Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club's Team Principals

The “Constant Three”

No matter your athletes' age, ability, practice group or the coach running practice, at Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club your athlete will be guaranteed three things at every team function:

  1. To learn something.​
  2. To work hard​
  3. To have fun

Our novice athletes primary focus is on technique and skill development. As our swimmers grow and progress in the program, the workloads, training groups, and training plans evolve to match the goals and development of the swimmers. As athletes age physically and emotionally, the goals of the team at each workout will remain constant: learn something, work hard, have fun.

Team Organization

The goals of individual athlete are held in the highest regard at Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club (SMAC). The organization of training groups is based on the understanding that young athletes need an engaging and fun environment, knowledgeable coaching and full family support in order to progress in a predictable manner.  As athletes progress at their own paces, it's understood that no two paths are alike. The practice environment, training plan, and meet schedule must match the goals of the athlete and family.

While goals of the athlete are important, placement in a particular practice group is determined by several factors including an athlete’s chronological age, biological age, technical development and level of commitment.


Parents make the teamwork. The primary facilitators, parents bring their athletes to practice and meets, feed them, help them get team gear, and provide invaluable support. Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club parents understand that if the home environment dovetails the goals of the athletes and program, their swimmer will go fast.  They also understand the fundamental support triangle in youth athletics: Coaches coach, parents parent, athletes compete.

Practice Attendance

The more practices an athlete attends, the greater the number of opportunities they'll have to improve.  At SMAC, it's understood that the only place athletes can improve stroke mechanics, technique and the like is in the pool, under the supervision of a qualified coach. Athletes should attend as many training sessions for their practice group as possible in order to appreciate the full benefits of the program.

Competition and Meets

Whether it's a local meet in WNC or a travel meet out in California, swim meets provide each athlete with an opportunity to learn, grow and excel. Meets are our games; they are why we practice.  Each athlete on the team is expected to attend meets appropriate for their specific practice group. Local athletes attend all local competitions, Travel Group athletes attend local and regional competitions, and High-Performance athletes attend all meets for which they are qualified.


Members of SMAC understand that in order to build a strong community, a foundation of mutual respect is essential among all its members: teammates, parents, coaches, siblings, visitors etc. We hold each other to be accountable to the highest standards of decency and civility. We address conflicts and challenges with integrity. We seek out and support positive interactions. We facilitate positive dialogue and conflict resolution. In the demanding pursuit of success,  the team depends on the strength of the community.