Consistent practice attendance will play a key role in your child's success at every level of the DART program.  Each group in the DART program is offered a practice schedule that is appropriate for the age, and skill level of the swimmers in the group. If you want to get the most out of the program and maximize your child's opportunity to improve, consistent attendance at practice is ideal.  The DART coaching staff has provided some guidelines for each training group within Swim Groups section of the website for those swimmers who are unable to attend 100% of the practices due to other activities or commitments.



What about burnout?  Will practicing every day cause my child to burnout?


Burnout is a term that is improperly used in most cases.  I would suspect that any of us would be hard pressed to honestly explain how putting a young person in an environment where they are learning and mastering skills, spending time with teammates and coaches who care about them, and exercising daily is cause for burnout.

"Burnout" typically occurs when swimmers stop getting faster at a rate that keeps them excited about competing.  With that said, we find very few swimmers who are getting faster and talking about "burnout" at the same time. There are a variety of good reasons for these "plateau" periods and the key to navigating through them is good communication between athletes and coaches. 

Coaches spend a lot of time helping their athletes keep their competitive results and training in perspective.  In fact, it is often during the times of struggling that the young person will learn the most valuable lessons the sport has to offer them. 
“Burn-out” became a popular term in the 70’s and 80’s when yardage based swimming was popular vs. technical and speed related training.  Our program is based around great technique instead of huge volumes of yardage.

While there are certainly real instances of "burnout" in the sport, they are very rare.  The DART coaching staff is committed to working with each swimmer on the team through the ups and downs the competitive swimming career has to offer.  If you are concerned about "burnout", please feel free to contact your child's primary coach to discuss the matter more thoroughly. 


Can my child play other sports and swim for DART?


The short answer is yes.  However, we do have guidelines for swimmers at different levels of the program to consider when they are planning to participate in another sport.

10&under swimmers
We do not discourage our swimmers from participating in other sports in this age group.  In some cases it may even enhance athletic ability and overall physical development.  We do encourage our swimmers to continue to swim while participating in the other sport instead of taking time off so that their swimming skills do not regress significantly. We also ask our swimmers to consider our competitive calendar (especially the team focus meets) when making commitments to competitive events offered by the other sport. 


11-13 year old swimmers
This age range includes a vital "window" of time for the aerobic development of a swimmer.  Swimmers who have any kind of long term goals in the sport such as national level swimming or swimming in college should be very wary of activities that take them away from consistent training during these ages.  While additional sports are not necessarily frowned upon at this stage, the decisions that will shape how far the swimmer progresses in the sport are certainly made during this time frame in most cases.  

14-18 year olds
Swimmers who have the talent and commitment levels necessary for upper level success in swimming are typically committed to excluding other sports from their schedule at this point.  However, there are many swimmers at this age who still want to compete in club swimming while experiencing other sports and activities offered at the high school level.  Davis will not discourage them from doing so and our coaching staff will be supportive as they make these decisions during their latter high school years.