Our primary goal is to provide an environment that promotes personal development in all of our team members. We wish to nurture and promote those traits that have proven to be the essence of personal success… discipline, dedication, commitment, work ethic, respect & loyalty all, of which, lie at the very core of this success. In terms of an athlete’s career, we focus first on developing athleticism in our swimmers through an extensive dry land training program. This allows for greater balance, coordination, strength, endurance and body mass control development in our swimmers. In the water we focus on creating the kicker and the stroke technician next. From these 3 will come the racer!
Carefully planning the stages that an athlete goes through in their development ensures a greater chance for a long, successful career in this sport. Fear should be raised not from what is demanded to achieve excellence in life but from what excuses hold us down to remain average players in our lives. We will educate our members towards all aspects of swimming and provide programs suitable to their needs and desires while trying to assist these athletes in determining their short and long term goals in this sport.
In pursuit of the achievement of our mission and in line with our philosophy… every individual, regardless of ability level, will be treated with equal fairness and concern for the longevity of a quality career in the sport of swimming.
GCSTO’s History & Tradition
GCSTO’s history can be traced back to the late sixties when a man by the name of Jim Stimmel first organized a group of summer pools into the Greater Columbus Swim Club. The club became the “team” in the mid-seventies under the leadership of Roger Fagan. The team then went through steady growth in the next few years and was led by several different head coaches (Dan Hale, Steve Fox & Bruce Barlow). In 1979, a new assistant coach, Steve Nye, came onto staff. With the retirement of then head coach, Bruce Barlow, in the spring of 1980, Nye was hired as the team’s new head coach. Coach Nye has been with the program ever since. With the help of a tremendous number of volunteer parents and an incredibly consistent array of knowledgeable and energetic coaches filling out all aspects of our staff, the team has grown into the organization that it is today, which consists of nearly 300 competitive swimmers and over 25 coaches each year. GCSTO carries a hard earned reputation as one of the top age group and senior swimming programs in the state and provides a home for athletes from novice in ability to those athletes training to achieve world ranked status. GCSTO is well known as one of the most organized and parent involved programs in the state. We have a strong name for discipline and hard work while maintaining a lighthearted attitude. GCSTO also has one of the longest standing coaching staffs in the state and is well known for producing quality coaches on an extremely consistent basis.
GCSTO head coach, Steve Nye, has been a member of the USA Swimming National Team Staff and has served as a coach at the 1990 US Olympic Festival, the 1991 National Junior Team Training Camp, the 1992 National Team at the Quebec Cup, the
1994 National Team Dual Meet Series and has been selected as Ohio Swimming’s Senior Coach of the Year over 8 times throughout his career… more than any other coach in the state and most recently in 2011. GCSTO assistant coaches have also been chosen as part of the Ohio All-Star Team coaching staff over 25 times. GCSTO has had at least 20 athletes compete in the US Swimming Olympic Team Selection meets in the past. GCSTO is the age group/senior program of 2000 US Olympian Amanda Adkins. The team has now produced or trained 20 world ranked athletes, 2 Olympic team members, a Pan-American Games medal winner, a Pan-Pacific team member, 3 World Championship team members, 2 Olympic Festival team members, 3 NCAA champions and 2 members of American Record holding relay teams. GCSTO’s age group program is consistently one of the stronger programs in the state and in keeping with our mission of continually making swimmers faster, is proud to be known as home to one of the best senior programs in the state.
Swim Team Program Structure
GCSTO's program structure is designed to provide athletes with the training and instruction that best fits the needs of their current ability levels. Our Novice Swim Team practices once or twice each week for 1.25 hour each time. Novice swimmers rarely participate in USA Swimming swim meets but are welcomed to if they would like. Those athletes deciding to join our Competitive Age Group Swim Team are assigned to our levels based on their current training, technical and competitive capabilities. Although practices are only required for our national training group (Level 5), Level 1 through 3 athletes are expected to practice at least 3 times per week while Level 4 athletes are expected to practice at least 4 times per week. Level 1 through 3 athletes are not required to participate with us year around though consistent participation is the key to continued progression in this sport and is highly encouraged. Level 4 athletes are asked to participate year around and we reserve the right to assign training positions in this training group based on this factor. Level 5 athletes are required to participate year around. Although competition is not required for our younger swimmers, progressing from Level 1 through 3 on this team, more and more of our swimmers take part in local competitions and are encouraged to do so. All Level 1 through 3 athletes participating in competitions are expected to compete through the highest level meet for which they are qualified at the end of each season. Level 4 & 5 athletes are expected to participate in local competitions and are expected to compete in their complete championship series, as well.
How Serious Are We?
We can't tell you how many times we've heard that people have not joined "club swimming", GCSTO especially, because it was (we are) SO SERIOUS. Not clarified, that statement is construed as negative in most people's eyes... and, understandably so. Our response to someone who feels this way is this:
1 - If you are talking about the fact that we stress SAFETY to all swimmers when they are in and around pools, then YES we are very "serious" about this matter.
2 - If you are talking about the fact that we stress SPORTSMANSHIP in all aspects of life to all members of GCSTO, then YES we are very "serious" about this matter.
3 - If you are talking about the fact that we believe that FAMILY & EDUCATION should take precedence in their lives then YES we are very "serious" about this matter.
4 - If you are talking about the fact that we stress the importance TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE to our swimmers, then YES we are very "serious" about this matter.
5 – If you are talking about the fact that we stress ATHLETICISM & A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE to our swimmers, then YES we are very “serious” about this matter.
6 - If you are talking about the fact that we stress RESPECT for other people's property and other people, themselves, then YES we are very "serious" about this matter.
7 - If you are talking about the fact that we stress the need for PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT in their children's activities, then YES we are very serious about this matter.
8 - If you are talking about the fact that we stress POSITIVE & SUPPORTIVE BEHAVIOR to every one of our members, then YES we are very "serious" about this matter.
9 – If you are talking about the fact that we stress the importance of STAFF INVOLVEMENT all practices & all meets then, YES we are very "serious" about this matter.
10 - If you are talking about the fact that we stress the importance of DISCIPLINE, DEDICATION, HARD WORK, COMMITMENT, RESPONSIBILITY, PUNCTUALITY, LOYALTY & GOAL SETTING, then by all means… YES we are very serious about this sport.
Would you expect ANYTHING less of someone who you have left responsible for your children? When you say, or hear someone else say that we are "serious", why not clarify what we are serious about? Otherwise you could get the wrong picture of “serious” in your head. The word "serious" probably scares off more new families than you could possibly imagine. We believe that most of the people who think that we are way too serious believe so because they see the end product that we produce and figure that the only way that these athletes achieved such tremendous success is because we are "so serious". WE ARE... just not about the things that they probably think we are.
GCSTO Strong, GCSTO Proud... STILL GCSTO!