December 10, 2013
Over the past three years that I have been working with Gators I have seen many things evolve. When I first came on board we had many swimmers that were just learning the ins and outs of competitive swimming. Last year we had quite a boom in new members as well. Many of these swimmers have stuck with the sport and the club over the past three years and I have seen these young swimmers progress through the ranks. We are now at the point where we are ready to take the next step and start training many of our swimmers to eventually excel at the "Senior/Varsity" level in Club and High School competition.
We are fortunate that within an hour's drive of where we live we can find all the meets that a swimmer needs to continue to make progress towards unlocking all the potential that they may have inside. As a club we need to take more advantage of this situation and increase our meet attendance. As a parent work with your swimmer to form a goal for the meet so that there is a purpose for each event. For example I will often sign one of my kids up for a meet with the purpose of working on one event where she may be strong, one event she may be working on imporoving in, and one event she rarely does. Sometimes we use meets as "training" with the intent of gaining meet experience that will help down the road. If anyone ever needs help with suggestions for meets don't hesitate to ask any of the Gator's staff, we love this stuff!
There are many reasons why swimmers may belong to Gators and as a Coach I am happy to work with any swimmer at any level, but if becoming a more competitive swimmer is your goal especially with regard to the High School season you need to consistently compete in meets. There are many reasons for my opinion on this but the main thought driving my beliefs is you can only gain meet experience in one way, MEETS! During the club season swimmers have the opportunity to challenge themselves by competing in events that are not offered in the High School season. Swimmers grow by trying things they might not think are possible and succeeding in them. After all how hard can the 100 Fly be if a swimmer has competed in a meet where he/she swam the 200 Fly? The 500? That's easy I've completed a 1,650! Its easy to see how when swimmers challenge themselves in the "off-season" they gain tremendous confidence when competing in the upcoming High School season.
USA Swimming offers the IM-X program http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1720&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en-US This program offers incentive for swimmers to complete the full spectrum of events to become a stronger overall swimmer. There are also incentives for club recognition when certain percentages of our swimmers become IMXers, so do it for the team! As a parent I also use the "Deck Pass" application frequently to keep track of times, IMX rankings, and events swam. If you have not used this it is a great tool. http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=2151&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en Have your swimmer register for the Deckpass and tell them to let Jean and I know when they do, we use it to track everyone on the team.
This coming Saturday (December 14) there is a "Senior" meet that we are hosting at West Irondequoit in the morning, all of our "Seniors" should be participating in this, so far I am pretty happy with what I see as far as sign-ups go so far, let Jean or Me know if your swimmer is able to swim this meet if you have not already done so. We will get them into events. There is also the Victor IMX challenge coming up in January, I know the deadline to register for this is near. This type of meet is a perfect opportunity for a swimmer to take up a real challenge, do all the IMX events in the space of two days, it will help build the endurance needed during the Championship season in March. http://www.niagaraswim.org/EventShow.jsp?returnPage=%2FEventsCurrent.jsp%3Fteam%3Deznslsc&id=362835&team=eznslsc As always if you have any questions or want to ask me about my thoughts on your swimmer that I may be working with please don't hesitate to ask me.