How to Conduct Tryouts for a Swimming Club

Swimming Club
Conducting Tryouts for a Swimming Club

Conducting tryouts for a swimming club is an important process that helps you assess the skills and potential of new swimmers. This ensures that you maintain a high standard of performance and create a balanced team. Here are some tips on how to conduct effective tryouts for your swimming club.


Conducting Tryouts for a Swimming Club
How to Conduct Tryouts for a Swimming Club

1. Plan Ahead

Preparation is key to a successful tryout. Here are some steps to help you plan:

  • Set a Date and Time: Choose a date and time that works for most potential members. Weekends or late afternoons are usually convenient.
  • Notify Prospective Swimmers: Advertise the tryout details through social media, your club’s website, local schools, and community centers. Provide clear information about the requirements and what to expect.
  • Prepare the Facility: Ensure the pool and surrounding areas are clean and safe. Arrange necessary equipment like stopwatches, lane ropes, and score sheets in advance.

2. Create a Tryout Outline

Having a structured plan for the tryout session helps keep everything organized. Your outline should include:

  • Warm-Up: Start with a 10-15 minute warm-up to help swimmers loosen up and get comfortable in the water.
  • Skill Assessment: Design specific drills to assess each swimmer’s skills. Focus on:
    • Freestyle: Observe their technique, breathing, and speed.
    • Backstroke: Look at their body position, arm movement, and turn efficiency.
    • Breaststroke: Pay attention to their timing, kick, and glide.
    • Butterfly: Check their rhythm, power, and recovery.
  • Endurance Test: Include a timed swim, such as a 200m or 400m freestyle, to evaluate stamina.
  • Diving and Turns: Assess their ability to perform starts and turns efficiently.

3. Gather a Team of Evaluators

Having multiple evaluators ensures a fair and comprehensive assessment. Your team might include:

  • Head Coach: Oversees the entire process and makes final decisions.
  • Assistant Coaches: Help with timing, observing technique, and taking notes.
  • Experienced Swimmers: Can assist with drills and provide additional feedback.

4. Conduct the Tryouts

On the day of the tryout, follow these steps to ensure everything runs smoothly:

  • Welcome and Briefing: Greet the swimmers and parents. Provide an overview of the tryout process and answer any questions.
  • Warm-Up Session: Guide the swimmers through a structured warm-up.
  • Skill Assessment: Conduct the drills and timed swims as planned. Make sure each evaluator takes detailed notes on each swimmer.
  • Cool Down: Allow time for a brief cool-down session after the assessments.

5. Evaluate Performance

After the tryout, gather your team to review the evaluations. Consider the following factors:

  • Technique: Look for swimmers with good form and efficient strokes.
  • Endurance: Consider their ability to maintain performance over longer distances.
  • Attitude: Assess their behavior, sportsmanship, and willingness to learn.
  • Potential: Identify swimmers who may need some development but show promise.

6. Communicate Results

Once you have made your selections, inform all participants of the results:

  • Accepted Swimmers: Send a welcome email or letter with details about the first practice, club rules, and necessary equipment.
  • Non-Accepted Swimmers: Provide constructive feedback and encourage them to try again in the future. Offer suggestions for improvement and recommend joining beginner or intermediate programs.

7. Follow-Up

After the tryouts, ensure a smooth transition for new members:

  • Orientation: Host an orientation session for new swimmers and their parents. Discuss club expectations, training schedules, and upcoming events.
  • Mentorship: Pair new swimmers with experienced members to help them acclimate to the club environment.


Conducting tryouts for a swimming club requires careful planning, structured assessment, and fair evaluation. By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth and effective tryout process that identifies talented swimmers and helps them integrate into your club successfully. This not only enhances your team’s performance but also fosters a positive and supportive club culture.

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