May 10, 2018
I want to say, thank you in advance for your patience throughout the last few weeks. This year, we decided to communicate squad placements via email based off of feedback in previous years. I appreciate that it was a new approach and if there are any concerns about using email, please let me know. We expect that everyone will receive their placements by Monday, May 14th.
Some of you have emailed questions and I wanted to let you know that we are happy to discuss any questions or concerns you have and will be getting back to you in the coming weeks. You will hear from me or one of the coaches by next Friday, May 18th.
The structure of our program is different from other organizations with which your child may be involved. In these other programs, a child who does not move by a certain time is listed as a “failure” and held back to retry. Conversely, schools and other activities may move children strictly by age or by performance level, with little else influencing the decision. In the BLUE WAVE Swim Team, many factors go into the decision for squad placements. These factors vary at different levels of the program.
This list is not exhaustive but here are some considerations we make:
- Appropriate skill level ensuring that they are placed with peers at similar skill levels
- Lane leadership & practice attitude
- Physical age/development
- Mastery of skills (understanding drills & technique)
- Meet/practice performance
- Meet/practice attendance
- Confidence level & emotional maturity
- Perception of the athlete’s ability to handle the next level of practices
It is this individual consideration that usually causes the most confusion. Because so many factors are involved with squad movements, it is rare that a specific group of athletes move at the same rate. Based off our experience we do our best to place them in a squad that will benefit their development the most so they continue to enjoy the sport, be challenged at their development level and grow and learn as a person.
If a parent creates added anxiety to their child by frequently discussing squad movements or treating move-ups as an absolute necessity, then the parent places value on squad placement above the swimmer’s personal development. Simply put, they learn that they can only achieve success if they are in a certain squad. Instead the lesson should be that they are always in a position to succeed if they apply themselves to their potential.
The long term development of the swimmer is the most important aspect of coaching. The coaches have witnessed the development of a great number of swimmers. They have seen what happens to kids who move-up too early seeking the prestige of a certain squad. These athletes often leave the sport prematurely. The coaches have also seen that swimmers who move in a timely manner or even “late” still have ample opportunity to succeed.
Thank you again for your understanding; we look forward to discussing your swimmer’s development when you set up an appointment with the coach. Ask questions and express concerns, but in the end, trust in the coach’s decision to do what is best for your swimmer.
-Coach Mike & The BLUE WAVE Coaches