August 27, 2017
I hope everyone had a great weekend. It felt good to get back into the rhythm of the season this past week. There will be a lot of updates presented to you this week, so I will keep this one as brief as possible.
I brought in the coaches this past weekend to go over some specifics regarding the upcoming short course season. For those of you new to the sport, the short course season runs from late August through the spring. We mainly compete in twenty five (25) yard pools; hence the term “short course” as the summer events are typically swum in fifty (50) meters. We had a great meeting. It is nice to be in a position to be proactive rather than reactive.
Last year, we had a lot to do to get us back in a position of strength as an organization. I feel that we have turned the corner and can focus on higher aspects of running a team. A major thank you to all of the coaches, parents, volunteers and the team here at BSAC for making this possible. Here are some things we discussed and will implement as a staff this season.
Instructional Swim Meets
We have scheduled a once monthly Instructional Swim Meet. These are geared for newer swimmers and those who start the season without an official USA Swimming “BB” time standard in any event. More on that in another post. Suffice to say, if your child is in our Novice through Bronze programs, these events might be perfect for you.
These meets are fast, fun and family friendly. It’s a local, low cost way to see how well your child is progressing. The cost is only $10 per meet. Your child can swim as many events as offered in his or her age group. We do have a one time $5 charge so the swimmers’ times can be recorded in our league database. We hope your family takes advantage of these events.
This year, we are adding Winter and Spring Instructional Meet Championships. These meets will be a tad larger in scope than our usual ones. It is our goal to ease new swimmers and families into the world of competitive swimming. Our Championship meets will give each season a little more purpose. There are also a great way to challenge the newer swimmer to set and make goals early in their career.
Age Group Meet Schedule
Our program’s focus is to instill a national level focus on those who choose to make swimming their passion. We also want to ensure that we have a big tent philosophy so swimmers of all levels have a championship experience that is suitable for their goals and abilities. Our age group swim meet schedule reflects those realities.
Our top level age group meet for the 2017/1018 short course season is the National Swim Coaches Association (NCSA) 14 & Under Nationals in Orlando, March 21st to the 24th. For those swimmer not attending that competition, we will focus on the AAU Short Course Championships to be help March 9th - 11th (Location TBA).
FLAGS are being held in February this year. We will attend, but doing a full taper for a meet that early in the year does not give our top tier age groupers an advantage against others nationally who will swim their championships in March.
We have put a meet a month on the schedule for all training groups except the high schoolers. The list can be found on the homepage of our website. Please mark your calendars. If you have any questions, please ask your training group coaches.
Speaking of training groups, we spent much of the meeting going over expectations for each group. It was nice to fully explain the vision of how each group works within the system of the team. The staff has a better understanding of how we will operate from here on out.
We did make some group assignment changes, but thought it might be a good idea to better educate our swimmers and parents on these expectations before doing a mass move. Since this post is getting longer than I wanted, I will save that for another day this week. If your child was part of those small group changes, you will recieve an email early in the week.
Senior Swim Meets
The Florida high school season takes up a big chunk of the fall. We do not ask our high school swimmer to attend any instructional or USA Swimming meets during that time. The will compete enough with their high school programs through states. We will offer a prelims / finals meet in Plantation Florida right after the conclusion of states. All qualified swimmers will also get an opportunity to go to USA Swimming Junior and / or Short Course Winter Championships.
In the spring, we will target NCSA 18 & Under Junior Nationals. For those without a cut, we will target the aforementioned AAU Short Course Championships. Our seniors also have a meet a month. We may modify the schedule a bit based on the individual needs of our older swimmers.
We will fully implement the Levels System this year. The system has been developed and tweaked by me for decades. It has been a labor of love; one with proven long term results. The system allows for us to fully develop all aspects a swimmer needs to be successful in and out of the pool. It also helps the swimmers, coaches and parents communicate in a productive manner.
I am more than thrilled we are in a position to build our program around the Levels System for this upcoming season. I know great results will happen because of this important change. Again, to keep this post manageable, I will send out more information on the Level System later this week.
What A Difference A Year Makes
September of last year, Blue Wave faced many challenges. As we enter September of 2017, we have a stable staff, new branches and new and improved facilities here at BSAC. We are now considered a larger team with a much greater presence on the national arena.
These new realities offer us many new and exciting opportunities. We will continue to push the envelope and finds ways to make everyone’s experience the best it can be. Thanks for being a part of this fun journey. I am excited to see what this next year brings.
See you at the pool - Rich