Practice Groups

Swimming is a journey! 

Let TIDE Swimming help you choose your path to success!

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DISCOVERY: Learn to Swim

"Learning the fundamentals in a fun environment"

Athletes must be able to swim a minimum of 25 yards freestyle and backstroke to enter program.
Focus is on teaching fundamentals and developing basic motor learning skills, balance, and coordination in the water.
Yardage swum is low-intensity and technique-oriented.
Athletes typically range in age from 5 to 10 years old.

Novice Group

  • Focus:  FUN, fundamentals, balance, coordination, basic motor skills
  • Practices:  Three practices are offered per week.
  • Competition:  Introduction to competition: athletes participate in 2 to 4 swim meets per year.
  • Equipment: TIDE cap, goggles, kickboard, Speedo Trialon rubber fins, mesh bag
  • Offered in Sessions: Fall (Sept 5 - Nov 30); Winter (Jan 3 - Mar 23); Spring (Mar 26 - June 15)

Developmental Silver

  • Focus:  FUN, fundamentals, focus on drills and technique in all 4 strokes, plus starts and turns.
  • Practices:  Three practices are offered per week with dryland included to increase balance and coordination.
  • Competition:  Continued introduction to competition: athletes participate in 4 to 6 swim meets per year.
  • Equipment: TIDE cap, goggles, kickboard, Speedo Trialon rubber fins, mesh bag

Developmental Gold

  • Focus:  FUN, fundamentals, continued focus on drills and technique in all 4 strokes, including competitive skills to prepare for monthly competitions.
  • Practices:  Four practices are offered per week with dryland included to increase balance, coordination, and athleticism. (Chesapeake group has three practices per week.)
  • Competition:  Competition is part of the program: athletes participate in 8 to 10 swim meets per year.
  • Equipment: TIDE cap, goggles, kickboard, Speedo Trialon rubber fins, Finis agility paddles, mesh bag

 

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 IMAGINATION: Learn to Train

"Fundamentals and introduction to training, in a fun environment."

Athletes are able to swim all four strokes and maintain good technique on low intensity work.
Focus remains on teaching fundamentals and developing a strong foundation in all strokes while introducing a culture where hard work is valued and fun.
Athletes are encouraged to attend as many practices each week as possible.
Dryland training is expanded.
Athletes typically range in age from 9 to 14 years old.

Age Group Bronze

  • Focus:  Developing a strong foundation in all 4 strokes with little to no specialization
  • Practices:   Five practices offered per week. Dryland sessions are offered to complement swim training. (Chesapeake groups have four practices per week.)
  • Competition: Athletes compete monthly with one “focus meet” per season. The group's emphasis is on long term development instead of qualifying for a certain competition. Competitions are used as an evaluation of training.
  • Equipment: TIDE cap, goggles, Finis alignment board, kickboard, small or medium pull buoy, Speedo Trialon rubber fins, Speedo bullet head adult snorkel, Finis agility paddles, mesh bag, jump rope, yoga mat

Age Group Silver

  • Focus:  Athletes learn to value hard work, with a continued emphasis on maintaining a strong foundation in all 4 strokes with little to no specialization.
  • Practices:  Six practices are offered per week, complemented dryland sessions. (Chesapeake group has four practices per week.)
  • Competition:  Athletes compete monthly with one “focus meet” per season. The group's emphasis remains on long term development but with increased awareness of what the “next level” of competition looks like. Competitions are used as an evaluation of training, with increased awareness of times as one measurement of progress.
  • Equipment: TIDE cap, goggles, Finis alignment board, kickboard, small or medium pull buoy, Speedo Trialon rubber fins, Speedo bullet head adult snorkel, Finis agility paddles, mesh bag, jump rope, yoga mat

 

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PREPARATION: Learn to Compete

"Competitiveness is directly correlated with hard work, consistency, mindfulness, and embracing the journey."

The quantity and intensity of the training program increases.
Focus shifts from teaching fundamentals to physiological conditioning.
Athletes are encouraged to attend as many practices per week as possible with morning practices added at the higher levels.
Dryland training progresses from core body conditioning to weight training.
Athletes typically range in age from 14 to 18 years old.

