A Message From Coach Mike

Dear Swimmers & Families,

While this has been a challenging time for many of us, it has allowed me to reflect quite a bit on many things, both swimming and non-swimming. First, and foremost I want to say that we are thinking about all of you during this tough time and hope that everyone in your life is staying healthy and safe. While this season didn’t get to end like many of us had hoped, we cannot help but reflect on the success we had as a program.

I want to start out by saying how proud I am to be a part of this program. I consider myself lucky to be able to work with such passionate athletes, coaches, board members and parents. I am constantly blown away with how much growth this club has experienced in under three years. Not only the accomplishments in the pool, but more importantly how we have grown in other ways. Seeing smiling faces show up to the pool on a regular basis is an extremely rewarding experience. Seeing a swimmer light up when he or she sees a teammate is just one example of how this program has become more than just a swim club, it has developed into a family. I must say that watching a group of teammates yell their heads off behind a lane for a fellow swimmer is one of my favorite things to see. The pride you all show for one another is something to be admired.

Now I am sure many of you are still upset that the season didn’t end like we had hoped. Just know that it is ok to feel upset, frustrated, disappointed, angry, sad, or any combination. I must say, that personally I have experienced many of these emotions the last couple of days. You may feel like all the work you put in was for nothing, but please know that is the farthest thing from the truth. While you may not have had the opportunity to be rewarded with a lifetime best swim to end the season, know that you still learned a lot. You poured everything into getting your chance to hit that lifetime best. When you invest everything you have, care as much as we all do, you make yourself vulnerable and risk the chance of disappointment. While all of the coaches and parents would have loved to see you perform and hit that goal time, we know that you learned a lot from this past season and will come back even stronger! Our heart breaks for all of you, whether you were excited for your first gold meet, were aiming for a zone qualifying time, a graduating senior, or someone who just loved to come to the pool and work hard with their teammates. We are all experiencing a sense of loss, something that we love was taken from us.

However, as we always like to say, “focus on what you can control.” This pandemic is the fault of no one. None of us had any control over this. What we do control is how we respond. This is an opportunity for all of us to show others what we learned through swimming, from being a TigerShark. The compassion and care you show your teammates is a tool that you can use to help others who may be struggling. The determination that you use to get through an intense set will carry you through these tough times. The dedication that you have shown to yourself, teammates, & coaches is exactly what your family needs right now. Many of you know that your coaches like to challenge you during practice, that is how we get better. Well right now, our challenge is for you to show the world how strong and courageous you are. That might mean comforting a sibling who is scared, being there for an elderly neighbor that needs to be looked after, or being extra helpful to mom & dad. Believe it or not, your parents need you the most right now. They have a big responsibly in looking after you and your family.  Ask them how you can help, even if it is doing an extra chore or two, I promise it will mean a lot to them. This is your opportunity to shine!

Sometimes we need a reminder of why we love the things we do. Sometimes, those things have to be taken from us even if it is for a short period of time. When you miss the normal things in life such as school, sports, music, family, friends, take a minute to remember how much it all means to you.  Once this has passed, things will return to normal as we know it. You will get to go back to school, back to all of your activities, and of course, back to the pool! Just remember how much you missed it when coach gives you that first hard set!

I am sure many have wondered when will we have our banquet and/or start up the Long Course season. Right now, it is looking like our banquet will not take place on the previously scheduled date. Please know that we have been hard at work to make sure we have a chance to celebrate this season after this all clears. Our Long Course season is also on hold, likely until school resumes. Of course, both the banquet and the start of long course season are subject to change as most things are. We will make sure to keep an open line of communication to keep everyone informed.

We strongly encourage all of you to stay in touch with one another. With today’s technology it is rather easy to send an encouraging message to a fellow teammate. You could be the reason another person smiles today! In the meantime, if anyone is looking for some dryland workouts to do at home, feel free to contact message myself or any of the other coaches. We will gladly give you something to stay active and make the most of your time! We hope that everyone stays healthy and safe during this time. While this is a challenging time for all, remember swimmers thrive on challenges, especially TigerSharks!

Excited to see you all at the pool again!

Much love,

Coach Mike


About the Amherst TigerSharks

The Amherst TigerSharks are a year-round, competitive USA Swimming team (not a school team) based out of Amherst Middle School, for youths ages 6-18. We compete in the Niagara LSC. Head coach Mike Giancarlo, varsity head coach at Amherst High School, leads an experienced and enthusiastic team of coaches.

Our Mission: To instill our core values of dedication, commitment, & compassion; the means through which they are delivered is a safe environment. We do this to empower our athletes and develop confidence, passion for the sport, and strong self discipline. We will do this through the sport of swimming so that our athletes reach their full potential as teammates, swimmers, and positive members of the community.

For more information, you can read our team handbook, or read about our membership options. Our practice schedule is available under PRACTICE in the main menu.

We value our members' opinions, and if you have anything you would like to share with us, we encourage you to anonymously submit your feedback here.

Information about SafeSport, and protecting our athletes, can be found here.



Stay fit away from the pool:  Visit our TRAINING page for daily exercises and free webinars! 


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Practice Location
55 Kings Hwy.
Amherst, NY 14226