In a nutshell, At ZAP, it's more than just swimming, it about human connection.
Some testimonials from our raving fans...
1) To DeAnne, Amy, and all of the ZAP TEAM: I wanted to personally thank you for the wonderful, positive experience that we as a family had at this past weekend's swim meet, but more importantly, that Taylor had. Being her first meet ever, she was obviously quite nervous. I loved watching both coach Amy and coach DeAnne swoop in, give her pep talks, support, and get her feeling part of the TEAM with her buddy and team mates. Her buddy Jordan was amazing. As we sat in the stands, we watched our nervous girl go from having her head down with tears in her eyes to smiling, searching for her buddy throughout the meet, being right by her side hugged by her buddy, and dancing with her team mates while waiting to swim. This is an environment that we as parents sought out for Taylor to work on her confidence and build her independence and it is doing just that. It is very difficult as a parent to watch you child standing by the pool, waiting for the whistle to be blown to dive in, and her freeze up, put her head down, get tears in her eyes and walk away in fear. I'm not going to lie, I had tears in my eyes at that point too. But the encouragement of all of the coaching staff, getting her to start in the water, and then the pure excitement that Amy showed, jumping up with hands in the air (which I have on video!) after Taylor made it to the end of the pool with no DQ for her next event (the 25 backstroke) just fills my heart with joy and makes all the painful moments worth it.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing us to be part of Team ZAP and for welcoming us with open arms. Love, The Wickett Family
P.S. Taylor can't wait for her next meet, and when we got in the car she said, "That was fun! I don't know what I was scared about!" Now to practice those dives at MIS!!!! :)
2) "I love ZAP. ZAP is way more than a swim team, it is my family." - Linus (Stroke Academy 1 swimmer, age 6)
3) "Jamie took the JG test today and passed! Thank you for all your help and excellent coaching. He wouldn't have passed without you guys. Jamie is very happy (as are we) and excited to be doing JG's this summer. Jamie swam his best time by about 6 sec coming in at 1:42! Thanks again and all the best." - Jim (Dad of JG Prep swimmer age 10)
4) "Thank you DeAnne... Based on our own experiences, and the life lessons that being a part of a team can provide, we really want to see Jane involved long term. We appreciate the approach that you take and how you see the bigger picture of not just developing athletes but building confidence and character." -Stacey (Mom of Stroke Academy 1 swimmer age 6)
5) "I just wanted to THANK YOU for being so gracious to us and letting Rachel and Matthew swim with your team. We really enjoyed meeting you and getting a chance to swim while on vacation. I'm a little disappointed we didn't get to stay longer, but maybe next time! Matthew says he wants to swim with ZAP if we ever get moved out there. Rachel thought Marshall was great. She loved his coaching style and he really made her feel welcome. He gave me some good ideas about keeping her healthy through the winter and I'm so grateful for that! Thank you all!" -Michele (mom of visiting swim team swimmers ages 8 and 14)
6) DeAnne - I wish you could have seen how happy all my kids were after swim today (the first day of the season). You are doing swim team right! -Em (mom of 3 Premier Team ZAPPERS ages 6, 7, and 9)
7) Dear Coach Shari, Mari had an exciting first day swimming lesson yesterday with a big group of people. Everything was a NEW experience for her and me, quite different from the summer lessons at the South End. She was the slowest swimmer of all and had a hard time following the directions of Coach Jeff, however, she managed!! She DID NOT HAVE TIME to HESITATE to swim and that was a good stimulous for her. Without knowing much info of Mari being a new-comer, Coach Jeff handled so well making her fit in the group. I really thank him for that. Just by watching how she was doing the entire hour, I thought she would be pretty much beaten up emotionally. However, she proved me WRONG. She said that the practice was hard but she really wanted to try more and continue the lesson with the group!! Wow!! I think that this is ALL about having SELF-CONFIDENCE and becoming a whole "CAPABLE" person through something you enjoy doing. For Mari, it is Swim Squad. Thank you, Shari, for introducing her the joy of swimming!! As you mentioned in your email, I do hope that swimming helps her reduce some amount of pressures from schools. At the same time, she is learning very much of the American culture!! Everyone is very serious, studious and great swimmers without any complaints or interruptions! She was very impressed by the fact that regardless of their former Squad experience they've had, the mixed-age children who were there yesterday well-behaved and did excellent work. And they were ALL fast!! She was really impressed and wanted to be like them. (That's what's great about America!! Very high-skilled people around and they are NICE, too, like YOU!) She is ready to take any challenges through swimming now. What a great way to self-discover!! So, I just wanted to tell you how much we appreciate you being here for us. Thank you very much. Have a great day! -Erika (mom of a Swim Squad swimmer age 8)
8) Just a quick note to thank you for setting up the buddy program for the little ones at the swim meets. Regan has been matched with the 2 best buddies (I think Ashlee was the one for the second meet). I know without these buddies, it would have been really difficult for her to get out there. She already loves the meets, understands some of the terms, and has started to really become independent in the process. Just wanted to thank you guys, because sometimes it's the little things like this that bring it all together :) - Dana (Mom to a new SA1 swimmer)
9) "DeAnne, You have no idea how much Rylan loves this event. Every night last week she was trying to decide on her costume and we went through several… believe me. She woke up really early on Friday morning and laid her costume out so that it would be all ready when she got home from school. She made sure to tell me to pick her up early from school as she wanted to be the first one at MIS. She literally ran out of the car when we got home from school on Friday to put her costume on and then proceeded to tell me that we needed to get going. Rylan never moves this fast for anything :) This is her third Halloween party with ZAP and this kind of stuff makes a big difference for the little ones….. so thanks again for putting it on.
Also, I competed in an Olympic distance triathlon a week ago. About a week before the race I injured my lower back (likely an overuse injury from pushing too hard on the bike). The entire week before the race I was trying to nurse my back so I could race. Despite my attempts to take it easy the week before, the back was not getting better. The race was on Sunday and the Friday night before I was close to scratching as I was not doing well. On Saturday (day before the race), Rylan could see I was frustrated as things were not getting better and she knew I had been working pretty hard for this race. Rylan told me that I should rest all day Saturday and on Sunday morning “if your back still hurts a little, then you should pretend like it did not hurt and focus on your race”. I kid you not, these were her exact words and she was very serious about it. ZAP taught her this, DeAnne. This really shows that the bigger objective of ZAP is well at work.
BTW, I did race that day and had an amazing day because of the inspiration of a 7-year old." -Scott (dad of a Premier team swimmer age 7).
"Taking Swimming to a Higher Level."