Welcome to the Novice page!
The Novice levels are the first steps into competitive swimming. Novice entails an advanced and extensive teaching process where swimmers will not only learn all 4 strokes but be introduced to more advanced competitive skills such as flip turns, streamlines and dives.
A large portion of practice time is spent on skill work and children will definitely build up their endurance in these groups. If your child is in swimming lessons (traditional swim levels) and looking for more, consider this entry level to competitive swimming.
Coaches in charge of novice are highly qualified and always look forward to having fun with the swimmers while helping them develop. Once swimmers meet certain criteria established by coaches, they are promoted to our Level 1 groups.
The novice season runs from September to June with new members being welcome throughout the season. First, to ensure you get signed up in the appropriate group, please sign-up for a free assessment. CLICK HERE for details on assessments. For those swimmers recommended for novice, the novice registration package can be found HERE.
To take part in the novice program, children must be able to pass the lifeguard test to swim in the deep end; the test is 2 widths of continuous recognizable front crawl. If this is not the case or questionable, your child could benefit from HAC’s Olympic Way Program (OWAY).
HAC Novice program has 2 levels: N2 and N3. N2's swim twice a week and is the starting point for our Olympic Way graduates and new swimmers recommended to novice through an assessment. Upon the coach's recommendation, N2 swimmers can graduate to become N3 swimmers by adding a weekend practice for 3 practices a week. We encourage attending as many practices as possible in order to improve and develop strokes. Learning and improving the level of swimming is maximized when swimmers are at practice more often.
There are different novice groups designated by colours to offer a variety of options. Please check the calendar and schedule page for the Novice schedules.
Please contact Melanie Price, the novice coordinator with any questions regarding the Novice Program.
New in 2017-18 season, N3s will be taking part in our competitive level home meets at McMaster with level 1 and up swimmers. This change will benefit all of our novice; our more experienced N3 racers will expand their experience at the next level meets; and allows the focus at our "novice" circuit meets to be on our new/less experienced racers. The competitive meets do involve a fee (as noted in the individual meet packages but are typically around $10 per race). To simplify administration and handling of meet fees, an annual meet fee is determined and included in your total fees. Actual meet fees are tracked during the season and any balance will be credited or owed at the end of the season.
N2s are encouraged, but not required, to participate in one or more of our novice swim meets a season. Our meet circuit with Oakville, Brantford and Cambridge offers our novice 7 meets to compete in during the season.
The novice meet circuit introduces children to swim competitions with the focus on personal improvement to earn Best Time ribbons. Every time our swimmers beat their previously best time they receive a Best Time ribbon for their accomplishment. The first time swimming an event means an automatic best time ribbon and gives them a time to aim on improving next time.
Meets are great for the race experience, team bonding and fun. They are a way to see the practice payoff and for gauging improvements. For the meets, we suggest swimmers have an extra towel and clothing to put on between events, some light snacks and drinking water. And get ready to cheer!
Swim meet schedule, entries and results will be posted on the Meet Details page.
Coaches submit entries to meets approximately 2 weeks in advance; rsvp’s for attendance at a meet is required.
HAC Novice Equipment needs:
In Novice, the equipment needs are fairly basics: a swimsuit, goggles, fins/flippers and a towel.
Swimsuits – A competitive style swimsuit is preferred (over a beach style suit) Polyester suits last longer than suits with lycra.
Goggles – are highly recommended! There are so many different types & it can be hard to find ones that work for your child; if you can, bring your child with you to try them on. Ones with adjustable nose pieces can be helpful in finding the right fit. Good straps that can be easily tightened and stay in position are other things to look for.
Fins – swim fins or flippers will help our novice swimmers stabilize while working on drills and technique. These short blade SPEEDO fins are a great option.
Caps – For practice, most girls and boys with longer hair wear them, it protects the hair from chlorine and also keeps hair out of the face. Those who don’t wear them for practice may choose to wear them for meets. Silicone vs Latex – Silicone is more expensive and more durable. It is also tighter, less stretchy and retains more heat. Either cap is fine and your preference; some use one kind for practice and another for meets.
Water bottles – it may not feel like it, but we sweat while swimming; bringing a water bottle to sip from between sets or for after practice is a good habit to begin.
Team Gear – Please see the HAC Equipment page for Team Gear to wear at meets or out and about in the community as a proud HAC member.
Coach Melanie's Message Board
We are getting excited to start the new 2017-18 season
It starts on September 11th
We hope you'll join us and start the season with a SPLASH!
Read all about our 2016-17 Novice season:
Swimmers of the Month!
April - Most improved dives:
March - IM turns:
February - IM strokes:
January - Flipturns:
December - Dives:
November - Freestyle:
October - Kicking:
September - Streamline: