Training Groups

Training Groups

The Cougar Aquatic Team is a progressive age group program designed to develop children physically, mentally, and emotionally in a systematic fashion. We follow a well-defined, long-term approach through which swimmers gradually increase their degree of commitment. Our early years emphasize the development of technical skills and a love for the sport. In the later years, the training program becomes more physically and psychologically challenging. We believe that “too much, too soon" more often proves the cause of failure to achieve maximum potential in senior swimming than the reverse situation.

To complement this emphasis on long-term rather than short-term results, it is also important that we establish training groups of swimmers who are compatible in abilities, commitment levels and goals. At each level, goals and objectives are specific and directed toward meeting the needs of the individual swimmer. Each child progresses at his or her own rate to reach maximum potential. In accordance, the coaching staff makes training group assignments based on a swimmer's physical, mental, and emotional level of development.

Group Placement

Only CAT coaches decide when and where swimmers will be placed on the team. Swimmers are originally evaluated at a try-out for the team and later by times achieved at meets, practice test sets, social skills, commitment to the team, endurance, and overall physical development. We place our swimmers in the training groups best suited to their training and skill level. When an athlete proves emotionally ready, properly trained, and meets the subjective and objective standards of a particular group of swimmers, our coaching staff works together to move the athlete. 

Junior Team (Ages 6-8)

Swimmers on the Junior Team can perform the four competitive strokes and are ready to learn more advanced stroke skills and technique. Swimmers in this group are introduced to racing skills such as dives, turns, and streamlines. Strength and coordination in the water are necessary, but we primarily aim to help junior swimmers gain confidence, build team spirit, and have fun.

Bronze Team (Ages 8-9)

At this level, swimmers are introduced to competitive training. Swimmers on the Bronze Team have started to exhibit good swimming skills and are introduced to new training concepts. While time is spent on refining stroke mechanics, it is equally important that swimmers learn how to train. Bronze swimmers learn to compete in USA Swimming sanctioned meets with an emphasis on proficiency in all four strokes. On Bronze Team, all of our swimmers learn that a well-rounded swimmer is a better swimmer!

Silver Team (Ages 9-11)

Our more experienced Silver Team swimmers expand upon the foundation they achieved in Bronze and work on building aerobic fitness and strengthening each of the competitive strokes. Silver Team  swimmers aim to master stroke technique, improve aerobic endurance, and compete in a wide range of events in USA Swimming-sanctioned meets.

Gold Team (Ages 10-12)

The Gold Team serves the serious young swimmer. Gold team swimmers are well-versed in both efficient stroke technique and aerobic training.  Swimmers at this level are exposed to the increased demands of interval training, the foundation necessary to move through the Cougar Aquatic Team competitive program. Increased effort during practice becomes the key ingredient toward improvement and reaching one’s potential.

Senior Prep Team (Ages 12 & Up)

The Senior Prep Team is the highest level in the Cougar Aquatic Age Group Program and embodies the transition from an age group swimmer to a committed senior athlete. This group serves as the stepping stone into the Senior 1 Team and provides a positive team environment where swimming goals are formulated and achieved. Swimmers spend a majority of their practice time fine tuning technique, building endurance, and training toward a higher level. Swimmers are expected to meet the expectations required of the Senior 1 and Senior National Teams.

Senior 1 Team (Ages 14 & Up)

The Senior 1 Team serves the senior level swimmer who possesses the skill, motivation, commitment, and maturity to compete and train in a challenging competitive program. Two hour practices along with dry land training give the swimmer a taste of what is needed to get their swimming to the next level. These swimmers need a solid aerobic base to handle the endurance and IM training, both of which are emphasized.

Senior National Team

These swimmers have made swimming their number one priority and show an unwavering commitment to the increased demands of training every day at practice. Senior National swimmers compete in a multitude of events to become the versatile, competent, and confident athletes for whom the Cougar Aquatic Team stands. Each swimmer strives to achieve goals formulated with the highest level of competition in mind. 

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