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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 2013 Short Course season. 

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:  Alissa Dundes, Heather Clark, Andrew Schmidt, Cameron Case

Practices:  Monday – Thursday 5:45 – 7:00 pm

Location:  Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center

·      Description: This group is an instructional program geared for novice swimmers. The four competitive strokes will be introduced and basic swimming skills (starts, turns, finishes, etc.) will be 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 backstroke.  While breaststroke and butterfly are encouraged, it is not required.

·      Attendance:  Swimmers are encouraged to attend 2 – 3 practices a week

·      Meet Expectations:Swimmers are encouraged to compete in novice meets, but it is not required

·      Cost: $15 per week (fees are billed in full at the beginning of each session)

·      Equipment Needs:

o   Suit, goggles, water bottle

*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:  Alissa Dundes, Heather Clark, Andrew Schmidt, Cameron Case

Practice:  Monday – Thursday 5:45 – 7:00 pm

Location:  Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center

 

  • Description:This is our pre-competitive program that focuses on introducing proper competitive swimming technique. In our Bronze program the swimmer will continue to develop comfort in the water and learn the essentials of the 4 competitive swimming strokes (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly), including dives/starts and legal turns. More importantly swimmers need to learn that swimming is FUN!!!!
  • Objective: The objective of the Bronze group is to continue to familiarize swimmers with the water in a safe learning environment. Swimmers in this group have never been a part of a swim team and learn to develop good stroke technique. The small group setting will also allow swimmers to HAVE FUN!!!!
  • Prerequisite Skills:
    • Coach evaluation
    • Swimmers need to be able to do a MINIMUM of the following:
      • 50 yards of freestyle (front crawl)
      • 50 yards of backstroke (back crawl).
      • 25 legal butterfly
      • 25 legal breaststroke
      • Complete 100 freestyle unassisted
      • Demonstrate basic water comfort

·      Attendance:  Swimmers are encouraged to attend 3 – 4 practices a week

·      Meet Expectations:  Swimmers in this group should compete in at least 3 meets during the year and any championship meets they qualify for.  Swimmers should be comfortable racing 50’s of each stroke, 100 freestyle, and 100 IM.

  • Equipment Needs:
    • Goggles, suit, water bottle

·      Advancement Requirements:

o   Recommendation from Bronze coach

o   Legal 50’s in all 4 strokes + 100 IM legally

o   Complete 100 freestyle without stopping

o   Aerobically handle 1,500 – 2,000 yards

 

Silver (ages 7-12)

Coach:  Heather Clark

Practices: Monday – Friday 4:00 – 5:30 pm

Location:  Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center

 

·      Description:With the knowledge of the basic fundamentals of 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 tradition practice setting.  Swimmers will be introduced to sets, intervals, circle swimming, etc.  These new skills will be in addition to a continued focus on proper stroke technique.

  • Objective: The objective of the Silver Group is to:
    • Teach the basic technical aspects of swimming so that the swimmer is prepared to perform in a race.
    • Focus on improvement of technique on strokes, starts, and turns.
    • Introduce swimmers to what a swim practice is.
    • Allow swimmers to HAVE FUN in a variety of ways!!!!
  • Prerequisite Skills:
    • Coach Recommendation
    • Can demonstrate 50’s in all 4 strokes (fly, back, breast, free) & 100 IM.
    • Demonstrate 100 yards kick on back on streamline position.
    • Can do flip turns (back and free)
    • 200 free or back swim with flip turns
    • Aerobically handle 1,500 – 2,000 yards

·      Attendance:  Swimmers are encouraged to attend 4 practices a week

·      Meet Expectations:  Swimmers in this group should compete in all meets the Aquahawks attend (typically one a month), including all championship meets they qualify for.  Swimmers should be comfortable racing 50’s in all 4 strokes, 100 IM, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle. 

  • Equipment Needs:
    • Goggles, suit, snorkel, pull buoy, fins, mesh bag, water bottle.

·      Advancement Requirements:

o   Recommendation from Silver coach

o   Legal 50’s in all 4 strokes + 100 IM legally

o   Complete 200 freestyle without stopping

o   Aerobically handle 2,000 – 2,500 yards

 

Gold (ages 9-13)

Coach:  Heather Clark

Practices:  Monday – Friday:  4:00 – 5:45 pm

Location:  Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center

 

·      Description:With the knowledge of the basic fundamentals of 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.

o   In addition, Gold swimmers will be exposed to various types of interval training, and basic race strategies.

o   Individual and group goal-setting.

