Club North Swimming Move Up Policy



The decision to move up a swimmer rests solely with the coaching staff. Move-ups typically occur in September at Registration, January, April and/or at the Head Group Coach’s discretion and final approval. Swimmers and Parents may be asked to complete an orientation meeting with their coach prior to moving.


During the year, there are swimmers and parents of swimmers who struggle to understand the decision process used in determining whether or not a swimmer should be promoted. Leadership ability, experience, understanding more complex instructions, location, among others are subjects that will be considered. This process is deemed to be most effective given that successful development of the person and athlete is the goal. Swimmers who move up to a higher group are immediately subject to the new group’s financial commitment and behavioral standards.


The following is a rough outline of factors the coaches use when making these decisions:


  1. Attendance

    Attendance is one factor. At the early stages, it is important to attend regularly but not imperative for move-ups. During the later stages, it is a very important factor.


  1. Work ethic and attitude

    A swimmer who attends every practice but fails to push beyond a certain level is less likely to move up than a person with slightly less attendance who does not hesitate to work at a consistently high level. Swimmers who have a high attendance rate but consistantly disrupt practice, do not listen, or are unfocused during practice are less likely to be considered to move up.  Attendance, attitude and work ethic usually combine to produce faster times as swimmers progress through the program. But even speed cannot be a single determining factor when it comes to move-up’s. The swimmer’s ability to complete sets as instructed will also be a factor.


  1. Performance and skill development

    At an early stage in the age group program, a faster swimmer may not move-up if she cannot master basic skills that are being taught. This includes mastering all four strokes, turns, and starts.  “Fast swimming" at this level commonly is a result of early physical maturity or natural ability. Failure to learn how to better propel oneself through the water may result in a very short career. Perception of success will diminish as other kids physically catch-up and then surpass the early achiever in skill development. 


  1. Other factors

    Other factors include, but are not limited to, current size/balance of team, age, time management skills (the ability to juggle schoolwork and a training regimen without compromising either), lane leadership, current group cohesiveness, confidence level and emotional maturity. Because so many factors are involved with a move-up, it is rare for a specific group of athletes to move up at the same rate. Each individual is “graded" on his or her own attributes. Consideration is given to what conditions will best serve the athlete’s swimming future and the group dynamic.

  2. Test Sets

​            For most groups, test sets are offered as a way to move up into the next group, in consideration with all of the above requirements.                  The head coach or head age group coach will test athletes if they are interested in moving up to the next group.



The long term development of the swimmer is the most important aspect of coaching. CNS coaches have witnessed the development of a great number of swimmers. They have seen what happens to kids who move-up too early seeking the prestige of a certain group. These athletes often leave the sport prematurely. The coaches have also seen that swimmers who move in a timely manner or even “late" still have ample opportunity to succeed. The next time move-ups come around, be a good “Swimming Parent" and discuss your swimmer’s development in an appointment with the coach. You may email your coach to set up an appointment, please do not approach them during practice. Trust in the coach’s decision to do what is best for your swimmer.