Weekend Updates - Rec & FGST Meet & Some Sad News

Hi All,

I want to share the latest information regarding this weekend’s events and modified schedule. Before I get into all of that, I have some unfortunate news to share.

When I first moved to Florida, many moons ago, I worked with a swimmer who was a senior in high school. His name was Ryan. He made great strides in the pool, graduated and went on to pursue his dreams. I liked Ryan alot. He was passionate about swimming and was always very inquisitive about technique and training strategies. His Dad was a local coach, so it was even easier than normal to keep tabs on him.

After college, he approached me and asked what was the best way to break into coaching. I told him he should intern with the best coach he knows and soak up as much knowledge and real world experience as possible. He replied, “Well, that would be you”. Honored, I immediately invited him to stay on deck.

I quickly realized that Ryan was going to be an exceptional coach. I hired him to work with our club. He eventually had his own branch and was producing many standout athletes. More importantly, he understood my small club / family oriented concept; even as we grew to be one of the biggest and most successful clubs in Florida and beyond. Ryan became the head coach at Clearwater Aquatic Club when I left Florida and eventually made a an even bigger name for himself developing scores of national level swimmers at both Swim Atlanta and Dynamo Swim Club in Georgia.

Wherever he went, he stayed in contact. He would call me at least quarterly for advise and made frequent visits to our family when he was in town. He got married and started a family. He is a good, loving father with a family first mindset. Last year or so ago, his oldest son blacked out during a workout. It was later revealed that he had a heart condition. While his son, Jimmy, fought hard, I guess it was all too much. He passed away two days ago.

Many of you have a pretty good sense of my personal makeup. I call my swimmers and swim families swamily for a reason. You all become such an integral part of my life that I do not see you in any other light. When I think of a young man I coached, mentored, worked with and call friend losing his teenage son, my heart breaks.

I spoke with Ryan at length last night. I will be leaving the pool deck a little early tonight to head up to Georgia to be with him and his family for their son’s funeral tomorrow. I will be back in time for the Fort Myers meet Friday.

Coaching is a profession that offers the kinds of love and kinship demonstrated above. I would not trade my life for all the money in the world. It is not, however, a profession that leads someone to financial riches. Below is a link to a YouCaring page with a way to help out Ryan and his family financially. It’s a small gesture, but parents should not have to worry about money while they deal with the unimaginable stress of losing their first born son. If so moved, please help in any way you can. Thanks in advance for any relief you can provide.

Please keep Ryan and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

OK, let’s move on to some more happier subjects.

Recreational Swim Meet

We will host a Recreational Swim Meet at BSAC this Saturday. These meets are perfect for swimmers in our Novice, Blue and Bronze programs, but swimmers in any group may choose to attend. We have opened up pre-registration on our club’s website. You can declare yes or no by clicking this link .  The cost is $10 and you can swim as many events as you choose. There is a once yearly $5 fee for new swimmers to the event.

I will not be in town. If you can help Coach Kelly as a meet volunteer, it would be appreciated. No special skills are needed. Older swimmers are also encourage to gain volunteer hours by staying and helping run the meet after dryland.

These are fun, fast and family friendly affairs. I hope your swimmer takes advantage of it.

Silver, Blue & Bronze Saturday Changes

Due to the Recreational Meet, we will offer BSAC Silver swimmers the opportunity to come to the 8:00 - 10:00am practice with the Gold through Senior groups. We will not offer any Blue or Bronze practice at BSAC as we hope that they will participate in the meet.

AM Practice Changes

Due to my need to travel to Georgia, we will not hold AM practices for the rest of the week.

Martin Luther King Jr Training Schedule

We will offer a 6:00am - 7:15am option on Monday, January 15th, which is MLK Day, for Silver through Masters. The practice schedule will remain the same.

Gulf Coast Swim Team Meet, Fort Myers

The staff is looking forward to the meet this weekend. It is always nice to go away and swim against new competitors. I truly hope that the parents and swimmers take this opportunity to spend time together off deck. Some of my fondest swim-related moments happened away from the pool. Swim fast, but have fun!

Location, Heat Sheets, Etc.

The Meet Information, Google Map, Psych Sheet, TimeLine and both version of the Heat Sheet (2 & 3 Column) can be found on the meet information page of our club’s website. Click here to visit that page. Please print out the heat sheet prior to arriving at the meet. They will not be for sale on deck.


Many of our swimmers took advantage of the winter camp option. Others did two a days and came to practice regularly during the break. Swimmers in those categories should expect to have even splits, great finishes and improved technique. This is an early season meet so those are the areas we as a staff will focus on at this meet. For the swimmers who took off the majority of the break, we will be looking at their resilience. Are they attacking the swims with heart and according to their specific game plan?  Have they secured the gains made technically and tactically from last season? We want all of our swimmers to start of the second half of their short course season right.

What to Bring

I posted an article entitled, “Preparing For A Swim Meet” last year. If you are not sure what to bring, Please check it out by clicking here .

Team Tents

We will ask our team tent angels to bring them along for this meet. Thanks in advance for helping us out here. Staying out of the elements really helps our swimmers be at their best.

Team Attire

Let’s show our team pride and wear our Blue Wave swag all weekend long. Please be sure to have your team cap. If you need to purchase, please see your training coach prior to Friday.

Notes From The Host Team (Some Scheduling Changes)

We have a few changes that had to be made for the GCST Winter Open as follows:

  1. Saturday morning will be run in 2 courses.  Girls in the 10 lane locker room end, and Boys in the 8 lane scoreboard end.

  2. Saturday 1650’s will run in the Girls end in 10 lanes.  The 12 & under’s can start warm up in the Scoreboard end and the 25 yd diving well.  We need to move right into the pm session after the am is completed give or take a few minutes.

  3. Saturday morning relays (200 Free) are moved to Sunday morning first event up.  If this creates a problem as you may not have enough swimmers to fill the relay based on the change, let me know and we will refund the relay fee.

These changes were required as the meet needs to be completed by 3 PM Saturday due to an FGCU Women’s Basketball game at Alico Arena at 4 PM.  

We are looking to be a little short on timers for Friday night and especially Saturday morning.  We are running 18 lanes on Saturday morning and that has the greatest need. If you have any parents that can help out, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,



It looks like another cold front is headed our way.   The weather may be a factor, so let’s prepare properly and neutralize and potential negative effects. The front moves in on Friday and could bring rain to Fort Myers that evening. While we will be further south, it appears that it will get quite cold on Saturday and Sunday morning. Even though it will warm up some for the afternoon sessions, it will not reach seventy degrees. Please pack accordingly.


January 12 – PM Session: Behind the blocks, ready to swim at 4:25pm. If traveling is an issue, please send me a text (813) 846-8352.

January 13 & 14 - AM Session: Behind the blocks, ready to swim at 7:25am.

January 13th PM Session: Behind the blocks, ready to swim at 10:55am.

January 14th PM Session: Behind the blocks, ready to swim at 12:55pm.


The PM start times my change. I will send out an email with any updates I recieved. Please check your email for those updates.

Distance Event Sign In

If you are entered in any distance event that requires signing in and can not make it, please text me as soon as possible (83) 846-8352. It is our policy to sign in all of our entered swimmers for their distance events unless otherwise informed before warm ups start. Swimmers who are signed in and miss that event may be subject to a penalty. Let’s avoid this by keeping me in the loop if something changes on your end.

A Big Thank You

Thanks for being a part of our extended family. While best times and cuts are important, recent events reinforce what is important; family and friends. It is an honor to work with you all. Let’s go and have fun at both events this weekend.

See you at the pool - Rich