Group Descriptions/Group Requirements/Group Expectations

The following group descriptions provide a blue print for athlete progressions within the Utica Shelby Swim Club and are to be followed by coaches, swimmers and parents.  Training guidelines are to be treated as pre-requisites and will be utilized throughout the season.  Not every swimmer will be able to fulfill every requirement at the beginning of the year but will be expected to attain the training levels outlined shortly into the season. 

All group placements and advancements are to be determined by the coaching staff according to these guidelines with the supervision, direction, and approval of the Head Coach.

Swimmers are expected to progress with their group during the season.  Swimmers who do not progress at the same rate of the group, will be moved down to the appropriate group.


Novice 1- 5-9 yrs old.  Swimmers must be very comfortable putting their face in the water, be comfortable in deep water, and be willing to be in a lesson up to 45 minutes.  They must also be able to flutter kick on their stomach with a kickboard, swim 15 yards unassisted, and float on their backs unassisted.  Proper kicking and basic arm pull for freestyle, rotary breathing, and backstroke will be the focus.  Breaststroke kick will also be taught in this group.

Novice 2-  6-9 yrs old.   Swimmers must be comfortable in deep water and be able to be attentive for a lesson up to 45 minutes.  Swimmers in this group must have a complete understanding of Freestyle and Backstroke, and Breaststroke Kick and must be able to complete one length of each.  Butterfly kick and pull, Introduction of Backstroke and Freestyle turns, completion of Breaststroke, and Introduction of Competitive starts will be the focus. 

Intermediate 7-12 years old.  Swimmers should be able to complete 25 Free and 25 Backstroke, and have a preliminary understanding of Breaststroke.  Continuing to build strong technique will continue to be the focus in this group.  Racing starts and turns will also be taught.

Junior- 8 - 12 yrs old.  Swimmers must be able to legally swim: 200 yards Freestyle without stopping, 100 yards Backstroke, 50 yards each of Butterfly and Breaststroke, and a 200 yard Individual Medley.  Knowledge of common terms and an ability to read the pace clock are required.  Athletes must be able to complete 6 x 75 @ 2:00, kick 10 x 50 @ 1:30.  

Age Group 1-   8 - 11 yrs old. Swimmers must be able to swim all four strokes with efficient technique sufficient to the training requirement.  Swimmers must average 60% practice attendance (3 practices per week), and attend 2-3 days of most team swim meets.  This is a committed group and should be a priority activity for your child.  

Age Group 2- 10 – 12 yrs old.  Swimmers in this group must exceed the requirements of Age Group 1.   Must show an IM/distance freestyle mentality and continue to compete in the longest distances in all strokes in their age group.  This is the top level group for 12 and under swimmers and is a highly committed group.  Swimmers must attend an average of 4 practices per week and attend 2-3 days of all team meets.  This group is a year round commitment in order to progress with the group.  

Senior White - 13 - 18 yrs old.  This group will primarily focus on continuing to develop efficient stroke technique and improve racing skills.  This group will not have a practice attendance requirements, but athletes should understand the correlation of practice attendance and meet performance and will be expected to progress with the group during the season.

Senior Silver - 13-18 yrs old.  Swimmers in this group must attend a minimum of 4 practices each week (67%).  An emphasis on developing race strategy and refining stroke technique will also be a strong focus of this group. Swimmers are expected to have current times in the 400 IM, 500 Free and 200's of the strokes.  Swimmers in this group should have a year-round swimming commitment in order to progress with the group.

Senior Blue - 13 - 18 yrs old.  This is the highest level of training and swimmers must show dedication and a desire to compete not only at the State-level, but the Sectional and National Level as well.  Training begins to become more stroke and race specific, however no one is allowed to become completely specialized.  Must continue to have an IM/ distance Freestyle mentality at meets, and must provide a desirable example of sportsmanship, practice habits, work ethic, and respect to be followed by the up and coming swimmers of the Utica Shelby Swim Club.  Nothing short of these expectations will be tolerated.  Swimmers in this group will maintain practice attendance of 85% practices each week, to be evaluated on a bi-weekly basis.