TEAM MANAGEMENT - The Gator Swim Team is owned by the Alameda Swimming Pool Association (ASPA) and managed with the assistance of the Alameda Gators Parent Board. ASPA provides pool time at Lincoln and Franklin pools, primary insurance for our swimmers, pays benefits and salaries to our coaches and helps purchase equipment. The Parent Board manages all of the day-to-day administrative aspects of the program (membership, billing and payments, team events, etc.). For a list of current board members and their contact information, see the Coaches & Directors section of our webpage.
COMMUNICATION - With multiple swimming groups, multiple coaches, multiple practice sites, and comparatively few mandatory events where general announcements can be made to everyone at once, communication on a swim team can be a big challenge!
- Email: The vast majority of team communications are conducted via email. Please make sure that your email address is up to date in your account on our website, and please pay attention to announcements and emails that you receive from us. We will do our best to communicate with you in a timely manner, but families are also responsible for staying actively informed, by checking our website regularly and communicating with their coaches whenever they have questions or concerns.
- Cell phones: For parents of older swimmers, the Pre-Senior and Senior coaches often communicate practice changes and other information to their teen swimmers by cell phone. If your swimmer carries a cell phone, please encourage him/her to share their number with their coach, so that last minute changes in schedules can be communicated to them directly.
- Practice cancelations: While we do our best to notify families ahead of time if practice will be canceled, certain situations are out of our control in this area. If a coach arrives at the pool to discover that something is broken, or if another unexpected emergency arises, practice will have to be canceled at the last minute. This happens several times every year, in spite of our best attempts to avoid it. For this reason, however, parents should NEVER drop off their swimmer at one of our pools without confirming that the coaches are there and practice will be taking place. You need not walk them to the pool area yourself every day, but please devise a plan with your swimmer for him/her to communicate with you in your car (by waving or otherwise) to let you know that the coaches are there… before you drive away!
GROUP STRUCTURE - In keeping with the philosophy of providing a quality, competitive swimming program for young people of all ages, abilities, and area of interest, the Gators offer several levels of instruction and training in our year-round program:
Novice Groups: (Copper/Nickel/Steel) This level is for the beginning swimmer who does not have much stroke experience. It is designed to introduce young swimmers to the sport of swimming while allowing maximum opportunity to participate in other activities. Emphasis is on teaching the fundamentals of the four competitive strokes by means of drills and games that make swimming fun. Workouts are about 80% stroke work and 20% conditioning.
Junior Groups: Our Juniors (Bronze, Silver and Gold) are the swimmers of tomorrow. This group is for swimmers with knowledge of all legal strokes and turns who are ready to learn more advanced stroke techniques. Starts, turns, finishes, and reading the pace clock are taught. The objective of the Junior group is to reach A times. Workouts are about 70% stroke work and 30% conditioning. Swimmers in the Junior group are still encouraged to try other sports and enjoy other activities.
Pre-Senior Group: This group is a transitional level in which swimmers move in to competitive training and prepare for senior-level swimming. Commitment to training increases and season planning becomes more long-term. Building the foundation for a well-rounded swimmer continues, but some specialization is introduced as individual aptitudes are discovered. Athletes continue to learn more about how to train and why they train. Goal setting is emphasized at this level and done individually with the coach. Workouts are about 50% stroke work and 50% conditioning.
Senior Group: This group is for swimmers with the necessary ability and desire to train and compete on a regional and national level. Senior swimmers experience an elite level of training where they learn state-of-the art stroke techniques. There is a focus on heart rates and aerobic and anaerobic cycle training. These swimmers enter national and international competitions where they compete against swimmers from all over the world. Senior swimmers should place swimming as their number one athletic activity. Morning and afternoon workouts are held to develop these swimmers to their maximum potential. As in the pre-senior group, goal setting is done individually with the coach. In keeping with team philosophy, even at the senior level, practices are still designed to help swimmers of differing abilities achieve their personal goals.
THE SPORT OF SWIMMING IN THE UNITED STATES - HOW WE FIT - United States Swimming, Inc. (USA-S) is the governing body for all amateur swimming in the United States. Its national headquarters is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It registers athletes, sanctions events, and conducts local, regional, and national competitions. USS is affiliated with the Federation Internationale de Natation Amateur (FINA). Each year USA-S publishes United States Swimming Rules and Regulations which describe legal strokes and give the time standards for the year, records, and meet information.
USA-S is divided geographically into regions or associations, referred to as Local Swimming Committees, or LSCs. Although each LSC operates under a constitution and bylaws laid down by the national organization, each association is, to a great extent, governed by home rule. Each association elects its own officers, appoints its own committees, and conducts a program of athletic promotion and development within its territories and takes part in the various championships sponsored by the national organization.
The Gators are a member of the Pacific Swimming LSC (PC), which consists of most of northern California and the northwestern portion of Nevada. Pacific Swimming is further divided into four zones. We are in Zone 2, which includes all of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties and a portion of the San Joaquin Valley. The majority of the team, as age-group swimmers, swim primarily in Pacific Swimming sanctioned meets.
Put graphically, it looks like this…