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Practice Information

Our Focus

LPAC is committed to providing every swimmer with exceptional methodology and stroke technique through the guidance of our experienced coaching staff. LPAC swimmers are imparted with the lifelong skills of goal setting, discipline, teamwork as well as friendship and belonging.

From our mission to our coaching philosophy, LPAC is about balance. We balance our competitiveness with good sportsmanship, the intensity of our training program with proper care for young bodies and minds, the focus within that training on technique and conditioning. We believe this yields the right quality of swimming, the right quality of swimmers, and winning that’s worth doing.

Leveling

The LPAC program is structured into levels that group swimmers based on their abilities. These levels are named for the LPAC colors: White, Black, Yellow, and Green, in order from our entry level elementary kids to our most experienced and capable high school age swimmers. The White Level includes entry level competitors as well as a pre-competitive group of kids that can swim the length of the pool, but are not quite ready for competition. Each of the other three levels includes an Advanced level with higher required skills, commitments and goals.

Our coaches use the levels of the swimmers to differentiate and stratify the level of instruction to the level of the swimmers. The duration and number of practices per week have been defined as appropriate for each level.

All LPAC swimmers’ level placement decisions are made by the coaches in the best interest of the swimmer’s long-term development. Each level spans a spectrum of swimmers and contains elements that may not match every swimmer assessed to be at that level. Proper leveling allows swimmers of the same abilities to train together toward similar goals, benefitting them and the team as a whole.

Leveling is re-assessed by the coaches within the first few weeks of practice and periodically throughout the season. Each level has skills and practice elements that must be achieved in order to perform well at the next level. Level changes - both up and down - are based on athletic and non-athletic readiness and maturity, with consideration of the swimmers past times, practice performance and practice behavior.

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White Level

This is our beginner level where we work with our youngest swimmers and older kids who are new to the sport. Our focus is initially on proper body position, basic kicking, breathing and balance in the water, then on fundamental stroke instruction in all four strokes. To deliver this most effectively, we staff these practices with a coach in each lane, providing 100% in-water, hands on instruction that directly and frequently guides and corrects swimmers to achieve proper technique.

Lane groupings are organized into three tiers to keep lesson plans for each lane focused on the needs of 3 distinct groups of swimmers:

  • Tier 1: Swimmers who are brand new to swimming and can only complete required skills.
  • Tier 2: Swimmers with experience in swimming and are legal in freestyle and backstroke.
  • Tier 3: Swimmers who understand the concepts of breast and fly, but are not yet legal in those strokes.

Focus

  • Develop stroke technique.
  • Develop interest in competing & training.
  • Develop an understanding of competition, including legal strokes, legal starts & legal turns.

Required Skills

  • Comfortable in deep water.
  • Comfortable in a group setting away from parents during practice time.
  • 8 & under
    • Ability to complete one length of the pool in a recognizable stroke, on the stomach and back, without stopping.
  • 9 & over
    • Ability to complete one, preferably two lengths of the pool in a recognizable stroke, on the stomach and back, without stopping.

Workout Commitment

  • (2) 45-minute practices per week.

Competition Commitment

  • White Level swimmers that the coaches assess prior to meets to be ready for competition will be included in meet lineups and are expected to compete.
  • Those who are assessed to be not yet ready for competition will not be required to participate in meets until they are ready.
  • The decision to promote pre-competitive swimmers to “meet ready” will be based on coaches' assessment of readiness athletically and in consultation with parents to ensure they are mentally and emotionally ready for competition.
  • The decision to promote exhibition swimmers to live heats will be based on their times.
  • Swimmers must compete in (3) dual meets in order to participate in the Divisional Championship meet.

Goals

  • Complete legal starts.
  • Underwater streamlining.
  • Achieve competent body position in water.
  • 8 & under
    • Complete all four strokes legally for 25 yards.
  • 9 & over
    • Complete all four strokes legally for 50 yards.
    • Complete legal turn.
  • Have fun!

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Black Level

The Black Level covers a range of swimmers, from those who have recently achieved legal form in at least three strokes to those that are competing effectively in 50 yard events. These swimmers tend to be grade school aged, competing in the 8 & under and 9-10 age groups with some 11-12 age group swimmers as well. They are all working on gaining competence and consistency in their stroke technique, while learning additional skills such as turns and breathing strategies as part of multi-lap sets.

For these swimmers, we employ a hybrid of in-water and on-deck instruction.

Our focus is on establishing strong habits with the solid technique fundamentals needed to swim 50s in competition. Distance practice and dryland training are not yet appropriate at this level. Our time, effort, mental focus, and physical development are focused on proper swimming skills and habits.

Focus

  • Equal between developing stroke technique & training skills.
  • Foster competitive interest.
  • Introduce basic goal-setting.

