May 25, 2021
Hello to everyone and welcome back to summer swimming! My name is Michael Brant and I am excited to welcome both returning and new faces back to the Stingray family as your new head coach this summer.
Head coach bio:
I am entering my 10th season of coaching that started at my local summer swim team in Wilmington, Delaware. From there I have become both an assistance coach and lesson instructor for the Delaware Westminster swim team, North Star Swim Club, and Westminster Stingrays. In addition, I spent one year as an age group coach for the Green Terror Aquatic Club in 2019 before COVID-19. I am both honored and thrilled to be returning to the Stingrays for my second year making the leap to head coach.
I have loved the sport of swimming ever since I began summer swimming at age 4. Even while swimming for club teams, my high school, and eventually for the McDaniel collegiate swim team, summer swimming has always been my favorite season. Like many swimmers currently on our team, I love the mixture of skills levels, community building, friendships, and passion that comes with the summer season.
Off the pool deck, I am finishing my second year as an elementary physical education teacher in Howard County. When I am not lesson planning I am usually watching swimming videos on YouTube or reading up on any new swimming news from Swim Swam.
2021 summer season.
Like many, I was devastated to hear the cancelation of the summer season last year. While adjusting to an entirely new way of living for the past year and a half, any sense of returning to normalcy is welcome. Although this season will be different then years past, just the opportunity to be together and participate safely in the sport we love with the friends we missed will be amazing. This mindset will be our focus and theme of the 2021 summer season.
We understand that after 2 years we need to take time to re-establish routines and find our sense of the water again. Although we won’t have any championship meets to qualify for, I want to use this summer to regain and build on our team culture, technique in the water, and positive environment like we’ve had in years in past. This summer is important for setting the standard of what it means to be a Stingray for years to come. However, we need everyone’s support and cooperation in order to make this both a fun and safe summer.
Safety and routines
With the changing guidelines regarding COVID-19, we must remember we are still in a global pandemic. Safety above everything else is our #1 priority. The guidelines we put in place for swimmers and their families only work if everyone follows them. Although virtual meets will not be the same as having everyone on the pool deck, keeping our swimmers safe far outweighs the inconvenience. In addition, we ask everyone to be mindful of social distancing from others to the best of your ability. Coaches will be wearing face shields in the water while interacting with younger swimmers.
Swimmers and coaches expectations
For many, swim practice has not been part of our daily routine for over a year. As coaches our job this season is create a positive learning environment regardless of a swimmer’s ability. Our workouts will be centered on reinforcing technique and personal growth for every swimmer. From day one, we will be organizing swimmers into their assigned lanes and making adjustments as needed. In addition, we will be planning fun activities throughout the season both in and out of practice times. For virtual meets, our goal is to place swimmers in as many events as possible along with the intent to win.
We expect all our swimmers to be at practice and in the water at the appropriate time ready to work. Swimmers should continue to bring forth an attitude of respect and positivity towards their teammates and coaches. This includes cheering for others during meets, taking feedback from coaches during practice, and understanding that our team is a unit rather than individuals.
Supporting the coaches
Our team has an amazing community built by you the parents through volunteering and support every year. I want everyone to feel comfortable knowing they are able to communicate with the coaches if need be about any concerns or questions they have throughout the season. I also want to emphasize the importance of trust by allowing the coaches to coach and make decisions on what we feel are best for the swimmers. Our full intent is to make them a better swimmer then by the end of the season. If you have, any questions please feel free to email me or send me a text message.
We owe it to our swimmers to create a fun and safe summer experience after months of hardship and uncertainty. I am very excited to see all of you for the first time in 2 years and make this a memorable season!