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Let's Get Ready For Championship Season GMA!

Dear GMA Families,

We are in the heart of the competitive season for short course USA Swimming!  This is such an exciting time as athletes compete in their last meets of the season, as athletes strive to achieve new cut times for the championship meets and as we pull together as a team to help every athlete reach their season goals!  We are fueled by our love of the sport and our connections with our teammates to push ourselves to be our very best!

As we look ahead to the championship meets, we want to say THANK YOU to all of our GMA families for all of your incredible work hosting our GMA meets this season .  The Vermont Invitational Meet last weekend was an excellent example of how dedicated and professional our GMA families are as meet hosts.  We encountered numerous challenges throughout the meet, from medical emergencies to computer breakdowns.  Through those challenging situations, all of our GMA families pulled together, focused on helping those in need and giving the very best of yourselves to run a great meet for everyone in attendance.  All of the visiting coaches were grateful for the opportunity to compete at Saint Michael’s College and noted how well their kids swam.  Our GMA athletes had a blast and performed well.  YOU made that happen, under difficult conditions.  THANK YOU for going above and beyond by working extra hours, commiting two parents to the parent jobs and showing that extra bit of care toward the families attending the meet.   THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

 

Now, we are preparing to travel and race our best as a team at the New England end-of-season meets as well as the NCSA Junior National Meet and the Speedo Sectionals Championship Meet.  Our athletes have big goals this year and I know that we are all going to pull together as a team to support our athletes through the challenges that they will face in pushing the limits of their performance.  As we get ready, we would like to reinforce some KEY TEAM PRINCIPLES that we can all follow in support of one another:

  • First, we want to see our athletes perform with consistent focus and effort throughout each meet session and each day of the meet.  We will encourage our athletes as they check in and out with the coaches on every race to stay attentive to their self-care, nutrition, hydration, warm-up and warm-down and team spirit.  We want to see our GMA athletes focused and engaged with the team from the start of warm-up until our last GMA swimmer has finished racing for the meet.  

    • This means that each family needs to carefully consider their travel plans so that you can arrive 15 minutes prior to our scheduled warm-up time and stay until the end of the meet session in which your child is racing .  

    • Each family will also want to plan and pack nutritious food for your athletes so that they can stay fueled throughout the meet .  We recommend quality carbohydrates with a little bit of protein throughout the meet and normal meals with a good balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat before and after the meet each day.  Some suggestions for meet-friendly foods include fruit like apples and bananas with a small amount of nut butter; steel-cut oats with a little dried fruit, honey or maple syrup; quinoa or brown rice with some vegetables or a little dried fruit; sandwiches on sprouted or whole grain bread.  We want our athletes to be fueled for their best performances.

  • Second, we want our athletes to focus on doing their very best in each race, one race at a time.   We know that if athletes focus on a few key race skills or race plans that they have worked on with their coaches, they can perform well and have lots of fun.  We also know that when athletes focus on the pressure of achieving a specific time or a specific place in a race, they tend to get nervous, tighten up, perform below their abilities and have less fun.  So, for our nervous athletes we will focus on the positive things that they want to do in their race.   Let’s work together to de-emphasize cut times and emphasize personal improvement and personal best efforts!

  • Finally, we want our GMA athletes to have a BLAST with the GMA team experience. When athletes are not racing or preparing to race, we want them on deck, in their GMA team gear, cheering for their teammates and supporting all of the athletes at the meet.  When we create a positive environment through great team spirit and sportsmanship, we all perform better and enjoy the experience.  

    • Please help your athletes show their team spirit with their GMA team gear and their engagement on deck with the team!  

    • ‘We have planned to EAT LUNCH TOGETHER AT UVAC in the lobby on Saturday 2/10/18 at 1:00 PM.  Then, our athletes can cheer on our GMA 8 and unders for a few events of the 8 and Under session starting at 1:25 PM.  We hope that your swimmer will join us!

    •  

All of the current meet information for Regionals is posted HERE on the GMA website.  We will be in touch on Friday with the final meet details, official GMA on-deck times and parent timing assignments.   If you are interested in learning more about our GMA Championship Meet Guidelines, please click HERE .   We are PUMPED to kick off the championship season with a GREAT weekend of GMA COMMITMENT, LEADERSHIP and TEAM SPIRIT!

 

Here we go TEAM!!

 

Sincerely,

Laura Matuszak, GMA Head Coach

802-238-9168, lmatuszak@smcvt.edu