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Group Descriptions

 

The Lawrence Aquahawks offer professional technique instruction and training. The program is divided into smaller practice groups based on requirements and expectations.  The requirements and expectations are listed below for each group and will take affect starting at the beginning of the 2015 Short Course season. These requirements are not set in stone, and may be altered after the conclusion of the season if the coaching staff sees fit to do so. These requirements are a guide that coaches use to decide which group best fits a swimmer's needs at any given time.

The Progression of each swimmer is based on meeting the expectations, time standards, age and attendance requirements.  No child will be moved during a season.  All moves will be made at the beginning of the season when needed. Ultimately, all decisions are determined by the Head Coach of the Lawrence Aquahawks and are based on the individual swimmer.

 

Discovery Group (Ages 6 and Above*)

Coach:   Andrew Schmidt (Lead), Kelsey Liu (Assistant)

Description: This group is an instructional program geared for novice swimmers. The four (4) competitive strokes will be introduced and basic swimming skills (starts, turns, finishes, etc.) will be introduced and improved. Swimmers must be comfortable swimming independently to enter this group. We will use games and drills for instructional tools, keeping the FUN in every session.   

Prerequisite Skills: Swimmers should have completed a learn to swim program. Swimmers must be able to complete one length of the pool unassisted in freestyle and one additional stroke (backstroke/breaststroke/butterfly).  While breaststroke and butterfly are encouraged, it is not required to know either of these strokes when a swimmer joins this group.

Attendance:  Swimmers are encouraged to attend three (3) practices a week. There is no minimum attendance requirement for promotion.

Meet Expectations:  Swimmers are encouraged to compete in novice meets, but it is not required. The Aquahawks host intrasquad meets during the school year to introduce new swimmers & their families to how swim meets run. Swimmers are highly encouraged to attend these meets.

Cost: $60 per month

Equipment Needs:

  • Suit, goggles, water bottle, swim cap 

Advancement Requirements:

  • Coach’s Recommendation
  • Complete 50 at least three (3) strokes in a meet
  • Complete 100 free in a meet
  • Attempt 100 IM in a meet
  • Show understanding of legal butterfly & breaststroke

*Some exceptions to a group's age range may be made by the coaching staff in order to ensure each swimmer is in the most appropriate group for their skill and development level. Newer swimmers may need to start in a younger or less advanced group in order to gain fundamental stroke technique. Our goal is always to get each swimmer into an age-appropriate group with their peers as soon as they have mastered the necessary skills.

Group advancement is determined by the coaching staff. These decisions are typically made at the conclusion of the long course season in August. Occasionally group moves may be made at other times during the year if the coaching staff deems it necessary for a swimmer's development.

 

Bronze (ages 6-10)

Coach:   Jama Mustain

Description:  In our Bronze program, swimmers will continue to develop their comfort and understanding of the four (4) competitive swimming strokes (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly), as well as work on dives/starts and legal turns. The emphasis in this group is still learning the fundamentals of swimming. Many swimmers in this group have never been a part of a competitive swim team before and it's important they learn good, proper stroke technique. Swimmers are encouraged to master as many skills in this group as possible before moving up to the Silver group. More importantly swimmers need to learn that swimming is FUN!!!

Prerequisite Skills:

  • Coach evaluation
  • Swimmers need to be able to do a MINIMUM of the following:
    • 50 yards of freestyle (front crawl), backstroke, & at least one (1) other stroke (breaststroke or butterfly)
    • show an understanding of legal butterfly
    • show an understanding of legal breaststroke
    • Complete 100 freestyle unassisted
    • Attempt 100 IM in a meet

Attendance:  Swimmers are encouraged to attend three (3) practices a week. There is no minimum attendance requirement, but we encourage swimmers to attend practice as often as possible.

Meet Expectations:  Swimmers in this group should compete in at least three (3) meets during the year (either intrasquad or regular meets) and any championship meets they qualify for.

