technique sessions for practice groups, special events like team parties, movie nights, banquets, picnics, and lake swims. The Senior and Presenior group is able to use some of the best strength and conditioning equipment any team in Minnesota has access to on a daily basis as part of their training.

All of our lead coaches have been with the YWCA for numerous years, and our staff includes coaches with a combined 60 years of experience.

Through our continued development of researched and evolving technical standards, our club looks to rebuild the sport of swimming within the city limits of Minneapolis, enhancing understanding and safety around the water while supporting and driving competitive excellence around the state, nation, and world. Through scholarship, planning, and clear direction, our program can help any swimmer reach their goals in the sport regardless of economic or other obstacles.