Required Skills

  • Be legally proficient in 3 strokes, with an understanding of all 4 strokes.
  • Competent starts and turns.
  • Complete 4 laps free and a 100 IM, each one must be done continuously without resting at walls.
  • Complete a 50 free in under 1:15.
  • Complete 3x25s in each stroke in under 0:45.

Workout Commitment

  • (2) 1-hour practices per week.

Competition Commitment

  • Compete in all CPAL dual meets.
  • USA registered swimmers are encouraged to compete in at least 3 USA meet sessions during the season.

Goals

  • Complete all 4 strokes legally.
  • Complete all starts and turns legally.
  • Be able to swim 4x50 free on 1:15.
  • Be able to hold 4x25s in each stroke on 0:40
  • Complete a set of 3x100 free on 2:30 and a set of 3x100 IM on 3:00.
  • Ability to swim a 200 free under 3:30
  • Continue development of competent body position.
  • Begin to understand and develop Distance Per Stroke (DPS).
  • Read pace clock and understand practice sets with coaches’ aid.
  • Have fun!

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Black Advanced

In the Black Advanced Level we see the introduction of more performance based qualifications that a swimmer must meet or exceed to be assessed at this level. Black Advanced swimmers are typically older grade school kids that have achieved legal competency in all strokes and are very competitive in their best events. Our focus remains on technique, with emphasis on establishing strong habits of proper form in all strokes over somewhat longer sets. Coaching is primarily from the deck, but in-water instruction may still be employed, as the coaches deem appropriate.

Black Advanced Level swimmers are encouraged to participate in USA Swimming as a way to get access to more meets, higher levels of competition, and the opportunity to compete in a greater variety of events than are possible in age group dual meets alone.

Focus

  • Equal between developing stroke technique & training skills.
  • Foster competitive interest.
  • Introduce basic goal-setting.

Required Skills Black Advanced

  • Be legally proficient in all 4 strokes.
  • Competent starts and turns.
  • Basic pace clock reading skills.
  • Be able to hold 4x50s free on 1:15.
  • Be able to hold 4x25s in each stroke on 0:40.
  • Complete a set of 3x100 free on 2:30 and a set of 3x100 IM on 3:00.
  • Complete a 200 free under 3:30

Workout Commitment

  • (3) 1-hour practices per week.

Competition Commitment

  • Compete in all CPAL dual meets.
  • USA registered swimmers are encouraged to compete in at least 3 USA meet sessions during the season.

Goals

Same as Black Level, plus:

  • Grasp of sets and intervals.
  • Understanding the concept of Distance Per Stroke (DPS).
  • Ability to swim continuously for 15 minutes with proper turns at each end.
  • Be able to hold 6x50 free on 1:00.
  • Be able to hold 4x25s in each stroke on 0:30.
  • Hold legal proficiency for 5x50 in all strokes under 1:15.
  • Be able to complete a set of 4x100 free on 2:00 and a set of 4x100 IM on 2:30.
  • Be able to complete a 200 free in under 3:00.
  • Ability to compete in USA IMX events (e.g., 200 free, 200 IM, and 100 stroke distance events).
  • Continue development of competent body position.
  • Beginning to understand pace and race strategy.
  • Work towards strong kicking ability.
  • Be able to read pace clock and sets without coaches aid.

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Yellow Level

Swimmers in the Yellow Level are typically older grade school and early middle school kids who have achieved solid competency in all strokes and most events. The focus of the Yellow Level program is on refining technique and building endurance. In support of that, all practices in the Yellow Levels are 90 minutes and include dryland training.Coaching at these levels transitions to all on-deck.

Swimmers at this level are expected to demonstrate commitment to their development through strong attendance, excellent listening skills and practice discipline. They are encouraged to participate in USA Swimming as a way to get access to more meets, higher level competition, and the opportunity to compete in longer distance events.

Focus

  • Equal between developing advanced stroke technique & advanced training skills.
  • Develop goal-setting skills.

Required Skills

  • Grasp of sets and intervals.
  • Understanding the concept of Distance Per Stroke (DPS).
  • Ability to read a pace clock and sets without coach aid.
  • Ability to swim continuously for 15 minutes with proper turns at each end.
  • Be able to hold 6x50 free on 1:00
  • Be able to hold 4x25s in each stroke on 0:30
  • Hold legal proficiency for 5x50 in all strokes under 1:15.
  • Complete a set of 4x100 free on 2:00.
  • Complete a set of 4x100 IM on 2:30
  • Be able to complete 200 free in under 3:00.
  • Ability to compete in USA IMX events (e.g., 200 free, 200 IM, and 100 stroke distance events)

Workout Commitment

  • Minimum (2) 1.5-hour practices per week.
  • Maximum (5) 1.5-hour practices per week.

