July 1, 2018
I know, you have missed my legendary long posts. Well, this time of the year gets intense and time is at a premium. I do not get the opportunity to sit of the computer and wax poetically about my favorite subjects, your children and the sport of swimming. I had a rare day away from the pool today and wanted to take a moment or two to catch everyone up on what is transpiring for the rest of the summer and beyond.
Before I get too deep in the administivia, I wanted to take a second and welcome the new families to the team. We have had people come to the club from a wide assortment of backgrounds. We have had swim families come to us from swim lessons, we have had people join one of our summer league programs across the Bay and we have had some experienced swim families come to take advantage of our programming. Regardless of your experience level in the sport, welcome. Know that we will do everything possible to make your experience here as exceptional as possible.
OK, on to the updates...
AAU SC Championships
BSAC will play host to the upcoming AAU Short Course Summer Championships. This event is open to all Blue Wave swimmers. Most of our younger / newer swimmer are already AAU registered. Most of our older swimmers were registered with USA Swimming. Those swimmers will be charged a one time fee of $14.00 to be registered with AAU through the end of August. The registration will be good for those participating in the AAU Junior Olympic Nationals to be held later this month in Des Moines, Iowa.
As most of you know, we keep the cost of participating in home meets extremely low. The total cost to compete in up to eight (8) events over the course of two (2) days at this meet is only $32,00. That includes facility fee, meet fee, coaches fee and the events. Adding a $14.00 charge on top of that still makes this an inexpensive and convenient option for our families.
Some of the advantages of going to the meet include the cost, convenience, swimming in a fast pool with state of the art starting platforms and the times will count for inclusion in the USA Swimming SWIMS database for USA Swimming registered athletes. Another important factor is that swimming in the morning, there is less of a chance that weather will be a negative factor for the swimmers. This is also a last chance to qualify for both FLAGS and AAU JOs. Please keep in mind that this is an AAU District Championship. The Top Three (3) finishers in each event automatically qualifies for a spot on the AAU Junior Olympics. More on that later in this post.
The registration deadline is Wednesday, July 4th. You can sign up for this event online at the following URL:
4th of July Schedule
We will only hold a small two (2) hour practice from 8:00 - 10:00am for the Silver through Masters training groups at BSAC on the Fourth of July. We will hold all regularly scheduled practices on the fifth. Please enjoy time with family and friends as you celebrate all that is wonderful about our country.
FLAGS is fast approaching. We want to make sure that everyone who wants to attend this meet has that opportunity. We understand that many of our swimmers who have qualified for this meet have their sights set on the National AAU JOs meet later in the month instead for a variety of reasons. That said, we want to have all of the individual and relay event rosters set as early as possible. The deadline for FLAGS entries is Sunday, July 8th. If you can declare your intentions, positive or negative, as soon as possible, we would appreciate it. The link for doing is below:
Florida Senior Champs
Fortunately, Senior Champs will be held in St. Petersburg this season. That makes it much more of an attractive option for many of our families than if it were held in its traditional venue, Indian River. The deadline to enter this meet is the 10th of July. Like FLAGS, we would like to know your intentions sooner rather than later so we can put together relays, etc. This meet can be used to qualify for Futures or Juniors.
Blue Wave Short Course Championship
We will host an end of the season championship meet for all of our swimmers at BSAC on July 21st. Summer swim team members are encouraged to attend. Year round swimmers not competing at Senior Champs are also encourage to participate. Senior level athletes who prefer short course to long may want to consider using this event to qualify for Futures or Junior Nationals as well. This is a great way to get all Blue Wave swimmers together from across the Bay to compete together as a team and celebrate their progress over the summer.The event file will be posted soon.
AAU Junior Olympics
We are fielding a squad to attend the National AAU Junior Olympic Games, This is the largest amatuer event in the country hosting thousands of athletes from a wide assortment of athletic disciplines. We chose this event as the entire 18 & under team can compete as one. Too many times, we have athletes ending their seasons weeks apart. It’s hard to get that true team togetherness when, well, you are not together. Some of the benefits of attending this meet include that it will be held in a new, indoor 50 meter pool (no rain outs!), the competition is thinner at the top so more of our swimmers will get to swim in finals and it is great experience away from the usual places the kids get to swim.
Qualifying for JOs is easier than FLAGS or even Senior Champs. 8 & unders do not have qualifying times. All events 200 meters and under are USA Swimming “BB” for each gender and age group (link to time standards below). A USA Swimming “A” Standard is required for events 400 meters and above. This reality helps more swimmer get championship experience.
As mentioned earlier, anyone placing in the Top Three (3) at the AAU Florida Short Course Championship punches their ticket to Des Moines, regardless of their time. Learning how to win, as an individual and as a team is an important skill. The AAU JOs gives much needed experience to swimmers of a variety of levels. I hope you take advantage of this opportunity if it is right for your family.
This is our first year going to this event. I have taken a team there in teh past and had an amazing experience. The location, Des Moines Iowa, has limited the amount of families that will attend this year. Next year, the meet will be held in North Carolina so I hope we can bring an even bigger contingent to that meet. Like the New Orleans trip, it should be a blast.
The deadline to enter this meet is July 9th!
Post Summer Program Break
We will have our program break from July 30th to August 5th. We will have a limited training schedule from the 6th through the 11th of August. We will resume the full fall schedule beginning the 13th of August. This will allow us to properly prepare for the upcoming season and give our student athletes time to acclimate to their school schedules.
There is so much more I want to post, but I am afraid that the length would be too long to have the impact I seek. I felt it important to get these important updates in front of our members as these events will be here before we know it. So you know, here are some things we are currently working on:
Fall/Winter Training Schedules
Fall/Winter Competition Schedules*
Adding Additional Staff Members
Group Assignment Updates
Additional Program Enhancements
*Our meet selection will allow us to swim at a variety of venues for the fall and winter. We have held events at BSAC this season as a proof of concept. Our goal is to have other programs join us in offering sensible alternatives to the traditional, trying three day affairs. We want to offer events that are fun, fast and family friendly. To get others on board, we had to show what was possible. Unfortunately, too many programs simply do what has always been done. I am positive we will have other forward thinking programs join us. This will allow us mix in traditional meets with these alternatives; at home and away.
I appreciate your continued support. There is not a day that goes by that we are not thinking abouts ways to make the program better. I look forward to a great finish to this season and all that is in our shared future.
See you at the pool - Rich