White (Level 1): Age range will be 9 & under, with the ability to swim 50 yds. of Freestyle (including side breathing) and 50 yds. of backstroke, or have passed the “Minnow” level of YMCA swim lessons. Competition distances are primarily 25 yds. in length, and 100 yd. IM.
Red (Level 2): Age range will be 12 & under, with the ability to swim 50 yds of Freestyle (including side breathing), 50 yds of backstroke, 50 yds. of breaststroke, and 25 yds. of butterfly. This group is the next level, practicing 3/wk. for an hour, and will see an increase in expectations, training, learning how to “read” a clock, learn time standards, etc. Competition distances will be 50’s and 100’s in the individual strokes, 100 IM’s.
Blue (Level 3): This age range will be 13 & under, with a higher level of expertise than Red/Level 2. The practice times are 15 minutes longer, with expectations attending 4 practices per week, and an increase in endurance training with continual focus on stroke technique. Competition distances will include the 50’s and 100’s in strokes, 100 & 200 IM’s, and longer distance Freestyles (200’s and above).
Bronze (Preps/Level 4): Age range for this level will be geared towards 11 & over, with higher skills and training. I foresee this level being the first of our higher levels in regards to skills and training. Swimmers should be capable of swimming longer distances with correct techniques, and will be our older age groupers. Their training/practice schedule will reflect a higher level of commitment and training, with 4-5 practices per week, and 1 ½ hours in length.
Silver (Juniors/Level 5): This group will most likely consist of middle & high school athletes in transition to our Gold level squad. Their practice time and expectations will reflect a higher level of commitment, and Saturday mornings. Dry land exercises can also be included at this level. Practices will be a minimum 1 ½ hours in length, with 2 hr. Saturdays.
Gold (Seniors/Level 6): This will be our highest level in both practice/training time, and levels of competition. The minimum age will be 13, or having met guidelines by the coach. This group will train at least 5 times per week, for 2 hrs. minimum, and possibly include strength training. The Seniors must understand training, energy systems, pacing and race strategies, goal setting, and trying to attain state, region/sectional, and national time standards.
*These levels are just basic guidelines, subject to change and coaches’ discretion. Tryouts are on a continual “open” basis, and needs to be scheduled with the coach. Future move-ups, or progressions, are up to the coaching staff – but generally occur at the end/beginning of a new season.