One of the best attributes of New Trier and the Northshore suburbs is the sense of community pride. The sense of community and village is one of the big reasons I wanted to coach at NTA, because I believe a swim team should be a family to support each other throughout the course of a swimmer’s life. I’m still very close with many of the people I swam with through the years (thank you, Facebook!) as are my parents and I want any team that I work with to espouse that same feeling of commitment to a greater purpose. NTA embodies that goal and that purpose more than any other team in the Chicagoland area.
That being said, the swimmers can only give so much. With Build-A-Base, we need everyone to step up and help out. Running a meet is often a lot like a group project in high school - usually 1-2 people do all the work and everyone takes credit - and that really shouldn’t be the case when we have such a great community of volunteer potential. When we make money at meets (because we do make some money) - that goes to great things like pool rental, equipment purchase and coach salaries - aka - our community!
Swim meets have many jobs/tasks that we need filled to run a phenomenal meet. There’s timers, runners, awards, officials, hospitality, vending, clean-up...whatever your skill set might be, there’s a job that needs filling. With 350 families on the team - if EVERY family gave 2 hours of time, our meet would literally be the best run meet ever. So log into the team website and sign up...if you don’t see something that appeals to you - let us know -- we will find something!
1) Time at meets we don’t host. Throw on an NTA t-shirt or Royal blue tank top and get on deck to time. We have to provide timers at EVERY meet we attend - but it’s often the same people meet after meet. What better way to see your swimmer than from right on the deck? Timers are providing back-up times, so don’t worry - it’s important but not life or death if you’re not perfect.
2) Officiate. In order to run a meet, there has to be at a minimum, 5 officials. For a meet to run well, it needs to have upwards of 12-15 officials. The certification process is relatively easy, and honestly, lack of swimming experience is often better because you have no preconceived notion of what strokes should be. And the benefit of the doubt always remains with the swimmer - if you’re not certain, you don’t call it!
3) Hour of Power. April 22 we have a BIG fundraiser for cancer research. We always need an extra set of hands (or 12) - ask the coaches what you can do to help - setup/cleanup, timing, cheering, vendor solicitation and more!
4) Board of Directors. Maybe you’d like to learn what makes the team tick - we’re always looking for intrepid individuals to be the oarsmen in the ship that is NTA. There’s a variety of positions available and we’re always looking for fresh ideas and new blood as we look to expand our effect on the northshore community.
5) Committees. Maybe you just have a little time to give - try a committee. Some of the many committees we have are Apparel, Awards, Officials, Banquet, Socials, Meets, Volunteers, Group Liasons, Facility Development and MORE. I'm sure one of those might pique your interest a little bit. Sometimes we just need good accountants, orthopedists or other professionals.
6) Volunteer/Sponsorships. Perhaps you're a Physical Therapist specializing in shoulder rehab. Or you have a good friend who owns a nutritional smoothie store. Or maybe you have a connection to a shoe company. These are all partnerships that we can make to enhance our relationship with the community as not just a swim team, but as a part of something bigger than ourselves. Let us know - I'm happy to meet with whomever to help make our team better.
Remember 1% better every week will make us 52% better by 2018.
That's only .14% per day (1.6 hours per week)
What's the 1% you can give?
The biggest reason to volunteer (and I know you all do at school, at church, at community groups) is you can become a little more invested in the sport your child loves and put forth an example of giving and commitment. I remember my dad was always the head timer or a stroke and turn official and my mom ran awards or heating. My little sister would run snacks out for hospitality when she had to stay for finals with me. Knowing my family supported me made swimming faster and enjoying my time at meets that much more impactful because I felt so much support from my family. It brought us closer together - we'd clean up the facility after meets together and then go eat dinner as a family, usually with other families...many of whom we still are close with today-how great is that?
Swim Teams are unique in that athletes will often be with the same swimmers and coaches and community for the duration of their participation in the sport - if you like coming to the pool to hang with your friends, your kids will magically like it more too - after all, their biggest role models are their parents.
Parent Volunteer Policy
Volunteer Job Descriptions
Expectations for Timers at Away Meets
Safety Marshall Guidelines