October 29, 2020
GCSTO Start-up Items
Our Top Priorities
Please know that as excited as we are, our swimmers are and our families are about getting back into the pool that actually getting to swim is not our main concern. SAFETY is our #1 concern as it has always been GCSTO has always been extremely tight in terms of the enforcement of its’ team policies for the safety and welfare of all involved… athletes, coaches, parents, facility staff, facilities and all. It will continually be a theme amongst the staff to be as attentive as ever before when it comes to our guidelines and procedures during these times. We understand that many of you are only allowing participation for your athletes due to our promise of maintaining safe conditions during the course of this pandemic. Everyone will be expected to adhere to our guidelines 100% as guidelines mean nothing without actual implementation and enforcement. We cannot jeopardize the health and safety of others, let alone their opportunity to swim there at Academy, for the actions of others who do not want to attend to these guidelines so strict enforcement is expected by all.
COVID Guidelines & Action Plan For Us There At Academy – IMPORTANT READING
Please CLICK HERE for our detailed COVID Guidelines, Policies and Procedures. Please CLICK HERE for more detailed information pertaining to how things will flow specifically there at Columbus Academy.
The starting time of practices as you see listed are actually the start of COVID check-in procedures for the team. Athletes should not get out of their cars to walk up for check in until 2-3 minutes before that listed time. The first 15 minutes of your listed times are meant for COVID check-in, athlete seating in the balcony and then movement onto the pool deck. While the coaches are being paid for their time to do all of this, that 15 minute slot is not part of your hourly charge just to be clear as this is not being used for our normal dryland as we’ve done it in the past. You are only being charged for the time your athlete is scheduled to actually be in the water.
Coaches Rosters & Coaching Schedule
CLICK HERE for a coaching roster and HERE for a schedule of their assignments. This will help you when it comes time to communicating with the coaches about practices, athlete performance in practices and the like as such questions should go directly to your coaches.
1 - Current rosters according to the registrations we have received to date along with the day/time reservation information that we received from everyone were sent home to our families on 10/29/2020. If you are not on that list then we do not currently have you as registered for the in-water swim session that starts this Sunday, Nov. 1 at Columbus Academy. Please double check that list for accuracy in terms of your day reservation request. Let Steve Nye know of issues.
NOTE: There are some very slight times changes in a couple of the groups on the weekend simply to help with flow in and out of the pool for the athletes. These are correct in the roster and have been corrected on the web page as well.
2 – Our plan is to start with a maximum of 5 per lane for Novice, Level 1, 2 & 3 practice groups so once those groups/combination of groups hit 30 for a session we are maxed out. All other swimmers coming in after the 30 max is hit are put on a waiting list (WL) in the event someone drops out or something else changes We may look at going 6 per lane for maybe levels 2 & 3 (using 4 in-water stations and 2 on-deck stations while rotating swimmers through these) if we feel things are running smoothly and completely safely with the 5 swimmer set up so those on the waiting list could even be brought in at that point.
3 – Levels 4 & 5 practices will start with 5-6 swimmers per lane as described above. However, we may opt to have 5 swimmers in the pool itself spread out amongst the course of the pool (averaging 5yds apart obviously) but will start with the 4 (water) & 2 (deck) scenario before looking into the 5 & 1 scenario. As well, it is our plan to have the Level 4 & 5 coaches contact their parents about the 5 & 1 scenario before any implementation of that occurs.
4 – Sorting things out in terms of lane assignments and subgroup assignments will be our focus in the first practice so that lane flow operates as smoothly as possible. While many athletes swam under these conditions this summer, there are many who did not and who must learn and adapt to these new conditions. Once these lanes and subgroups are established things speed up in practices very quickly.
5 – Daily Openings… your help to let other swimmers know about these openings will truly help our cause when it comes to the finances of the team as the hourly pricing was set based on operating at full capacity (30 swimmers a practice) so every spot that we fill with a swimmer helps our entire team’s situation.
Mondays (Level 4 & 5, with 3’s by permission): 4 openings exist to take us to 30 swimmers (10 to take us to our max of 36 swimmers).
Tuesdays (Level 2 & 3): We are at our 30 swimmers starting max and have 2 on the waiting list.
Wednesdays (Level 4 & 5, with 3’s by permission): 5 openings exist to take us to our max of 36 swimmers.
