The YMCA of Northwest Louisiana offers training and practice groups for swimmers of all ages and ability levels of competitive swimming. It is the goal of YNWL to offer age specific training for all of our athletes geared towards challenging each individual and developing each individual to the best of THEIR abilities.

To send an email request for more information, Click Here, or contact Head Coach John Janszen directly by email or by calling the BHP Billiton YMCA at 318-674-9635



Practice Schedules (click each to view/print) 


COVID Guidelines for ALL Groups and Practices (please click to view)


CURRENT Practice Schedules - 1/4/21 until....





The below schedules are typical schedules when not dealing with a pandemic 
They are currently for information purposes only

BHP Billiton YMCA
for normally when NOT under COVID restrictions
Southside Swim Club 
for normally when NOT under COVID restrictions
Fall/Winter/Spring Practice Schedule Fall/Winter/Spring Practice Schedule
Thanksgiving Week Practice Schedule Thanksgiving Week Practice Schedule
Christmas Break Practice Schedule Christmas Break Practice Schedule
Summer Long Course Schedule - (for When school is out during the summer) Summer Long Course Schedule - (for When school is out during the summer)



Group Descriptions

(CLICK HERE for full descriptions and details)

Required Equipment Lists by Group: (click)

Pre-Age Group Level I (8 & Under) – Southside location only

This practice level is for young swimmers new to the sport and whom do not yet have the basics of all 4 competitive strokes and/or that are still working on building an endurance base.

Attendance: Two practices per week are recommended

Age Group Level I (10 & Under)

This level is for 8 & under swimmers and some 9-10 swimmers who are knowledgeable but not proficient in all four competitive strokes. The emphasis is on developing the fundamentals of the strokes, starts and turns by means of drills and games in an enjoyable atmosphere for instruction. Swimmers learn the basic rules of competitive swimming.

Attendance:  Two to three practices per week are recommended.

Age Group Level II (9-12)

This practice level is designed for established 9-10-year-old swimmers and 11-12 year olds with some skills refining needed. Improving stroke, start and turn techniques will be the primary emphasis in this level. It will serve as an introduction to the highest levels of age group swimming. Mild distances and endurance work will be introduced at practices. Level II swimmers will also begin to learn the basics of dryland movements for motor skill development, coordination, and overall improved body awareness.

Attendance:  Three practices per week are recommended. 

Age Group Level III (11-14)

This practice level is the top Age Group level for 14 & Under swimmers. This level is designed for established 11-12 year-old swimmers as well as developing 13-14’s.

Strong emphasis is placed on technique refinement with a stronger conditioning experience. General Aerobic, IM, Kick, and Sprint work is also emphasized along with introductory dryland and general body strengthening. Racing strategies and mental preparation are also introduced.  

Attendance:  Three to four practices per week are recommended. 

Senior Level IV (13 & Older)

This introduction to senior swimming begins a more pronounced shift from practicing to training while also maintaining an emphasis on polishing stroke technique, starts and turns. The focus will be IM, Aerobic, and Race Pace training along with a strong focus on kicking. This level is also for those 13 and over athletes that swim seasonally, are multi-sport athletes or who just want to swim to be involved with the sport. Swimmers must have the ability to handle the physical demands of a rigorous training regimen to allow the opportunity to move to the next training level.

Attendance:  HS Age Swimmers - Five practices a week recommended. JR HS Age Swimmers - Four practices a week recommended.

Skills Expected For Entrance Into Level IV:
Proficiency in All 4 Strokes, All Turns including butterfly kicking off of walls
8x100 Free @ 1:35
8x100 IM @ 1:50
8x75 Kick @ 1:40
Ability to Race a 400 IM

Senior Level V (14 & Older and in High School)

Training is geared to YMCA National/USA Sectional & Junior National Level competition and beyond. This practice level is only for athletes committed to reaching their full swimming potential and is not required for any swimmer. Year-round training and meet attendance are required. The emphasis is on high levels of endurance, strength, and speed conditioning with technique refinement. Training includes long and short distances, IM work, interval training, aerobic base development and preparation for a stronger emotional commitment.

Participation in Level V is a privilege, not a right. Members of Level V must maintain required practice attendance and expectations to join and remain in the group.

Expectations & Requirements:

  • A maintained minimum 75% Practice Attendance is required, including morning practices & strength-training sessions.
    • ​This requirment will change to 80% in April 2021
  • Level V Swimmers are expected to attend designated in-season competitions (SCY & LCM).
  • Level V Swimmers are expected to attend and compete in all scheduled Championship meets for which they qualify, including USA Sectionals and YMCA Nationals.
  • Full Required Level V details and agreement form (click)

Not meeting the minimum requirements will result in the swimmer being removed from this group.

Skills/Pre-Requisites Expected For Entrance Into This Group:
The physical conditioning required to maintain a rigorous training regimen
      -previous demonstration in Level IV that the athlete can maintain the required practice attendance
Strong Proficiency in All 4 Strokes and All Turns
Possess High Performance Goals at the State and National Level
      -Level V Swimmers need to have achieved, at minimum, USA Swimming “AA” Time Standards (beginning Spring 2020)
Possess both a willingness and ability to provide leadership on a daily basis to the group and team