Somerset Valley YMCA Swim Team Programs
Winter Swim Team
Somerset Valley YMCA sponsors a winter swim team. Our team competes in dual meets with other YMCA’s, and in YMCA and USA Swimming invitational and championship meets. USA Swimming is the national governing body for swimming in the country. All winter swim team members must belong to USA Swimming. Team fees for the winter team include membership dues for both USA Swimming and YMCA swimming.
The winter swim team program begins in September and runs through March or April. Meets are run on the weekends, with an occasional Friday for some high level meets. Swim meets begin October, and for those who qualify, end with YMCA Nationals in April. A swimmer’s last day is determined by their last meet. Swimmers wanting to stay in shape and improve their skills between seasons should look for our Stroke Clinics, offered in April and August.
Swimmers on the winter team are expected to attend the six dual meets scheduled on Saturdays between November and January and the YMCA and USA championship meets they qualify for in February and March. Swimmers are expected to miss no more than 1 regularly scheduled practice per week.
This program requires a tryout for people who were not on the winter team at the end of the previous season. Tryouts are held in August. During the tryout, swimmers will be asked to demonstrate the competitive strokes, Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Butterfly (relative to age and ability level). We will also look at their starts (dives) and turns. Swimmers 7 years of age and older who can swim freestyle and backstroke are encouraged to tryout. Although we would like to take everyone, the team is limited to a set amount of swimmers due to lane space and time restrictions. A letter will be sent home in August to let you know the results of the tryout.
Per YMCA National Policy, swim team members on the winter team are required to be Full Privilege members of the Somerset Valley YMCA. The membership fee is in addition to the fee for the swim team program. Swimmers must acquire their membership by September 1st, and the membership must remain current throughout the entire season.
Members of the winter team must establish and maintain a meet fee account. Meet fee accounts are established for each swimmer to pay for their entry into the invitational and championship meets that they attend. Any balance in the account may be refunded at the end of the season.
Volunteers are needed to run the swim meets. Some jobs require training (Official, timing system operator), and other jobs are trained onsite. (Timer, runner, ribbon writer) At the beginning of the season, parents are asked which jobs they would prefer to do. Efforts will be made by the parent coordinators to place people in their preferred jobs and provide any necessary training. Every family is expected to work their assigned meets, or find a substitute to work the job. We are encouraged by the state and national offices to have as many parents trained to become certified officials as possible. This is a great way to gain functional knowledge of the sport, help out the team and at the same time become closer with your swimmer.
SVY hosts several meets during the winter season. These hosted meets are the primary fundraiser for the team. Families may be expected to work at these meets even if their swimmer is not participating.
Summer Long Course Swim Team
The long course program is a high level competitive program for swimmers ages 9 – 19. The season begins the first week of May and runs through the end of July. Weekday practices for the long course team are held in the afternoon and evening at Bridgewater and Hillsborough until school ends. After school is finished for the year, all practices are held in the morning. Swimmers who cannot attend these morning practices may attend an evening practice in our Bridgewater facility.
There are no dual meets for the long course team. Swimmers attend invitational meets on Saturday and Sunday during June and July. For swimmers who qualify, the YMCA Long Course Nationals are held during the last week in July. Swimmers qualifying for USA Zones will swim through the first week in August.SVY will be given timing assignments at the invitational meets and parents will be assigned to time on a rotating basis.
Like the winter team, the long course team requires a tryout. Tryouts for the summer long course team are held in April.
USA Swimming membership is required for all long course swimmers. Swimmers who participated with the Somerset Valley YMCA swim team on the preceding winter team already have this membership. Swimmers new to the Somerset Valley swim team, or transfers from another program will need to pay for the USA Swimming membership or a transfer fee.
All swimmers in the long course swim team program must have a full privileged Somerset Valley YMCA membership by the start of the summer season (May 1st). The membership must be current throughout the entire summer season. This membership is in addition to any team fees.
Meet Fees account:
All swimmers in the long course must maintain a meet fee account. For swimmers that participated on the winter team, this is the same meet fee account. New members must establish this account. This money is used to pay entry fees for invitational and championship meets.
SVY hosts one or two meets during the summer long course season. These hosted meets are the primary fundraiser for the team. Families enrolled on the long course team will be expected to work at these meets even if their swimmer is not participating.
Summer Short Course Swim Team
Bridgewater Blue Dolphins
The short course summer program is open to anyone ages 6 – 19 who can swim at least 25 yards Freestyle and Backstroke. Swimmers must try-out for this program, generally in early-mid April. The coaching staff reserves the right to put swimmers into appropriate practice groups for their skill level. This program practices at our Hillsborough location from June through July. It is STRONGLY recommended that swimmers sign up for the 6 week Spring Clinic which runs prior to the summer Short Course Program.
The short course program is a fun, low intensity program. Swimmers will compete in dual meets with other outdoor summer clubs throughout Central NJ. The league schedule allows for 8 dual meets and one championship meet during the season. Swimmers work in practice to improve their skills and endurance, and they will progress at their own pace. Meets are held on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings beginning in late June and continuing through the end of July.
All swimmers in the summer short course swim team programs must have a full privileged Somerset Valley YMCA membership. The membership must be current throughout the entire summer season. This membership is in addition to any team fees.
Volunteers are needed to run the summer dual meets. Because of the number of volunteers required, families will be assigned to work on a rotating basis. Some jobs require training (Official, timing system operator), and other jobs are trained onsite (Timer, runner, ribbon writer). At the beginning of the season, parents are asked which jobs they would prefer to do. Efforts will be made by the team coordinators to place parents in their preferred jobs and provide any necessary training. Every family is expected to work their assigned meets, or find a substitute to work the job.
The YMCA runs several clinics during the year to help swimmers improve their competitive skills. A YMCA membership is not required for these programs.
Two, two week long stroke clinics are offered each April in Bridgewater or Hillsborough. These clinics are two nights a week and are broken into groups by the swimmers age. They are open to swimmers 6 – 19 years old who can swim Freestyle and Backstroke, and focus on all competitive strokes and skills.
A 3 week long stroke clinic is offered in Bridgewater in August of each year. This program is run in a similar manner to that of two week clinics held in April. A YMCA membership is not required for the clinic.
Spring Clinic (for swimmers that choose NOT to swim Long Course):
The Spring Clinic is a six week long program which runs from April through the end of May. This program is recommended for all Short Course summer swimmers, but it is open to anyone ages 6 – 19 who can swim Freestyle and Backstroke. (Note: It is not available for our Long Course summer swimmers because the practice times will conflict.) Swimmers are separated into groups by age and work on the competitive strokes of Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Butterfly. They will also work on starts, turns, finishes, and transitions. It is a great way to get ready for a summer team. A YMCA membership is not required for the clinic.
High School Clinic:
The YMCA offers a clinic for high school swimmers who do not swim with a club team. This clinic runs after school from September through November until high school practices begin. Swimmers will work on improving all of their competitive strokes and skills. They will also work on their endurance to prepare them for their high school season. A YMCA membership is not required for the clinic.