Training Groups


The Piranha Swim Team incorporates the following training groups into it’s competitive swim program.  The group a swimmer trains with is determined by commitment, age, ability and experience. Coaches place all swimmers in training groups. At the discretion of the coaching staff, swimmers may move groups within a given season. I ask that you do not make requests. 

Specific attendance requirements and suggestions for each training group are included in the training group descriptions below. A swimmer’s promotion and improvement is contingent on commitment.  Age and ability are a distant second and third on the list of reasons for promotion. Although we try to keep swimmers grouped by age, eventually a swimmer’s lack of attendance and dedication to the Team will catch up with him/her in many ways. Swimmers who are committed and attend practice as outlined for their group will find themselves rewarded in their advancement through the training groups, their development as a swimmer and improvement in their times.

Bronze – 3 sessions/45min

The Bronze level consists of 9/under swimmers who are new to the Piranhas and have some swimming experience. Swimmers in this group are legal in all four competitive strokes; freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly, must know how to dive and do an in-water flip. Bronze swimmers will focus on stroke technique and learn the basics of competitive swimming, team spirit and fun. The Coaching Staff recommends these swimmers attend at least two practices per week.

Silver – 4 sessions/60min

Silver swimmers are year round swimmers who have some competitive swimming experience. This group will focus on stroke technique, swimming all four strokes and simple sets. The goal of this group is to have fun while learning about competitive swimming. The Coaching Staff recommends that these swimmers attend three or more workouts per week.

Gold II – 5 sessions/60-75min

Gold II swimmers are generally 10-13 year old experienced swimmers. These swimmers will focus on stroke technique, interval training, competition and fun. The Coaching Staff recommends that these swimmers attend four workouts per week.  

Gold I – 5 sessions/75-90min

Gold I swimmers are generally 12 years of age and older who have exhibited the necessary maturity and experience to handle the increase in training.  Younger swimmers who are Age Group Qualifiers or very close may be invited into this training group. This group will focus on building an aerobic training base, continued work on technique and building strength. The goal of this group is to develop and demonstrate the necessary dedication and skills development to earn promotion to one of the other top groups. The Coaching Staff recommends that these swimmers attend at least 4 workouts per week to advance to a higher group. 

P105 and 120

The groups outlined below are the highest training groups offered and require increased dedication and commitment to the sport of swimming. The increase in intensity and focus in these groups is not for everyone and Coach Jason will only extend invitations after proven commitment and a conversation with the swimmer about their goals for swimming.

P105 (Piranha 105)

The group name is derived from the average time this group will train, 105 minutes on average.  This group of athletes are experienced swimmers who are focusing on attaining the necessary skills and maturity to advance to the top Piranha training group. Conditioning will become more of a focus while stroke technique will continue to play a major role.  Dry-land sessions will be available as long as they are utilized.  The Coaching Staff recommends these swimmers attend five workouts per week to receive optimal training and have the opportunity to develop the necessary strength and skills for continued development.

P120 (Piranha 120)

The group name is derived from the average time this group will train, 120 minutes on average.  The P120 training group is reserved for year round swimmers who have dedicated themselves to the sport of swimming and the Piranhas.  A swimmer in this group must demonstrate he/she is socially, mentally and physically mature enough to handle demands of an elite swimming program. This group is the highest level of swimming offered by the Darien YMCA. These swimmers receive the most practice time and resources the Piranhas have to offer and they work directly with the Head Coach. P120 swimmers are 13/overs who are invited into the group at the Head Coach’s discretion.   Please see the note in italics above for additional information.  Swimmers in this group, regardless of ability. will be expected to maintain a 90% attendance rate.  Swimmers in this group must be able to balance school and the rigors of “Senior” level training in order to stay in the group.