The Green group is designed to teach the fundamentals of competitive swimming technique and terminology to beginning swimmers new to the sport while fostering a love for the sport of swimming. To qualify for this group, each swimmer must be able to independently float on his/her stomach and back. The swimmers will receive instruction on proper kicking, body position, arm motion, and breathing for the four competitive strokes. Swimmers in this group will not partake in competitions, but will focus their efforts on improvement of proper stroke technique, working toward moving up to the Bronze group. To graduate from the Green group, swimmers will demonstrate their ability to swim 25 yards of freestyle and 25 yards of backstroke without any aid, and will have some introduction to butterfly and breaststroke.
In the Bronze group, novice swimmers will be instructed on proper technique for the four competitive strokes. To qualify for this group, swimmers must be able to swim 25 yards of freestyle and 25 yards of backstroke without any aid and must have had some introduction to breaststroke and butterfly. Swimmers will continue to improve body position in the water, kicking, breathing and arm motions. Swimmers will learn proper turns and finishes for all four strokes, the order of the individual medley (IM), as well as calculating distances swam and reading a pace clock. All practices will begin with dryland strengthening and/or dynamic stretching. Swimmers will begin to compete in meets at this level. To graduate from the Bronze group, swimmers must be able to complete 200 yards of freestyle, 100 yards of backstroke, and 50 yards of breaststroke and butterfly, as well as complete a 200 IM with legal turns.
The Silver group is designed for those swimmers who are able to complete the requirements to graduate from the Bronze group. Swimmers will continue to improve stroke techniques while starting to increase the amount of swimming done in practice. Swimmers will learn to use the pace clock in interval training. All swimmers at this level will be highly encouraged to participate in meets. The coaching staff will introduce the swimmers to the concept of qualification times, as well as the IMXtreme program offered by USA Swimming. Every practice will begin with some sort of dryland strength training and/or dynamic stretching. To graduate from the Silver group, swimmers must have a NAG AAA (Zone) qualifying time, 4 other State qualifying times, and have an IMX score if he/she is 11 or 12 years old or 4 State qualifying times and an IMX score if he/she is 13 or older.
The Gold group is the highest level for age group (14 and under) swimmers. Swimmers will continue to perfect stroke techniques while learning racing strategies for various events. Swimmers must complete the graduation requirements for the Silver group, as well as be able to handle the increased work load at practice. Swimmers in the Gold group have shown a dedication to the sport and are willing to make the commitment to be the best he/she can be by continually working at practice and attending as many practices as possible. All practices will include dryland strength training and/or dynamic stretching. Swimmers are expected to participate in meets as set forth by the coaching staff. Swimmers in this group are working toward qualifying for bigger meets such as Zones, Sectionals, Grand Prix, Junior Nationals, and Nationals.
The Senior group is for those swimmers who are 15 years old and older and who are ready to make a high level commitment to the sport of swimming. In water training will be mixed with dryland strength training and mental training to create mentally and physically tough athletes who are working toward qualifying for the Senior Zone meet, Sectionals, Grand Prix, Junior Nationals, and Nationals. Majority of the athletes will swim for their high school between October and February, but will train with Irish Aquatics before and after the high school season. To qualify for the Senior group, swimmers must be willing to make the commitment to consistently work hard, always striving to improve, and must have attained a Senior State qualifying time. Swimmers are expected to participate in the recommended meets, which will include the highest level of championships meet he/she qualifies for.
The Varsity group is designed for those high school aged swimmers who compete in other sports in the fall and spring and can therefore only make a limited commitment to swimming, or for those high school aged swimmers who are not as serious about the sport as those in the Senior group. Swimmers must show that they are willing to work hard, even though he/she will have limited practice exposure. Swimmers may attend no more than three practices per week. The focus for swimmers in this group will be to improve stroke technique and get him/her ready for the high school season. Swimmers are encouraged to attend meets.