Age Group Gold

  • Focus:  Athletes learn to appreciate the training process and seeing results over time. Athletes continue to establish a strong foundation in all 4 strokes with little specialization. Coaches place an equal emphasis on long course and short course swimming. 400yd IM and 1000yd free are regularly swum in competitions.
  • Practices:   Seven practices are offered per week: six 2-hour practices plus one 90m-minute (AM) practice. Athletes enjoy dryland training 5 times per week (30 minute sessions) with continued focus on previous work, incorporation of tools, and introduction to resisted movements.
  • Competition:  Athletes compete monthly with a focus meet as late in the season as possible. Senior level meets are introduced and consideration is given to attending the highest level meet for which he/she qualifies. Athletes swim every event at least once per season and are introduced to travel for competition at least once per season.
  • Equipment: TIDE cap, goggles, nose clip, Hydro Tech 2 fins or DaFin kicks fins, Speedo Bullet head adult snorkel, kickboard, small  pull buoy, Strokemaker paddles, mesh bag, jump rope, yoga mat

Senior Silver

  • Focus:  Athletes learn to find and define success based on personal goals. They continue to build a solid foundation in all 4 strokes. This group, offered in sessions, allows swimmers and multi-sport athletes the flexibility to choose what they want to get out of the sport. The goal of the group is still to develop and move athletes through the program. Coaches balance establishing a base of technique and aerobic systems with catering to individual needs and goals of each athlete.
  • Practices:  Six practices are offered per week: five 90-minute, one 2-hour. Swim training is complemented by four, 30-minute dryland sessions per week.
  • THIS GROUP IS OFFERED IN SESSIONS: Fall (Sept - Nov); Winter (Dec - Feb); Spring (Mar - June); Summer (June, July). Swimmers may register for all or some of the sessions offered.
  • Competition:  Athletes are encouraged to compete monthly, especially those who are looking to progress through the program.
  • Equipment: TIDE cap, goggles, nose clip, Finis alignment board, kickboard, small pull buoy, Speedo short blade training fins, Speedo bullet head adult snorkel, Strokemaker paddles, mesh bag, yoga mat, jump rope

Senior Gold

  • Focus:  Athletes are encouraged to find creative ways to reach their potential. Group members possess a strong technical foundation in all 4 strokes and a focus on long term development. One emphasis is on building an aerobic base for both short term and long term success. Slightly more emphasis is placed on long course swimming vs short course swimming.
  • Practices:  Seven practices are offered per week: three 2-hour, three 3-hour, and one 90-minute (AM). Athletes are expected to attend 5 to 7 practices per week. Dryland is offered 5 times per week, which includes twice weekly weight programming.
  • Competition:  Athletes compete monthly with one focus meet per season and the possibility of a mid-season meet to gauge progress. Athletes should be working to seek success in multiple ways not just defined by dropping time.
  • Equipment: TIDE cap, goggles, nose clip, kickboard, small pull buoy, Hydro Tech 2 fins, Speedo bullet head adult snorkel, Strokemaker paddles, Arena Elite finger paddles, mesh bag

National

  • Focus:  Maximizing athlete potential. Athletes continue development of all 4 strokes with a balanced training plan that allows for specificity of training in distance and stroke while setting athletes up for future success in college swimming with a solid aerobic base. Technical precision and efficiency are a focus of both the athletes and the coaches. Valuing the ability to race effectively in all events is key, but training also allows for specialization.
  • Practices:  Seven practices are offered per week: two 2-hour, four 3-hour, one 90-min (AM). Close to 100% practice attendance is expected. Dryland is held 5 times per week, including twice weekly weight training
  • Competition:  Athletes compete monthly with 1 focus meet per season and 1 mid-season meet to gauge progress or qualify for next level meets. Athletes strive to qualify for USA Swimming meets (Olympic Trials, Nationals, Jr Nationals, Futures, Sectionals). Travel to major competitions is increased and expected.
  • Equipment: TIDE cap, goggles, nose clip, kickboard, small pull buoy, Hydro Tech 2 fins, Speedo bullet head adult snorkel, Strokemaker paddles, Arena Elite finger paddles, mesh bag