Founded in 2017, the Fox Valley Riptides are a year-round competitive swim team offering high-quality professional coaching and technique instruction for children ages 5 and up. The goal of the Riptides is to provide every member an opportunity to improve swimming skills and achieve success at his or her level of ability, from novice to international competitor.

As a member of the Riptides, swimmers are provided physical, emotional, and intellectual skills that will last a lifetime, while learning the values of sportsmanship and teamwork.

The Seasons

  • Winter (short course): Runs from September to March and meets are held in a 25-yard pool.
  • Spring/Summer (long course): Runs from April to August and meets are held in a 50-meter pool.


Short course season tryout and tryout prep – Vaughan Atheltic Center

Prep class: August 1-2 from 4-5 p.m. (ages 5+)

Tryouts: August 3 from 5-7 p.m.

  • 5-5:45 p.m. for ages 10 & under
  • 6-6:45 p.m. for ages 11+

Tryouts for the Riptides Spring/Summer long course take place at Vaughan Athletic Center in March.

The Teams

Riptides uses a “progressive” age group program designed to develop the child physically, mentally, and emotionally in a systematic fashion. The early stages focus on participation, developing technical skills and creating a passion for the sport. Advanced stages introduce more rigorous physical and mental challenges to the training program.

Senior Elite (ages 12 and up) – The Senior Elite team is for the committed athlete, and continues to focus on all aspects of swimming, including technique, psychology, nutrition, and race strategy, in addition to its heavy training load and dry land exercises. Swimmers in this group train in preparation for the Illinois Swimming Championships, NASA, NCSA, and Futures.

Senior (ages 12 and up) – The Senior team is designed for the athlete who participates in many sports or activities, and those who want to maintain conditioning and technique work for their high school swimming season.

Blue (ages 9-13) – The Blue team is for those swimmers who swim as their main sport and who are mature enough to handle difficult sets with the use of the pace clock. Technique is stressed, as is continuing to build upon the skills and training that the athlete learned at the White level.

White (ages 8-13) – The White team is focused on fine-tuning a swimmer’s technique. By this point in the swimmer’s career, they should have very solid stroke technique and will need minor adjustments at this point. The level of aerobic and anaerobic training will increase as this level should have its sights set on making Regionals.

Red (ages 10 and under) – The Red Team heavily stresses technique during this phase of the athlete’s development, along with making swimming and training fun. It is hoped that the athlete will be legal in all four strokes and that they will be able to complete a legal 100 IM by the end of the season.


The Riptides compete in 18 annual swim meets with competitive strokes in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. Meets are held in each of the competitive strokes at varying distances depending on the age group, as well as an individual medley and team medley.
(A swimmer may participate in more meets based on qualifying meets)

The Coaches

Nancy Hooper is a former swimmer at Arizona State University and multi-State Champion of the IL YMCA, and a multi-National Champion at Y Nationals – where she held records in the 200 breaststroke and 400 IM. Nancy started her own swim program (Tidal Waves) and developed multiple Regional Champions, five State Champions, and a National Age Group Record holder. In her coaching career, Nancy was named the Illinois 2016 Age Group Coach of the Year and recently named one of the 10 ASCA F&F Age Group Coaches of the Year.

Assistant coaches include: Sara Converse, Janine Staudacher, and Miranda Ambre.

For more information about the Fox Valley Riptides, contact Nancy Hooper, Head Coach at 630-907-9600 or email
For tryout information, please contact Sara Converse at

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