Athlete Tiers

If you have not met any para standards, are new to swimming, are learning the basics of the sport, and/or only training and competing seasonally...

Then you are a Recreational level swimmer

Next steps:

1. Join a team

2. Learn about and consider applying for national classification

3. Progress to complete 50m swims safely and legally

4. Strive for Can-Am standards

Best swim meets:

1. Local club or school meets with home team

2. Recreational level para meet or para open event

Best camps / clinics:

1. Intro to Para Swimming Clinic

2. Stroke Clinic at Fred Lamback Disability Meet: August, GA

3. Any "able-body" camp or clinic

If you have questions:

Contact Nathan Manley or Calli Doggett

Nathan.Manley@usopc.org

Calli.Doggett@usopc.org

If you are nationally classified, have met a Can-Am standard in your assigned sport class, and are training with a competitive swim program and competing in meets...

Then you are a Can-Am level swimmer.

Next steps for you:

1. Consider joining a year-round program

2. Establish goals with coach, strive for an Emerging standard

3. Learn skills & strategies for competing

4. Identify areas for growth including "hidden training" like sleep & nutrition

Best swim meets:

1. Local club and/or school meets with home team

2. Recreational para events, para open events, Can-Am/Nationals and potentially even a trials event

Best camps / clinics:

1. Intro to Para Swimming Clinic

2. Stroke Clinic at Fred Lamback Disability Meet: August, GA

Any "able-body" camp or clinic

If you have questions:

Contact Nathan Manley or Calli Doggett

Nathan.Manley@usopc.org

Calli.Doggett@usopc.org

If you have met an emerging standard, are swimming year-round, and are developing advanced skills both in & out of the pool which drive performance...

Then you are an Emerging Athlete

Next steps for you:

1. Learn about international classification

2. Communicate with U.S.P.S. staff regarding training, support services & competitions

3. Develop travel skills, consider obtaining a passport in anticipation of international travel

4. Develop training & competition plans with coach to attain national team standards

Best swim meets:

1. Higher-level para meets like nationals, Can-Am and/or World Para Swimming World Series event in the U.S.

2. Continue competing with you school or club program and at regional para events

Best Camps / Clinics 

1. Stroke clinic at a Para Open Series meet

2. May be invited to an emerging camp

3. Any "able-body" camp or clinic

If you have question:

Contact Peggy Ewald

If you have met a National C standard and/or have international classification...

Then you are a National C level athlete.

Next Steps for you:

1. Develop skills and systems for operating independently of your coach when necessary (ex. warm up/cool down effectively)

2. Promptly attend to U.S.P.S. communications

3. Work closely with your primary coach to establish training plans which will help you perform your best at events like trials and major international events if you are named to a team

Best swim meets:

1. Higher-level para meets like nationals, Can-Am and/or the World Para Swimming World Series events

2. Continue to compete with your school or club programs and regional para events

Best camps / clinics:

1. May be invited to a U.S.P.S. camp

2. Any "able-body" camp or clinic. 

If you have questions:

Contact Erin Popovich

Erin.Popovich@usopc.org

If you have met a National B standard and have systems for operating independently of your coach when necessary...

Then you are a National B level athlete.

Next steps:

1. Learn to use services available through U.S.P.S. like Sports Psych, Sports Med, Nutrition, Strength & Conditioning, recovery, race analysis, video analysis, and test sets

2. Work closely with your primary coach to establish training plans which will help you perform your best at events like trials and major international events if you are named to a team

Best swim meets:

1. Attend higher-level para meets like nationals, Can-Am and/or the World Para Swimming World Series events 

2. Continue to compete at your school and club competitions and regional para events

Best camps / clinics:

1. May be invited to a USPS camp

2. Any "able-body" camp or clinic

If you have questions:

Contact Queenie Nichols

Queenie.Nichols@usopc.org

If you have met a National A standard and are taking advantage of the service providers U.S.P.S. offers (sports nutrition, psych etc.)...

Then you are a National A level athlete or a National Elite A level athlete.

Next steps for you:

1. Work closely with your primary coach to establish training plans which will help you perform your best at events like trials and major international events if you are named to a team.

Best swim meets:

1. Attend higher-level para meets like nationals, Can-Ams and/or the World Para Swimming World Series events

2. Continue to compete at your school or club program competitions and regional para events

Best camps / clinics:

1. USPS camps - invite only

2. Any "able-body" camp or clinic

If you have questions:

Contact Queenie Nichols

Queenie.Nichols@usopc.org