Cost: $65 per month

Equipment Needs:

  • Goggles, suit, swim cap, water bottle

Advancement Requirements:

  • Recommendation from Bronze coach
  • Complete 50’s of all four (4) stroke in a meet legally
  • Complete 200 freestyle in a meet
  • Complete 100 IM in a meet legally
  • Aerobically handle 2,000 – 2,500 yards

​​​

Silver (ages 7-12)

Coach:  Heather Clark

Description: With the knowledge of basic fundamentals in swimming, the Silver Group will continue to focus on stroke technique, starts, and turn improvement.  This is the next big step in the Aquahawks group progression.  The Silver group is where swimmers will first learn how to take what they have learned and apply it in a more traditional practice setting.  Swimmers will be introduced to sets, intervals, etc.  These new skills will be in addition to a continued focus on proper stroke technique.

Prerequisite Skills:

  • Coach’s Recommendation
  • Complete 50’s of all four (4) strokes in a meet legally
  • Complete 200 freestyle in a meet
  • Complete 100 IM in a meet legally
  • Aerobically handle 2,000 – 2,500 yards

Attendance:  Swimmers are encouraged to attend four (4) practices a week. There is no minimum attendance requirement for advancement but swimmers with less than 60% attendance may be held back if it is deemed they are not ready for Gold group workouts.

Cost: $70 per month

Meet Expectations:  Swimmers in this group should compete in all Aquahawk attended meets (typically one [1] a month), including all championship meets they qualify for.

Equipment Needs:

  • Goggles, suit, swim cap, kick board, fins, mesh bag, water bottle.

Advancement Requirements:

  • Coach’s Recommendation
  • Complete 100’s of all four (4) strokes in a meet legally
  • Complete 200 freestyle in a meet
  • Complete 200 IM in a meet legally
  • Aerobically handle 2,500 – 3,000 yards
  • Demonstrate reading the pace clock and follow a basic intervals
    • Example: 4 x 50 @ 1:15

 

Gold (ages 9-13)

Coach:  Heather Clark

Description: With the knowledge of basic fundamentals in swimming, the Gold Group will continue to focus on stroke technique, starts, and turn improvement and a greater commitment to swimming. Swimmers in this group will learn how to take their heart rate, and they will begin to understand how certain heart rates relate to certain sets in practice. This is a very basic introduction to heart rate training. While there is still an emphasis on stroke development, swimmers will learn how to maintain proper stroke technique during more challenging workouts. The goal is to have this work translate to races as our swimmers become more competitive in the sport.

Individual and group goal-setting will be introduced to swimmers. Swimmers may not have individual goal meetings, but the coach's expectations and what they believe each swimmer is capable of achieving will be discussed throughout the season. 

Prerequisite Skills:

  • Coach’s Recommendation
  • Completion of Silver Group or comparable experience in anther program
  • Competed 100’s of all four (4) strokes in a meet legally
  • Complete 200 free at a meet
  • Complete 200 IM in a meet legally
  • Aerobically handle 2,500 – 3,000 yards
  • Demonstrate reading the pace clock and follow a basic intervals
    • Example: 4 x 50 @ 1:15

Attendance:  Swimmers are encouraged to attend 4 - 5 practices a week.  While there is no attendance requirement for advancement into the Platinum group, attendance will be taken into account when determining whether a swimmer is ready for the Platinum group. A swimmer with less than 70% attendance may be held back if it is deemed they are not physically ready for the Platinum group workouts. 

Meet Requirements:  Swimmers in this group should compete in all Aquahawk attended meets (typically one [1] a month), including all championship meets they qualify for. 

Cost: $85 per month

Equipment Needs:

  • Goggles, suit, swim cap, snorkel, kick board, fins, pull buoy, mesh bag, water bottle.

Advancement Requirements:

  • Coach’s Recommendation
  • 11-12 year olds: Complete 400/500 free, 100 fly, 100 back, 100 breast, 100 free, & 200 IM during the season (does not have to be done at the same meet)
  • 13-14 year olds: Complete 400/500 free, 200 fly, 200 back, 200 breast, 200 free, & 400 IM during the season (does not have to be done at the same meet)
  • Aerobic base of 3,500 – 4,500 yards
  • Minimum ability to complete 8 x 100 @ 1:45 (holding under 1:35)

 

Platinum (ages 11-15)

Coach: Andrew Schmidt

Description: While continuing to fine-tune stroke technique, turns and starts, the primary focus of the Platinum group is to develop an understanding of the basic parameters of training. The Platinum group is the first time where more emphasis will be placed on training and less on technique. Technique is still emphasized but swimmers follow more of a training plan than they have in the past. Swimmers will be expected to hit certain target heart rates during sets and learn how these goals relate to training and racing.

