Wave engages in a multi-level competition program with USA Swimming that, like our training program, attempts to provide challenging, yet success-oriented competitive situations for swimmers of all ages and abilities. The following policies outline our philosophy:
1. We emphasize competition with oneself. Winning ribbons, medals or trophies is not our main goal. If the swimmer finishes first, but has swum poorly in comparison to his/her own past performances, he/she is encouraged to do better. The individual’s improvement is our primary objective.
2. Sportsmanlike behavior is as important as improved performance. All the coaches teach swimmers how to behave like champions when the swimmer has both a "good" and a "bad" swim. Respect for officials, congratulations to other competitors, encouragement to teammates, determined effort and mature attitudes are examples of behaviors praised and rewarded by the WAVE coaching staff.
3. A swimmer is praised for improving his/her stroke or time. It is the coach’s job to offer constructive criticism of a swimmer’s performance. It is the parent’s responsibility to provide love and encouragement that bolster the swimmer’s confidence along the way.
Swimmers are taught to set realistic, yet challenging, goals for meets and to relate those goals to practice to direct their training efforts.
Swimmers are prepared and encouraged to compete in all swimming events, distances and strokes. This policy promotes versatility and encourages the swimmer to explore his potential in the wide range of events offered in competitive swimming. Oftentimes, a swimmers "best" stroke changes as he matures and his body goes through physical changes.
Swimmers 11 years old and older will be exposed to prelim/finals-formatted swim meets. All swimmers who attend these meets are expected to return for finals even if he or she did not make a fast enough time for finals. It is our belief that swimmers need to learn how to prepare for swimming in finals; therefore, everyone returns for finals—even if they are not swimming that evening—and participates in warm-up and (if pool space allows) will swim a workout.
WAVE Swimming emphasizes a TEAM and FAMILY atmosphere. Our swimmers cheer for each other, work together towards achieving team and individual goals, and learn the value of being a great team member. Our parents also work together with a truly volunteer organization, to ensure a great environment for our athletes. There are no required volunteer hours or fees applied for not working WAVE events, but our families respond with nearly a 75% participation rate in volunteering for the team. WAVE swimmers train, compete and socialize as a TEAM. WAVE families become part of one big family that cares for each other and supports each other in our goals of success for each individual and the team.
WAVE encourages team building through a variety of events both in and out of the pool. In the pool we do several team wide practices followed by a breakfast, lunch or dinner. We have the older swimmers work with the younger swimmers which allows the younger swimmers to develop role models and the older swimmers to give back to the team and support the younger athletes. We have team spirit nights at local restaurants where families can get together and socialize away from the pool. Throughout the year there are group and site parties that allow the swimmers to have fun together away from the pool. We offer a full calendar of events to help keep swimming fun for the athletes and to develop a stronger team atmosphere.