Thursdays (Level 4 & 5, with 3’s by permission): 6 openings exist to take us to our max of 36 swimmers.
Fridays (Level 1, 2 & 3): We are at our 30 swimmers starting max and have 4 on the waiting list.
Saturdays (Level 4 & 5, & sibling 3’s): 5 openings exist to take us to 30 swimmers (11 to take us to our max of 36 swimmers).
Saturdays (Novice & Level 1): 10 openings exist to take us to 30 swimmers starting max.
Saturdays (Level 2 & 3): 4 openings exist to take us to 30 swimmers starting max.
Saturdays (Open Junior Practice): Since we currently don’t have any overflow on Saturdays these will not yet be scheduled.
Sundays (Level 4 & 5, & sibling 3’s): 6 openings exist to take us to 30 swimmers (12 to take us to our max of 36 swimmers).
Sundays (Novice & Level 1): We are at our 30 swimmers starting max and have 2 on the waiting list.
Sundays (Level 2 & 3): We are at our 30 swimmers starting max but have no one yet on the waiting list.
Sundays (Open Junior Practices): Since we currently don’t have enough overflow on Sundays both will not be scheduled BUT we will keep open the option of running one or the other if we get at least 18 athletes signed up on the waiting lists and in need of a practice.
Athletes may bring in their own paddles and pull buoys to practices. No snorkels or kick boards will be used in practices so there is no need to bring those 2 items. All athletes should have their own reusable water bottle (let’s help cut down on plastic waste too) along with a baggy in which they are to put their mask poolside once they actually get in as they will even travel to and from the balcony to the deck with a mask on. They will remain masked at all times except when in the water so the baggy is needed to help keep the mask dry and clean when they take it off to get into the pool.
Please remember that they are coming home with wet hair and dried off, but still wet suits on underneath their clothes. As such, make sure they are properly prepared for cool/cold weather considering this. Extra sweat shirts, extra layers of pants, long coats, hats and such should be a must. They need to remember that even a common cold could cause them to lose a couple weeks of practice due to quarantine procedures and all.
We cannot stress enough how valuable this could be to our athletes to either supplement their in-water training or serve as a replacement because you couldn’t get into a slot to train in the water. And for those who still want to maintain complete distancing these are incredible for that as they can be done virtually. It will not only provide your athlete with great physical conditioning but will give them a routine and a way to help them stay mentally healthy. All of that in top of learning the same technique & principles that they would be taught during in-water practices… with just more intensity and repetition due to the fact that they can be coached “every minute” on dryland since they will be able to hear the coaches instructions the entire session, see the coaches (or other swimmer’s) demonstrations and all.
Current SwimGym operations end this Saturday (Oct. 31). To allow us to focus on getting back into the water and ensuring that things are moving smoothly there we will take a 1 week break from SwimGyms before starting them back up. Anyone and everyone will be eligible to take advantage of these… every level of swimmer, swimmers in the water with us, swimmers who didn’t make it into any of our water sessions, past GCSTO swimmers, new swimmers… anyone.
This 1 week break will allow us to ensure we have registrations properly set up, allow us to be sure the SwimGym schedule synchs well with what the actual in-water training schedule ends up being, allows us to be sure we have the staffing for the SwimGyms once in-water practices are covered, allows us to give the time needed for SwimGym registrations to come in and more.
Currently we are not doing any pre-practice drylands at Academy due to tight conditions. We are, however, investigating a local gym in Gahanna that would be only minutes from the pool in which athletes could safely do their drylands then get on to their in-water practice at Academy. Just know that this is a work in progress, that it would be an extra small charge (rental fee for facility and coaches time only) and that we’d like as many athletes as possible to participate to try and get back to normal. However, our first and foremost concerns right now are in-water practices and SwimGym practices.
Currently we have invoiced all appropriate accounts for SwimGym participation this past month, stretch cords that athletes have gotten from coaches, and hourly charges for the seniors who have been swimming over there at the 161 facility. Those will be pushed through on November 1 just FYI. Your hourly charges for this Nov. 1 to Dec. 20 session of swimming will not be invoiced until we feel we have settled into an exact schedule for your athlete. To save hours of time for myself these will simply be invoiced in the weeks ahead but not manually pushed through as we did this summer. We will let the system push them through automatically on December 1.
Hopefully this helps you all with some of the important information that is needed at this time. THANKS for being a part of our team.