Coach Jim’s Swim Blog:

JMSS Developmental and Pre-competitive Swim Program

The JMSS teaching philosophy is that each child is different and each child learns at their own pace. Learning the technical skills of swimming in a secure and positively reinforced environment requires that students be placed in small classes of similar abilities. This also promotes the social relationships that makes swimming a lifetime activity. Teaching the basic fundamentals of swimming and safety in and around the aquatic environment provides a foundation from which swimmers can build on in all levels of the JMSS developmental swim program. Each class level is integrally related to the previous level and the following level. Certain skills are emphasized at each class level and swimmers are allowed to progress from one class level to the next when they are able to correctly perform particular skills (see advancement standards below). Lesson plans take advantage of the power of repetition in a learning environment. Specific skills are repeated until they are performed properly (“properly” does not mean perfectly).

Develop, Refine, and Maintain

JMSS  is a skill-based program. An important aspect of the program is how swimmers are taught swimming skills. The first step in the teaching process is to develop the skill by improving the swimmer’s understanding of how to perform the skill correctly. The next step is to refine the skill by improving the swimmer’s proficiency at performing the skill.  Finally, the focus will be to maintain the skill by improving the swimmer’s consistency of performing the skill correctly. At each class level, swimmers will develop, refine, and maintain certain swimming skills.

Class Level Progression

Once students have fulfilled advancement standards for Seahorse 2 and Lionfish 2 (ages 3 through 5) or Stingray 1 & 2 (ages 6 through 12) it’s time to move on to the developmental level.  Here we offer two options; continue once a week classes in Swordfish (SF) for 30, 45 and 60 minutes, or join the Sailfish swim team.

SF levels 1 – 4 each emphasize a competitive swim stroke and at the same time refine the basic stroke technique learned from the previous class level.  We continue adding endurance and safety skills as students level up. This prepares your child for our high energy, fun and confidence building pre-competitive swim league (SF 5, 6 & 7) and competitive Sailfish swim team if so desired. Sailfish swim team sessions are offered year-round. To qualify for the program, swimmers must be able to swim 25 yards freestyle with side breathing and backstroke. Read more

Developmental Swim Objectives:

  • Develop, refine, and maintain basic competitive swimming skills in accordance with USA Swimming rules.
  • Provide a safe and fun learning environment.
  • Provide appropriate instruction to help improve each swimmer’s skill level.
  • Promote enjoyment of swimming and interest in competitive swimming.

Customer Expectations

Our customers, parents and swimmers, come from all over the metroplex from other swim schools, USA swim clubs, the YMCA and summer swim teams. The majority of them are interested in water safety, improving swimming skills, fitness, and experiencing a better quality of life. Parents and swimmers who enroll in the JMSS Developmental Pre-Competitive program can expect the following:

  • Consistency of instruction
  • Well trained, knowledgeable and enthusiastic instructors
  • Properly structured and constructive classes
  • Individual attention: Each swimmer receives appropriate instruction to improve his or her skill level
  • Safe and fun environment

Class Descriptions and Advancement Standards

Swordfish 1-7

Swordfish 1

Freestyle side breathing is the main focus with the goal of practicing comfort and control   swimming 30 feet across the pool. As students perfect their side-breathing skills more  stroke techniques are introduced to help refine the freestyle stroke.

Swordfish 2

Backstroke is introduced with attention to body position, arm stroke, kicking and developing a continuous motion. Continue to refine freestyle stroke by introducing bilateral breathing and stroke drills to boost proficiency.

Swordfish 3

The breaststroke kick and arms come together for a smooth, efficient stroke.  We introduce treading water; an important safety skill.  More endurance and technique drills are added to the freestyle and backstroke.

Swordfish 4

It’s time to learn the butterfly arms with the dolphin kicks.  Coach Jim’s proven methods of “crush the can, angel and bowing” are sure to provide an efficient butterfly stroke.  The underwater pull pattern for freestyle and backstroke are introduced to increase efficiency and propulsion.

Swordfish 5 (Pre-Competitive)

Class time increases from 30 to 45 minutes of swimming the 30ft width of the large pool.  Stroke refinement emphasis on lengthening each stroke by introducing drills that accommodate each competitive stroke.  Students learn how to perform streamline underwater push offs, open turns for all strokes while building endurance.

Swordfish 6 (Pre-Competitive)

This 60 minute class is offered once a week in the large pool 25 yard swim course. Swimmers have reached a fair degree of strength and endurance in freestyle and backstroke and may require further refinement in breaststroke and butterfly technique. Also, swimmers at this level have a fair understanding of the Freestyle flip turn.  Stroke refinement emphasis is on the recovery and finish of each stroke by introducing more of Coach Jim’s proven stroke drills.

Swordfish 7 (Pre-Competitive)

In this final level of the Pre-Competitive program, class is 60 minutes, once a week in a 25-yard swim course.  Swimmers have achieved a sufficient degree of endurance and strength in Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Butterfly. Stroke refinement emphasis is on the “catch” or beginning underwater phase of each stroke.

View advancement standards

Swimmer Evaluations

All swimmer evaluations are conducted by a JMSS supervisor or designated staff.

New Swimmers: Swimmers who have not participated in the Pre-Competitive program must be evaluated prior to enrollment. Placement evaluations are held every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at JMSS from 4:30 – 5:30 pm. Assessments are free and can be scheduled at the JMSS web site or by calling the front desk during normal business hours. Walk-in assessments are offered on a first come first serve basis.

Returning Swimmers: Swimmers joining the Pre-Competitive program should enroll for the class level they were assigned to at the end of their previous session. Swimmers who have not been in the program for 6 months or longer may attend a placement evaluation to determine their class level assignment prior to enrollment.

Current Swimmers: Supervisors will evaluate the swimmers in each class level during every session.