Follow up to Team Survey

Robin Mathers

Hello Seahorse Families, 

Thank you to those families who completed our online survey about the 2020 swim team season.  The survey responses were filled with words of gratitude, and we appreciate the acknowledgement.  Your encouragement will continue to motivate us as we work to salvage the swim season during these unusual times.  Our priority remains the same: we want our kids in the water, safely having fun at LT this summer!

The survey responses were overwhelmingly in favor of moving ahead with the season, with an impressive 93% of respondents interested in participating even if we have to take a non-traditional approach.  This is promising!  And flexibility was a trend with 95% of respondents saying a 13 week program extending into August was workable.  To clarify, August practices would be held in the afternoon once school starts, similar to our typical preseason spring schedule.

Registration was slated to open today, May 1st.  We will delay this until at least May 8th, in hopes that the coming week will bring more details about how the season might look.  It is possible that we will have to delay registration further, so we will keep you apprised each week.  Once we have a clearer picture of the scope and duration of the season we are able to offer, we will adjust registration costs accordingly.   We will not open parent jobs until a later date, once our schedule is solidified.  We do know that a parent commitment will still be required, although reduced in the absence of traditional meets.

In the interest of transparency, we want to share some details regarding team revenue and expenditures.  Las Trampas is a non-profit corporation.  This season, we will still have operational costs such as coaching payroll, equipment, and technology.  We also have motivational and social expenses that help keep our swimmers engaged.  This summer we will not be able to rely on most of the revenue streams that help us balance our budget each summer.  For example, health guidelines may prevent us from opening the Snack Shack, and capacity restrictions may limit our revenue-generating events and programs such as Seahorse Camp.  Traditional fundraising will be limited with the unlikelihood of Time Trials occurring, but we are considering alternative options.  We are doing our best to scale down costs, while still ensuring that our kids are able to enjoy a well-deserved summer in and around the pool.

We are developing all plans under the assumption that official guidelines will restrict capacity at the pool.  These capacity restrictions will be important for us to consider as we restructure the practice schedule, determine which social and spirit events are allowable, and consider our competition options. 

Traditional dual meets typically bring 400+ people to the pool. Therefore, we are considering a few options for continuing competition while reducing the head count on deck.  For example, we are considering dividing the team into smaller groups and running intrasquad meets, perhaps 1-2 age groups at a time.  In this model, we may need to ask that older swimmers are dropped off by their parents.  Younger swimmers would be accompanied by one parent, but we would likely have to ask that no additional spectators be on deck.  

The concept of “Virtual Meets” is exciting to some families, and would replace traditional dual meets against other teams interested in engaging.  Las Trampas coaches would assign swimmers to races as usual.  Our swimmers would swim at Las Trampas, while our opponent’s swimmers would swim at their own pool.  Each team would time their swimmers’ races and log them in the computer system as we have always done, and times would be compared post-meet to score the meet and determine a ‘winner’.  

These are just a few of the promising options we are considering!  

Many survey responses also asked about Pops.  We know that time improvements are an important source of motivation for swimmers of all ages. Earning Pops and working toward an end-of-season reward is especially motivating for young swimmers.  In the absence of traditional meets, we would explore other ways of recognizing personal best times throughout the season.  Depending on the number of intrasquad meets and/or virtual meets we are able to host (and therefore the number of opportunities each swimmer has to pop) we may also reassess the number of Pops needed to earn those coveted Pop Towels.  Stay tuned for details; simply know that we recognize the importance of this program to swimmers (and parents!)

Lastly, we want to respond to inquiries regarding private lessons.  With expected capacity restrictions this summer, we have started formulating a fair and equitable plan to allow members access to the pool during general swim hours.  Private lessons would add to the head count on deck and reduce pool availability to general members. At this time, we might not be able to offer lessons this year but will reassess if restrictions loosen over the summer. 

Thank you again for your encouraging feedback.  We will communicate as we learn more, but please reach out to us with any questions.

Be well!


-Robin and Marisa[email protected]