The developmental group and the competition group are the same team :)
The difference between them is swimming readiness level. Regardless of their designation, age, or practice group, all swimmers are full members of the Lopatcong Aquatic Club, and are invited to all team events (team parties, parent meetings, swim meets, and what ever else we decide to do).
How is swimming readiness level determined?
For our team's purposes, readiness level means ready to start competition racing.
Minimum criteria to be in the competition group:
1. Can swim one lap without stopping and/or grabbing the lane line or wall.
2. Can swim a competitive stroke (most likely traditional freestyle or backstroke). The stroke doesn't have to be pretty, but it at least has to be recognizable freestyle according to the coaches' judgment. Just kicking and floating on the back, swimming doggy paddle, or only under water between breaths won't cut it. We are looking for some above water arm coordination while moving across the pool.
3. Must be between 5-19 years of age (not beyond the first summer of high school graduation).
Minimum criteria to be in the developmental group:
1. Can hold breath under water for a slow 5 count.
2. Can float or tread water without assistance in the deep end for at least 20 seconds.
3. Can push off the wall in a prone position with two feet, glide for around 5 feet, head down, without holding the nose.
4. Seems like they want to be here and are willing to try different things in the pool.
5. Can move through the water on their own.
6. Must be between 5-10 years of age.
Note: The Development group practices are not designed as swim lessons.
For some kids we recommend swim lessons before joining. Please contact Lopatcong Township for swim lessons: www.lopatcongtwp.com
Of course, we may reach a limit to how many people we can accept, but so far, we have been able to accommodate in the past. If the developmental group is recommended, they start to attend practice when we move outdoors in June. Developmental group practices are usually held Monday - Thursday for a 1/2 hour each day.
Team and pool fees are the same as the competitive group.The goal for all developmental group members is to make enough progress to compete in at least one meet by the end of the season. This really depends on the swimmer's development though. Ideally, we would like to see every swimmer spend no more than 1-2 seasons on the developmental group, but there is no guarantee and it always comes down to swimmer progress and readiness.