Current Swim Charleston Parent (2017):
"Swim Charleston is absolutely the best team we have ever joined! We have two girls (10 and 12) and they unquestionably love everything about the team - the coaches, the swimmers, the swim meets, the practices, the get togethers, all of the families and more! The coaches are beyond amazing and our girls adore them! Every swimmer is given individualized attention in small groups regardless of their ability and level! The swimmers train hard and receive specialized instruction but at the same time are having fun! The coaches also teach the swimmers the importance of great sportsmanship and the swimmers have lots of opportunities to give back to our community through community service projects! The group of kids and families that make up this team are also amazing! We have definitely made life long friends! Our daughters are both thriving in this environment both in the pool and out! Swim Charleston is truly an amazing family and we couldn't be happier that we are a part of it!"
Current Swim Charleston Parent (2017):
"My son first swam for his summer swim team last year at age 10. He had a wonderful experience and wanted to continue swimming year-round with many of his summer teammates at Swim Charleston. When he first started practicing with Coach Cathy, he could only swim two strokes correctly. However, over the next nine months, he has become a confident swimmer, and I have been amazed at his progress and growth. Not only does he continue to improve his speed, endurance, and technique, but more importantly he is recognized for his leadership among his teammates and is learning to value a strong work ethic, both of which will serve him well in life. We love our Swim Charleston family and will keep it growing as my youngest son joins the team this fall."
Parent of a Sectional Team Member Speaking About An Award Ceremony:
“The other Coaches who went before Cathy highlighted a season full of great swimming with the customary swimming stats like cuts and time standards achieved; total time dropped, and practice attendance percentages. Once Cathy arrived on stage, the whole format changed. She had each swimmer in the small group tell everyone what their biggest challenge was during the season and what they learned. The answers they gave were so interesting. They talked about how hard certain events were and how scared they were of them and then how amazing they felt when they actually completed them. They talked about how much they enjoyed supporting each other and the veteran swimmers even talked about how proud they were of the newer swimmers. They did not mention times, cuts, or total seconds dropped. You could tell how proud these kids were about their accomplishments. When it came time for her to award her swimmers the special awards like Coaches Award and Most Improved, her remarks about the individual swimmers didn’t even mention swimming!!!! For my daughter who received the Coaches award, she discussed her resiliency in the face of great personal loss. She talked about how my daughter had been a leader to a small group of less experienced swimmers. She talked about her ability to think above her years and realize she was on a journey that would have ups and downs. She talked about how my daughter challenged herself every single time she hit the water and how impressed she was by her. My daughter left that awards banquet on top the world and even though she didn’t get all the cuts and times she wanted that season, she KNEW how great of a season it had been for her. Cathy has a coaching philosophy that applies to all swimmers, not just the really fast ones who get the standards and cuts. I feel so lucky that we found Coach Cathy when we did. The year my daughter spent with her not only made her a better and more committed swimmer, it taught her valuable LIFE LESSONS that will serve her for a long time!”
Former Swimmer/State Swimmer Parent Speaking Generally:
“My name is Chris McCartan, and I have had the privileged experience of Cathy Sheafor's coaching from two perspectives: athlete and parent. In both capacities, her tenor, expertise, and enthusiasm have always exceeded all expectations.
My son swam for a neighborhood summer team a few years ago and I decided to join a local Masters' program to learn more about what was developing into his favorite activity. I'm also a former D1 National Champion lacrosse player, but nearing my 40th birthday, my body wasn't responding well to my traditional weight room exercise routine. Cathy was the adult coach at Sailfish and, to make a long story short, she took a guy who used to swim like a cinder-block to someone swimming sub-:30 second 50-Free in his first meet. The tone of the team was fun but committed, the practices are structured for all swimmers' development, and her attention to the individual Masters' needs was incredible.
I was so happy with my experience that when my son intimated he wanted to try year-round swim, there was no question as to the program I wanted him to be part of. Fortunately, there was an available slot in his age-group with Sailfish, and Brodie started swimming for Coach Sheafor in September 2013. To date, swim remains his greatest love. And despite Cathy having moved for her husband's work, Brodie and our entire family consider her our most important swim influence. Our new coach who replaced Cathy would be the first to concede that the structure and tone set by the Sheafors (her husband, Doug, also coached) has made the culture here one of development, winning, discipline, and positive reinforcement. More important, Coach Cathy has always catered to the non-swimmer part of her athletes as much as she has the kid in the pool; all of our children are involved in other activities, family, and school, and each has bettered him and herself in all facets because of Cathy Sheafor.”