Overview of ISB Panther Swim Team Squads
The ISB Panther Swim Team is organized primarily following the school organizational structure. We feel that most swimmers enjoy swimming more if they are with their social peers as well as within ability levels. With enjoyment comes higher level performance. The Junior Squads are composed of Elementary School Swimmers (1st – 5th grades). Swimmers must be at least 7 years of age by December 31 to join the Panther Swim Club. Senior Squads are composed of swimmers in Middle School and High School.
Some of you may be used to teams in your home country with strict standards for qualifying for squad levels. Due to the annual turnover level at ISB (up to 30% per year) our standards have to be a bit more fluid. If you have questions regarding this, please don’t hesitate to contact Head Coach Andy – firstname.lastname@example.org
We believe in swimmers being proficient in all four competitive strokes. Our swimmers do not begin to specialize until their High School years. On all Elementary School squads, the primary event swimmers train for is the Individual Medley (IM). For the 10+unders it is the 100IM which is one length (25M) of each stroke. For the 11+overs it is the 200IM which is two lengths (50M) of each stroke.
Since 8+under swimmers primarily swim 25 meter races in our meets, we train them primarily for these events as well as the 100IM. We also teach proper turns and entry dives so they can successfully compete in longer events (50’s and 100’s) as desired. We encourage healthy competition and like our swimmers to love to race. During training, the main focus for these swimmers is technique. Having fun is equally important.
9 & 10 year old swimmers generally compete in 50 meter events, the 100IM and the occasional longer race. These are the events for which we train. At this age we begin to think more about conditioning but technique remains the top priority. We want our swimmers at this age to love to race and to still have fun training and competing.
Older elementary school swimmers train with their grade level as possible on the Barracuda and Marlin squads (some will train with Piranha). These swimmers also train primarily for the 50 meter events, but we begin to prepare them for the 200IM, the 100 free and the 200 free events which are common for 11+over swimmers. The younger elementary swimmers also train as possible close to grade level.
As swimmers move into Middle school, the focus changes to longer events. Opportunities still exist for swimmers to compete in the 50’s, but many longer events are featured at meets. The training reflects this. We begin to look at 100’s of each stroke as well as the 200IM and the 200 free. Some swimmers, typically on the Elite Squad, compete in 400’s, 800’s and even 1500 meter events. Technique is always a priority but endurance and speed training become more prominent than with the Elementary School squads.
During the High School years, training becomes more focused. Swimmers train to win. We strive to ensure that social as well as the physical needs of our swimmers are met. The concepts of team and leadership are stressed. Swimmers learn to support each other’s goals. Swimmers also learn that they are responsible for their training and the results they can achieve. We recognize that at the High School level academics can be stressful and must take priority. Part of our job is to make sure that swimmer goals are in line with their ability to train to meet those goals. Typically our top level High School swimmers peak for the IASAS Championship Meet held near the end of January. From year to year depending on what meets are offered, we target at least one other meet that High School swimmers will aim for.