Every wonder what your swimmer is talking about?  Here are some common swim terms you will hear floating around the pool!

Streamline Kickout.  Sometimes we just shorten it to kickout.  Hopefully your swimmer can tell you what a kickout is!  This is something we do off EVERY wall.  For Butterfly, Backstroke, and Freestyle we use a dolphin kick out. This means everyone is in a tight streamline (hands stacked on top of each other and your head below your arms) and doing dolphin(butterfly) kick off the wall.  At our lower levels, we are going for 2-4 kick off each wall.  As you progress through our levels, coaches will want to see 6 or more. There is a limit to a kickout. It can't go more than 15 yards/meters.  If you look on good lane ropes, you will see a yellow piece near the opposite flags.  That is as far as you can kickout.

Since you are fastest off the wall and blocks, we take advantage of this by doing a tight streamline kickout.  In Breaststroke, the Kickout is called a pullout.  In a pullout, you get one dolphin kick followed by one arm pull and one Breaststroke kick. That is the only way you are allowed to "kickout" for Breaststroke.  If you were a former swimmer, this is very different than what we did back in the day!  Swimming is constantly evolving!


Drill.   Drills are a special way to swim that focus on certain aspects of a stroke.  Drills are to be taken slowly and deliberately.  You should be thinking about it.  WE DON'T RACE DRILLS!!!  Some drills are more like the stroke like Catch Up Freestyle.  Drills like Breaststroke with Freestyle Kick or one arm butterfly are working on one aspect of the stroke.These would be illegal if done in a swim meet as they are not doing the full stroke properly. 

Drills are key in making your swimming better.  Ugly strokes can only take you so far. Eventually you will have to learn to them correctly.  Plus swimming properly is so much easier.  You will do less work which means you have more energy to go faster.  ATAC believes strongly in proper technique and not just mindless laps in the pool.  Drills will be found in all our groups.  Drills are tailored for the age and skill level. Some drills you won't find at the higher levels or drills you know now might have a different take on them.  Our lower levels almost solely focus on drilling and proper swimming.  Speed is not a focus until they are much older and have a solid knowledge of the strokes.


25/50/100/etc  These are the distances that your swimmer will be swimming, kicking, or drilling.  One length of the pool is 25 yards.  If the coach says to do a 50. They will swim down and back (2 lengths of the pool).Sometimes you will hear a much more complicated 10 50's of Freestyle Kick. This means they are going to kick a 50 (2 lengths) 10 times.  This will total 500 Yards of kicking.  It is different than a straight 500 of kick. If a coach says 500 kick they will go 20 lengths without stopping.  With 10 50's they will stop after each 50 and rest.  Sometimes an interval will be associated with this type of set.


Interval.  In swimming, intervals are a set times that swimmers will do a specific task in.  In the lower levels, there are no intervals. Swimmers are sent off when the coach decides.  Our Middles groups are learning how to do them.  Our upper level groups use them frequently.   Swimming has two kinds of intervals,  Rest intervals and timed ones.  

Rest ones are guaranteed rest. In timed ones, rest is determined by how hard you work.  If the coach says 4 50's of Freestyle, that means you are doing a 50 of Freestyle 4 times total.  If you are doing it on 10 seconds of rest, you will swim a 50 of freestyle and rest 10 seconds.  After the ten seconds is up, you will swim another 50 of freestyle.  It continues until you have done all 4. 

If it’s on a timed interval, say 1.00, you have one minutes to swim the 50 of Freestyle. If you are faster than that you get to rest.  Slower means you have to go again with no rest.  Say you do it in 45 seconds. Then you will get 15 seconds of rest.  Once the minute is up you go again regardless of how much rest you have gotten.  Maybe it took you 58 seconds.  You will get 2 seconds of rest! Every minutes will start another 50 of freestyle.  If done correctly, the set should take 4 minutes to complete. 

Types of Meets (you will only recieve email sign ups for meets your swimmer qualifies for)

  • Open Meets-This meet is open to any team
  • Unclassified Meet-This means they are open to any level of swimmer no matter how fast or slow
  • A/BB meet-Meets for those that have met those time standards. See motivational time standards
  • C meets-might be seen as BB/B/C or B/C meets.  These are open to any that is not FASTER than those times standards. If you are new these are the meets for you
  • Championship meet-These are the final meets of the season. You must have a time in all events you wish to swim.  Many times these meets are Prelim/Finals.
  • Tri-Meet-  This is a meet is for 3 teams only.  It's run similar to other meets although we usually have pizza afterwards!
  • Intrasquad meet-This meet is for ONLY ATAC swimmers.  This is our kickoff into swimming. This is not a sanctioned meet (That means the times don't count), but it's a practice meet.

Prelim/Finals Meet. 

A prelim/Finals meet is typically a high level meet or championship meet.  This means that everyone swims in the morning like a regular meet.  The top 16 (Sometimes top 8 or 24) come back for in the evening for Finals.  They will swim the event again. This will decide the finishes.  The winner of finals wins the event.  If two or more heats are offered the second and third heats are called consolation heats. The first Heat is called the Final heat or Championship heat.  In many meets of this type, if you swim in a consolation heat, the highest you can place is 9th even if your time is faster than someone swimming in the final heat.  Those in the finals heat are guaranteed a top 8 finish.  Swimmers with BB times or faster will start to experience meets of this level. 

Motivational Time standards or B, BB, A times. (Those BB times you have been hearing about!)

USA swimming has a set of motivational time standards.  They can be found here.  It's divided into the different types of pools we swim in Long Course Meters (when the pool is one 50 meter pool), Short Course Meters (This is more common in other countries) and Short Course Yards (What we swim in most of the time).  Then they divide swimmers in the male and female and then by age group, 10 and under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18.

Everyone starts with NT (Or No Time).  Once you swim a legal time.  It gets categorized.  Say you are a 10 year old girl that swim a 40 second freestyle. This would be considered a C time.  A C time can be ANYTHING as long as it's slower than 38.89.  If she swims a 38.89, she will get a B time.  Each stroke and length has its own standard.  Once you get a BB time you are eligible to swim at higher level meets.  Say you are an 11 year old boy and swim a 1:20.73 100 Breaststroke.  He has a BB time and is working towards the A time which is a 1:18.39  These time standards are great goals to work for each time you swim.

Once you have earned the time standard for that age group. You can't lose it.  So if you have the B time and have a bad meet and swim slower than the B time they don't take it away.  Meets will always take your fastest time when you enter.  The only way you lose your B time is when you move to the next age group.  Say you are a 10 year old Boy and you have a 37.09 50 Backstroke.  That is a A time as a 10 year old.  When you turn 11 that time becomes a B time as the B time for 11-12 boys 50 Back is a 38.19  The age up from 10 to 11 is one of the hardest!  The time standards are reevaluated every few years and can get faster or stay the same depending on how swimmers in those age group preforms across the nation.