by Genevieve McNally,
Greenwood Tiger Sharks Head Coach
Everyone wants to find the “perfect” swim team for their athlete, but what does that look like? Fast swimmers? Large team? Small team? Progressive, cutting edge coaching style? Classic, predictable coaching style? State of the art facilities? The list continues. Here are a few tips from our GTS coaches regarding how to pick the best team for your athlete.
USA Swimming Club
According to USA Swimming, there are 3,000 registered USA Swimming teams across the country. There are plenty of choices out there, but why choose a registered USA Swim team? Simply, it comes down to regulations and accreditations. USA Swimming teams must register every year to be a certified team, and the coaching staff must pass rigorous course requirements prior to being a USA Swimming certified Coach. Such requirements include Concussion Training, In Water Safety Skills, CPR and Athlete Protection Training. These diverse course requirements ensure that the coaching staff is professional and prepared to coach children of all levels from entry-level to Olympic. Regardless of background or previous experience, the training is consistent for all coaches across the board.
When looking for a team, you’ll want to ensure the facilities and the equipment that your athlete(s) will be using are up to your standard as a parent. If the pool is murky or the equipment is rusted or moldy, would you use it? Your athlete, no matter their age, is
still developing and it is best to ensure a clean, safe environment for the athlete to grow. You can tell that a team cares about its athletes’ wellbeing when it goes the extra mile to keep its equipment and facilities in top shape.
Lastly, you’ll want to be clear about how the team (both athletes and coaching staff) relates to one another. It is a good idea to ask the team prior to joining what their mission statement is, what their short- and long-term goals are, and what expectations the coaches have for their athletes. The answers to these questions will give you an idea of the team’s culture and what the coaches emphasize most.
Here at Club Greenwood, we try to keep it simple. We ask that our athletes respect themselves, respect their teammates and respect their coaches. If athletes are following these guidelines, then we as coaches can most effectively assist each athlete by giving them the tools to achieve their goals while ensuring the environment is safe and fun. We understand that success looks different for each swimmer, and we do our best to make decisions that support and are in the best interest of our athletes.
For more information, please contact Head Coach Genevieve, firstname.lastname@example.org