January 28, 2019
Please read through this week’s email for important information.
Douglas Dolfins Valentine’s Day Invite – February 8 – 10
The deadline to register for the Douglas meet is this Wednesday at midnight. Click here to register online. The coaching staff would like to see a large RENO turnout for this meet. Please talk with your child’s coach about events he/she should register for.
Upcoming Practice Changes
Here are some upcoming changes to the schedule:
- The Senior group (and the Pre-Seniors who meet the requirement to attend this practice) will swim an extra 30 minutes on Wednesdays. They will be done at 7:30 PM.
- The National group will return to Carson City on Wednesdays from 5:30 – 7:00 PM.
- On Monday, February 25th the high school swim season starts. This means several of the schools will be using Northwest Pool for practice from 3:00 - 4:15 PM. RENO’s start/finish times for each group will be pushed back 15 minutes.
Swim for Funds
Swim for Funds is in progress! We are looking forward to a great event on Saturday, February 23, 2019, from 4:30 – 6:30 pm at the Carson pool. Swimmers should plan to collect pledges until February 23. This is our biggest fundraiser and we are looking to raise $10,000! We’d like every swimmer to participate.
A recent article from TrueSport.org highlighted the increase in athlete burnout in youth sports. Swimming is a sport that is notorious for athlete burnout. From personal experience, I saw many of my competitors who were ranked #1 in the country in the 9-10 and 11-12 age groups quit the sport before they graduated high school. Burnout was the main reason for them leaving the sport.
Dr. Thomas D. Raedeke from East Carolina University has been studying burnout and ways that it can be prevented. According to Dr. Raedeke “burnout is in part a reaction to chronic stress. The stress can come from overtraining but also from external sources. It can directly stem from parents who pressure their child, or more subtly from family life that evolves around sport. It can also result from negative coaching behaviors. Some athletes also have internal personality characteristics, like an innate sense of perfectionism, that make them vulnerable to burnout. But stress is only part of the story.”
Burnout is a complex issue and not always obvious. Three major symptoms include:
- Emotional and physical exhaustion
- Devaluation and detachment – a negative attitude toward the sport
- Reduced sense of accomplishment
“Like an actual fire, burnout is best handled through prevention instead of reaction. Raedeke states that ‘burnout is a relatively chronic state,’ meaning there are no proven treatments for curing burnout. It can, however, be prevented.”
Doing the following can help prevent burnout:
- Balance training demands with recovery
- Promote balance
- Have a positive support network
- Empower athletes
“In the end, preventing burnout comes down to keeping sports fun, decreasing stress, and reducing the chance that an athlete will feel trapped by sport.”
To read the entire TrueSport article, click here.
Swimming at a high-level is very demanding and stressful. To achieve great success in the sport requires a lot of hours and sacrifices – there’s no way around it. But if a team is structured properly, burnout can be avoided. A few specifics that we implement at RENO to try to avoid burnout include:
- Two-week team break in the summer
- One-week break for the younger swimmers in December
- Time-off for older swimmers after big meets
- Structured groups based on age and ability level and trying to progress swimmers at an appropriate rate based on age and ability.
- Maintaining a positive atmosphere
- Having open communication with parents and swimmers
I have seen many talented swimmers leave the sport due to burnout. My goal is to do all we can to avoid this and keep RENO athletes in the sport for the long-term.
Each week, I will post the “Parent Education” section on the website. Click here to read the archived articles.
Here are the upcoming meets for Reno Aquatic Club:
- February 8 – 10 – Douglas Dolfins Valentine's Day Invite / Minden, NV (all)
- March 3 – Zone All-Star Meet (those seleced)
- March 13 – 15 – Pacific 14-Under JO Meet (Qualification times needed – talk with coach to see if swimmer should attend)
If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. Thank you for your support.