September 10, 2020
Hello EMAC Families,
It has now been two weeks and we are starting to settle in to a COVID system. To keep practice as safe, engaging, and continuous for our swimmers, we've needed to implement a system that is quite choreographed compared to before.
- Swimmers have assigned spots in a lane to keep them far enough apart from each other as per CDC guidelines, but also close enough to socialize.
- With swimmers spread more throughout the pool, coaches have to oversee a larger projected area than our swimmers were earlier accustomed to
- The required equipment is required to complete a practice correctly.
We do have a few points of emphasis we would like to communicate with you to help our swimmers better in this changed practice system. Our swimmers are still young, and this is all new to them, so we understand it will take some time for them to come to terms with and execute to the best of their ability. Until they master it, we are asking for your help to remind them on occasion.
- Before COVID, unlabeled equipment, forgotten equipment, lost equipment was not a big deal. At this time, it is an important issue our swimmers are still grappling to understand. Unlabeled equipment is almost impossible to differentiate on deck from another swimmers. Sharpie names written on the snorkel body is no longer acceptable in this area. Snorkels NEED to be clearly marked with tape, ribbon, or some other non-annoyance decoration so our swimmers can easily identify their gear. Mixed up fins will not cause a COVID situation at the pool, a Snorkel most definitely could.
- Missing equipment causes a severe breakdown in practice mechanics at the pool. In previous years we could lend swimmers kickboards, fins, etc to help them complete a practice as written. Practices are written and designed with different functions in mind. Not only does a swimmer with missing equipment breakdown the choreographed practice design to keep our kids COVID-19 safe, but it also slows down practice for the entire group as now the missing or lost equipment needs to be addressed. Most importantly, the swimmer missing that equipment is now losing out on a valuable focus in practice that day due to the lack of proper gear.
- Previous seasons, coaches could collect all swimmers at the edge of the pool and direct them face to face. We could also pull them out of the water when explaining a new skill or focus. With the weather cooling down and with keeping social distancing, these ways of teaching can no longer be utilized. Some of our swimmers are having trouble staying focused during discussions and are instead going underwater and playing. In a group system we can address this and move on quickly, with the new social distancing system we are seeing the need to "play" underwater during instruction more than normal.
- Please do your best to have your swimmer show up on time at practice. Our practice time is limited and we try our absolute best to get the swimmers in at the very start of their scheduled practice time. When a swimemr shows up late it throws off the choreography of practice which breaks down practice safety and slows it down practice instruction.
Thank you for your help in this as we all get used to these new changes at practice to keep our swimmers happy, safe, and healthy!
The EMAC Coaching Staff