  • Swimmers are encouraged to complete the IMX challenge (200/500 free, 100 fly, 100 back, 100 breast, 200IM) during the course of the season. This does not have to be done at 1 meet.

o   Individual and group goal-setting is a major component of this group.

  • More importantly we will continue to foster the idea that SWIMMING IS FUN!!!!
  • Objective: The objective of the Gold Group is to:
    • Teach the basic technical aspects of swimming so that the swimmer is prepared to perform in a race.
    • Focus on improvement of technique on strokes, starts, and turns.
    • Getting up and racing during practice when necessary.
    • Focus on the details while training with minimal reminders (i.e., turns on all the walls, tight streamlines, reading a pace clock).
    • Learn different training techniques in swimming.
    • Learn how to do basic dry land exercises.
    • Allow swimmers to HAVE FUN in a variety of ways!!!!
  • Prerequisite Skills:
    • Completion of Silver Group unless there is previous experience in a similar program.
    • Coach Recommendation
    • Competed in all 4 strokes at a swim meet.
    • Competed in the 100 IM, 200 free at a meet.
    • Demonstrate reading the pace clock and follow a basic intervals
      • Example: 4x50 @ 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.

·      Meet Requirements:  Swimmers in this group should compete in all meets the Aquahawks attend (typically one a month), including all championship meets they qualify for.  Swimmers should be comfortable racing 100’s in all 4 strokes, 200 IM, 400 freestyle. 

  • Equipment Needs:
    • Goggles, suit, snorkel, paddles, pull buoy, fins, mesh bag, water bottle.

·      Advancement Requirements:

o   Recommendation from Gold coach

o   200 IM legally

o   Aerobic base of 3,500 – 4,200 yards

 

Platinum (ages 11-15)

Coach: Alissa Dundes 

Practices:  Monday – Friday 4:00 – 6:15 pm; 7:00 – 9:30 am

Location:  Monday/Wednesday/Friday at Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center

                 Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday at Haskell

 

  • 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 a transitional group from swim practice to swim training.  Technique is still emphasized but swimmers follow more of a training plan than 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.

o   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 for any reason.

o   Platinum swimmers are also encouraged to begin to attend Saturday practices when offered.

o   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.
  • Even though this group requires more time and commitment SWIMMING IS STILL FUN!!!!
  • Objectives: The objective of the Platinum Group program is to:
    • Continue to improve and understand the basic aspects of training & technique and how these concepts are beneficial to performance.
    • Teach good eating habits.
    • 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.
    • Improve upon basic training techniques to more advanced training techniques.
    • Allow swimmers to HAVE FUN in a variety of ways!!!!
  • Prerequisite Skills:
    • Completion of the Gold program or similar program from another team.
    • A recommendation from the Head Coach
    • Minimum ability to complete:

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

·      Meet Requirements:  Swimmers in this group should compete in all meets the Aquahawks attend (typically one a month), including all championship meets they qualify for.  Not attending these meets may keep swimmer from being promoted to a senior level group.  Swimmers should be comfortable racing 200’s in all 4 strokes, 200 IM, 400 freestyle. 

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

·      Advancement Requirements:

o   Recommendation from Platinum coach

o   Aerobically handle 5,000 yards

o   Maintain at least 80% attendance

o   Hold the following times

§  6 x 200 @ 3:15 (holding under 3:00)

§  10 x 50 kick no fins @ 1:00 (holding :50 or faster)

§  10 x 100 free @ 1:30 (holding 1:15 or faster)

 

Senior (9th -12th grade)

Coach: Cameron Case

Practices:  Monday – Thursday 3:45 – 6:15

Location:  Monday/Wednesday at Haskell

                 Tuesday/Thursday at Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center

 

  • 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 is group exactly what they are looking for.  Either way, we will train swimmers to achieve their goals, regardless of what they may be.

·      Objectives: The objective of Senior group is to focus on stroke technique with the emphasis on developing basic fitness. 

o   The High School Swimmer will make use of equipment such as fins, kick boards, and buoys to improve their knowledge of the sport. 

o   Encourage swimmers to compete in USA meets to challenge themselves against outside competition.

o   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: 4x50 @ 1:15
  • Can do flip turns (back and free)
  • Aerobically handle 4,500 – 5,500 yards

·      Attendance:  There is no attendance requirement for this group.  However swimmers that attend less than three days a week may have a meeting with the coach and parents/guardians about club swimming and expectations.

·      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.

