From Our Coaches

 

MESSAGE FROM THE COACHES

Welcome to the Sleepy Hollow Legends.  The outstanding team success in the pool (OMPA champions – 6 years, OMPA 2nd place finishes –10 years, County Champions – 3 years, county top five finishes – 9 years, never out of the top 9 team placing) is something for which we are proud.  The consistency of this program over the past fourteen seasons comes down to overall commitment by the swimmers, parents and the coaching staff to make a difference. 

Coaching has always been about relationships.  Having been a part of the Sleepy Hollow Family for over a decade, we’ve had the opportunity to watch swimmers grow throughout their entire swim careers.  Being with them from their first swimming experiences and watching them develop into young adults has been the most rewarding part of coaching at Sleepy Hollow.

Coaching is our opportunity to make a difference; teaching swimmers about commitment, dedication, hard work and love for this team and the sport of swimming.  Our mission is simple; make a commitment to excellence.

As a staff we expect no less of ourselves than we ask of the swimmers.  We are dedicated to developing each swimmer to their fullest potential.  We look forward to another outstanding summer at Sleepy Hollow.

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

Doing well in anything requires attention to detail and a lot of hard work.  Developing swimmers is no different. Regardless of age or skill level, each swimmer has the ability to work out like a champion.  We understand that the workout environment is crucial to the overall growth of each swimmer.  The workouts will be organized and disciplined.  We require swimmers to pay attention and focus during workout.  We demand execution.  We want each child to take responsibility for his/her swimming (think about the drills and their stroke technique).  We will challenge them to accomplish more than they believe possible.  At the same time, we will make it a fun experience. 

Opportunity for Success

Whether it is doing a perfect dive, a no-breather or finishing a hard set, swim practice offers daily opportunities for success.  Improvement has a lot to do with repetition.  When swimmers attend workout on a daily basis, they increase their chances for improvement.  We understand that families will go on vacation and workouts will be missed but please avoid missing workouts for other reasons (after a Wednesday night meet or too tired). Every workout missed is a missed opportunity.

The Big Picture

There is a saying, “overnight success takes several years”.  Children grow and develop at different rates.  Some experience success early, some experience success after several years of hard work.  Be patient and be in the sport for the long haul. The focus should always be on each individual swimmer.  Improvement, a love for swimming and team pride should always be the priority.  Always be supportive and encourage best efforts.  The sport of swimming, more than other sports, teaches valuable life lessons.  Keep your child in the sport of swimming as long as possible.

No Down Years

We do not believe in the “down year”.  While moving to a new age group may not be easy, our goal is for each swimmer to improve to their fullest potential each year.  It is our experience that each year is critical to the swimmers overall, long-term success. Swimming development is cumulative and the overall success of this team is dependent on each swimmer giving their maximum effort and commitment each year regardless of their age.  Please do not minimize your child’s swimming because “it is their bottom year”.

Let Us Coach

Our job is to coach your children.  We will push them, challenge them, praise them, teach them and sometimes be hard on them (tough love).  Swimming is not easy and we teach very technical skills (especially with the older swimmers).  Your children need you to be their parents and not their coaches.  Although parents mean well, coaching your child often leads to confusion and misunderstanding.  Please leave the coaching to us.

The Sleepy Hollow Family

Over twenty years of coaching, has provided us the opportunity to watch hundreds of swimmers grow up.  Many of our older swimmers began with swimming at Sleepy Hollow as 4 and 5-year olds. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to become a part of these children’s’ lives and watch them grow and mature.  We feel we have the responsibility to help mold them into great individuals. We do our best to set an example for them to follow.  We thank Sleepy Hollow for providing us the opportunity to do what we love to do…coach your kids.

Parent Involvement

We feel lucky to be a part of a program as great as Sleepy Hollow.  There is no better place or program for your children.  We know that this team would not be successful without parent involvement.  We urge you to do whatever you can to continue the great tradition of summer swimming at Sleepy Hollow.  Sleepy Hollow will benefit from your efforts.  Remember Legend Pride begins with you, the parent.

Communication

Important team information will be posted on the windows of the coach’s office.  This includes meet line-ups, lesson schedules, social activities and invitational sign-ups.  Please make it a habit to check the windows on a daily basis.  In addition each family has a file folder for any fliers, ribbons or other team communications.  Please check regularly.

Swim Lessons

Competitive Swim Lessons with the coaches are available throughout the summer.  Lessons are not just for novice swimmers.  Most of our top swimmers have been taking swim lessons for many summers.  Lessons are a great supplement to the workouts and provide additional small group, hands-on instruction.  For more information on lessons, read the section on Swim Lessons in the handbook and our our website.

 We look forward to an outstanding summer of swimming, fun and Legend Pride!

Thanks and good luck!

Matt and your Sleepy Hollow Coaching Staff

 

Matt Ehrenberger, Head Coach

Matt joined Sleepy Hollow back in 1994. He came from the Pinole Seals where they had just won seven straight county championships. Along with Ron Heidary they transformed Sleepy Hollow into one of the top programs in the county. In addition, they started Orinda Aquatics year-round team and Polar Bears Fall swimming at Sleepy Hollow. Matt is the head age group coach with Orinda Aquatics. Matt’s coaching and commitment has been, and will always be, a very important part of Sleepy Hollow’s success (3 county meet wins & 6 OMPA titles). Matt and Tisha have three children: Justin, Nathan, and Bailey.

Tony Ravnik, Senior Assistant Coach

Joining us since 2009 is Tony Ravnik. Tony spent his swimming career at OCC (13 years). Tony’s coaching/teaching background includes 21 years of teaching learn to swim and competitive swimming lessons. Tony was the Aquatics Director at the Claremont Country Club in Oakland from 2005-2007 before he began coaching in the OMPA. Tony spent 7 years at Bishop O'Dowd as the head swimming and water polo coach. He was the head coach for 2 years at Meadow in 2007 and 2008. Tony coaches with Orinda Aquatics in the Fall Polar bears program and he also coached 3 seasons for Campolindo High School Swimming. Tony graduated from U.C. Davis in 2000 with a B.A. in Communications.

Ron Heidary – Technical Advisor

Ron is the architect of the Sleepy Hollow program.  In 1994, he came to Sleepy Hollow from Pinole and took the Legends from the bottom of the OMPA to the top.  He has nearly 30 years of coaching experience on all levels (10 county meet titles, multiple high school league/NCS titles at Campolindo and USA swimming Far Western, Sectional and Junior National titles).  He and his brother, Donnie, founded the Orinda Aquatics year round swim team in 1994 right here at Sleepy Hollow.  Ronnie continues to be a valuable resource for the coaching staff and swimmers of Sleepy Hollow.  Ronnie and his wife, Alma, have a 13 year old daughter, Kayla.

Assistant & Junior/Mini Coaches

Every year, Sleepy Hollow enlists the help of former and current Sleepy Hollow swimmers as assistant and junior coaches.  We are fortunate to have so many outstanding young adults eager to share their love for this team and willing to give back to this team.  These coaches are leaders and role models and their enthusiasm, patience and LEGEND PRIDE are a valuable asset to the coaching staff and the entire team.