HEAT Swimming is a medium-sized team by most swimming standards, having a little over 100 swimmers. HEAT, and all other year-round teams are members of United States Swimming - the national governing body of our sport. USA Swimming conducts several major meets (including the National Championships) throughout any given year, selects the teams that will represent our Nation in International Competition, and sets the rules that govern our sport. For analogy purposes, USA Swimming is the "federal government" of swimming. USA Swimming is subdivided into 57 local swim committees (LSC's). "Ozark" is the LSC that governs the Greater St. Louis Area. Ozark extends as far north as Hannibal, as far south as Cape Girardeau, and as far east as Carbondale, IL. Ozark is our "State" within the USA Swimming "Nation". Ozark conducts local championship meets throughout the year, sets the local meet schedule, collects registration fees, and administers over rules not directly governed by USA Swimming. (Again, "State" law vs. "Federal" jurisdiction.)
There are approximately 280,000 year-round swimmers registered with USA Swimming. Of those, Ozark has an enrollment of about 3,000. About 1,400 of those 3,000 swimmers are members of Ozark Swimming's four "big" teams, each team having from 250 to over 450 swimmers. The other 1,600 are spread out across an additional 25 teams. HEAT Swimming ranks at or near the top of those "other" 25 teams at each year's Ozark's Championships. In fact, we've placed as high as 3rd at our Sectionals meet, beating the "big" teams with our quality.
Quality will always be more important at HEAT Swimming than quantity. We will strive as a team to be the very best team that we can be. But more importantly, from our most fundamental practice groups on up, our coaches will teach our swimmers to forever attempt to enhance their own skills. Without a solid foundation of good technique, it won't matter how hard or how often your child trains within this sport. If they are "doing it wrong", and continue to practice "doing it wrong" lap after lap, day after day, year after year - they will develop some very deeply learned bad habits that may become very difficult to correct.
As a parent, be supportive and patient. Let's face it; if learning to master these skills was an easy task, every child would be setting world records. Some will learn quickly, others will progress more slowly. At times, all swimmers will plateau or even temporarily decline in terms of performance. Just as there are "A" students, and "C" students, "big league" talent and "bench warmer" talent - we will see the same from our children as swimmers. We at HEAT are truly not too concerned with how many ribbons your child wins or records that s/he sets. We are concerned with teaching your child how to do their very best with the skills and gifts that they have been born with. We only lose or fail when we quit trying....
HEAT Swimming has high expectations. We want you to learn to always strive to be the best that you can be. We intend to create an environment where people who wish to, can excel. We will have fun. We will have our lighter moments. But we want your child to feel and know the pride of accomplishing something worthy; of understanding a "job well done".