Note: If you wish to read about our Mission and our Pillars of Excellence, please click on the About tab.
Registered as a non-profit entity with the State of South Carolina, we are a 501c3 nonprofit corporation. Our Board Members, Doug Sheafor, Michel Miller, Alaina Hoover, and Heidi Bernard, and Deede Turner have combined extensive experience with swimming, parenting swimmers, and coaching.
Our Head Coach, Cathy Sheafor, started coaching youth swimmers at the age of 18 when she started a summer league team at her neighborhood pool. Since then, Cathy has been instrumental in starting and running 2 year-round USA teams. She has experience coaching both summer league and year-round teams in North Carolina, Missouri, and South Carolina. Over the years, she has developed a passion for using swimming as a vehicle for empowering young people to become youth leaders who serve in their community. She believes strongly in combining research-based swimming skill instruction with character education. She seeks to develop fast swimmers who are also good human beings. She is thrilled about this unique opportunity in Charleston to create a swim team that espouses the core principles found under the About tab on this website.
An educator and former attorney and a mother of two, Cathy ascribes to the belief that youth sports present an opportunity to teach important life skills in a FUN setting. Swim Charleston will balance fun with work, technical swimming instruction with opportunities for rigorous competition, dry land training and body awareness with water training, visual instruction with auditory instruction, and kinesthetically-focused training with intellectually-focused training. Cathy uses a range of teaching methods to reach all learners and she particularly enjoys using videotaped instruction to meet individual needs. In addition, Cathy believes that it is healthy (physically, mentally, and socially) for young swimmers to participate in various sports and activities so that they may find their life passion. She hopes that swimming becomes one of these passions. Cathy’s beliefs about what can be taught through swimming are revealed in the attached piece she wrote in 2015 about what coaches should teach swimmers: 10-life-lessons-every-age-group-coach-teach-swimmers.
Initially, Cathy will be a volunteer coach. Her husband, Doug, a radiologist, an accomplished masters swimmer, and assistant swim coach, will join her on deck as a volunteer.
While Doug's profession will limit his participation as a volunteer coach, Doug is eager to work with swimmers when he is available. Doug was introduced to competitive swimming when he was in college and dating Cathy. She quickly wrangled him into helping whenever possible and he fell in love with the sport. His two daughters swam collegiately, breaking several school relay records during their Division III swimming career. After sitting through countless meets and timing countless races, Doug began coaching in 2012. In addition, he briefly competed as a Masters swimmer several years ago at both the state and national level.
Doug enjoys working with swimmers of all ages but he particularly enjoys working with young swimmers to teach and refine their starts. Doug is a master of using analogies to get young swimmers to understand the importance of good form and power off the blocks.
Like Cathy, Doug believes in incorporating FUN and life lessons into competitive swimming. As a coach, athlete, and a father of two, he understand the importance of finding balance in life and he hopes to inspire his swimmers to do just that.
Currently, there will be no mandatory parent service or fundraising requirement at Swim Charleston. However, Swim Charleston views the team as a partnership between coaches, parents, and swimmers. As such, coaches will depend on parent volunteers to 1) help raise funds to support social activities and service learning, 2) coordinate youth service and/or social events for practice groups and the team, 3) provide constructive feedback on the program, 4) help with suit and equipment distribution, and 5) share ideas.