|Stingrays 2012-2013 Season Information|| |
Aug 8, 2012
Welcome to SPRC Stingrays!
We are ready for the upcoming 2012-2013 season of swimming with the SPRC Stingrays!!! If you are new to the Stingrays, we are a USA Swimming sanctioned club team, within the Maryland LSC, for swimmers up to the age of 18. In the coming paragraphs is the information you need regarding the Stingrays, and how to participate. Because there is a large amount of information to share, this email will be led off by a numbered list of topics. By selecting a topic, you will be taken to the information pertaining to that topic. Once you have had an opportunity to look through all of the information here, if you have any remaining questions, or any new ones, please feel free to contact Coach Maureen Kogut. My contact information can be found at the bottom of this document.
The Stingrays will begin team practices on Monday, September 10, 2012.
The Stingrays are broken into 6 groups for practices. Each group is designed to address specific needs and abilities in the continuum of the developing competitive swimmer. The descriptions that follow are meant only as general descriptions. A more in-depth and precise explanation of each group, as well as what is required to advance will be made available via the team’s website. The groups are:
Ø Age Group Bronze (AG-B): Our first and generally youngest group, the AG-B group is for the beginning competitive swimmer. As the Stingrays are not a “learn-to-swim” program, AG-B swimmers must be capable of swimming from one end of the pool to the other utilizing both legal freestyle and backstroke, without need of assistance from another person, or any other aids such as a wall, lane line, or pool bottom. During a swimmer’s time in this group, they will be working on developing their stroke technique in all four of the competitive strokes, as well as building their endurance to swim multiple lengths of the pool at a time without resting, and while maintaining proper technical form. AG-B swimmers practice three times per week for 45 minutes.
Ø Age Group Silver (AG-S): The swimmer is able to swim at least one length legally of each of the four competitive strokes, and is able to swim at, or faster than, a pace of 2:00 per 100 yards of freestyle. The swimmer should also be developing a greater sense of themselves as swimmers, as the time commitment increases from the AG-B group. The training within this group will focus on further refinement of the athlete’s stroke technique, and a greater level of speed and endurance in the pool. AG-S swimmers practice 5 times a week. P`ractices are an hour long.
Ø Age Group Gold (AG-G): Intensities increase, as do the hours committed per week. Expectations of the athletes are raised by a substantial amount for this group in various ways, ranging from their focus and discipline when working on stroke technique, to their sustained levels of effort when working on their conditioning, and on to their personal commitment as demonstrated by the consistency with which they attend practice. AG-G practices are held 5 days per week. Swimmers within this group are able to maintain each of the four strokes legally for greater than 50 yards, and are able to maintain freestyle paces faster than 1:40 per 100 yards (often at or below 1:30 per 100 yards).
Ø Senior: Most of the athletes in this group are either in high school, or are demonstrating themselves to be highly committed swimmers in middle school ages. Practices are designed to regularly take the swimmers outside of their comfort zones in order to achieve greater amounts of competitive success. At this point, swimmers have a solid grasp on all four competitive strokes and are only limited in distance by their conditioning. They are able to maintain their freestyle at a pace exceeding 1:30 per 100 yards, and often bettering 1:20 per 100 yards. We also incorporate required dryland (non-swimming) workouts.
A second document which you will find a link to, below the section bullets above, is the tentative weekly practice schedule for each group. As explained in the group progressions above, the time commitment increases as a swimmer moves up from one group to the next. AG-B swimmers are scheduled to practice three days per week for a total of three hours each week. AG-S swimmers practice four days per week, for a total of five hours each week. AG-G swimmers increase to six days per week, and a total of eight hours of training per week. When a swimmer progresses to SR-S, the practice schedule increases to a total of ten hours of training time in water, as well as two hours of dryland, or non-swimming, training time each week. Finally, the SR-G schedule includes over thirteen hours of training time each week in the pool, along with at least three hours per week of dryland training time.