  • These parameters include: expanding dryland exercises, understanding of a good race strategy for a number of different events, a willingness to get up and race any time, anywhere, and for any reason.
  • Platinum swimmers are also expected to attend Saturday practices when offered.
  • Individual and group goal-setting is a major component of this group.
  • A COMMITMENT to training regularly as well as attending meets becomes a bigger discussion with the Platinum group. However, swimmers in the Platinum group are still encouraged to participate in other sports and activities outside of swimming.

Prerequisite Skills:

  • Coach’s Recommendation
  • Completion of Gold group or comparable experience in another program.
  • 11-12 year olds: Complete 400/500 free, 100 fly, 100 back, 100 breast, 100 free, & 200 IM during the season (does not have to be done at the same meet)
  • 13-14 year olds: Complete 400/500 free, 200 fly, 200 back, 200 breast, 200 free, & 400 IM during the season (does not have to be done at the same meet)
  • Aerobically handle 3,500 – 4,500 yards
  • Minimum ability to complete 8 x 100 @ 1:45 (holding 1:35 or faster)

Attendance:  Swimmers will need to maintain an attendance of 80% every month.  Swimmers who maintain less than 80% may not be moved up to Pre-National or Senior 6 if coaches feel they are not ready to handle the additional yardage.

Meet Requirements:  Swimmers in this group should compete in all Aquahawk attended meets (typically one [1] a month), including all championship meets they qualify for.  Not attending these meets may keep a swimmer from being promoted to a senior level group. 

Cost: $115 per month (Includes weekly session at The Underground Lab)

Equipment Needs:

  • Goggles, suit, swim cap, drag suit (recommended), snorkel, kick board, fins, paddles, pull buoy, mesh bag, water bottle.

Advancement Requirements:

  • Coach’s Recommendation
  • Complete 200 of each stroke, 400/500 free, 800/1,000 free and/or 1,500/1,650 free, 200 IM, 400 IM during the season (does not have to be done at the same meet)
  • Aerobically handle 5,000 – 5,500 yards
  • Maintain at least 80% attendance
  • Hold the following times:
    • 6 x 200 @ 2:50 (holding under 2:40)
    • 10 x 50 kick no fins @ :55 (holding :47 or faster)
    • 10 x 100 free @ 1:20 (holding 1:15 or faster)
    • 8 x 100 stroke @ 1:30 (holding 1:25 or faster)

 

Senior (9th -12th grade)

Coach: Andrew Schmidt

Description: This group exists for those students attending one of the local high schools that has a genuine interest in swimming but are not ready to meet the requirements for the Pre-National group. Swimmers in this group will be developing increased aerobic capacity to compete at the highest level they can. For some swimmers this is just a stop on the trail, for others this group is exactly what they are looking for.  Either way, we will train swimmers to achieve their goals, regardless of what they may be. Swimmers in this group regularly compete at Aquahawk meets, including any championship meets they qualify for. Swimming doubles (AM and PM practices) in this group is not required but it is encouraged, especially for those swimmers looking to be promoted to the Pre-National group.

Objectives: The objective of Senior group is to focus on stroke technique and developing a better aerobic capacity. The main objective in the Senior group is to increase the level and intensity of training from the Platinum group and qualify for Missouri Valley Championship meets (Districts & Long Course/Short Course Champs).

  • Compete in USA meets to challenge themselves against outside competition.
  • Swimmers in the Senior group will be using training methods that involve a variety of anaerobic, aerobic threshold training, stroke specialization, along with increased dry-land training, resistance training, and technique work.
  • Continue to improve and understand the basic aspects of training & technique and how these concepts are beneficial to performance.
  • Continue to develop good eating habits.
  • Continue to teach swimmers how to manage their time properly in order to be committed to swimming, education, and other areas of interest.
  • Focus on improvement of technique on strokes, starts, and turns.
  • Allow swimmers to HAVE FUN in a variety of ways while working hard to reach their full potential!!!
  • Develop the skills necessary to train in Pre-National/National.

