TEAM TRAINING GROUP STRUCTURE

The Issaquah Swim Team offers a progressive program designed to develop the athlete technically, physically and mentally in a systematic, safe and fun fashion. Emphasis at all four levels of the program and all training squads will be placed on healthy training activities that help the swimmer progress through their career injury free.  At all levels, technique is the top priority and as each athlete matures through the Issaquah Swim Team curriculum, more emphasis is placed on maintaining technique and efficiency while progressively developing the athlete's physiological and psychological capacities. At all levels of our program we continually try to evaluate and adapt to the multitude of factors that impact the growth and development of young athletes.  Within each level of our program our goal is to develop a healthy, robust, & reliable nervous system that can serve the critical growth periods of an elementary school aged, middle school aged and high school aged athlete.

As swimmers advance through the program, they will be exposed to different coaches. We have a very experienced and diverse coaching staff. Each coach offers a unique perspective on your swimmer and will give them tools to help them in their swimming career. Exposure to different coaches and coaching styles is a tremendous strength for our club and swimmers.

Qualifying new swimmers registering for IST who are willing to abide by the IST Code of Conduct and training requirements will be placed in the appropriate training group based on school year, tryout performances and competitive capabilities.

Prerequisites for group advancement include: a positive attitude, a desire to advance within the IST program, and a willingness to upgrade commitment levels as required in respect to workload and attendance.

Swimmers will remain in their designated squads for the duration of the swim season unless an athlete has shown they are not making a commitment level appropriate for their group.

If a swimmer in a training group is no longer able to meet the minimum standards for that level, or if they choose not to make the demands/expectations of that level, they will be moved to the appropriate training group. It is important that all swimmers in each training group can meet the minimum standards in order to maintain a productive training environment. It is understood that any break in training prior to the swimmer’s championship meet is not creating the most optimal preparation for competitive goal achievement. 

Issaquah Swim Team will have a team wide dryland program. IST's dryland program is in place to complement and enhance IST's water sessions while helping prevent injuries throughout the swimmer’s career.  We will offer a safe, healthy, progressive and dynamic training program for all levels of the team.  Issaquah Swim Team goals of our dryland program while preparing athletes for their aquatic progression are to improve swimmer performance and create a team building atmosphere.  This will be achieved through increasing body awareness/flexibility/strength/stability/mobility all while fostering Team spirit and camaraderie.

The progression and placement among training groups in each level is solely the coaching staff's decision and is based on many variables. Such prioritized variables include: Stroke Technique, Competitive Times, Meet & Practice Attendance, Work Ethic, Coachability and Knowledge of the IST Curriculum.


A description of our group structure is below:

STEELHEAD PROGRAM: Pre-Competitive Athletes:  Elementary and middle school athletes

          Groups: Steelhead A, Steelhead B, Steelhead C, Steelhead D

SOCKEYE SURGE PROGRAM:  Age Group Development Program: Elementary school athletes 

          Groups: Sharks, Rays, Piranhas, Marlins, Barracudas

SOCKEYES PROGRAM: Age Group Program: Middle school athletes

          Groups: Gold 1/2, Silver 1/2, Bronze 1-3, Age Group Prep

SENIOR PROGRAM: High school athletes

          Groups: Senior 1-4


STEELHEAD SQUADS

STEELHEAD A, B, C, D

AGE RANGE: Pre-Competitive Athletes aged 6-13

TYPICAL SCHEDULE: 3 practices per week

DESCRIPTION: In this group athletes are introduced to the Issaquah Swim Team curriculum while beginning to develop patterns of refinement in stroke technique according to the Issaquah Swim Team curriculum.

COMPETITIONS: 2 Competitions will be offered per year.  Typically Nov, Feb.

PRIMARY OBJECTIVES: Learn and become familiar with the beginning aspects of the Issaquah Swim Team philosophy and teaching techniques. Swimmers will address primary aspects of body awareness, water rhythms and general athleticism. Additionally, swimmers will begin to experience the physiological factors of being in the aquatic environment. Steelhead swimmers will work to refine and improve all four competitive strokes and begin to learn the basic movements essential to competitive swimming such as starts, turns and breathe control.


