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Call For Volunteers & Other Important Updates

Call For Volunteers & Other Important Updates

Timing System Training Tonight

We are still looking for a few people to step forward to learn how to run the timing system from Steve DeFelix. It’s not hard or time consuming and you do not need to be a techie to operate this system. It is very important that we have people trained in this area; especially since Steve will be out of town during the meet this Saturday. We will meet upstairs at 5:45pm tonight so it is convenient to all of our training group families. Thanks in advance for stepping up here.

We will also need timers and other volunteers to make this small event run smoothly. The exact amount will depend on how many swimmers the other club is sending our way. Their entries should be here tonight. We will finalize the size and scope of the meet, figure out what we need in terms of volunteers and send out job requests at that time. Again, thanks in advance for you help here.

Blue Wave = True Volunteerism

Please keep in mind that one of the first things I did when I came here was get rid of the mandatory volunteer requirements. I feel that when a group of dedicated families realize the good that is being done on deck here each day, they will feel an intrinsic desire to help out. Please do not rely on others to get these things accomplished. The more volunteers we have, the less we will need at any given event. Again, thanks.

Saturday Practice Change

We will hold practice for the Silver, Gold Senior, SwimFit and Masters from 10:45 to 12:45 Saturday.  The end of practice will coincide with the start of the meet at 1:00, Those who want volunteer hours will be able to stay and help run the meet. Swimmers in those groups who want to swim in the meet or encourage to do that instead or in conjunction with the work.

THERE WILL BE NO PRACTICE FOR BLUE OR BRONZE. Those swimmers, as well as our Novice members, should consider entering the meet instead.

Saturday’s Swim Meet

I extended the deadline to declare your intention to attend the meet to tomorrow morning at 9:00am. I wanted to take a little time and explain this meet a little more; so our members are clear as to our purpose and intentions. After learning a little bit more about the whys, you may want to attend and be a part of something special.

This is an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) meet, not a USA Swimming (USAS) sanctioned event. That means that these time count in the AAU world, but not the USAS one. The times achieved here do not count for USAS sanctioned meets, such as Florida Swimming Age Group Championships (FLAGS). They can, however, can be used to qualify for the National AAU Junior Olympic Games.

I know, that’s a lot of abbreviations. What does it mean for my child?

Well, we are a part of a small group of forward-thinking coaches who are reimagining the sport of swimming. Let's be honest here. You may not see it as our team is growing, but our sport is losing people to other activities because we ask too much in terms of time and treasure from our families to compete at most meets. While we are on the low end of sports for monthly fees, we kill our families with multi-day, mutli-session swim meets. Instead of just following the herd, we are trying to offer a better alternative.

Running smaller, less expensive events is definitely more family friendly. Last weekend’s one session afternoon time trial was a good example of what we want to become more the norm than the exception. Of course, we would still do some larger tournaments and travel trips each season, but they would be balanced with the smaller meets as well.

Nearly twenty years ago, A small group of coaches saw a need for an 18 & Under Junior National Championship meet. USAS had cut Juniors for reasons beyond the scope of this post. Some of us got together and started yet another organization, the National Club Swim Coaches Association (NSCA). The first NCSA Juniors meet was held in California. There were only 250 or so swimmers. Other coaches thought us mad for what we were doing, but we knew there was an ummet need and we were going to fill it.

Today, the NCSA Junior National meet is the largest and fastest 18 & Under meet in the country. There are teams on a long waiting list hoping for an opportunity to bring their swimmers to the meet. Fortunately for us, as a founding member of NCSA, we will always have a spot.

My point is this.  We are trying to do something similar with these AAU meets. I envision our leagues and meets will be just as successful as the NCSA offerings. There is a need for these types of alternative events. If you have ever spent days in the stands in Orlando, St Pete or Sarasota, you know what I mean.

I am proud to have been in attendance at that first NCSA Junior Nationals. When USAS saw how successful it was, they brought back the USA Swimming Junior Nationals with many of the changes we instituted through the NCSA. Ironically, my swim club at the time won the first USAS Junior National title since the event's return.

Be a part of something special. When these events become the standard you can say you were there.

This brings us back to the volunteers. We are trying to use a less expensive timing system developed in Australia. Timing systems keep the haves haves and keep have nots scrambling for funds to run their clubs. Why? It is expensive to buy and maintain timing systems. The system we are trying to develop and use costs pennies on the dollar versus traditional systems. We can be up and running for under $5,000. That compare very favorably to hundreds of thousands a traditional timing system and scoreboard costs. But the system can’t run itself. Please consider learning how to run this system from Steve tonight. The impact you will have will reverberate well beyond Brandon.

AAU Registration

As mentioned, this is an AAU, not a USAS meet. All of the swimmers need to be AAU registered for this season. At registration, we registered most of the bronze and below swimmers as AAU members. We also register some of the bronze as well as all of the silver and up swimmers with USAS. If your swimmers is entered in this meet and trains in the silver or higher training group, they will need to also register for AAU. Were normally charge $29 for this registration, but we want to offer those USAS swimmers who want to register for the AAU a $15 discount. Your account will be charged the additional $14 if you decide you still want to participate in this event.

I encourage you to do so.  We will be offering many more of these meets. We are also looking into adding the National AAU Junior Olympics to our summer meet list. More on that in another post.

Three Events

Another quick difference with this meet and the recreational meets we held in the past is the three individual event limit. In the Recreational meets, we encourage all of the swimmers to swim all of the events. This meet is a higher caliber event. Limiting the swimmers to three individual events will allow them to focus more of their energies on those events.  

We are also offering relays. That could add another two events to the swimmers lineup. Allowing the swimmers to swim more than three individual events would not be in their best interest.

I know, long post. I just want to ensure that our families understand what we are trying to achieve. Always know that there is a bigger picture in everything we do. We are consistently trying to better our offerings and environment, not just for our members, but the sport as a whole.

Swimming has been good to my family. I want as many people as possible to realize the positive benefits associated with being a part of a great swim team. Thanks again for any help you can lend. Working together, we will make a difference.

Sincerely - Rich