Prerequisite Skills

  • Coach Recommendation
  • Previous swimming experience.
  • Hold the following times
    • 6 x 200 @ 3:00 (holding under 2:50)
    • 10 x 50 kick no fins @ 1:05 (holding :59 or faster)
    • 10 x 100 free @ 1:25 (holding 1:20 or faster)
    • 8 x 100 stroke @ 1:35 (holding 1:30 or faster)
  • Aerobically handle 4,500 - 6,000 yards
  • Compete in all Aquahawk attended meets plus all championship meets they qualify for including one or more of the following: Short Course / Long Course Championships, Zones, or Sectionals. *Swimmers that do not attend meets on a regular basis or attend qualifying meets may be demoted to Cross-Training/High School Prep at the coach’s discretion*
  • Swimmers in this group will be required to swim the following events each season. Failure to meet this requirement will result in the swimmer being removed from the group and placed in Cross-Training/High School Prep:
    • 200 Fly, 200 Back, 200 Breast, 200 Free
    • 200 IM, 400 IM
    • 400/500 Free, 800/1,000 Free, 1,500/1,650
      • Coach’s discretion how many times a swimmer does each of these events each season*

Attendance:  Swimmers in this group are expected to maintain 75% attendance each month. Swimmers that do not meet this requirement for two (2) consecutive months will be moved to the Cross-Training / H.S. Prep group.

Meet Requirements:  High School only swimmers are not required to swim in Aquahawk meets but they are encouraged to do so.  Swimmers looking to move up to Pre-National / National will need to attend Aquahawk meets on a regular basis and attend all championship meets they are qualified for.

Cost: $115 per month (includes weekly Underground Lab session)

Equipment Needs:

  • Goggles, suit, drag suit (recommended), snorkel, paddles, pull buoy, fins, mesh bag, water bottle.

Advancement Requirements:

  • Aerobically handle 6,000 – 7,000 yards
  • Recommendation from the coach
  • Maintain 80% attendance in their previous group over the course of a season
  • Meet the following interval requirements:
    • 6 x 200 free @ 2:50 (holding 2:40 or faster)
    • 10 x 100 free @ 1:20 (holding 1:15 or faster)
    • 10 x 50 kick no fins @ :55 (holding :47 or faster)
    • 8 x 100 stroke @ 1:30 (holding 1:25 or faster)

 

Pre-National (ages 13-18)

Coach:  Andrew Schmidt

Description: The Pre-National group is reserved for the most committed swimmers in the Lawrence Aquahawks program that do not meet the requirements to be in the National group. Swimmers in this training group practice daily and its members REGULARLY COMPETE at the highest level meets. This includes: Short Course / Long Course Championships, Zones, Sectionals, Arena Pro Swim Series, NCSA Jr. Nationals, Speedo Winter & Summer Jrs., Speedo Winter & Summer Nationals, & Olympic Trials.  Swimming doubles (AM and PM practices) is MANDATORY with this group. 

Objectives: The main objective in the Pre-National group is to increase the level and intensity of training from the Platinum and Senior 6 group and qualify for National level meets.

  • Swimmers in the Pre-National group will be using training methods that involve a variety of anaerobic, aerobic threshold training, stroke specialization, along with increased dry-land training, resistance training, and technique work.
  • Continue to improve and understand the basic aspects of training & technique and how these concepts are beneficial to performance.
  • Continue to develop good eating habits.
  • Continue to teach swimmers how to manage their time properly in order to be committed to swimming, education, and other areas of interest.
  • Focus on improvement of technique on strokes, starts, and turns.
  • Allow swimmers to HAVE FUN in a variety of ways while working hard to reach their full potential!!!!

