ABOUT MAKO SWIM TEAM
The Cape Cod YMCA Mako Swim team is a competitive swim team for children from ages 6 to 18. The seasons are divided into 2 parts; the winter or “short course” season which extends from mid-September until approximately April 1st. The 2nd part is the summer or “long course” season, which extends from mid-April until approximately August 1st.
The Makos have had a long history of success producing many outstanding swimmers including league, New England and National Champions and well as successful college swimmers from division 3 through division 1.
The reason for our success is the emphasis on proper stroke technique along with the smaller size of our team. All swimmers who join the Makos are schooled in proper technique before they begin extensive training in order to maximize their potential and reduce possible repetitive injuries. Groups are separated by skill level instead of age. The first level is novice which is designed to teach all 4 competitive strokes; butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle. Novice groups meet 3 times per
week for 1 hour. Once the basics are mastered, children move to Age Group where there are further technique refinement and an element of training introduced. Age Group is available for one hour 5 days per week. The next level is Junior where technique refinement continues along with increased conditioning. The ultimate purpose of the Junior Group is to prepare swimmers for the Senior Group level. The Junior Group meets 5 days per week for 1½ hours. Once they are ready, swimmers advance to the Senior Group for more technique refinement along with challenging workouts in keeping with other serious programs. The Senior Group has training available for 7 workouts per week. The top group is National. To qualify for the National Group, a swimmer must qualify for the YMCA Nationals. This group holds 8 practices per week.
The Makos begin the season with an intra-squad meet in mid-October and then proceed with approximately 6 dual meets and several specialty meets through the year. Conference championships are held in early March . For those who qualify, there are the New England as well as National Championships. The Makos also participate in USA swimming, which is open to better swimmers who seek a higher level of competition in a broader array of events.
In addition to swimming the Makos offer a number of social events where children get to enjoy each other outside of the training atmosphere. These include a beach picnic in August, fall cook out, wave pool party, Splash for Cash and our annual awards banquet. The Makos also support a charity every year to encourage social responsibility.
To qualify for the Makos, a swimmer must try out so he or she can be evaluated as to their stroke skills. For a novice, swimmers should be able to do freestyle and backstroke with proper body position and rotary breathing in the freestyle. Swimmers must also know how to do a correct head first dive. Swimmers not able to meet this level are encouraged to participate in lessons first. A pre-Mako stroke clinic is available for swimmers who are close to qualifying. The required qualifying distance is a function of age. 8 and under need only complete 25 yds of each stroke, 9 through 12 should be able to complete 50 yards and 13 and over 100 yards. Although not mandatory, swimmers should have a knowledge of breaststroke and butterfly. For younger children, it is important they possess the maturity to enable them to pay attention for an hour. Qualifying standards may change from year to year as determined by the coaches. The final decision as to whether a child can qualify for the Makos is at the sole discretion of the coaches.
At the YMCA we believe that a strong program builds young people emphasizing youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.
For further information, call Mako Program Director Rod Norman at 508-362-6500 x 103.