February 8, 2018
Greetings 2018 Tidalwaves Swim Families!
As the majority of our registration is now complete, it is time for an overview of how our swimmers and families Splash into the 2018 season. Here are some links to what you need to know between now and the start of the season, February 26th or 27th, depending on practice location:
Who Are our 2018 Coaches? As always, we bring to our swimmers the most dedicated, passionate, enthusiastic, swimming loving, kid loving group of 4+ coaches that exist in Marin County! What's a "+ coach?" you ask, read on...
Coach Marie McSweeney is back to continue living out her mission as the best youth sports coach ever and to lead our team for her 30 'something' season; Coach Trevor is back for his 6th straight season of connecting with kids through warmth and dedication, Coach Lisa is back for her 2nd season of enthusiasm, and NEW this year we add Coach Jasten Clark-Villasenor to our team...all the way from the Novato Riptide! A Tidalwave size welcome to you, Jasten! So great to add your love for and knowledge of the the Marin Swim League to our team! Oh, we'd also like to introduce our "+ Coach," Matt Whittle! Matt comes to us as he completes his final year as the captain of the UC Berkeley Men's swim team! We hope to see Matt on the pool deck most Mondays and Fridays starting in April--busy graduation schedule and all. Matt knows a thing or two about swimming (Olympic trialist and all), and is looking forward to learning from our star studded coaches how to best contribute what he knows to our Tidalwaves community. Please click here to read all of their impressive bios!
Returning Families, click here for a note about Coach Dan.
Volunteer Sign Ups Open Wednesday February 21st* at 9:00am. Oh yes, it takes all hands on deck to run a swim league for our kids! Each of the 10 Marin Swim League teams uses a system like ours to manage and run our meets and events. New to the team? This may be the second most impressive part of our organization--the first being the amazing skills your kids will learn by being a part of our TEAM. But our volunteer system? Nothing short of inspirational, fun, and amazingly well organized! We are putting the finishing touches onto our jobs for the season as we speak, but click here for a list of all jobs and their descriptions. And, here is everything you need to know about signing up for your jobs.
*Yes, this is a change from the previously advertised February 12th date.
Help! We're Signed Up for an 8 & Under Assessment during Splash Week...Should we sign up for volunteering? First off, don't panic. If you believe there is a pretty strong likelihood that your swimmer will be assessed as 'Team Ready', and you have limited flexibility in when you do your volunteering, go ahead and sign up to volunteer on the 21st. If your swimmer is not quite team ready, we'll back you out of your volunteer sign ups. If you have more flexibility, there will be jobs open even after the Splash Week assessments, so it is o.k. to wait.
What do Swimmers Need for their First Practices? Any bathing suit that will stay on (racing suits prefered, but not required), goggles, swim caps for long hair, and FINS. Please ensure your swimmer has fins by the start of the season. Click here for specifics on the EXACT kind of fins to buy and where you can buy them. Tidalwaves Top-Notched gear including parkas, t-shirts, pajama pants, etc. will be available for purchase during Splash Weeks at REDWOOD only. This gear is certainly not required, but kids and crazy supportive swim parents and grandparents all LOVE IT! Team suits can be ordered AFTER Splash Week...all info to come in a future e-mail.
When does the Season Start? We know this can be confusing...the confusion stems from our 2 practice locations: COM and Redwood. Deep breath, here we go: Our COM practice location has our pre-team tadpole program and an "8 & Under Blue" practice group. Our Redwood location will, after Splash Week assessments, determine "Blue" and "Gold" practice groupings for our 8 & Unders and older swimmers. Because COM only has tadpoles and a "Blue," less experienced practice group, no Splash Week is needed. Make sense?
Therefore, here is the Splash Week Schedule for our Redwood swimmers. For those that go to Splash Week, it is an alternating 2 week schedule of assessment practices for NEW and Returning swimmers to determine best practice groups. Regular practices will begin at Redwood on March 12th based on these practice grouping. Here is the regular practice schedule. COM 8 & Unders may go to Splash Week, to see if they are ready for the Redwood "Gold" group, but this is not required. COM practice for 8 & Unders begin on February 27th. Please note that tadpoles don't go to Splash Weeks, but skip directly to COM practice start on February 27th.
