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Making Waves, from Ripples to Tsunamis
HVA Current Group Placement Philosophy

Competitive Age Group is our primary factor for determining group placement. There is no substitute for the friendships that are forged through shared experiences of challenging and rewarding practices and competitions. Within each group placement we have coach-identified levels:

  • Breaking: Learning the basics of competitive swimming while improving fitness. Learning to swim and train.

  • Rushing: Improving competitive swimming skills, improving fitness, fixing stroke flaws, building all four strokes, becoming IMR certified. Learning to train and Learning to race.

  • Roaring: Refining competitive swimming skills, improving fitness, setting goals and chasing them – these are all hallmarks of the roaring level. Swimmers will be working to become IMX certified, testing new racing skills and pushing their training to new levels.

While these groups are identified by the lead coach this is an “on-paper” exercise. These groups are not hard and fast, and require no extra hoops to move through. They are ever fluid. Swimmers will change lanes to work on the skills they need. In this way, swimmers who may be excellent flyers can train that stroke harder – while moving to a different lane group to refine their breaststroke. This philosophy of training takes dedicated coaches who understand that children won’t simply “figure it out” by swimming. They need instruction through auditory – visual – and tactile methods both in-water and on-deck exercises. In this way, swimmers progress at their own pace – and as they are ready for more, they are given the opportunity immediately. At HVA Current, we focus on becoming better swimmers to get faster – we don’t sacrifice long-term development for short-term speed.

Lane placement in practice in NO WAY communicates a coach’s belief about a swimmer’s future success or value. Lane movement is not either a reward nor a punishment, but rather an acknowledgement of skill development which allows swimmers to focus on improving both their strong and weak areas. The HVA Current Coaching Staff views all swimmers as outstanding young people; we categorically reject inaccurate status labels that can be attached to groups. Some of HVA Current’s best swimmers spent considerable time in developmental groups gaining the experience that makes them successful in our highest level training groups when they got older.

When Do Birthday Dependent Group Moves happen?

Birthday Dependent Moves Between Training Groups usually follow this schedule, but only as general guidance:

  • September through December birthdays will move to a new group starting in September.

  • December through District / Regional Champsionship birthdays: will often move to a new group after the December Champs, but sometimes this move occurs earlier, in September depending upon the swimmers ability, maturity, and drive.

  • Birthdays between District / Regional Championships through Age Group Champs, and birthdays between Age Group Champs and the end of short course: will move after the District or Regional meet, but again, sometimes this move can occur earlier.

  • End of school through summer awards/age group champs birthdays: will move when long course season begins.

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Practice Groups

Year Round

With the exception of the Ripples program, the Year-Round program runs September through July Championships, with a pre-season program for Riptides and Tsunamis that starts the second week of August. The Ripples Year-Round program runs from September through March, and also includes the Summer Swim Tune Up program.

FLEX

HVA Current’s FLEX program is a month-to-month registration allowing families to “flex” their swimming commitment with their child’s other activities. FLEX programming should not be viewed as a “less expensive” option. It takes the same amount of coaching, lane space, but a bit more planning to accommodate FLEX swimmers. As such, volunteer requirements and fundraising participation is still expected.

Dryland – in addition to in-water practices, dryland ranging from 15-45 minutes will be offered at every level, appropriate to the developing swimmers needs. Dryland should include:

  • Team Building activities;

  • Core Training; 

  • Strength and Power;

  • Mobility;

  • Pre-hab exercises for shoulder development and protection;

Classroom sessions are planned each week to present and discuss topics of focus ranging from nutrition, new drill introductions, weekly technical focus, or other learning needs ranging from stroke counting and race strategies, to mental training, championship behavior and accountability, time management, work ethic, and connection skills.

 

While most teams in our area focus on the athletic training, our goal is to develop swimmers who understand and actively participate in their own unique development – empowering them to take charge of their swimming future.

Ripples

(8&U) 75 minutes, plus 15 minutes of dryland 2-3 times per week choice of days Mon-Thur

The Ripples consist of swimmers, generally ages 8 & under, who can confidently swim a 25 of freestyle with an attempt at rotary breathing and backstroke. Swimmers at this level should have an understanding of breaststroke and butterfly but may not yet be able to swim 25 yards of those strokes.