Competition Commitment

  • Attend all CPAL dual meets.
  • Attend Team championship meets.

Goals

  • Compete in the 200 free and/or 200 IM event once in the season.
  • Be able to hold 5x100 free on 1:30.
  • Be able to hold 5x100 IM on 1:45
  • Be able to hold 6x50 stroke on 0:50
  • Be able to hold 6x50 free on 0:45
  • Be able to complete 200 free in under 2:30
  • Continue to work towards strong kicking ability.
  • Refinement of starts and turns to “high school ready” level.
  • Ability to compete in 200 stroke events, 500 free, and 400 IM.
  • Ability to understand pace and race strategy.
  • Begin rigorous dryland training and stretching routine.
  • Qualify for CPAL All-Star Meet.
  • Obtain 2-3 USA “A” or higher times.
  • Be IMX Ready within 6 months of joining group.
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Yellow Advanced

Yellow Advanced Level swimmers are typically in upper middle school, have been swimming for several years, and are now fully proficient in all strokes. Their training is preparing them for the demands of high school swimming. Advanced level are swimmers looking to further training and competition commitments.

Swimmers at this level are expected to demonstrate commitment to their development through strong attendance, excellent listening skills and practice discipline. They are encouraged to participate in USA Swimming as a way to get access to more meets, higher level competition, and the opportunity to compete in longer distance events.

Focus

  • Equal between developing advanced stroke technique & advanced training skills.
  • Develop goal-setting skills.

Required Skills

  • Full grasp of sets and intervals.
  • Understanding of pace and race strategy.
  • Ability to read a pace clock and sets without coach aid.
  • Understanding the concept of Distance Per Stroke (DPS).
  • Ability to compete in 2 of the 200 stroke distance events, 500 free and 400 IM.
  • Be able to hold 4x25s in each stroke on 0:30.
  • Be able to hold 5x100 free on 1:30 or under.
  • Be able to hold 5x100 IM on 1:45
  • Be able to hold 6x50 stroke on 0:50
  • Be able to hold 6x50 free on 0:45
  • Be able to complete 200 free in under 2:30
  • Ability to swim continuously for 30 minutes with proper turns at each end.
  • Ability to compete in USA IMX events (e.g., 200 free, 200 IM, and 100 stroke distance events).

Workout Commitment

  • Minimum (3) 1.5-hour practices per week.
  • Maximum (5) 1.5-hour practices per week.

Competition Commitment

  • Attend all CPAL dual meets.
  • Attend Team championship meets.
  • Compete in a minimum of 4 USA meet sessions per season.

Goals

  • Ability to compete in 200 stroke events.
  • Compete in 400 IM, 500 free, and one other long distance event per season.
  • Be able to hold 5x100 free on 1:20 or under.
  • Be able to hold 5x100 IM on 1:30 or under.
  • Be able to hold 6x50 stroke on 0:45 or under.
  • Be able to complete 200 free in under 2:15.
  • Achieve strong kicking ability.
  • Refinement of starts and turns to “high school ready” level.
  • Ability to understand pace and race strategy.
  • Begin rigorous dryland training and stretching routine.
  • Qualify for CPAL All-Star Meet.
  • USA IMX qualified within 6 months of joining group.
  • Obtain 2-3 USA “JO/Senior Champ” times.

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Green Level

For high school swimmers, the program’s focus shifts to supporting their success in the pool while allowing for flexibility around increased demands from other commitments such as academics, college preparation, jobs, etc. Swimmers at this level are strongly encouraged to participate in USA Swimming as a way to get access to more meets, higher level competition, and the opportunity to compete in longer distance events. This is especially important for swimmers seeking to register nationally recognized times in a more complete and well rounded portfolio of events for college recruiters.

Focus

  • Equally developing highly advanced stroke technique & highly advanced training skills.
  • Highest Level of Commitment and Workout Ability.
  • Mature, Dedicated, Responsible, & Dependable.
  • Must maintain good academic standing.
  • Positive role model for younger swimmers.

Required Skills

  • Ability to complete a 90-minute practice.
  • Commitment to attending practice regularly.
  • Strong understanding of intervals, sets, pace and race strategy, and “swimming language.”
  • Ability to compete in 200 free, 200 IM and 100 stroke distance events.
  • Be able to hold 5x100 Free on 1:20 or under.
  • Be able to hold 5x100 IM on 1:45 or under.
  • Be able to hold 6x50 stroke on 0:50 or under.
  • Be able to hold 6x50 free on 0:45 or under.
  • Be able to complete 200 free in under 2:15
  • Read a pace clock and sets without coach aid.

Workout Commitment (with LPAC)

During High School Pre-season:

  • Min (1) practice per week.
  • Max (5) practices per week.

