May 2, 2020
Dear Swamiy Members,
The day has come where BSAC can safely open its doors again. While we are all excited about adding this important aspect of our lives back, we do have housekeeping items to go over to ensure the safety of our teammates, families and staff. I will save the Richisms for later. Right now, I want to take this opportunity to be as crystal clear as possible with the revised policies and procedures. Your safety matters to us a great deal.
BSAC has sent out a welcome back video. Props to the team for doing a great job. The video outlines the new procedures. This email will hopefully shed even more light on how we will move forward.
During our down time, we explored every possible way to make our eventual return to be held within the guidelines instituted by local, state and national authorities. We imagined and reimagined scenarios and potential pitfalls ad nauseum. We kept dialing down as deep as we could so we could be ready for a safe resumption of programming. I am proud to work with people who truly care about each and every one of our people. After weeks of contemplation and practice, here’s how we will operate.
Swimming isn’t the only program that will be in operation at BSAC when we resume Monday. As an essential service, we will also be providing child care for essential workers’ children. Some other additional recreation programs will return as well, such as tennis. Since we will be taking everyone's temperature and asking health questions before anyone (staff included) enters campus, we will stagger our start and stop times to limit the number of people being processed at any given time.
Please be sure to enter on the south (next to tennis) driveway and proceed to the screening area. I would suggest arriving ten (10) minutes early, especially the first week, as we all adjust to the new system. If your child has any symptoms, please have them stay at home. We are also requesting that you take each child’s temperature before coming to campus. If it is elevated, please stay home. Once your child has been screened, they will enter the facility through the middle gate. That’s the one next to the lobby. The lobby will not be used for entry or exit.
The swimmers will then proceed past the cafe area and through the gate next to the former teaching pool. We will not allow spectators on campus. I am one of the rare swim coaches who actually likes for you to see how we interact with your children. While your presence will be missed, we have to limit the number of people on deck to adhere to CDC guidelines.
The cafe is east, the swim office is west, the new playground is north and the gym is south. The traffic flow on deck needs to remain clear. Upon entering the deck, the swimmers follow a north, west, south then east traffic pattern. The ends of both pools have been labeled. The long course pool has eight (8) east and west lanes, four (4) of which are long course meters. The short course pool has been marked off as well. Swimmers will be assigned a pool, a lane and a side. We may have family members who train in similar groups together on a side if needed. Coordinating this for over two hundred (200) swimmers will be a challenge. This is why we have asked for you to fill out the resuming operations questionnaire by 5:00pm Friday. If you have not already done so, follow this link and fill it out:
Once we see how many people we have for each time slot, we can organize the assignments and send them out to you. Please, if you do not feel comfortable coming back right now, let us know. That, too, will help us while we organize the resumption of practices.
We are requiring all swimmers and staff to wear closed toe shoes. No flip flops, etc. Please wear your swimsuit to the pool. There will be no changing on campus. We are also asking swimmers to bring their own equipment to and from practice everyday. We know many of you store your equipment here each day. That will change moving forward. We do not want the athletes congregating in that area and touching scores of bags looking for their stuff.
Required equipment for all swimmers are fins, kickboard, buoy and snorkel. These items can be purchased through BSAC (more on that in another email). Also, bring labelled drink bottles so no one accidentally drinks from another swimmer’s bottle
Once the swimmer arrives at his or her assigned lane, they can remove any outer clothing, place it about six feet from the end of their lane and enter the pool. We are going to be more strict than usual on starting and ending times. We have to operate with a high level of efficiency if we want to continue swimming. Please remind your swimmers that there is to be no fooling around, stopping, talking at the walls, etc. Swimmers who flaunt these rules will not be invited to return to the program until they learn to obey these guidelines.
I get it. Everyone has been trapped in their home away from their friends and teammates for two (2) months. It’s human nature to want to be together. That said, we have to maintain distance in order to continue to practice. You all know me well enough to know that I am a pretty laid back person. In this situation I am going to be Drill Sergeant tough. Why? Because your child’s safety is my number one goal.
Once we begin a training session, there are some other changes as well. If a water bottle needs to be refilled, a staff member will assist. The swimmers are not to get out and go to the water fountain. Requests to use the restroom will be allowed, but hopefully everyone will come to the pool prepared to go a couple of hours without the need to use them. If they have to go, we have one (1) stall designated for use. We will have a staff member outside the door to ensure that only one (1) person at a time is in the facility. The restroom will be disinfected after each use.
When the session is over, the athletes will get their equipment, get dressed and maintain their distance from their teammates, other users of the facilities and staff. As their parents arrive, they will be called out and escorted by a staff member to the same area they were dropped off.
Did you make it this far? Good! When I write for this length of time, I usually want it to be inspiring. While the focus of this email was to be painfully detailed about the new policies and procedures, I can’t resist the opportunity to end on a high note.
I have said many times that sometimes we do not appreciate something until it is taken away from us. I have heard from many of the swimmers that they now truly appreciate what they had and are more eager than ever to get back and train like never before. That’s wonderful! I want to make a suggestion.
Swimmers, go ahead and break out your cell phone and record what swimming means to you since it was taken away. Record what it felt like to be away from the pool, your friends and your teammates for so long. You might want to talk about how your body feels after two (2) months out of the water. In the future, when you are in a slump or just not feeling great about the sport, watch the video. Remind yourself of what swimming really means to you, both mentally and physically. Hopefully, you will never, ever, ever watch or even think about that video for the rest of your life.
Be well, be safe and let’s train and compete like never before. THANKFULLY, I can write...
SEE YOU AT THE POOL! Rich