Practice Group Structures

Every year we implement a few changes to the existing training groups. Below you will find a synopsis of each group and guidelines for which athletes should be practicing in each section. These group structures are a recommendation for where each athlete will be able to receive optimal training for their age, ability, and level of commitment.  Any athlete who has questions about which group they have been assigned to should contact Coach John or Coach Elizabeth before completing their registration and set up a meeting to discuss any potential changes.

When registering your athlete for this upcoming season there are a few things we want you to be aware of: If your swimmer was in the Junior or Senior Group last season they should sign up for the group that corresponds with their grade in school (6-7 Junior, 8+ Senior). Any athlete who has been in Junior or Senior for at least one season may request to be added to the Gold Group. Any athlete desiring to be in the Gold Group must meet with Coach John or Elizabeth prior to the start of the upcoming season to discuss their ability to meet the group standards. If your swimmer was in Developmental or Age Group last season you should receive an email with a recommended group placement. If you have any questions or concerns or do not receive a placement please reach out to Coach John and Coach Elizabeth so we can set up a time to discuss any potential changes. 

Group Descriptions  

-Developmental

The Developmental Group is utilized to help our newer athletes, regardless of age, to learn the fundamentals of competitive swimming. Athletes might stay in this group for several seasons or only a few months depending on how quickly they progress. In order to move up to Age Group, Developmental athletes need to get the approval of the coaching staff. 

             

-Age Group

The Age Groups are utilized to help our younger athletes who have an understanding of the sport of competitive swimming and an array of basic skills to develop positive training habits while expanding on their skill sets.

-Age Group I, II

For athletes in grades 2-9. Minimum requirements are that the athlete can complete practices as directed by coaches and can utilize the basic skills required for the sport.  ie Turns, Legal Strokes, Dives and More. I and II are determined mostly by age. In order to move up to Junior or Senior, Age Group athletes must demonstrate the use of proper training habits every day and get the approval of the coaching staff.

 

-Junior

The Junior Group is utilized to help our developing athletes who have an understanding of training habits and an array of skills to continue their overall progress. Athletes in this group will have a broad range of ability and coaches will find ways to make sure all athletes are being appropriately challenged. Junior Group is for athletes in grades 6-7(+). Minimum requirements are that the athlete can complete practices as directed by coaches and can utilize the basic skills required for the sport.  ie Turns, Legal Strokes, Dives and More. Athletes in the Junior Group must also use proper practice habits every day and must be able to train to a reasonable standard.

-Senior

The Senior Group is utilized to help our developed athletes who have an understanding of training habits and an array of skills to continue their overall progress. Athletes in this group will have a broad range of ability and coaches will find ways to make sure all athletes are being appropriately challenged. Senior Group is for athletes in grades 8+. Minimum requirements are that the athlete can complete practices as directed by coaches and can complete all training to a reasonable standard.

-Gold

The Gold Group is utilized to help our athletes who have fully committed to the training habits and progressions taught in all other groups. Athletes in this group will be able to train at an advanced level, accept more responsibility over their training and will seek out new ways to challenge themselves. Gold Group is for athletes in Grades 6-12(+) who want even more of a challenge and an increased level of commitment and competition. Athletes in the Gold Group will be expected to maintain a higher rate of attendance at practices (Minimum 80%-Goal 100%) and meets (Minimum 80%-Goal 100% and must be at all Target Meets). Athletes in this group will also need to be able to complete all training to a reasonable standard. They will also be expected to be able to handle more emotionally and physically challenging elements of practices and meets. 

Athletes in Gold must communicate directly to their coach prior to missing a practice or meet at least 24 hours prior when possible. This must come from the athlete. Failure to follow or meet these standards is grounds to remove the athlete from Gold Group back to either Senior or Junior.

Athletes in the Gold Group must have been a member of Junior or Senior Group for a minimum of one season before joining. Any athlete wishing to be a part of the Blue or Gold Groups must sit down with Coach John or Elizabeth prior to the season to discuss their ability to meet the Group’s standards. 

 

Structure Changes and Move Ups

There are five main practice groups on our team. Each of these groups includes a progression of either age, ability and or commitment. In order to be considered for a move up, athletes must demonstrate the ability to use the skills required for the practice group they hope to move into.    

Once an athlete is in Junior or Senior there are several factors to look at: Practice commitment, Meet commitment, and the Ability to train. The biggest factor for Juniors and Seniors when determining whether to sign up for Gold is not how fast the athlete is. What separates athletes in the Gold Group from the Junior or Senior Groups is their willingness to be pushed outside of their comfort zones and how they respond when they are. The Gold Group will have an increased responsibility for their own training and communication with coaches.

The Next Move Up Opportunity

Our team uses three move up opportunities throughout the year in order to allow athletes a continued progression if they outgrow their current group. One of these opportunities is right now between Summer and winter season, the next opportunity will happen at some point between Thanksgiving and the end of winter break. Athletes who hope to move into the next group should let their coaches know they are hoping to move up and use the next 3-4 months to demonstrate their readiness for the next group.