SOCKEYE SURGE

BARRACUDAS, MARLINS, PIRANHAS, RAYS, SHARKS

Sockeye Surge program is our Age Group Developmental program: Swimmers in Elementary School

TYPICAL SCHEDULE: 4-5 workouts per week totaling 3-6 hours per week

ENTRY QUALIFICATIONS:  The swimmer will be in elementary school. The swimmer will be selected and invited to join the Sockeye Surge program by the respective Steelhead Coach after the swimmer proves effective in all four competitive strokes and shows a desire to become part of a competitive team. A swimmer can also be selected to join our Sockeye Surge program from try-outs.

DESCRIPTION: Age Group Developmental squads are designed to teach the core facets of the Issaquah Swim Team Philosophy and curriculum as well as the critical aspects of becoming a competitive swimmer.  The Sockeye Surge program introduces team building skills such as group games, group socials and group challenge activities. Emphasis will be placed on stroke technique and learning skills that will enable the healthy physical development of the swimmer as they progress through their swimming career.

PRIMARY OBJECTIVES: Begin to develop competitive swimming fundamentals including aquatic postures, body awareness, aquatic rhythms, listening skills, coachability and the core values of being a part of Issaquah Swim Team. Starts, turns, and efficient use of the body in the aquatic environment will be introduced as essential pieces of fast swimming. To compete in all competitive races offered for their age group.

Sockeye Surge Swimmers are expected to attend 80% of workouts to achieve both retention and progression within the Issaquah Swim Team curriculum. Sockeye Surge Swimmers are expected to attend at least four swim meets in the SCY season and two swim meets in the LCM season including all qualified IST hosted meets and is required to attend all qualified championship meets.

PRIMARY COMPETITIVE GOALS:

Barracudas: Achieve Silver Times in all 4 strokes

Marlins/Piranhas: Achieve Gold Times in all 4 strokes

Rays: Achieve PNS Times

Sharks: Achieve Age Group Regional Times

DRYLAND:

Dryland activities will be offered to all groups in the Surge Program. The primary purpose of dryland in the Surge Program is:

  • Build coordination/athleticism both physical and eye/hand
  • Increase Body awareness
  • Increase Flexibility
  • Injury Prevention
  • Only the athletes body weight will be used

SOCKEYE SURGE PROGRESSION: The Sockeye Surge program will be tiered in training hours. Swimmers in the Surge program will be placed in the appropriate group based on Stroke Technique, Competitive Times, Meet & Practice Attendance, Work Ethic, Coachability and Knowledge of the IST Curriculum.


SOCKEYE PROGRAM

GOLD 1/2, SILVER 1/2, BRONZE 1-3, AGE GROUP PREP

Sockeye program is our Age Group Program: Swimmers in Middle School

TYPICAL SCHEDULE: 4-6 workouts per week totaling 4-10 hours per week of water time.

ENTRY QUALIFICATIONS:  The swimmer will be in middle school. The swimmer will be selected and invited to join the Sockeye program by the respective Surge Coach after the swimmer proves consistent effectiveness in all four competitive strokes and shows a desire to become part of a competitive team. A swimmer can also be selected to join our Sockeye program from try-outs. Select 5th graders will be invited to join only the Gold group dependent upon an exemplary level of Stroke Technique, Competitive Times, Meet & Practice Attendance, Work Ethic, Coachability and Knowledge of the IST Curriculum.

DESCRIPTION: Age Group squads are geared towards the development of athletes in middle school.  These training squads will allow athletes an opportunity to mature physically and emotionally within their peer group. Sockeye squad swimmers will have developed strong knowledge of the basic principles of the Issaquah Swim Team philosophy and curriculum. The success of each individual is based on increased commitment level in attendance and practice effort. Goal setting will be applied throughout the year, in addition to introduction of more advanced mental training and dryland activities. Sockeye squads will utilize mental, physical and physiological training. 

PRIMARY OBJECTIVES: Continue to develop in more depth the competitive swimming fundamentals including aquatic postures, body awareness, aquatic rhythms, listening skills, coachability and the core values of being a part of Issaquah Swim Team. Starts, turns, and efficient use of the body in the aquatic environment will be reinforced as essential pieces of fast swimming. Swimmers will begin their aerobic development base in the Sockeye Squads. To compete in all competitive races offered for their age group. Swimmers will recognize and understand that efficiency in the water is essential to fast swimming. Athletes will become more familiar with safe and healthy training activities that foster injury prevention as the swimmer progresses through their career. 

