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Otters Youth Swim Team

Technique, Teamwork & Sportsmanship

YWCA Minneapolis’ Otters swim team is one of the best in the region. Since 1989, the Otters have been transforming novice swimmers into well-rounded athletes with a love and passion for the sport. Children involved with the Otters learn the value of acceptance, respect and community in a competitive, well-mannered swimming environment that pushes them to their full potential.

The Otters are led by a seasoned team of coaches dedicated to the development of young athletes as strong individuals — both in and out of the water. These swimming experts view competition as an opportunity to improve and bring out the best in others; a sentiment that cultivates excitement, progress and cooperation in Otters athletes.

Being an Otter is ultimately about pursuing your love of the sport of swimming while learning to set and achieve defined goals. Participating athletes will develop swimming and teamwork skills in collaborative environments as they prepare for meets and other standard competitions. Joining this group is a perfect way for young athletes to hone their craft while developing essential life skills — including teamwork, goal setting and embracing challenges as hard-earned opportunities.

Beginner & Advanced Youth Swimming

New swimmers or swimmers moving to a more competitive level will find a positive and encouraging atmosphere for enhancing their skills with YWCA’s Otters Youth Swim Team. In the novice group, Otters learn the fundamentals of competitive swimming and work with the coaching team to set productive goals. This introductory training establishes a rock-solid foundation of discipline and athletic competency to support each athlete’s continued success.

Next, Otters graduate into more advanced training groups — all of which are required to participate in meets at a rate of one meet every other month. These events help Otters test their progress against other talented swimmers in a positive and supportive competitive environment. Outside of competitive events, members will continue to hone their skills with help from the coaching team based on their goals and abilities.

As a YWCA Minneapolis Otter, your child will:

Otters Day Camps

During most school release days, the Otters swim team will be hosting day camps. Here, members can work with coaches to receive personalized training to improve their strokes and overall performance. During pool time, we will film each swimmer in action to evaluate stroke and perform dryland work. These sessions are the perfect opportunity for youth to do extra work on stroke elements they might be struggling with while bonding with their peers.

We also focus each camp session on a particular aspect of the sport — ranging from basic strokes to race prep, helping Otters improve in every aspect of the sport and understand the skills they’ll need to excel in swimming teams for kids.

In order to attend Otters day camps, swimmers must either be on the team, have passed Red Cross Level 4 training (or equivalent) or have attended an Otters tryout and received approval from the coaching team. Come and see how the Otters are improving the world of youth swimming, one athlete at a time.

There are currently no day camps scheduled.

How to Join the Otters Swim Team

Is your child ready to join one of the best youth swimming teams in the state? Then it’s time to look into team tryouts! Each candidate must participate in a swim team tryout before joining the Otters. This allows the coaching team to see your swimmer’s ability in person to determine whether they’re ready to participate in competitive youth swimming.

Tryouts only take around 10 to 15 minutes and are overseen by an experienced Otters coach. If your child isn’t quite prepared yet, the coach can offer helpful advice to assist them in improving. They can also give you more information on specific practice groups or YWCA swim lessons so your child can start to improve strokes, endurance and other key skills.

To learn more about the tryout process, be sure to visit the Otters website for specific dates, times and tryout locations. You can also connect with the Otters by emailing them at or calling 612-215-4224. This is a great way to find everything you need to know about the team’s values, athletes and event schedule.