Head Coach's Message

Dear Members,

So far it has been a great start to our Long Course Season.  We have currently 3 splashes that rank #1 in the state and many more that are currently in the top 10 in Maryland.  The coaches are excited to see what the rest of the summer holds.  We have already in the first 3 meets of the Long Course season surpassed our VCC score from last year.  At the end of last season we ended with a score of 36,427, already this season we have a score of 39,939.  This is a great accomplishment and I look forward to seeing the score rise and our swimmers continue to get faster. 

Summer Schedule begins Monday, June 1st

Over the summer we will be running the same schedule with a few minor adjustments to account for Gilman Water Polo club and the ESF camp schedule and use of the pool.   I will contact the affected practice groups directly and inform them of their changes.  Otherwise it will be business as normal; except for those weekends that training levels are expected to be at meets and cancellations set down by the Gilman Athletics Department.   

Upcoming Meet Schedule

June 27-28: ASC/RAC Independence Meet:

Entries have already been sent and unfortunately the host team is not open to updates and scratches.  This is unfortunate, but we are in the meet, while other clubs in the area that did not get their entries in early are not.  If the host club changes its tune on accepting updates, those families that have requested updates, I have kept our e-mail communications and I will let you know if I can get the scratches and updates into the meet.

July 9-12: ASC/RAC Sandbox Invitational:  (Update/Scratch Deadline is June 1st)

Registration deadline has past.  This meet is for qualified swimmers (12&under BB & Faster, 13&up A &faster) and a prelims/finals meet.  I have talked to the host team about their entry procedure and per their meet notice they will not be accepting entries until June 8th at noon.  So MSC will be sending our entries in that day at 12:01pm.   This means that if you would like to make any changes to your commitment before June 1st please email Coach Clarke.  Once we send in our entries on the 8th there is very little we can do to change those entries.  Those swimmers working to qualify for this meet will have to do so at the NAAC “A” Buster. 

July 17-19: FSC Last Chance Championship Qualifying meet: (registration Deadline is June 1st)

Registration deadline is approaching fast.  We will be attempting to send in updates on June 24th if the host club is open to scratches and updates.  This meet is for swimmers with B times through state qualifying times.  Please keep in mind that this is a three day meet (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)

July 24-26: BCSC 11th Annual Unity Championship Meet:  (Registration deadline is June 3rd)

Registration deadline is approaching fast, We will be attempting to send in updates on June 26th if the host club is open to scratches and updates.  This is a NO TIME STANDARD meet.  Meaning everyone is qualified to swim.  We will not be sending State Championship qualifiers to this meet, unless they have a light state championships schedule and could use the extra swims.  Coaches will talk to their State Championship swimmers about this and work out a plan.

July 30-August 2nd: Maryland Swimming Long Course Championship Meet:

Entries will be sent immediately following the FSC Last Chance Qualifier.  For those swimmers already qualified, NOW is the best time to book your hotel before they are sold out.  If your swimmer’s goal is to make state champs, NOW is the best time to book the hotel.  It does not cost anything to cancel the reservation, but it can get costly to book too late.  Our regular hotel in St. Mary’s county that we travel to for this meet is the Hampton Inn, however there are many affordable options in the area.  If you are unsure if you swimmer has a shot at State Champs, please talk with your coaches, but a good rule of thumb is to think about the meets your swimmer is competing in.  If they are competing in BB & slower meets only, they are very far away from State Champs qualifying times.  If they are swimming A & Faster meets, they are close to the cuts.  State cuts are around A & AA times depending on the age.  All “Achievements” have been marked just outside the meet doors under “Season Results” so you can see if your swimmer has qualified and see how far up the ladder they have to climb to get to state cuts.  Those that are qualified so far are marked with “MDSC”. 