Sockeye swimmers are expected to attend 80% of workouts to achieve both retention and progression within the Issaquah Swim Team curriculum. Sockeye swimmers are expected to attend at least five swim meets in the SCY season and two swim meets in the LCM season including all qualified IST hosted meets and is required to attend all qualified championship meets.

PRIMARY COMPETITIVE GOALS:

Age Group Prep: Compete in all 4 strokes and achieve Silver Times

Bronze 1-3: Achieve Silver Times in all 4 strokes and Gold Times

Silver 1/2: Achieve Gold Times in all 4 strokes and PNS Standards

Gold 1/2: Achieve Age Group Regional/SPEEDO Championship Standards

DRYLAND:

Dryland activities will be offered to all groups in the Sockeye Program.  The primary purpose of dryland in the Sockeye program is:

  • Build coordination/athleticism both physical and eye/hand
  • Increase Body awareness
  • Increase Flexibility
  • Injury Prevention
  • Athletes will begin to use additional weights such as medicine balls, light hand weights and resistance tubing

SOCKEYE PROGRESSION: The Sockeye program will be tiered in training hours. Swimmers in the Sockeye program will be placed in the appropriate group based on Stroke Technique, Competitive Times, Meet & Practice Attendance, Work Ethic, Coachability and Knowledge of the IST Curriculum. Issaquah Swim Team swimmers will understand the level of trust and relationships that are conducive to entering Senior Level Swimming.


SENIOR PROGRAM

SENIOR 1-4: High School Athletes

TYPICAL SCHEDULE: 3-8 Workouts per week totaling 4.5-17 hours per week of water time. 

ENTRY QUALIFICATION: The swimmer will be in high school. A swimmer can also be selected to join our Senior program from try-outs. Select 8th graders will be invited to join only the Senior 3 group dependent upon an exemplary level of Stroke Technique, Competitive Times, Meet & Practice Attendance, Work Ethic, Coachability and Knowledge of the IST Curriculum.

DESCRIPTION: Senior squads are geared towards the development of athletes in high school. These training squads will allow athletes an opportunity to mature physically and emotionally within their peer group. Senior program swimmers will have developed strong knowledge of the basic principles of the Issaquah Swim Team philosophy and curriculum.  The success of each individual is based on increased commitment level in attendance and practice effort. An increased level of more advanced mental training and dryland activities will be in place for the Senior squads. Senior squads will utilize mental, physical and physiological training. Regular Senior program meetings, socials and goal session meetings will be utilized. 

Senior program swimmers will accept the role as leaders and act as such for the entire Sockeye Family. Senior program swimmers are recommended to attend 100% of workouts and are expected to attend a minimum of 85% of workouts to achieve their goals. Swimmers who attend less than 80% of workouts for a month or more may be moved to a training squad that requires less hours of commitment. Re-entry into their previous squad is managed by the swimmers and their coach.

PRIMARY COMPETITIVE GOALS:

Senior 1: Build on competitive application of all 4 strokes, preparing for competition at high school level and achieving Gold time standards

Senior 2: Participate in Senior Level competition and prepare for competition at PNS Senior Champs and beyond

Senior 3: Achieve PNS Champs standards in all 4 strokes, accomplishing AG Regional and Senior Sectional Time Standards

Senior 4: Participate in Senior Level competition, preparing to represent IST at a Sectional, Future, and National level

DRYLAND:

Dryland activities will be offered to all groups in the Senior Program.  The primary purpose of dryland in the Senior Program is:

  • Build coordination/athleticism both physical and eye/hand
  • Increase Body awareness
  • Increase Flexibility
  • Injury Prevention
  • Increase Strength

SENIOR PROGRAM PROGRESSION: The Senior program will be tiered in training hours. Swimmers in the Senior program will be placed in the appropriate group based on Stroke Technique, Competitive Times, Meet & Practice Attendance, Work Ethic, Coachability and overall Desire.

 

SENIOR 1

The Swimmer will be selected to move into the Senior 1 Squad by the respective Sockeye Coach as well as the Head Age Group Coach and Head Coach. The Senior 1 Squad is designed as a stepping stone into higher end Senior swimming as well as supplementing their High School Training. Swimmers in the Senior 1 Squad are committed to improving their level of ability and fitness. The goal is that all swimmers will be able to perform at a high level on their high school teams and prepare for furthering their swimming experience on IST.

