The GPAC practice groups are separated based on ability. There are also some age/grade restrictions on groups. This is done to help keep groups at a workable number as well as to help swimmers stay on a even progression through our program.
Greater Philadelphia Aquatic Club
2013-2014 Fall/Winter/Spring Training Groups
September 19, 2013 – May 23, 2014 (Mini, Bronze, Silver, Gold 1, Gold 2, Senior 1)
August 26, 2013 – August 15, 2014 (Elite & Jr Elite)
Mini - $715 (8 & Under)
This group is for swimmers transitioning from swim lessons to swim team and swimmers with no previous competitive experience. Proper technique in all four competitive strokes is emphasized throughout the season with the overall goal of mastering all four strokes by the end of the year. Swimmers must, in order to be considered for the Mini group must demonstrate consistent ability to complete the following:
1) Swim a length of the pool freestyle with proper side breathing without stopping
2) Swim a length of the pool backstroke without stopping
3) Proper butterfly kick with feet together for 15 yards (with or without a kickboard)
4) Proper butterfly kick for 15 yards with arms at side using the body dolphin motion
5) Butterfly swim for 15 yards
6) Breaststroke kick for 15 yards with a kickboard
7) Breaststroke swim for 15 yards with proper timing
Bronze – $915 (10 & Under)
This group is for the developing swimmers with a little competitive experience who can swim all four competitive strokes legally and are ready for regular competitions, about once per month. Training will still consist of technique and conditioning in all four strokes on a regular basis.
Silver - $1040 (ages 8-12)
The group for the developing swimmer who is not quite ready for level of training in the Gold groups. Swimmers will continue to work on technique in all four strokes and will begin to train for longer events on a regular basis. Thus, a higher level of training and conditioning is introduced to this group as well as dryland work 2-3 times per week. Meets are required and swimmers will compete about once per month.
8 year olds are admitted into the Silver group provided they meet the following criteria:
1) Show proof of having swum every stroke in a USA Swimming meet in a distance of at least 50 meters as well as the 100 freestyle, the 100 IM and either the 200 free or 200 IM (swimming both 200s is preferable)
2) Swimmers must have at least 5 "BB" times in the 10 & under age group
3) When training with the Silver group they must do the following on a consistent basis at the sole discretion of the coaching staff:
A) Prove the ability to keep up with the rest of the group (without needing extra rest
or separate intervals created)
B) Prove the ability to swim with proper stroke technique
C) Prove the ability to make necessary stroke modifications when indicated by the
Gold 1 - $1185 (ages 9-14)
Our first Gold Level group for swimmers ages 9 & older introduces training for longer events (200 and above) on a regular basis as well as key elements such as pacing, mental preparation, and goal planning. Regular emphasis is on training for all four strokes, turns and conditioning for competition. Dryland is conducted 3 times per week.
Gold 2 - $1185 (ages 11-14)
This is our top junior group for advanced age groupers. Swimmers should be attending 5 out of the 6 practices each week to get the maximum value from this group. Emphasis is on short and long term goal setting, elevated conditioning, and training for peak performance at competition. Shave and taper meets are required with this group (two per season). Dryland is conducted 3 times per week.
Senior 1 - $1400 (Grades 9-12)
This group is for high school swimmers only who are not ready for the training levels or commitment of the Pre-National or National groups but are serious about conditioning and continual improvement. 8th grade swimmers go into either one of the Gold groups or Junior Elite (attendance, ability, and commitment requirements must be met for Junior Elite). Technique and training are highly emphasized in this group. Swim meet attendance is highly recommended and the coaching staff will strive to help the swimmers become diverse beyond their primary events. Swimmers must maintain 60% attendance September through May.
Junior Elite - $1760 (Grades 8-10)
This annual practice group is primarily for swimmers in 8th and 9th grade who have been identified by the coaching staff as potential National level swimmers. They have made swimming their sport of choice and will adhere to the group requirements throughout the year. Swimmers are expected to maintain at least 80% practice attendance in the Fall, Winter, and Spring and attend 7-8 practices per week in the summer. Morning practices during the school year may be added when the coaching staff feels the swimmers are ready.
Elite - $1885 (Grades 9-12)
Our top level training group is for swimmers who can make the established practice intervals but, more importantly, have shown the dedication and commitment (in and out of the pool) to be considers "Elite". Swimmers in this group have their sights set on training for the Junior and Senior National levels. Swimmers in this group must show a regular commitment to excellence, both personal and for the team. Morning practices are required at this level (1-2 per week for 9th & 10th graders, 3 per week for 11th & 12th graders). Swimmers must adhere to the established attendance requirement (85%) for the entire Annual season.