February 25, 2019
I hope everyone had a great weekend!
Today our spring practice schedule goes into effect. All weekday evening practices will start 15 minutes later and end 15 minutes later. This is for all groups with the exception of the Wednesday Carson City practice for the National group. Morning workouts on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday do NOT change.
The reason for the change is to due to high school swimming practices that take place at Northwest.
Swim for Funds
Swim for Funds on Saturday morning was a blast! The energy and atmosphere at Northwest was outstanding. The swimmers swam a ton of laps and the parents were a huge help counting -- thank you to all who participated. A big thanks to Damon McAlister and Torrey Palmer for organizing this year’s event!
Swim for Funds is our largest fundraiser of the year. Reno Aquatic Club is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and a portion of our operating budget comes from this fundraiser. It helps us with our goal of being the top team in the region!
Please be sure to turn in all donations by Friday, March 1.
Our new team store is open. Thank you to those families who have ordered gear. I received my Adidas RENO sweatshirt last week and it’s outstanding. More products will be added over time.
All items will be shipped directly to you. Thanks for the support!
Zone All-Star Team
This weekend is the Pacific Zone All Star meet in Sunnyvale, CA. We have several RENO swimmers competing at the meet. Congratulations and good luck to the following athletes:
- Avery Jakubos
- Marni Kraemer
- Amaia Usabiaga
- Amaya Aramini
- Julia Kennedy
- Ella Palmer
- Lucy Platz
- Angelo Aramini
- Jack Armbrecht
In addition to the swimmers, Coach Melanie was selected as the head coach for Zone 4!
I recently came across an interesting article: “ Joysticking is Killing Youth Sports” The article focuses on soccer, but a lot of what the author describes can be applied to swimming.
From the article:
“What is joysticking? Think of Pac-Man—without you at the helm, that poor little guy would just run into a corner and get eaten by Pinky. However, with someone manning the joystick, they can make Pac-Man's choices to avoid certain death.
Joysticking is when coaches try to play the game for their athletes, dictating all their decisions for them from the sideline. "Pass it to David!" "Dribble inside!" "Double team! Double team!" These are the types of instruction you hear from a joysticking coach.”
While reading about joysticking it made me think of another article describing lawnmower parents. “Instead of preparing children for challenges, lawnmower parents mow obstacles down so kids won’t experience them in the first place.” Click here for the full article on lawnmower parents.
Often times, as coaches and parents, we joystick and lawnmower because we want to shield our athletes from failure and disappointment. But making mistakes is how the athlete learns and grows in the sport. It’s all part of the process.
A recent example happened during our Washington Open meet in January. One of our swimmers was swimming his best event, the 100 backstroke. At the pool in Washington, they had a rope going over the pool to indicate the 15-meter mark. The athlete mistook the 15m rope as the flags and turned over to initiate his turn too soon. As a result, he got disqualified. If the swimmer didn’t get disqualified, he would have made finals. It was a tough situation, but I know going forward the swimmer won’t make the same mistake.
As coaches, we are always trying to find a balance between giving enough instruction/coaching but not joysticking. Sometimes we are successful; often times we aren’t. The important thing, just like the athletes, is that we learn from our mistakes and use it to make us better coaches.
We do our best to provide an atmosphere where the swimmers aren’t afraid to fail or make mistakes. And if they do make a mistake then we use it as a learning lesson to help them improve. As they get older and are in the sport longer, these failures and mistakes help them take ownership of their swimming. Because ultimately, as described in the joysticking article, “decisions should belong to the player, not to the coach or parents.”
Each week, I will post the “Parent Education” section on the website. Click here to read the archived articles.
Here are the upcoming meets for Reno Aquatic Club:
- March 3 – Zone All-Star Meet (those selected)
- March 15 – 17 – Pacific 14-Under JO Meet (Qualification times needed – talk with coach to see if swimmer should attend)
- March 23 – 24 – NNA Age Group Open / Reno, NV (Swimmers who don't have another meet in March or April)
- April 4 – 7 – Far Westerns / Santa Clara, CA (all qualified)
- April 12 – 14 – Folsom Spring Splash (long course) / Folsom, CA (talk with your child’s coach)
If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. Thank you for your support.