The Piranha Swim Team incorporates seven training groups: Maia, Neptune, Nautilus, Junior and 90, 105, 120 groups. The group a swimmer trains with is determined by commitment, age, ability and experience. Coaches place all swimmers in training groups.
Specific attendance requirements and suggestions for each training group are included in the training group descriptions below. A swimmer’s promotion and improvement is contingent on commitment; age and ability are a distant second and third on the list of reasons for promotion. Although we try to keep swimmers grouped by age, eventually a swimmer’s lack of attendance and dedication to the Team will catch up with him/her in many ways. Swimmers who are committed and attend practice as outlined for their group will find themselves rewarded in their advancement through the training groups, their development as a swimmer and improvement in their times.
The Greek goddess of growth. The Maia level consists of swimmers who are between the ages of 7-9 that have competitive swimming experience. Swimmers in this group are legal in all four competitive strokes; freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly and most of these swimmers have been on the Team for a year. Maia swimmers will focus on stroke technique and learn the basics of competitive swimming, team spirit and fun. The Coaching Staff recommends that Maia swimmers attend at least two practices per week.
Greek word meaning sailor. Nautilus swimmers are year round swimmers who have competitive swimming experience and are usually between the ages of 8 and 10, depending on ability. This group will focus on stroke technique, swimming all four strokes and simple sets. The goal of the Nautilus group is to have fun while learning about competitive swimming. The Coaching Staff recommends that these swimmers attend three workouts per week. Nautilus swimmers are offered practice five days per week.
The Roman god of the sea. The Neptune group consists of swimmers usually between the ages of 10-12. They are experienced swimmers who will focus on stroke technique, interval training, competition and fun. Neptune swimmers will be offered practice five days per week. The Coaching Staff recommends that these swimmers attend four workouts per week to receive optimal training and have the opportunity to develop the necessary strength and skills for continued development.
To earn promotion into the Junior training group, a Neptune swimmer must demonstrate he/she is committed to the Piranhas year round and has shown the coaching staff a willingness to attend practice and meets regularly throughout the year and train consistently.
Junior swimmers are 11-13 year old experienced swimmers who have exhibited a year round dedication to the Piranhas and the sport of swimming through practice and meet attendance. These swimmers will focus on stroke technique, interval training, competition and fun. Junior swimmers will be offered practice six days per week. The Coaching Staff recommends that these swimmers attend four workouts per week to receive optimal training and have the opportunity to develop the necessary strength and skills for continued development. The goal of the group is to demonstrate the necessary dedication and skills development to become a 90 group swimmer.
P90, P105, P120 Groups
The training groups described below are reserved for 13/over swimmers although some 11/12’s who are Age Group Qualifiers or close may be invited to join the P90 group. Please note for example not all P120 swimmers will necessarily train together. They will have the opportunity to train an average of 2 hours per day. The group they actually train with on a given day, and this goes for all the groups, will be dependent upon test set results from the prior year, along with results from test sets as the year progresses. Basically swimmers will be grouped based on the interval they can handle. At the discretion of the coaching staff, swimmers may move groups within a given season. I ask that you do not make requests.
P90 (Piranha 90)
The group name is derivative from the average time this group will swim, 90 minutes on average. P90 swimmers are experienced swimmers 12 years of age and older, 11 year olds who are Age Group Qualifiers or very close may be invited into this training group. This group will focus on building an aerobic training base, continued work on technique and building strength. The Coaching Staff recommends that these swimmers attend nine workouts every two weeks to receive optimal training. This group may also have dry lands at least once per week with a YMCA fitness trainer. The goal of the P90 group is to develop and demonstrate the necessary dedication and skills development to earn promotion to one of the other top groups.
P105 (Piranha 105)
The group name is derivative from the average time this group will swim, 105 minutes on average. P105 swimmers are usually 13 years of age and older. This group of athletes are experienced swimmers who are focusing on attaining the necessary skills and develop the necessary skills and maturity to advance to the top Piranha training group. Conditioning will become more of a focus for these swimmers and stroke technique will continue to play a major role in this training group. Dry-land sessions will be available as long as they are utilized. The Coaching Staff recommends these swimmers attend five workouts per week to receive optimal training and have the opportunity to develop the necessary strength and skills for continued development.
P120 (Piranha 120)
The group name is derivative from the average time this group will swim, 120 minutes on average. The P120 training group is reserved for year round swimmers who have dedicated themselves to the sport of swimming and the Piranhas. A swimmer in this group must demonstrate he/she is socially, mentally and physically mature enough to handle demands of an elite swimming program. This group is the highest level of swimming offered by the Darien YMCA. These swimmers receive the most practice time and resources the Piranhas have to offer and they work directly with the Head Coach. P120 swimmers are 15 years of age and 13/14 years old with Senior/Age Group cuts will be invited into the group at the Head Coach’s discretion. Please see the note in italics above for additional information. Swimmers in this group regardless of ability will be expected to maintain a 90% attendance rate. Swimming in this group must be able to balance school and the rigors of “Senior” level training in order to stay in the group.