April 28, 2011
We have had a few questions and concerns with the meet schedule for this summer and from the previous season. I wanted to communicate to everyone the thought process that goes into creating a meet schedule. Please remember that in everything we do we have in mind the best interest of each of your children.
The BLUE WAVE Swim Team staff does not see the first place person as the only winner. We'd rather look to see who behaves like a winner. There are certain characteristics of a winner, and every swimmer, no matter where they place, has the opportunity to emulate those characteristics: concentration, listening skills, and working toward goals.
Sports are not an end in itself, but a vehicle we use to teach children life skills and how to reach their potential. We use sport as organized play to demonstrate and measure one's abilities. Seen in that light, winning without learning is not BLUE WAVE Swim Team's desired intention. In competition, the important measure is not who collected the most medals, or even who improved the most seconds. The real critical measure is who learned the most from the competitive experience.
Swimmers quickly forget the medals, records, and other material benefits. They will, however, remember the development of interpersonal skills, discipline, listening skills, time management, goal setting, and enhanced self- image. These are the things that make the swimmer a more successful person with a better chance of living a life closer to their peak potential, and to contribute to the world they live in.
The meet schedule has been established with the expectation that swimmers will attend every meet available at their classification level. In other words, a "GREEN Crest" swimmer meets for "GREEN Crest", a "BLUE Tide" swimmer in meets scheduled for "BLUE Tide", etc.. We do not schedule a meet unless we feel it is important to participate. However, it is not mandatory to attend meets at some squad levels. One can also choose to enter only one day of a two or three day meet depending on which squad.
On an average, we want all team members to compete once every three or four weeks. The meet schedule is established with this philosophy in mind. In some cases, meets of a similar classification (two meets for "GREEN Crest") are scheduled as close as two weeks apart or as far as one month apart. This happens when the meets that the coaching staff choose from offer no other alternative.
As a general rule, we will not permit any swimmer to compete in competition on two successive weekends (except in championship meets). In a situation where there is a "developmental" meet one weekend and a "Qualifying" meet the following weekend, the swimmer must choose one meet or the other. This policy holds true for all levels of competition.
The coaching staff reserves the right to make the final decision concerning meets BLUE WAVE Swim Team swimmers may attend.
Team Effort Meets-Team championship meets are either indicated on the meet schedule or talked about in the parent meetings. Since the coaching staff places the most emphasis on these meets, BLUE WAVE swimmers who are qualified are highly encouraged to attend. The Potomac Valley Age Group and Senior Championships are always considered "Team Effort Meets".
PHILOSOPHY OF COMPETITION The BLUE WAVE Swim Team engages in a multi-level competition program with United States Swimming that, like our training program, attempts to provide challenging, yet success-oriented competitive situations for swimmers of all ages and abilities. The following policies outline our philosophy:
We emphasize competition with oneself. Winning ribbons, medals, or trophies is not our main goal. Even if the swimmer finishes first, but has swum poorly in comparison to his/her own past performances, he/she is encouraged to do better. The individual's improvement is our primary objective.
Sportsmanlike behavior is of equal importance of improved performance. All the coaches teach swimmers how to behave like a champion when the swimmer have both a "good" and a "bad" swim. Respect for officials, congratulations to other competitors, encouragement to teammates, determined effort, and mature attitudes are examples of behaviors praised and rewarded by the BLUE WAVE Swim Team coaching staff.
A swimmer is praised for improving his/her stroke or time. It is the coach's job to offer constructive criticism of a swimmer's performance. It is the parent's responsibility to provide love and encouragement that bolster the swimmer's confidence along the way.
Swimmers are taught to set realistic, yet challenging, goals for meets and to relate those goals to practice to direct their training efforts.
Swimmers are prepared and encouraged to compete in all swimming events, distances, and strokes. This policy promotes versatility and encourages the swimmer to explore his potential in the wide range of events offered in competitive swimming. Oftentimes, a swimmers "best" stroke changes as they mature and his/her body goes through physical changes.