September 2, 2013
Welcome to SPRC Stingrays!
We are ready for the upcoming 2013-2014 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 9, 2013.
The Stingrays are broken into 5 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 Bronze: Our first and generally youngest group, the Bronze group is for the beginning competitive swimmer. As the Stingrays are not a “learn-to-swim” program, Bronze 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. Swimmers in this group will be encouraged ot participate in meets, many of which are specifically for 10 and under swimmers.Bronze swimmers practice three times per week for 45 to 60 minutes.
Ø Silver: Most of the swimmers in this group will already have been exposed to competitive swimming, typically on a summer swim team. Techniques, drill work, and team work will be stressed during each practice, and swimmers will also work on sets designed to increase muschle and cardiovascular endurance. Swimmers are encouraged to participate in meets under the USA swimming motivational time standards. In this system, swimmers are "ranked" in each event according to his or her time. The rankings begin with a "B" time, and progress to "BB," "A," "AA," "AAA," and "AAAA." This system is used for all USA meets across the United States. Swimmers in this group are highly encouraged to participate in the long course season (April to July) as well as the traditional short course season (September to March). 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. Silver swimmers practice 5 times a week. Practices areusually an hour long.
Diamond: This group consists of swimmers who are new to competitve swimming. This is a small group of highly-motivated swimmers who progress quickly during the season. As with the other practice groups, the focus is o technique, drill work, starts/turns/finishes, as well as endurance. Swimmers are encouraged to participate in swim meets throughout the short course and long course season.
Ø Gold: This group consists of experienced competitive swimmers who work on refining their technique, increasing their endurance and gaining strength and speed for competition. 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. Gold practices are held 5 days per week. Swimmers in this group are expected to participate in meets, both short course and long course, and to achieve 75% practice attendance. The focus is on swimming all strokes and distances during both the short course (September to March) and the long course season (April to July).
Ø Senior: This group is for those swimmers committed to the sport. This group is primarily high school age, but also contains highly-motived and committed upper middle school swimmers. Training is daily Monday through Saturday, and includes two days per week of dryland training (during the short course season). During the long course season, there will be more emphasis on building power and strength through dryland and strength training in addition to practice in the pool Seniors are expected to maintain 80 to 85% attendance and to participate in meets during both the short course (September through March) and the long course season (April through July).
There are several training events during the year designed specifically for the senior group:
- Surf and Turf - This is a 2+ mile run followed by a distance time trial. This event is held 3-5 times during the short course season.
- Coaches' Challenge - During a designated pracdtice in early spring, the senior group will be challenged to complete a 5000 yard workout during their scheduled practice time. Those swimmers who meet the challenge will receive a commemorative t-shirt.
- August Conditioning Program - This is a 4-week conditioning programs that should be completed by each swimmer prior to beginning the new swim season.
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. Any questions about this should be directed to the membership desk.)
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 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.
Our team suits and equipment will be ordered through Swim Pro. Swim Pro will be coming to SPRFC to take orders, sizing swimmers for suits and fins, on Tuesday, September 10th from 4:30 to 6pm. THIS WILL BE THE ONLY TIME THEY WILL BE COMING TO SPRFC. Pleae make every effort to attend this event. If you are not able to attend, please make arrangements with Swim Pro directly to order team suits, caps, andequipment.
If you do not currently have a Stingray suit, you must purchase a team suit. If your swimmer wears a cap at meets, then you must purchase a team cap. Swim Pro will be taking orders for personalized caps.
SWIMMERS IN ALL PRACTICE GROUPS MUST HAVE TRAINING FINS. Swim Pro will be sizing swimmers for fins on September 10th.
Swimmers will be using kickboards and pull buoys. The club has an adequate supply of kickboards and a limited supply of pull buoys. If your child would like his/her won board or buoy, please purchase one on 9/10.
The senior group will need paddles, which will be for sale on September 10th.
TEAM CLOTHING / SPIRIT WEAR
Victory Awards will once again be providing the team with a variety of team clothing, including shirts, shorts, hoodies, parent's shirts, and the very popular team jacket. Samples will be on display at the parent meeting on 9/4, and on the deck during the first week of practice. Please give any completed order forms with payment to any Stingray coach no later than September 14th.
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 Bronze, Silver, and Diamond who are being dropped off may enter through the rear door. Gold and Senior level swimmers, and swimmers accompanied by a parent should enter through the main entrance upstairs.