2016 Summer Team Information

Good evening everyone,

Our goal was to have this information out by last week, but since we had more important things to worry about we waited until today. Remember, he would be as focused as ever on getting going with this season, so that’s what we need to do now. Without any further delay, here is this year summer team information.

First of all, our first official day of summer season practice will be Monday, May 23rdThe last chance to sign up for the season will be Friday, June 10th.

There is much more information than just that, so please read the following information carefully as there are a lot of changes happening this summer.

Change in Terminology, Organization, & Coaching Structure

To try to help organize the team a little more, we will be introducing some new terminology.

  • A Level is the Super Advanced, Advanced, Intermediate, and Beginner designations we have used in the past. Each Level will have a Level Coach who has a lot of experience with the team and will be there to make sure everything is ready to go for each practice, answer any questions from parents, take care of any paper work we may need, as well as a multitude of other things. This person will be your go-to contact for anything related to your swimmer's practice. They will also be in charge of making sure your swimmer(s) are signed up for meets.

  •  A Group will be your child’s individual practice group within their level. Each group will have a Group Coach and possibly some helpers. The Group Coach will be the person who will run your swimmer's individual workout and will have a limited number of swimmers per level.

Group Size Limitations

To try to better regulate the quality of our practices, we will be implementing limitations on the size of the groups. This is not to limit the number of swimmers on the team but more to regulate the number of swimmers in an individual group. The caps are fluid, based on Coach's recommendations as well as meet and practice performance, however, swimmers will only be able to swim with the level and group they are assigned at that time.

Think of it like a soccer league. Your athlete could not go to another team's practice, because the athlete won’t receive the benefits they should and it will alter the level of the practice for the rest of that group.

Group Assignment Evaluations

                This is something new we are going to try this year. This will allow the coaches to better group swimmers at a given practice. By doing this, we can make our practices more effective and hopefully help everyone improve even more.

The Group Assignment Evaluations will be a workout used to determine each swimmer’s group placement. The workouts vary based on the level your swimmer should be in. The workout will be challenging, but none will last more than an hour.

The workout will be scored out of 24 points. Very few swimmers should get a 24. The goal is to group swimmers with similar abilities, not to have everyone get a perfect score on the evaluation.

Swimmers should not worry about this evaluation, it is not a test but an opportunity for us to look at a swimmer's ability and objectively group them with like swimmers. In order to accurately place swimmers in their practice groups, swimmers should be trying their best to make as many reps as possible within each set. Groups will be fluid throughout the season based on meet and practice performance. These evaluations will be used as a starting point.

We have enough space for 360 swimmer to participate in our Group Assignment Evaluations, so there should be a time that works for your swimmer.

There will be multiple time slots over four days, starting Monday, May 2nd and running through Thursday, May 5th. Please use the team calendar to check the available dates and times.

Each swimmer needs to be registered separately, however, families will be scheduled during the same time slot. You can use the following link to sign up for the Evaluations.

Helper Training

                One of the great things about our team is we try to keep our older swimmers involved with the team by having them assist in coaching at our beginners practices. From this point forward, these swimmers will be referred to as helpers and they will have specific jobs. In order to improve the quality of the coaching of our team, we are going to offer a mandatory training for any swimmers who are interested in helping this summer season. Even if you have helped in the past, you must attend this training. Any swimmers who will be swimming in the 11 & Over age groups this season are eligible to participate in the training.

                Training will involve two days of in-water learning exercises to prepare helper candidates to be able to assist new swimmers in learning and developing swimming skills. Some of the exercises we will be working on are proper holds, effective body manipulation, water comfort techniques, proper technique demonstrations, and stroke drills.

                This training will be mandatory for any swimmer who is interested in helping this summer. Swimmers will be selected to help based on their abilities during the training. Not all swimmers will be selected to assist on a regular basis. Swimmers who want to fill a helper position should be available for all practices and will only need to miss in case of an emergency. Any swimmer who successfully completes the training, even if they are not selected to help on an everyday basis or they are not able to attend every practice, will be added to the substitute list. This list will be available to assist helpers find substitutes if they are unable to cover their scheduled practice. Substitutes will be extremely valuable positions.