….which leads me to my next topic…

Season Results, Team Ranking, Statistics, & Future Goal Setting

If you have not already seen it…. We have begun posting Season Results on the bulletin board just outside the pool doors.  This is the most current swims from the long course season.  This does not show Personal Best times from previous seasons, only best times swum so far this season.  You will also see some labels on the times to show what time standard has been achieved (B, BB, A, AA, AAA, or AAAA), as well as what achievements has been made (REC-team record, MDSC- Maryland State Cut)

The reason for posting these results is for the swimmers to do two things.  1) Celebrate their achievements and rankings among the team and 2) Set goals to disrupt the rankings.  None of those times are set in stone and anyone willing to work hard enough and push themselves to do better can work their way up the rankings.  Swimmers should not look at those times and be disgusted or disheartened by their placement on the board.  They should look at the board; figure out who the swimmers are above them and ask themselves what those other swimmers are doing to be so fast, and then begin setting goals to raise their level in the rankings.  It is not too late to work hard and achieve great things.  Also, with summer on the horizon, there will be some extra time to use and I hope that many swimmers choose to practice and reach their goals.  The coaches are ready and willing to work with any swimmer that is focused and dedicated to achieving their full potential. 

You will also notice soon a new ranking system for the IMX results.  I recently read a book called “Developing Swimmers” by Michael Brooks, brother of Gilman Head Coach Ian Brooks, and he talked about a rating system for the IMX scores.  I have been in contact with Coach Michael Brooks and he has given me this rating system and I will be displaying the results from that soon as more swimmers begin to complete their IMX swims and achieve scores. 

I would also like to open up the suggestion doors and ask what statistics you as a membership would like to see?  I have been talking with many coaches from other teams to see what other numbers/statistics I can use to help the swimmers better understand the sport, their achievements and understanding how to set goals to compete.  I always here the basics:  record board and top times; but are their other numbers that could be more meaningful to the swimmers, like attendance records, GPA, test set completions, etc.  Please let me know if there is a statistic that would be interesting to see posted on the pool deck and I will see what I can do to collect the data.  At Mariners we want to see the entire athlete develop and succeed in and out of the pool, we are always trying to work for improvement. 

Summer Team vs. Year Round Swimming

Now that summer swim team is about to begin, many of you may be asking the question, what team do I swim for this summer.  The answer is BOTH!!  We highly encourage our swimmers to go and practice for their summer pools, as it is great marketing for the team, but to also practice with Mariners as well.  Swimmers returning from a year of swimming through the winter will notice that they are ahead of eight ball and much faster than those swimmers that did not train through the winter.  Swimmers will see instant success which is always a good feeling and great for each swimmer to have that moment.  However, we would still like to see every swimmer on a regular basis.  Summer clubs are meant to encourage the sport and team bonding, yet they do not produce high performance, nor will the summer practices stress your swimmers bodies enough for high achievements and improvements.  As I said earlier, your swimmers will notice they are going faster than most because they have been working through the winter, while others have not.  To maintain that feeling of accomplishment, swimmers should work to do both practices.  For your swimmer that is double the coaching, almost double the pool time and lots more opportunity for each swimmer to improve.  There is no end all, be all in coaching.  There is no one coach that knows it all and can work with every swimmer.  It is good for swimmers to get feedback from other areas, because even summer coaches will say the same thing that the Mariner coaches have been saying all year, but sometimes it just means more when it comes out of someone else’s mouth.  I’m sure every parent has had that same struggle, constantly telling your child something, but it is not until their coach, babysitter, friend, or random kind stranger says something about it that the behavior that you have been working toward has changed.   So we encourage all our swimmers to be good coachable athletes outside our program and be a leader in the pool with their summer clubs.  The more time they have in an organized activity the less time they have to get themselves into trouble, so we hope to see all swimmers as often as possible over the summer. 


End of the Year and Prep for next season

The board and the Head Coach will be meeting in June to discuss the end of the year, including new swimmer tryouts and the practice schedule for the end of the season.  They will also discuss changes and improvements to the program to continue the level of improvement and growth that our program has undergone in the last few years.  In my next coaches message in June I will relay to you all this information and the end of the season.  I thank you all for your patience, flexibility and support through this swim season and we hope to continue to work to develop each and every swimmer for the betterment of the community and the team. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Take Care,

Coach Clarke