September 20, 2017
Hello New Parents and Swimmers,
Welcome to SWAT!
There are a lot of new and unfamiliar parts to the sport of swimming and I am sure you all have many questions. Please feel free to contact me or any of the coaches if you need a question answered. If you would like to schedule a meeting with your coach, please do so by email or talk to them after practice. Please do not interrupt the coaches on deck during practice. That is when their attention needs to be on the swimmers.
A common question for those new to the sport is “When can we enter meets and how do we enter meets.”
As soon as the swimmers are registered they are eligible to compete. Not all meets are open to beginner level swimmers. On the schedule you will see classifications or what level of swimmer the meet is open to. As the swimmers get older and gain more experience they will achieve qualifying times which allows them entry into the more advanced meets.
Competition is encouraged regardless of the experience of the swimmer. Swimmers that compete stay in the sport longer than those who don’t. It is the same as if a student went to school every day, studied, and did their homework as required, but there was no test. Eventually the student would ask “why am I doing this” and get bored. The anticipation of the meet is a healthy stress and allows the swimmer to measure their performance strictly on their effort and attention in practice. One of the nice things about swimming is that “no one gets benched”. Everyone has equal playing time as long as they attend the meets.
Regarding meet registration; Take a look at the Meet Schedule under the Meets and Events Tab on the Team Website to see what meets are available. Under the Events Tab you will see the description of the Meet and the meet info which will tell you if your swimmer is eligible to compete or recommended by the coaches. There is a button that says Commit. Before the meet registration deadline, click the button and commit your swimmer as “Yes” they are attending the meet. When the entries are due to the host team, the coaches will enter the swimmers’ events based on the time of season, the skills they have been working on in practice and the strengths or weaknesses of the swimmer (if the coach feels they need the experience in an event the swimmer might not have confidence in).
Fear of Competition
Every swimmer experiences fear at some point. One of our goals is to teach the athletes at an early age to confront their fears and try new things. Most of time the athlete is more scared of failure than anything else. The meets that are recommended to the swimmers are age and experience appropriate to each level of swimmer. As I mentioned before, the anticipation of competition can lead to stress but it is a healthy stress, and one of our goals as coaches is to teach each swimmer to confront their fear and challenge themselves. Whether it’s at school, work or in their social life, everyone will eventually experience a situation where they will have to confront and overcome their fear. Swimming is an excellent medium for swimmers to learn this valuable life skill. As any elite athlete will tell you, they learned more from their failures than they learned from their successes. We ask you the parents to also help the coaches encourage the swimmer to try new events even if they are not confident in the event or scared of failure. Even if the swimmer gets disqualified in the event, the feedback the swimmer gets from the meet officials and the coaches on what they need to improve on in practice to swim the event legally next time will help the swimmer to make the necessary changes quicker and inspire them to be more attentive in practice. In most cases the swimmers have already swam the event multiple times in workout anyways and the coach will just remind them to revisit their experience in practice as they approach an event they are not confident in.
I hope this helps you navigate the meet registration process as we begin competition for the 2017-2018 season. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to talk to your swimmer’s coach.
See you on deck,
Spokane Waves Aquatic Team
P.O. Box 28066
Spokane, WA 99228