September 11, 2018
Greetings Junior Group- Week 2 News
Thank you to everyone for the kind welcome. I'm so honored to work with all your children and look forward to fun and fast times ahead!
No changes to the posted schedule this week. Reminder no Saturday practices in September. Our first Saturday will be the Fall Kickoff Super Splash on September 29.
I've had a few parents ask what my expectations are for attendance. Going back to last week's email, obviously step 1 in a productive season and career is a foundation of high attendance. That said, everyone has to fit that idea into their own life and figure out what works best for you and your family. And your goals will obviously drive your attendance in the long run. My general recommendations, however, are as follows:
- Blue Group- out of 7 practices offered in a typical week, I would hope you could find time for at least 4. There's probably a good argument to be made that the sweet spot of balance in swimming performance and the rest of life's challenges is in the 5 to 6 practices per week range. Keep in mind that's an average. Any 1 week could be higher or lower. I'm supportive of 7 practices per week (yes, 100% attendance) if and only if 1) that's being led by the swimmer, not the parent, 2) academics at high performance, and 3) sleep, health, nutrition, and family life are all on point.
- White Group- out of 4 practices offered in a typical week, I would hope you could find time for 3. The nature of the White group leaves less room for flexibility. There are situations where 2 practices per week are all you can make, however swimmers will be happier, healthier, and faster at 3 or 4 per week.
- Where does this all go long term? As I referenced last week, part of my job as Junior coach is to prepare your swimmer for senior/high school swimming. Understand that SSC (club) Senior swimmers have 8 practices per week on average, so if you are coming out of Juniors at 2, 3, or 4 practices per week and that is what the athlete grows accustomed to, there will be a quite an adjustment or shock moving forward. And when you factor in high school swimming, the demand only increases from there. HSE Swimming and Diving has a 100% attendance requirement (exceptions made only for school approved absences) - this is the industry standard so to speak. All high school sports have very high attendance expectations. What habits & skills are you building for your swimmer? Finally, the coaching staff here believes the challenges and demands of our sport simply help produce successful and well-equipped young adults for college and beyond.
Let's dive a little further into this topic. Yes, morning practices are part of the overall schedule. Why are we offering AM practices at all at this age? A couple of reasons here too. 1) Offering AM practices allows flexibility in the rest of your day and week. Swimmers that make that commitment to get up early have a win-win scenario on their hands. They have finished a workout for the day and then have the remainder of the evening for other activities or simply a quiet night at home. Tuesdays are a great time to try the "double" practice set up too, but if your swimmer feels that they have accomplished their work for the day by hitting the AM workout, I recommend to let that stand. 2) Moving forward into high school, AM practices are just flat out part of everyday life. We all need to prepare our 7th and 8th graders for that reality. They can learn how to better organize their day by trial running this now. Maybe it prompts an earlier bed time or more organized study habits too. 3) Rarely mentioned, though if you ask seasoned senior swimmers it might be their number one answer, swimmers simply feel better and have more energy early in the day.
Morning Practice Transportation
Many many apologies this took a few days to get the message out. We had been waiting for clarification from HSE Administration and Transportation. The district is only able offer transportation to Fall Creek Junior High after morning practice. We seem to have a healthy contingent of kids making their way to FCJH on the bus already. If you are new to catching this bus, we'll make sure you depart as part of the group for that bus, which is #12 departing from the front of the high school. We are happy to help set up carpools and rides to the other schools, please just let me know.
Super Splash #1
First competition of the season is coming at us fast! On Saturday September 29th we have our Fall Kickoff Super Splash. Warm ups are at 9AM, meet start 9:45AM. The Junior group is tasked with providing the volunteers for this first meet; looks like we'll need a few dozen volunteers, the lion share of which will be timers. I'll get you the sign up link and more details for that ASAP.
Thanks & GO SSC!
Coach Matt Papachronis