Prerequisite Skills:

  • A recommendation from the Head Coach.
  • Previous swimming experience in the Platinum or Senior 6 groups or a similar program with another competitive swimming team.
  • Minimum ability to complete:
    • 6 x 200 free @ 2:50 (holding 2:40 or faster)
    • 10 x 100 free @ 1:20 (holding 1:15 or faster)
    • 10 x 50 kick @ :55 (holding :47 or faster)
    • 8 x 100 stroke @ 1:30 (holding 1:20 or faster)
  • Maintained a minimum 80% attendance in their previous group over the course of an entire season
  • Compete in all required events listed below at least once in the previous season 

Group Requirements:

  • Attend six (6) afternoon practices a week while maintaining 85% attendance excluding excused absences and 80% attendance including excused absences.
    • *Failure to meet this requirement will result in swimmers being moved to Senior 6 for a minimum of one (1) month or until they meet this requirement for a period of one (1) month.
  • Attend a minimum of one (1) morning practice each week.
  • Pre-National swimmers will be working on their skills in both physical and mental development. They will be expected to challenge themselves both independently and to work with team goals in mind.
  • Compete in all Aquahawk attended meets plus all championship meets they qualify for including one or more of the following: Short Course / Long Course Championships, Zones, Sectionals, Arena Pro Swim Series, NCSA Jr. Nationals, Speedo Winter & Summer Jrs., Speedo Winter & Summer Nationals, & Olympic Trials. 
    • *Swimmers that do not attend meets on a regular basis or attend qualifying meets may be demoted to
    • Senior 6 at the coach’s discretion
  • Swimmers in this group will be required to swim the following events each season. Failure to meet this requirement will result in the swimmer being removed from the group and placed in Senior 6:
    • 200 Fly, 200 Back, 200 Breast, 200 Free
    • 200 IM, 400 IM
    • 400/500 Free, 800/1,000 Free, 1,500/1,650
  • * Coach’s discretion how many times a swimmer does each of these events each season*

Cost: $140 per month (includes weekly Underground Lab session)

Equipment Needs:

  • Goggles, suit, drag suit, snorkel, paddles, pull buoy, fins, mesh bag, water bottle.

Advancement Requirements:

  • Recommendation from Head Coach
  • Achieve 2 Speedo Sectional cuts or better
  • Maintain 85% attendance or better for the previous season
  • Meet the morning practice requirement for the entire season
  • Compete in all required events at least once in previous season

 

National (ages 14-18)

Coach:  Andrew Schmidt

Description: The National group is reserved for the most advanced swimmers with a minimum of 2 Speedo Sectional cuts. Swimmers in this training group practice daily and its members REGULARLY COMPETE at the highest level meets. This includes: Short Course / Long Course Championships, Zones, Sectionals, Arena Pro Swim Series, NCSA Jr. Nationals, Speedo Winter & Summer Jrs., Speedo Winter & Summer Nationals, & Olympic Trials. Swimming doubles (AM and PM practice) is MANDATORY.

Objectives: The main objective of National group is to train at the highest level with a focus on competition at National level meets (i.e., Sectionals, Arena Pro Swim Series, NCSA Jr. Nationals, Speedo Winter & Summer Jrs., Speedo Winter & Summer Nationals, & Olympic Trials).  

  • Swimmers in the National group will be using training methods that involve a variety of anaerobic, aerobic threshold training, stroke specialization, along with increased dry-land training, resistance training, and technique work.
  • Continue to improve and understand the basic aspects of training & technique and how these concepts are beneficial to performance.
  • Maintain good eating and personal habits outside of the pool (i.e., resting, taking care of yourself, eating a well balanced diet, sleeping enough).
  • Allow swimmers to HAVE FUN while working hard to reach their full potential!!!!

Prerequisite Skills:

  • A recommendation from the Head Coach.
  • Minimum of 2 Speedo Sectional cuts and a commitment to the practice schedule.
  • Maintain 85% or better attendance for a full season in their previous group.
  • Meet AM practice requirement for entire season
  • Compete in all required events listed below at least once in the previous season.

