The Cougar Aquatic Team is a "progressive" age group program designed to develop children physically, mentally, and emotionally in a systematic fashion. A well defined, long-term approach of gradually increasing degrees of commitment is essential to reach peak performance levels during a swimmer's physiological prime. The emphasis in the early stages of participation is placed on developing technical skills and a love for the sport. In the later years, a more demanding physical and psychological challenge is introduced to the training program. In this respect, "too much too soon" is more often the cause of failure to achieve maximum potential in senior swimming than in the reverse situation.
In addition to emphasizing long-term rather than short-term results, it is also important that we establish training groups of swimmers who are compatible in respect to abilities, commitment levels and goals. Unfortunately, this is not always the most convenient approach to take, but it is always the most productive.
At each level, the goals and objectives are specific and directed toward meeting the needs of the swimmer. The long-term goal of total excellence is always in mind. As each child is different, he/she will progress at his/her own rate. The coaching staff recognizes this fact by making team 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. Later, they will be assessed by times achieved at meets, practice test sets, social skills, commitment to the team, endurance, and overall physical development. We place our swimmers in groups that are best for the training and the skill level they are at. As soon as an athlete is emotionally ready, properly trained, and meets the subjective and objective standards of a particular group of swimmers, our coaching staff will work together to move the athlete. Please respect our decision as many things are taken into consideration for a move.
Junior Team (Ages 6-9)
Junior Team is for youngsters who can perform the four competitive strokes and are ready to learn more advanced stroke skills and technique. The swimmers in this group are also introduced to racing skills such as dives, turns, and streamlines. Strength and coordination in the water are necessary, but we look for Juniors swimmers to build team spirit, gain self-confidence, and most importantly to have fun!
Bronze Team (Ages 8-10)
At this level, the swimmers will be introduced to competitive training. Swimmers in this group have started to exhibit good swimming skills and will be introduced to new training concepts. While time is spent on refining stroke mechanics, it is here where learning how to train becomes equally important. Bronze swimmers will learn to compete in USA Swimming sanctioned meets with emphasis on the proficiency in all four strokes. On Bronze, all of our swimmers will realize that a well-rounded swimmer is a better swimmer!
Silver Team (Ages 8-11)
This group is for the more experienced swimmer. Silver team swimmers will expand upon the foundation they achieved in Bronze and will work on building aerobic fitness and strengthening each of the competitive strokes. Goals are to master stroke technique, improve aerobic endurance, and compete in a wide range of events in USA Swimming sanctioned meets.
Gold Team (Ages 10-13)
This group is for the serious young swimmer. Gold team swimmers are well versed in both efficient stroke technique and aerobic training. Swimmers at this level will be exposed to the increased demands of interval training which is the foundation needed to move through the Cougar Aquatic Team competitive program. Increased effort during practices become the key ingredient towards improvement and reaching one’s potential.
Senior Prep (Ages 12 & Up)
Senior Prep 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 Group 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 towards a higher level. Swimmers are expected to meet expectations of training in a Senior Group.
Senior 1 (Ages 14 & Up)
This team is for 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 will need a solid aerobic base to handle the endurance and IM training which are emphasized.
These swimmers have made swimming their number one priority and show every day at practice an unwavering commitment to the increased demands of training. Senior National swimmers compete in a multitude of events to become the versatile, competent and confident athletes that the Cougar Aquatic Team stands for. Each swimmer strives to achieve goals formulated with the highest level of competition in mind. This creates a formula of success for all.