Practices are designed with specific progressions in mind. This is true of each individual workout, as it moves a swimmer from warm-up, through the goals of that particular workout and on through to the cool down. It is also true of how each week and month are designed to move the athlete through the season, building endurance and speed, while improving technique, with the end goal of swimming as fast as possible in competition when it matters most. It is expected that swimmers and their families respect the work and commitment that goes into creating this program, and as such, that they attend their practices consistently, as scheduled, and that they arrive punctually. While it is understood that in most cases, swimmers are reliant on others for transportation to and from practice, we feel that learning the value of responsibility and punctuality are of extreme importance, and as such, we will demand that of each swimmer. As a secondary note, with such limited pool space and pool time available, for the team to be successful as a whole, it is critical for each swimmer to be present for as much training as is available to him or her.
There are a variety of different costs associated with membership to the Stingrays. Most of these expenses have been specified on the attached Registration Form.
For those new to our program, and unfamiliar with how the Stingrays financial structure is designed, there are two parts to the cost. The first is the team fee. The amount of the team fee is based on which group the swimmer is assigned to train with, and a team fee is charged to each swimmer. The second part is the SPRFC club membership. This fee is $59, and is only charged once per month to each team family, regardless of how many members of that family are on the team. (Please note, this is an individual membership fee. Should any members of a family wish to join the club who are not members of the Stingrays, there are additional costs. Any questions about this should be directed to the membership desk.) Stingray swimmers are afforded the luxury of a full gym on site for dry land training, a benefit no other club team in the area can offer.
Along with the monthly club and team fees, there are other fees that must not be overlooked. USA Swimming and Maryland Swimming charge an annual fee for becoming registered with USA Swimming. These are not costs that the team has any control over, and these costs are uniform throughout the USA Swimming and Maryland Swimming communities, respectively.
There is one final fee, though small, which is going to be instituted, and therefore which you should be aware of. Meet fees are paid through the team website by credit card. As with all credit card transactions, a small percentage is retained by the credit card companies. As such, the monies being collected by the team for meet fees is actually coming out less than the total required by the particular meet to process all registrations. In order to address this, the team website will be altered soon so as to charge a small fee in excess of the meet fees in order to compensate for the shortage.
It is our hope and desire that each athlete on the team participates in at least one swim meet or competition each month. As the swimmer progresses to the higher groups, this number should increase. We believe that attending meets are important for a variety of reasons, but two stand out above the others. First, it is important to be able to practice racing in advance of the “really important” races, as going fast is in many ways a learned skill. This is generally not a feeling and experience that can be reproduced in our pool during practice. Second, and more importantly in my opinion, meets are exciting and fun and very often rewarding, and it is those experiences that keep kids engaged and motivated to continue on, and hopefully work even harder to achieve their goals.
An announcement will be made shortly, both via email and through the website as to when, Cy's Swim Shop will be coming in to fit and order team suits. They will also be offering other equipment, including goggles, caps, and other training items. In order to ensure a uniform presentation at meets, it will be required that each Stingray swimmer purchase at least one team suit.
Along with team suits, some of the more advanced groups will have equipment they are required to have at practices. This list of equipment will be announced later, and the swim shops will be prepared to handle these items as well, but swimmers will be free to purchase their items from whatever source the prefer.
As the season gets underway, it is likely that there will be a number of instances requiring emails to go out to all Stingray families and/or prospective families. Once the season is underway and schedules are able to normalize a reasonable amount, most communications will be made available on the team’s website.
The most successful teams are the ones that have the most well organized and run parent organizations. We will be asking for parent volunteers to help in the creation of this group. Please consider if you can provide assistance in any way, whether it is time or ideas, experience, and guidance.
Thank you so much for your interest in the Stingrays, and for taking the time to review the information in this email. The last item is in regard to the use of the back door for Stingray swimmers. Swimmers in the Age Group levels who are being dropped off to enter through the rear door. Senior level swimmers are capable of safely navigating their way from the front door to the pool on their own, and have a similar opinion of any younger swimmer who is being escorted by a parent, guardian, or other adult.