PRIMARY OBJECTIVES:  This squad is designed to introduce athletes to a seasonal senior training program.   The overall focus of this group is to build strength, power and endurance within the water to help improve a swimmer’s overall speed, agility, and technique within the four competitive strokes.  This squad can be a doorway to our Senior 2 squad or can be used exclusively by a swimmer that does not wish to meet the mandatory practice requirements of the other senior squads.  Swimmers will recognize and understand that efficiency in the water is essential to fast swimming. Senior 1 swimmers are expected to attend at least five swim meets in the SCY season and two swim meets in the LCM Season including all qualified IST hosted meets and is required to attend all qualified championship meets.

SENIOR 2

PRIMARY OBJECTIVES:  This squad is designed as a stepping-stone to training and competing at the state “senior” level.  This squad requires swimmers to place a very high importance on aerobic conditioning, while still continuing to improve technique and speed in all four competitive strokes.  Senior 2 swimmers must meet a weekly practice attendance requirement of 80%.  Recommended practice attendance is 6 days/wk.  Senior Squad swimmers will be familiar with and apply the primary aspects of what is necessary to compete at the high-end senior level. Athletes will continue to develop safe and healthy training activities that foster injury prevention as the swimmer progresses through their Senior swimming career.

It is understood that any break in training prior to the swimmer’s championship meet is not creating the most optimal preparation for competitive goal achievement. Senior squad swimmers will understand the level of trust and relationships that are conducive to progress within the senior swimming echelon.  Senior squad swimmers will learn to accept and give feedback with their coach in a beneficial manner to produce higher level training. Senior squad swimmers are expected to attend all listed competitions for their squad and required to attend all qualified championship meets.

SENIOR 3

PRIMARY OBJECTIVES:  This squad is designed as a stepping-stone to training and competing at the Regional and Sectional level.  This squad requires swimmers to place a very high importance on aerobic conditioning, while continuing to improve technique and speed in all four competitive strokes.  Senior 3 swimmers must meet a weekly practice attendance requirement of 80%.  Recommended practice attendance is 6 days/wk.  Senior Squad swimmers will be familiar with and apply the primary aspects of what is necessary to compete at the high-end senior level. Athletes will continue to develop safe and healthy training activities that foster injury prevention as the swimmer progresses through their Senior swimming career.

Swimmers in this squad will start to make the transition from successful state/age group regional level athlete to a Senior Championship level athlete. Overall the main goal of this squad is to provide an environment that will prepare athletes for collegiate level competition and participation.  Senior 3 swimmers must meet a weekly practice attendance requirement of 80%.  Recommended practice attendance is 6 days/wk.  Senior Squad swimmers will be familiar with and apply the primary aspects of what is necessary to compete at the high end senior level. Athletes will continue to develop safe and healthy training activities that foster injury prevention as the swimmer progresses through their Senior swimming career.

SENIOR 4

This training squad is made up of swimmers wishing to compete on the national level and continue their swimmer careers into the Collegiate realm. Only the most dedicated swimmers with regards to time management and previous commitment are selected to be members. The best training with the best, all with common goals, work ethic, and desire to be good team members while striving to reach the next level. Swimmers must show a high level of dedication,  time management, and leadership in and out of the pool with the goal being able to compete at the highest national levels of swimming. Technique, endurance, speed, and dry land training are done with an intensity and versatility that can allow you to reach that goal. The Senior 4 Squad utilizes mental, physical and physiological training. The Senior 4 squad swimmer will have excellent knowledge of the principles of the Issaquah Swim Team philosophy and curriculum.

PRIMARY OBJECTIVES: To reach the fullest competitive potential of the athlete that will enable them to swim in college. Senior swimmers will be expected to be students of the sport and highly skilled in the core values of being a part of Issaquah Swim Team.  Starts, turns, and efficient use of the body in the aquatic environment will be executed.  To execute efficiency in the water in all facets of training and racing. 

It is understood that any break in training prior to the swimmer’s championship meet is not creating the most optimal preparation for competitive goal achievement. Senior squad swimmers will understand the level of trust and relationships that are conducive to reach the highest level of senior swimming. Senior squad swimmers will learn to accept and give feedback with their coach in a beneficial manner to produce higher level training.  Senior squad swimmers are expected to attend all listed competitions for their squad and required to attend all qualified championship meets.