Otters return to competition!

Minneapolis Otters Administration

Swimmers and parents,

With almost a month of swimming in us now, the Otters Coaching team is excited to announce our return to the competitive season. We have waited longer than some programs until we found both local COVID numbers to drop further, and for our own planning and spacing prepartion to be put in place to help provide a safe return to racing. 

If you were not able to tune in to our live streaming last fall, here is what you can expect

  • Competition run when the facility is closed- we are the only people in the building
  • Spacing of waiting swimmers in the gyms, positioned 6-9 feet apart while waiting
  • For internal meets, organization of racing based on pods, where kids are in heats with the same teammates every race, so organization has appropriate spacing and delays between events
  • One-directional flow around the pool, with a maximum of 20 swimmers on the entire pool deck at any time (5 swimming, five exiting from shallow end after swimming across after race, five on deck spaced apart on wall, and five in the following heat entering while masked). 
  • This means that fewer people will be on deck and in the pool than a typical peak-hour practice.

Competition, goal setting and tracking, and ownership of change and improvement are part of what our kids are training for on our team. With the preparations put in place by Minnesota Swimming, we will be able to have a series of internal and external meets, culminating in postseason options both on-site and away (for swimmers comfortable with visiting other teams or sites). All meets with other teams are designed under the same protective policies that we expect on site for our own. With multiple staff (who have overlapping work in healthcare) already vaccinated, we know that staying the course on safety measures will help connect us from this moment to a future where traditional competition can resume. 

This year's winter postseason will be spread out with internal and external meets from March 10-April 18, with an age-up date of March 10. More information is being posted here ***If opening that link, be aware that the mn swimming and cz websites will log you out of our website. Don't have both open at once!

For now, please log in and look at some of the meets coming up. For on-site meets, we have sessions designed around running spaced pods. For away meets, you simple will not see meets like previous years at all this season.

I am excited that the Aquajets have reached out and invited a limited number of otters to their facility in 12 days, since racing against other swimmers will reintroduce another motivation for our own. They have some flexibility on which sessions have what limits, but we need to get preliminary numbers to them on Wednesday to help with the added planning needed to space kids out. 

It is time to race, and starting now with options both internal and external balances our team expectations and requirements for competition with a need to adapt to our new reality of small, spaced events, where meets have fewer people in the pool area than a typical swim practice. 

As new events are listed, please make a selection for the next four weeks for your swimmer. And as home events show up, look for ways to do your service hours (which will be extended based on the adjusted season, but still required), especially the possibility of doing officials training! There's another online training available for current officials and officials-to-be, with a signup here

Dave Cameron
Head Coach - YWCA MInneapolis Otteri