Novice Green (NG) - This group is for 7-17 year olds.  It places a heavy emphasis on stroke technique, turns, starts, (as well as some fun!) and serves as an introduction to competitive swimming. The teaching process in Novice Green is deliberate, placing a heavy emphasis on the development of listening skills. The basic skills required for entering this group are a strong backstroke, freestyle with bi-lateral breathing, and basic competency in breaststroke and butterfly. This is the level when swimmers begin to participate in swim meets. We offer 3 practices per week and we ask they try to attend at least 2 of them. When leaving this group, a swimmer will typically move on to Novice Black or to the Buffalo TIDE competitive team.

Novice Black (NB) - Novice Black is also for 7-17 year olds. Novice Black covers starts, turns, stroke drills and technique more rapidly and in greater detail than Novice Green. The coaching staff makes every effort to teach with energy and enthusiasm, with entertainment being an important by-product of this process. New swimmers are placed in this group after careful evaluation by the coaching staff. Swimmers must demonstrate proficiency in the free, back and back-breast turns and in each of the individual strokes. Like Novice Green, listening skills are emphasized and developed. We offer 3 practices per week and we ask they try to attend at least 2 and hopefully all 3 of them. Novice Black seeks to channel capable swimmers into the Buffalo TIDE competitive program.


NOVICE GREEN: Must complete these skills to move to the NOVICE BLACK team

  1. Swim 6 x 25's free @ 1:10 all under :40
  2. Swim 6 x 25's back @ 1:15 all under :45
  3. 50 yard Freestyle under 1:05
  4. 50 yard Backstroke under 1:10
  5. 50 yard Breaststroke under 1:15
  6. 25 yard Butterfly under :35
  7. 100 yard Individual Medley under 3:00
  8. Can do racing starts
  9. Breaststroke pullout basics
  10. Does Freestyle/Backstroke turns consistently
  11. Does 2 hand touches on Breaststroke/Butterfly turns
  12. Should try to attend at least 55% of the practices offered
  13. Pace clock basics
  14. Inter-squad racing/some USA Swimming competitions


NOVICE BLACK: Must complete these skills to move to the Buffalo TIDE Bronze team

  1. Swim 8 x 25's free @ :50 and keep all under :35
  2. Swim 8 x 25's back @ 1:00 and keep all under :40
  3. 100 yard Freestyle 100 under 2:10
  4. 100 yard Backstroke under 2:20
  5. 100 yard Breaststroke under 2:30
  6. 50 yard Butterfly under 1:05
  7. 100 yard Individual Medley under 2:30
  8. Does Racing Starts better than previous level
  9. Streamline underwater for six seconds with dolphin kicks
  10. Breaststroke pullout with timing
  11. Turns/ Individual Medley Transitions
  12. Better understanding of the pace clock than previous level 
  13. Should try to attend at least 60% of the practices offered
  14. Competes in more USA Swimming competitions