This group will focus primarily on setting a strong technical foundation while building aerobic capacity. Swimmers must be able to willingly leave their parent for this group (parents must remain upstairs in spectator seating during practice and may pick up their swimmers at the glass double doors after practice).

 

Swimmers may be broken out into different lanes to focus on specific areas to the level that best meets their individual needs. This simply means that swimmers who may be strong in one discipline will be able to work at the appropriate level while also receiving instruction appropriate to their weaker areas. All Ripples will work to develop all four strokes, freestyle and backstroke flip turns, open turns, and dive certifications. All Ripples will be working towards IMR and IMX goals as appropriate.

Competition Requirements: 8&Under developmental meets – swimmers are encouraged to participate in a minimum of one meet every other month, but not more than one each month (September “Popcorn” Intrasquad, October, November, December Championships, January, February Championships, March, April Sprint to Summer Pentathlon, May Sprint to Summer Pentathlon)

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Waves

(9-12) 90 minutes, 2 or 4 times per week, practices offered Mon-Fri

The Waves consist of swimmers, generally ages 9-12, who can swim a minimum 25 of freestyle with an attempt at rotary breathing and backstroke. Swimmers at this level should have an understanding of breaststroke and butterfly but may not yet be able to swim 25 yards of those strokes.

This group will focus primarily on setting a strong technical foundation while building aerobic capacity. Swimmers may be broken out into different lanes to focus on specific areas to the level that best meets their individual needs. This simply means that swimmers who may be strong in one discipline will be able to work at the appropriate level for that stroke, while also receiving instruction appropriate to their weaker areas.

All waves will work to develop all four strokes, freestyle and backstroke flip turns, open turns, and dive certifications. Swimmers may be broken out into different lanes to focus on specific areas to the level that best meets their individual needs. All Waves will work on developing and improving all four strokes, turns, and starts. All waves will be working towards IMR and IMX goals as appropriate.

Competition Requirements: 12& Under developmental or higher meets if qualified. Swimmers are encouraged to participate in a minimum of one meet every other month, but not more than one each month (September “Popcorn” Intrasquad, October, November, December Championships, January, February Championships, March, Beginning in April. Year Round Swimmers: Long Course Meets in April, May, June, Summer Awards, and other meets as qualified.)

Ripcurrent

(13-18) 90 minutes 2 or 3 times per week, Mon, Wed, Thur

The Ripcurrent is a month-to-month-based (FLEX) teaching and training group for older beginners (generally 13-18) who are: (1) Interested in maintaining fitness and improving technique for high school swim, (2) do not wish the more full-time commitment of Riptides and Tsunamis, or (3) cannot yet swim 100 yards of all four stroke disciplines and the 200IM to become IM Ready (IMR). 

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Riptides

The Riptides are our 12-14 year old swimmers generally in middle school. To become a member of the Riptides, swimmers must be able to maintain a legal stroke for 50 yards and complete a 100IM. This group lays a strong foundation for swimmers entering the Tsunami levels, as dryland training becomes a more prominent part of the overall program, yardage swum increases, and events become more challenging. All swimmers in Riptides will be working towards IMX events, and 200 yards of each stroke, plus the 400IM, along with the 400/500 Free, 800/1000 Free, 1500/1650 Free as appropriate.

  • FLEX Riptides - 90-minute practices 3-5x a week (Fall, Winter, Spring); on-deck dryland program

  • Year-Round Riptides - 1hr 45-minute practices 4-6x a week; on-deck dryland program; PIVOT option 2x per week (pending)

Tsunamis

The Tsunamis are our 14 and older swimmers generally in high school. To become a member of the Tsunamis, swimmers must be able to maintain a legal stroke for 100 yards and complete a 200IM. As in prior groups, swimmers will train each set based on stroke competence. Dryland training is an essential part of the overall program. The number of practices will depend upon (a) long-term goals (b) conditioning level (c) coach's approval. All year-round swimmers will be offered 6 main practices each week. Tsunamis will be working towards IMX events, and 200 yards of each stroke, plus the 400IM, along with the 400/500 Free, 800/1000 Free, 1500/1650 Free as appropriate.

 

  • Tsunamis - 2 to 2hr15min practices 5-6x a week; 90-minute "doubles" as needed (1-3x per week) on deck dryland program; PIVOT option 2-3x per week (pending)

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Important Resources

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