August 16, 2019
MTS Families –
I’m excited to share that the Memphis Tiger Swimming Board of Directors has reached an agreement with YMCA of Memphis & The Mid-South to combine both organizations’ competitive and developmental swim teams under one program. We believe this merger will benefit MTS by allowing us to grow the sport of swimming (and ultimately our team) through a defined and broader progression program, with more convenient training options to attract and retain more swimmers.
YMCA of Memphis & The Mid-South is the largest operator of developmental competitive swimming in the Memphis area, with more than 530 year-round and seasonal swimmers across 13 pools and 11 branches. They specialize in providing opportunities for younger and multi-sport swimmers to refine their skills and further their enjoyment of the sport through several programs including Elementary and Summer Swim Leagues.
According to USA Swimming, from 2013 to 2016 the number of competitive swimmers in the 10-year-old age group dropped by almost 10 percent, and we’ve seen that trend continue. They cite families being busier than ever and more athletes interested in playing multiple sports. They also acknowledge swimming is viewed as an “all or nothing” sport. In a USA Swimming study, more than 40% of those who quit said the swim team was too much of a time commitment.
The new program, to be named Memphis Tiger YMCA Swimming, will oversee developmental and competitive swim programming at 14 pools including the University of Memphis/Mike Rose Natatorium and area YMCA branches. Our combined programs currently train more than 600 developmental and competitive swimmers, and our goal is to grow that in the coming years. Whether you’re a year-round swimmer working to earn your first junior national cut or a multi-sport athlete who swims seasonally, Memphis Tiger YMCA Swimming will have training options and age-appropriate coaching to help every swimmer reach their full potential and desired goals.
Nothing will change for the year-round team, which will continue to train at the University of Memphis. Adam Byars will lead this combined organization as YMCA’s new director for competitive swimming, and additional coaches will be hired to ensure operational and instructional focus for the combined team. Adam will be responsible for overall operations and success of the program; managing the full-time and part-time coaching staff and establishing training standards tailored to all ages, skill levels and interests. Adam will also continue to coach the Senior Blue group and provide college recruiting guidance and support.
Memphis Tiger Swimming has operated the same business model since our formation in 1971, and despite our proud history and growing list of accomplishments it’s clear our sport is changing. This merger positions MTS to evolve and continue to thrive in this new environment by combining the developmental swimming expertise of the YMCA with the year-round competitive swimming expertise of Memphis Tiger Swimming.
Our goal is to make this transition as seamless and easy as possible for our families, and we’ll have more information in the near future including scheduling face-to-face meetings to hear your questions and share more details. In the meantime, I encourage you to read the attached news release and FAQs for further information.
on behalf of the MTS Board of Directors