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

·      Advancement Requirements:

o   Aerobically handle 6,000 – 7,000 yards

o   Recommendation from the coach

o   Maintain 80% attendance plus 1 morning a week

o   Meet the following interval requirements

§  6 x 200 @ 3:15 (holding under 3:00)

§  10 x 50 kick no fins @ 1:00 (holding :50 or faster)

§  10 x 100 free @ 1:30 (holding 1:15 or faster)

 

Pre-National (ages 13-18)

Coach:  Andrew Schmidt

Practices:  Monday – Friday 3:45 – 6:15 pm

                      Tuesday/Thursday 5:15 – 6:45 am

                      Saturday 7:00 – 10:00 am

Location:  Monday/Wednesday/Friday PM at Haskell

                    Tuesday/Thursday PM at Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center

                    Tuesday/Thursday/Friday AM at Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center

                    Saturday at Haskell

 

·      Description:The Pre-National group is reserved for the most committed swimmers in the Lawrence Aquahawks program but do not have at least a Sectional qualify time. Swimmers in this training group practice daily and its members REGULARLY COMPETE at the highest level meets. This includes: Division 1’s, Zones, and the Toyota Grand Prix Series.  Swimming doubles (AM and PM practice) is MANDATORY with this group. 

 

·      Objectives: The main objective of Senior group is to increase the level and intensity of training from the Platinum group.

o   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.

o   Continue to improve and understand the basic aspects of training & technique and how these concepts are beneficial to performance.

o   Continue to develop good eating habits.

o   Continue to teach swimmers how to manage their time properly in order to be committed to swimming, education, and other areas of interest.

o   Focus on improvement of technique on strokes, starts, and turns.

o   Allow swimmers to HAVE FUN in a variety of ways!!!!

  • Prerequisite Skills:
    • A recommendation from the Head Coach.
    • Previous swimming experience in the Platinum group or a similar program with another competitive swimming team.
    • Minimum ability to complete:
      • 5x100 free @ 1:20 (short course yards)
      • Legally swim a 200 of all four swimming strokes (fly, back, breast, free) in a meet.
      • Legally swim the 400 IM and the 800/1000, or the mile (1500/1650) in a meet.
      • Maintained a minimum 80% attendance in their previous group

 

·      Group Requirements:

o   Attend a minimum of 80% of afternoon practices a month plus at least one double a week.

o   Senior 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.

o   Compete in all Aquahawk attended meets plus all championship meets they qualify for including one or more of the following: Division 1’s, Zones, SCS (Speedo Sectional Champions Series), Toyota Grand Prix Series, and Junior/Senior Nationals, US Open, or Olympic Trials. 

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

·      Advancement Requirements:

o   Recommendation from Head Coach

o   Achieve a Speedo Sectional cut or better

 

National (ages 14-18)

Coach:  Andrew Schmidt

Practices:  Monday – Friday 3:45 – 6:15 pm

                      Tuesday/Thursday 5:15 – 6:45 am

                      Saturday 7:00 – 10:00 am

Location:  Monday/Wednesday/Friday PM at Haskell

                    Tuesday/Thursday PM at Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center

                    Tuesday/Thursday/Friday AM at Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center

                    Saturday at Haskell

 

·      Description:The National group is reserved for the most advanced swimmers with a minimum of 1 Speedo Sectional cut. Swimmers in this training group practice daily and its members REGULARLY COMPETE at the highest level meets. This includes: Division 1’s, Zones, Speedo Sectionals, the Toyota Grand Prix Series, and Junior/Senior Nationals. Swimming doubles (AM and PM practice) is MANDATORY with this group and you must have 90% practice attendance.

 

·      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, Grand Prix’s, and Junior/Senior Nationals).  

o   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.

o   Continue to improve and understand the basic aspects of training & technique and how these concepts are beneficial to performance.

o   Maintain good eating and personal habits outside of the pool (i.e., resting, taking care of yourself, eating a well balanced diet, sleeping enough).

o   Allow swimmers to HAVE FUN in a variety of ways!!!!

  • Prerequisite Skills:
    • A recommendation from the Head Coach.
    • Minimum of 1 Speedo Sectional cut and a commitment to the practice schedule.

 

·      Group Requirements:

o   Attend a minimum of 8 practices per week including a minimum of 2 morning practices a week.

o   They will be expected to challenge themselves both independently and to work with team goals in mind.

o   Compete in all meets attended by the Aquahawks plus season-ending championship meets including one or more of the following: Zones, SCS (Speedo Sectional Champions Series), Toyota Grand Prix Series, and Junior/Senior Nationals, US Open, or Olympic Trials. 

  • Equipment Needs:
    • Goggles, suit, drag suit, snorkel, paddles, pull buoy, fins, mesh bag, 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:

 

o   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.

o   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.

o   If there is still further disagreement the parent/swimmer may request a discussion with the Head Coach and a member of the BOD.