Readiness Assessment and Swim Team Requirements

The first priority of the Arden Park Dolphins is the safety of all swimmers.  Therefore it is imperative that all swimmers be confident, secure, and independent in the pool.

All swimmers new to the Arden Park Dolphins, ages 9 and under, will be asked to demonstrate their safety and ability in the pool.  Readiness Assessments will take place on MARCH 22-23, 2023 at the Arden Park pool during the March Swim Clinic (specific dates and times to be provided at a later date).  Swimmers need to come prepared to get in the pool and show the Coaching Staff the following:

  1. Each swimmer must be able to swim at least one-half of the length of the pool without assistance.  A coach will be in the water with the swimmer but the swimmer may not have help from the coach, hold onto the lane lines or side of the pool, or use a kickboard or “floaties”.  Swim goggles and swim caps are highly recommended and encouraged.

  2. Each swimmer must be able to swim one full length of the pool with minimal assistance from a coach, lane lines, or the side of the pool.  Once reaching the halfway mark unassisted, the swimmer may touch the lane rope or side of the pool but must start swimming again after catching his or her breath.  The swimmer must complete the full lap of the pool in a reasonable time and cannot stop and wait on the line rope or side of the pool. Time standards may apply.

  3. Each swimmer must be able to get in and out of the pool from the side (rather than at a ladder) without assistance.

  4. If the Coaching staff determines that a swimmer has met the above criteria after completing the Readiness Assessment, then the swimmer will have a probationary period of up to one month during which time the coaching staff will evaluate the swimmer’s practice abilities and readiness for the swim team.  This includes following the direction of all coaches, understanding and completing the drills assigned, completing the required laps safely, and paying attention when requested.

If the Coaching staff feels a swimmer is not ready to participate on the swim team for any reason, the swimmer will be asked to try again next season.  All registration fees for that swimmer will be refunded.

Most swimmers who complete the Readiness Assessment and Probationary Period go on to fully participate as a swim team member.


For families who are new to a swim team experience, we are hopeful that our swimmers will attend practices and meets regularly, and that our swim families are able to meet the team’s volunteer requirements.  Each swimmer is expected to have a working knowledge of all swim strokes (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly—6&U swimmers need only know freestyle and backstroke) and swim practice should not be considered “swim lessons” for the purpose of being introduced to swimming.  Swimmers will be expected to demonstrate independence during practice and an ability to follow the instructions of the coaches.  Swimmers should come prepared to be able to swim at least 5 to 6 laps during the first half-hour of practice.