During high school season:

  • Min (0) practices per week.
  • Max (5) practices per week.

Competition Commitment

  • Compete in a minimum of 3 CPAL dual meets.
  • Preference to meet attendance will always be deferred to high school meets being the top priority attendance.

Goals

  • Compete in the 200 free and 200 IM event once in the season.
  • Build a strong work ethic, endurance, and commitment.
  • Develop long term goals for the sport, beyond high school age.
  • Become adequately prepared for swimming post-high school graduation.
  • Ability to understand pace and race strategy.
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Green Advanced

For high school swimmers, the program’s focus shifts to supporting their success in the pool while allowing for flexibility around increased demands from other commitments such as academics, college preparation, jobs, etc. Swimmers at this level are strongly encouraged to participate in USA Swimming as a way to get access to more meets, higher level competition, and the opportunity to compete in longer distance events. This is especially important for swimmers seeking to register nationally recognized times in a more complete and well rounded portfolio of events for college recruiters.

Green Advanced is our top level for Age Group and High School swimmers. This level is for experienced swimmers who are seeking higher level of competition and who are committed to highest standards of training in terms of attendance, practice intensity and degree of execution.

Focus

  • Equally developing highly advanced stroke technique & highly advanced training skills.
  • Highest Level of Commitment and Workout Ability.
  • Mature, Dedicated, Responsible, & Dependable.
  • Must maintain good academic standing.
  • Positive role model for younger swimmers.

Required Skills

  • Ability to complete a 90-minute practice.
  • Commitment to attending practice regularly.
  • Commitment to trying new and different events.
  • Strong understanding of intervals, sets, pace and race strategy, and “swimming language”.
  • Ability to compete in 400 IM, distance free (500 and above), and 200 stroke events.
  • Be able to hold 5x100 free on 1:05 or under.
  • Be able to hold 5x100 IM on 1:20 or under.
  • Be able to hold 8x50 stroke on 0:45 or under.
  • Be able to complete 200 free in under 2:10.
  • Be able to complete 200 IM in under 2:20.
  • Be 50% towards the goal of IMX qualification.
  • Read a pace clock and sets without coach aid.

Workout Commitment (with LPAC)

During High School Pre-season:

  • Min (1) practice per week.
  • Max (5) practices per week.

During high school season:

  • Min (1) practices per week.
  • Max (5) practices per week.

Competition Commitment

  • Compete in a minimum of 3 CPAL dual meets.
  • Preference to meet attendance will always be deferred to high school meets being the top priority attendance.
  • Compete in a minimum of 4 USA swim meet sessions per season.

Goals

  • Compete in 400 IM, 500 free, and one long distance event per season.
  • Be IMX qualified.
  • Build a strong work ethic, endurance, and commitment.
  • To develop long term goals for the sport, beyond high school age.
  • To become adequately prepared for collegiate swimming over a four year period.
  • Gain a full understanding of race strategy and/or pacing and to work independently if necessary.
  • Continue rigorous dryland training and stretching routine.
  • Obtain 4-5 USA “A” or higher times, and qualify for Senior Champs in 2-3 events while working towards obtaining Sectional cut times.
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High School Open Program

LPAC’s High School Open Program is designed to give high school swimmers flexibility and guidance from coaches they can relate to and who understand local high school and college swimming from their perspective. Participants in this program use either their existing Family or Individual Friendship Center membership, or purchase - directly from the Friendship Center - a low cost, LPAC-exclusive Friendship Center Individual Youth Membership for access to the lap lanes whenever it’s most convenient for them, from September through the end of the CPAL and PIAA seasons

Throughout the season, designated LPAC coaches will:

  • Meet individually with the swimmer periodically to:
    • Create and maintain an Individualized Development Plan.
    • Help set appropriate goals.
    • Provide guidance on high school swimming experience.
    • Provide guidance for evaluating and applying to college programs.
    • Lead groups of participants on trips to college meets to meet and speak to college coaches (within applicable NCAA and PIAA rules).
  • Oversee practices and provide feedback during LPAC’s Yellow level practices.
  • Provide swimmers with workouts to complete on their own schedule as necessary.

All LPAC High School Open Program participants are expected to swim CPAL meets for LPAC.

High School Open Program, Pre Season: September – the beginning of high school season.

This program is a low cost option to practice prior to the PIAA season from September through mid-November for swimmers who expect to get all of the work they need during the PIAA season in their high school program. As Open Program participants they can practice at any time. They will be supported by LPAC coaches staffing our Yellow and Black Advanced Level practices during the Pre Season period.

High School Open Program Full Season: Full CPAL Season, September – February.

This program is for high school swimmers seeking maximum flexibility and more club team support during their high school season and career. They will be supported by LPAC coaches staffing our Yellow Level practices throughout the season. 

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