Head Coach, Michelle Blanton
- Head Coach of Vienna Woods 2014-present
- YORK Swim Team coach 2009-present
- Since 1989, has combined coaching experiences for NVSL, PMSL and military swim teams.
- Former Head Coach of High Point, Little Hunting Park, Mansion House, Severn Crossing, Bolling Air Force Base and Sasebo, Japan Swim Teams.
A home-grown product of NVSL, Michelle learned how to swim "late" at the ripe old age of 10. Within 2 years she was swimming for local PVS teams, and within 4 years she found herself coached by none other than Greg York at her first Zone Championship - just a stepping stone on the beautiful swimming path she forged for herself (with the help of some of the greatest coaches EVER!
Despite enjoying National Level status, All-Star Champion medals and multiple CAA wins at James Madison University, Michelle remains sentimental when discussing developmental swimming: "Swimming is a sport that builds more than strong bodies. It teaches discipline, molds character, fosters responsibility, and builds friendships that can last a lifetime."
Michelle stresses the importance of learning the fundamentals early and correctly. The more technically sound your stroke, the easier it is to get across the pool. And who doesn’t want to get across the pool faster?!? Efficiency not only decreases your times, it also decreases your risk of injury. Michelle's ultimate goal is help foster sportsmanship, enthusiasm and love of sport in the young athletes she coaches.
Mini Star Coach:
2021 Swimming Practice Schedule
SWIM TEAM PARENT KICKOFF - Via Zoom Monday, May 24 from 6-7 pm. Zoom link below:
PRE-SEASON WEEKDAY PRACTICE: Beginning, Tuesday, June 1 thru FCPS closing on June 11
Depending on weather, the first week or two may include land exercises/games/team-building with coaches. Bring appropriate clothing/shoes.
11 & Older: 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm (Mon - Fri)
10 & Under: 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm (Mon - Fri)
REGULAR SUMMER PRACTICE SCHEDULE: Beginning Monday, June 14
Senior Group: 7:00 am - 8:15 am (Mon - Fri)
Junior Group: 8:00 am - 9:00 am (Mon - Fri)
Intermediate Group: 9:00 am -10:00 am (Mon-Fri)
***Please Note: Ages listed on the practice schedules are flexible for a variety of reasons. First off, coaches respect family transportation and carpools. Second, coaching staff realizes everyone is coming to "Swim in the Woods" from different starting points. Therefore, please keep the following points in mind when planning for your swimmer's summer practice schedule:
Typically, swimmers are asked to swim a length of the pool to join the "team practice." However, coaches and reps want to emphasize that Mini Stars are a part of the Vienna Woods Swim Team! Understanding there is a big difference between making it across the pool once and being able to continue doing so for a 45-60 minute practice, there are several options for our younger Vienna Woods Swim Team members:
a. The Mini Stars are smaller coach/swimmer ratio groups that practice in the shallow end. They learn basic skills through constant, in-the-water, hands-on instruction, and receive excellent, more immediate feedback on these introductory skills because of the small group environment. Typically, faster strides are made and more confidence is built in this small group instruction than in a large group setting.
b. The "Bridge Lane" at the youngest team practice (Junior Team) is designed for those swimmers who can swim across the 25 meter pool, but still need heavy assistance and instruction for the secondary strokes like backstroke and breaststroke. In this lane, 1-2 coaches regularly get in the water with the swimmers and offer more intensive stroke work than in the other 5 lanes. We have received many compliments after adding this Bridge Lane for the newer or weaker swimmers who are essentially too strong to continue with Mini Stars but are not ready for 45 minutes of lap swimming!
c. The third group is the rest of the team, which includes Junior, Intermediate and Senior Team practices. Two to three coaches work with these lanes in a true workout environment, practicing starts, turns, and racing. We include some interval training, breath control, and heavy kick sets with and without fins. We work on stroke drills daily.
In the past, these three team practices have been roughly divided into "8&Under," "9-12" and "Senior (13&Up)" but based on the above descriptions of swimmers, we are changing the practice names to properly reflect the level of training in each workout group. We have many 9-10s who have started the season in the younger practice and moved up to the middle practice mid-season. Additionally, we have had 8 and 13 year olds in the middle practices. The coaching staff wants to challenge swimmers at their own individual level, and always prefer moving swimmers "up" in a practice rather than "down."
We will spend the first week or two assessing each swimmer and placing them in practice lanes. Please feel free to direct any questions to the coaching staff ten minutes before or after a workout, or you may email coach Michelle at [email protected] to communicate your concerns regarding the practice placement for your swimmer(s).
Important Swim Team Links:
- If you have any questions about swim team, please email:
- For General Swim Team questions or questions about Saturday meets (NVSL meets) please contact Tom Peterson or Molly Allred ([email protected]).
- For questions about Monday evening meets (Developmental meets) please contact Nancy or Joel Cline ([email protected]).
- For questions about Mini Stars please contact TBD ([email protected])
WINTER SWIM 2021
WINTER SWIM is designed to keep your child in the water for stamina, stroke and skills as well as keep in touch with other VW swimmers
You MUST be a member or renter at Vienna Woods to participate
Stay tuned - details to follow in August 2021.
Vienna Woods Team Representatives are here to help you learn about the Vienna Woods Swim Team and the events throughout summer season.
Our Volunteers work very hard for your kids and for the team. Please feel free to contact them with any questions or concerns.
- A Meets - Tom Peterson
- B Meets - Nancy Cline
- Mini-Stars - Megan Rourke
- Officials Coordinator - Steve Kenney
Vienna Woods NEEDS additional officials!
- Stoke and Turn, table workers, timers, referee and clerk of course are always in demand.
- Certain positions (stroke and turn & starter) require certification (just a 2 hour clinic). All others are OJT. But we NEED certified parents to help out on deck.
- Consider becoming a certified official to support your swimmers and to get the best view of the meet!
- These jobs are easy to learn - just ask anyone who's already volunteers.
- Please feel free to contact David Schultz, our Officials' Coordinator, or any of our team reps.
Officials training is key to a vibrant and successful swim program. Vienna has a long history of quality leadership in NVSL. Please consider some of the below training to continue the Vienna Woods Tradition. Contact Dave Schultz [email protected] with any questions.
PLEASE SEE NVSL SCHEDULE OF OFFICIALS CLINICS IN THE DOCUMENTS SECTION.
Northern Virginia Swimming League (NVSL)
The Vienna Woods Swim Team is a member of the Northern Virginia Swimming League. The league is composed of 102 teams divided into 17 divisions of 6 teams each. Divisions are reseeded each year based on strength of the teams.
NVSL Standards of Conduct:
- The NVSL has adopted a standard of conduct for all athletes, coaches, team representatives, officials, parents, and spectators. All associated with the Vienna Woods Swim Team will be expected to adhere to the new standards.
NVSL Scholarship Application:
- Seniors interested in applying for the NVSL Scholarship can download instructions and the application from the NVSL website. All relevant information is on the Documents page, in the NVSL Scholarship folder