Group Requirements:

  • Attend six (6) afternoon practices a week while maintaining 90% attendance excluding excused absences and 85% attendance including excused absences.
  • Attend a minimum of six (6) morning practices a month (must attend at least one (1) morning practice each week).
    • *Failure to meet this requirement will result in swimmers being moved to Senior 6 for a minimum of one (1) month or until they meet this requirement for a period of one (1) month.
  • They will be expected to challenge themselves both independently and to work with team goals in mind.
  • Compete in all Aquahawk attended meets plus season-ending championship meets including one or more of the following: Short Course / Long Course Championships, Zones, Sectionals, Arena Pro Swim Series, NCSA Jr. Nationals, Speedo Winter & Summer Jrs., Speedo Winter & Summer Nationals, & Olympic Trials
    • *Swimmers that do not attend meets on a regular basis or attend qualifying meets may be demoted to Senior 6 at the coach’s discretion.
  • Swimmers in this group will be required to swim the following events each season. Failure to meet this requirement will result in the swimmer being removed from the group and placed in Senior 6:
    • 200 Fly, 200 Back, 200 Breast, 200 Free
    • 200 IM, 400 IM
    • 400/500 Free, 800/1,000 Free, 1,500/1,650
  • * Coach’s discretion how many times a swimmer does each of these events each season*

Cost: $150 (includes weekly UGL session)

Equipment Needs:

  • Goggles, suit, drag suit, snorkel, paddles, pull buoy, fins, mesh bag, water bottle.

 

High School Prep/Cross-Training

Coach: Andrew Schmidt

Description: This group exists for those students attending one of the local high schools that has a genuine interest in swimming; however is not sure about competing. Swimmers in this group will be developing skills and learning that swimming is a FUN sport to participate in. Swimmers in this group will focus on getting fit and staying fit for the high school season.  This group is also for club swimmers who aren’t ready to make the time commitment of either the Pre-National or National groups.  For some swimmers this is just a stop on the trail, for others this group is exactly what they are looking for.  Either way, we will train swimmers to achieve their goals, regardless of what they may be.

Objectives:

  • Focus on stroke technique with the emphasis on developing basic fitness. 
  • The High School Swimmer will make use of equipment such as fins, kick boards, and buoys to improve their knowledge of the sport. 
  • Encourage swimmers to compete in USA meets to challenge themselves against outside competition.
  • Develop the skills necessary to train in Pre-National/National.

Prerequisite Skills

  • Previous swimming experience.
  • Coach Recommendation
  • Demonstrate 100 yards kick on back in a streamline position.
  • Demonstrate reading the pace clock and follow a basic intervals
    • Example: 4 x 50 @ 1:15
  • Can do flip turns (back and free)
  • Aerobically handle 2,500 – 4,000 yards

Attendance:  There is no attendance requirement for this group, but swimmers are encouraged to attend as many days as possible each week. To increase strength & stay in aerobic shape it’s best to attend at least 3 days a week.

Meet Requirements:  Swimmers in this group do not compete in Aquahawk meets. This is a non-competitive group with a focus on basic fitness. Swimmers interested in competing should be able to meet the requirements for either Senior 6 or Pre-National.

Cost: $70 per month

Equipment Needs:

  • Goggles, suit, drag suit (recommended), swim cap, water bottle.

 

Exceptions to the Rule:

The coaching staff for the Lawrence Aquahawks has and will always have a large amount of flexibility when it comes to working with swimmers that are committed and willing to work with the coaching staff to come up with creative solutions to accommodate scheduling conflicts. It is ultimately up to the swimmers and parents of swimmers to communicate with the coaching staff to address possible scheduling conflicts. It is the decision of the Head Coach to rubber stamp the feasibility of making exceptions for swimmers/athletes and his/her needs without compromising the needs of the group and the overall goals of the Lawrence Aquahawks.

  • Guidelines for the skills checklist and questions with movement:
    • As swimmers move through the skills AT THEIR OWN INDIVIDUAL PACE, our coaching staff will make a recommendation to the Head Coach as to when the swimmer should move up into the next highest level group.
    • Any disagreement between a swimmer/parent and the coaching staff as to a swimmer’s completion of these checklist guidelines should be resolved through a discussion between the parent of the swimmer, the swimmer, and the Head Coach.
    • If there is still further disagreement the parent/swimmer may request a discussion with the Head Coach and a member of the BOD.