Swim meets don't start until April 28th, when we run time trials. This gives all swimmers time to 'get up to speed' so to speak on, and all parents a chance to get into the 'swim of things' before we start putting on our shows!
Pre-Splash Week Tune Up Schedule for RETURNING Swimmers
O.k., one more schedule to throw at you. This is 'extra' pool time that we found and our coaches are using it to offer any of our swimmers who have already participated in a 'team level' program with us (this includes Fall and Winter), a chance to 'tune-up' before Splash Weeks begin. These opportunities from February 12th-22nd, are completely optional. We regret that due to variances in 'ski week' schedules, that not all RETURNING swimmers will have a chance to participate on every day, but don't worry, the kids will have MANY other days of practice opportunities that we HOPE they will take advantage of throughout the season!
What is the Communication Like from the Team? Oh the many ways to answer this question! You can expect weekly e-mails (on Monday) from the team beginning with Splash Week, letting you know of upcoming events, schedule changes, meets, etc. Our team president, Kathy Slaught, does not Tweet, and I try to stick to facts in my weekly e-mails, (the real ones, not the alternative ones). That said, the e-mails can be long, sometimes include spelling and/or grammatical errors, but generally try to get everyone going in the right direction. Keep your sense of humor and I'll promise to keep mine! The website is chalked full of information that you can find on your own that will answer many FAQs. Here's the answer to the most popular question: YES, the kids practice in the rain! We only cancel practice if there is lightening.
What is the Etiquette on the Team and and around the Pool? This is a great question that we appreciate your asking. Our number one priority at Tidalwaves and within the broader Marin Swim League is to help make swimming a safe and fun activity for all of the kids who participate. To this end, like the 9 other teams we compete with and against, we have developed a Code of Conduct for our team. Please take the time to review this code and understand that our role is to support our kids, coaches, and volunteers to make this a great experience for everyone.
In addition to the Code of Conduct, our team has developed a Parent Ed section of our website that includes a slew of Articles for Swim Parents published by The American Swimming Coaches Association intended specifically to help parents understand how best to support their child, their child's coaches, and their child's team, as they navigate their swimming, or more generally their youth athletic experience. All are HIGHLY recommended for Tidalwaves' parents!
One final note on pool etiquette is that parents (and nannies, grandparents, pets, etc.) are not allowed on the pool deck at Redwood during practice. It is our sincere apology that when the pool was designed it was not designed to accomodate spectators as well as young kids coming in and out practice. However, we have the pool we have and we all respect the fact that to keep the kids safe and to ensure that every child gets the most out of his or her practice experience, we only have room for swimmers and coaches on the deck during practice. This is a Tidalwaves' Board policy.
Spectators are welcome at the COM pool, however younger siblings need to be watched at all times and remain in or behind the bleacher seating area. Thank you for understanding.
Dogs are not allowed at either pool, no matter how cute or well behaved. These rules are those of both Redwood High School and College of Marin Community college and as renters of their facilities we are obliged to comply.
We Have Friends Still Interested in Joining. Is it too late? It is not too late. We still have about 40 spots left on the team, most of which are in the 8 & Under age group that practices at Redwood. Please tell your friends to register. Another round of NEW 8 & Under assessments will take place during Splash Week.
Questions? I'm happy to answer any questions that you may have that are not covered in an e-mail, or on the website. Remember, I'm an actual person, not "Siri" or "Google" so while I try to answer quickly, finding the answer on the website can be a quicker way to get your answer. If you have specific questions/concerns about your child, it is best to communicate directly with Coach Marie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you are NEW to the Tidalwaves Spring Marin Swim League season, we recommend that you attend our NEW Parent Info Night on March 12th. A phenomenal overview to the season chalked full of best practices and survival tips. We hope to see you there!
On behalf of the Tidalwaves Board and all the veteran Tidalwaves families, we are looking forward to seeing you at the pool for a great season! GOOO WAVES!
A Note About Coach Dan: It is with a mix of sadness and a little pride that we announce that after completing his degree last year, Coach Dan decided it was time to make his way in the world with a full time job, closer to his Santa Rosa home. He reports that he misses us all, feels overworked, and that he hopes our older swimmers will continue to think of him while giving their best in their dry land workouts! We'll see if we can talk him into making it down for a meet or two so the kids can see him and wish him well in his new career! Sniff, sniff, we know he will be missed after 6 wonderful years with us!