Dear QuickSilver Parents and Families,
We are excited about another year of swimming here at QSS. As we begin, I would like to share with you some of the key program elements we strive to be the best at – elements that I believe make our team special.
Our team philosophy:
1) Coaching matters: We strive to maintain the best coach to swimmer ratio our finances will allow and we invest in high quality, experienced professionals. We study the sport and regularly attend clinics and educational classes to make sure our staff is current in all of the latest improvements in the sport. We bring that knowledge and experience to the pool deck everyday.
2) A plan for each swimmer from A-Z: We coach with the present and future in mind. QuickSilver is designed to offer a planned progression for our swimmers so that they get the most out of their swim careers. Their progression is based on individaul goals and the commitment level they wish to bring to the sport. We believe in the unassailable logic of building around the most important parts of swimming as they relate to success in the water: First do the strokes correctly to eliminate drag and injury potential; then do them correctly at goal pace. Drag reduction is the single biggest factor in separating great swimmers from the rest. We start by working on the techniques and positions we believe will make them most successful throughout their careers – we want to assist our swimmers with long term success. Our goal is to train their fitness while working on the proper techniques that will allow them to prosper in the sport. Swimming is a progression and it is very important to master each step before moving on to the next phase. We strive to offer the opportunity for swimmers to progress at their own best pace for maximum benefit in the long run.
3) Delayed gratification and personal responsibility: The beauty of swimming is that it teaches responsibility and ownership of our actions. In the water we generally achieve what we train to achieve. There are peaks and valleys as we grow, but in the end we will get our earned results. We hope to help each member of our team get the most out of themselves by gradually progressing from group to group, allowing them to learn leadership skills when they are at the top of a group and to learn how to use their teammates to push themselves when they are at the bottom of their group.
4) Good habits in and out of the pool: We promote well-rounded athletes with an emphasis on grades and dryland in our program. We have an Academic All-Star banner the highlights those who show excellent time management and make over 80% of our practices and meets while maintaining an A average in school. It has been repeatedly proven that swimmers are among the best students in the nation from the elementary to the collegiate level. We strongly believe that the time management skills swimmers learn by attending practice while maintaining their grades teaches excellent skills for the future. Those who learn to do both will almost certainly enjoy life more as they apply effective time management skills often throughout their lives.
5) Lifelong friendships and elite training all rolled into one: We are committed to keeping our program in the neighborhoods of Almaden, Gunderson district, and Silver Creek so our young swimmers and their families can learn and grow in the sport and make great friends in a comfortable and convenient environment. We love the small pool teaching facilities and will offer as many swimmers as we can the opportunity to start out at a pool they can bike to if needed. Once the swimmers have reached the commitment level of the national or high school track they will be swimming out of our best training facility for walls and space at the Gunderson Aquatics Center. Groups are always be encouraged to share quality time together at local gatherings away from the pool and we will offer team social opportunities periodically for those who wish to take advantage of the wonderful social aspects of a swim team. All enthusiastic and social people are encouraged to join our social committees who work on these events through out the year.
Few other programs offer the complete program that we do across levels. We have experienced coaches at every level. We coach with the present and future in mind. Our program is based on first hand experience from the best coaches in the sport today: Dave Salo (his swimmers won medals in events ranging from the sprint free, to the breastroke WR, to the 1500), Gregg Troy (Ryan Lochte's coach), and the Stanford coaching staff, and many other olympians, national record holders and local greats. Though these coaches all have different styles and philosophies there are certain constants that they all include. We have built a program around what the best programs in the country have in common.
We believe that it is our responsibility to our children to make sure they have the best opportunity to prove to themselves that their hard work is paying off. We actively participate in local USA Swimming groups (Pacific Swimming and Zone 1 South) by making sure that there are local meets to swim in, including hosting them ourselves as necessary. We believe this contributes to the success of the swimmer and the sport and offers our swimmers the opportunity to test their progress. We strongly encourage attendance at one meet per month, as identified by the coaching staff. We encourage and support our parents with getting involved in one of the greatest sports in the world by becoming officials, volunteering to help enhance team functions, and most importantly helping provide swim meets for our swimmers to race in.
We evaluate races by more than just time, though from season to season the times do provide a great indicator. Streamlines further off walls, stroke count improvement, fewer breaths – these all contribute to success in the water and we work with our swimmers to achieve improvements in all these areas. There are many ways to evaluate the improvement of a swimmer within a season, ways that will ultimately lead to long term success in the sport!
For the long haul:
Swimming is a sport where we work hard for seasons at a time to peak about three times a year; it is critical that we provide our swimmers a chance to see the rewards for all their hard work by attending target meets for each season. Nothing will take the wind from a swimmers sails like training for an entire season only to miss their best shot at their goals because they could not attend their target swim meet. To that end we have provided a calendar with our team meets on our website and ask that each family work with their swimmer’s coach to get the best plan in place for their swimmers.
We host Far Westerns in the spring each year to try to provide an environment that gets our young swimmers excited about the sport. It isn't necessary to swim in the meet to have a great experience there. Our swimmers who have attended the meet in groups to support their teammates and share in the experience have often had the best summer seasons of their lives built on the excitement of the far western meet. It is a great opportunity for all of us to positively impact so many young people, we are blessed to have the opportunity and the parents who care so much.
We would like to see all of our swimmers attend three championship meets this year. The specific championship meet will vary based on their swim level, but will includ one of the following for each season:
Fall/Winter: Race to JO's, 14&U Junior Olympics, Senior Champs, Sectionals, Nationals
Spring: Race to JO's, JO's, Far Westerns, CCS
Summer: SBSL's, JO's, Far Westerns, Sectionals, Nationals
Please make sure to identify your target meet for each season and work with your swimmer's coach to plan the best season. A great time to take family vacations is immediately after your swimmer's big meet. The next great vacation time is after SBSL's or FW in July when we will all be on a break before school starts.
Together we have the ability to make QuickSilver Swimming one of the best teams around! Please join us in this quest. Thank you all for joining us in this wonderful endeavor!