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Team Email - 4/5/21

Team Email – April 5, 2021

Welcome back!  This email is going to have a LOT of information - please read all of it!! 

We’re really excited to be back in the water this week and start moving more towards a competitive season. We will look to have an all-team refresher zoom meeting with all kinds of information as well as level meetings (D & Novice/A/Jr/Sr/Polo) after the Illinois Swimming House of Delegates meeting on April 11.  We are also cautiously optimistic that we may be able to have socially distant, open air social events and community service opportunities - so stay tuned! 

1) Returning to In-Person swimming.

Returning From Travel – this complies with recent CDC guidelines.

  • Returning from a Yellow State – Upon returning to Illinois, please wait 72 hours without symptoms prior to returning to workouts
  • Returning from an Orange State – Within 72 hours of returning to Illinois, athletes must have a negative PCR test. Athletes may return to workouts 72 asymptomatic hours after the administration of the PCR, provided negative results. If a PCR test is not an option, athletes will need to be out for 10 days upon return to Illinois. Please communicate all return dates, test results and other information to Safety Director Greg Hartman and the lead group coach. 
  • Positive PCR test will require a 10-day quarantine from the test date + 72 asymptomatic hours prior to return.
  • Quarantined household members. If any household member is positive for covid OR is under a quarantine due to exposure – all athletes are restricted from in-person workouts until that quarantine/isolation has ended. Please communicate any absence or quarantine to Greg Hartman and the Lead Group Coach.
  • Vaccinated Athletes. Athletes who have become fully vaccinated – 2 weeks after last shot – are permitted to return to in-person workouts upon return to Illinois from travel. Vaccination cards are required as evidence of completed vaccination.

General Reminders

  • Any Covid Symptoms? Stay Home! With new variants that are more deadly and more contagious, we encourage all athletes and coaches to monitor all feelings of malaise and opt to stay at home until symptoms abate.
  • Coaches will not be permitted to travel to non-NTA competitions until they are fully vaccinated.
  • All travel trips for the foreseeable future will require designated parent supervision for every athlete. We will address this more fully in our all-team zoom later this month. 
  • Athletes & Coaches must wear masks and maintain strict social distancing at all in-person workouts - regardless of vaccination status. 
  • If you have any questions about your April charges or if you need to go on hiatus for May - please contact Business Manager Kristen Tanakatsubo
  • Next Evaluation Day - April 18th. We are hoping to open more spots in our Advanced and Development levels in June. Athletes can register to be evaluated for placement on our waitlist by clicking  HERE
  • Remember that all of this changes regularly as the CDC learns more about CoVid-19 and as more of our community becomes vaccinated. We are trying our best to keep up, so thank you in advance for your patience.

2) Practice Schedule

  • We will be easing back into training - please anticipate more technique workouts and less physically demanding workouts. Please encourage your athletes to take the time to learn correct form and function before we resume hard training. This practice helps reduce long term injury and will promote improved performance down the road. A common misconception in athletics is that hard work is only physical. Part of the consistent improved performance especially in aquatic sports putting high value on proper technique. While we will complementing this technique work with aerobic conditioning - that conditioning will initially happen more in the dryland setting and as we move through the season, the physical work will invert with the technique. We will visit this philosophy a little more in our all-team zoom & group zooms, but feel free to reach out to group coaches with athlete-specific questions.
  • JCC – JCC has opened to 4 per lane, so all groups will be programmed to participate together at JCC. Social Distancing, Masking and staggered entry will continue.
  • OLPH – OLPH has opened to 3 per lane, so some groups may be scheduled all together depending on attendance and scheduling. Social Distancing, Masking and staggered entry will continue.
  • April 5-11 – This schedule is an isolated week as we have a little more time at Loyola while they are on spring break.  Group numbers are lower due to spring breaks and travel measures. No dryland.
  • April 12-May 16 – This schedule will be the same each week until Centennial opens – sometime in mid-May. Dryland will resume April 12.
  • We are returning to Old Willow Club starting April 12. Locker Rooms at OWC will be available but for limited athletes at a time - so plan accordingly! This is the only facility with locker room access at this point. 

3) Upcoming Competitions

  • 18U Spring Cup – April 29-May 2 – Des Moines, IA – this is an elite-level travel meet for qualified 18U athletes to aide in preparation for Olympic Trials. All travel trips for the foreseeable future require designated parent travel and are not team travel trips. Participating athletes: Kaelyn Gridley, Will Newlands & Greta Pelzek.
  • Clearwater Beach Challenge – May 15-16 – Clearwater, FL – 14U Polo travel trip. All travel trips for the foreseeable future require designated parent travel and are not team travel trips. Coaches will be communicating to eligible selected athletes.
  • Intersquads & Dual Meets – These will return as we have access to facilities, most likely in May. We are looking to have a Centennial meet relatively quickly upon returning to that pool and we will look to have short course & long course options throughout the summer. Loyola is currently set for water polo, so until the high school season is over, we will not be able to compete there. We will have more information on Illinois Championship Schedules after the House of Delegates meeting on April 11.  
  • In-House Polo Scrimmages  - These will be occuring on weekends when we have access to Loyola and for 14U athletes until the high school season ends. 
  • Swimming Olympic Trials – Omaha, NE – we will have an educational video on Olympic Trials and the National team process later next week. Tune in to learn more!  Even if your athlete isn't there yet - it's interesting to understand what you'll see on tv in June (that's right... on TV!).
    • Wave 1: June 3-7 – Current qualifiers: Max Grodecki (NTA), Margaret Guanci (UWisconsin), Ryan Gridley (UNAT)
    • Wave 2: June 13-20 – Current qualifiers: Kaelyn Gridley (NTA), Charlie Scheinfeld (UTexas)

4) Volunteers NEEDED. We will be offering volunteer families exclusive opportunities throughout the summer – from clinics to competitions - get ahead of the game now so there's no scrambling later! 

  • Annual Board Meeting – April 19, 2021 – Zoom Meeting. All families are welcome to attend. Information will be posted online shortly.
  • Timers! Now is a GREAT time to get certified to be a timer.
  • Officials – Did you know that becoming an official is actually a lot simpler than you might think? Especially now that 90% of the training is virtual!
    • CLICK HERE for that information.
    • Online clinics for stroke & turn officials (great if you like observing the sport & enjoy details – swim experience is NOT required) are April 10 & May 1
    • Admin clinics (helping at the timers table – great if you love math or statistics) – are April 17 & May 8th.
    • NTA Officials also receive up to 50% off their monthly dues!
    • If you have any questions – please email our VP of Officials – Marcia Srivastava.
  • Board Members & Group Liasions – we are always looking for more people to help drive the bus that is NTA.  Let me know if you’re interested in getting a little more involved – remotely or in person!
    • Board Members/Committee involvement – do you have a skill that you might be willing to share? As we return to normal, we are looking to have more parents become involved with our process outside of the pool. Usually we like to have a strong community service component and team socials for athletes and families, as well as offering competitive opportunities. All of this has a myriad of skills needed – and maybe you’ve got a great talent that can be helpful either on the board or working with a single project like Hour of Power.
    • Parent Liasions: We are currently looking for some new folks to enter into the parent liaison program – think room parents for swimming. These positions help our community outreach side of our program as well act as a resource for members.

Thank you again for all your support and we are very excited to start moving closer to our new normal!