                Helping should be considered a job. Helpers will be depended on to be at practices on a daily basis. Helpers also need to be role models for the younger swimmers, which means they need to attend all of their own practices in order to be able to help with newer swimmer’s practices.

                Helper Training will be broken into two days: Wednesday, May 11th and Wednesday, May 18th. You must attend both sessions. The training will be held from 5:30 – 7:00 pm at North. We will be in the water most of the time.

                You must be preregistered to attend the helper training; no walk-ins will be allowed.  Please use the following link to register for helper training:

Pre-Season Clinic

                We will again be hosting a pre-season clinic for any swimmer who can comfortably swim 25 yards. The clinic will focus mainly on drills and will run for five practices. This clinic is not mandatory but is highly encouraged to help get a jump on the season.

The clinic will cost $10 per swimmer and will need to be paid on the first day or prior to the clinic to attend.

      The clinic will run on the following days:

  • Monday 05/09

  • Tuesday 05/10

  • Thursday 05/12

  • Monday 05/16

  • Tuesday 05/17

      Clinic times will be:

  • 4:30 – 5:30 pm Super Advanced & Advanced

  • 5:30 – 6:30 pm Intermediate & Beginner*

*Remember, beginner swimmers should be able to comfortably swim a full length of the pool in order to attend the clinic.

Please use the following link to register for the preseason clinic:

New Practice Opportunities

  • Starting this summer, we will be offering practice opportunities for some of our levels at Hoover High School as well as our home pool, North.

    • Swimmers will be expected to attend all scheduled practices in order to receive attendance awards

  • Our two most senior groups, Super Advanced and Advanced, will be adding additional practices each week.

    • Some of these practices will be long-course at Birdland in the mornings and some of them will be evening practices at Hoover.

  • Those two groups, as well as our Intermediate group, will also participate in dryland practices on top of their regular in-water practices. These practices will be designed to improve an athlete’s strength, mobility, and body awareness, as well as build base strength to help prevent common swimming overuse injuries.

    • Dryland practices will be developmentally appropriate for each group of athletes.

    • All dryland practices will be at North.

    • Dryland practice will be outside as much as possible, so sunscreen should be applied.

    • Good shoes (no sandals or flip flops) as well as workout clothes will be required for dryland practices.

    • There will be practice regardless of the weather.  Changes on location will be communicated through email, text, or social media as needed.

  • We will also be adding an additional beginner’s practice level in the afternoon. Your swimmer will be able to attend either the morning beginners group or the afternoon beginners group. This should help thin out the beginner’s practices and give swimmers a better opportunity to get the attention they need to improve.

    • When you register, you will be able to select the AM Beginners level or the PM Beginners level.

    • Beginner swimmers will register and attend either the AM or PM practice for the entirety of the season.

  • We will also be lengthening beginners practice to one hour and cutting one day of practice per week for a total of 4 practice per week. This will give swimmers an additional 15 minutes of practice time compared to previous years. This was done because the afternoon beginner level will be unable to have Monday practice due to meets, and we wanted to keep the groups equal.

    • The Morning Beginner’s level will practice at North.

    • The Afternoon Beginner’s level will practice at Hoover.

  • These practice options can be seen on the practice page of the Otters website.

Volunteer Trainings

                Below are three trainings we would like to offer to help improve the quality of our volunteers and to give you the knowledge you will need to be successful in the position you are volunteering for. We want to offer these trainings so no one has to learn on the fly. Please consider signing up for these trainings to help you become a more versatile member of the Otter’s family.

Official’s Training (High School Official’s Certification)

                I would like to offer another official’s training prior to this season. Any parents who are interested in working as an official during any of our home meets should plan on attending. This opens up officiating as a volunteer opportunity for you, which will make meets far more interesting!


I also hope that with this training you will develop an interest in officiating using the High School Swimming rules (which is what we use), and you will want to become certified as a high school official and be able to get paid by area high schools to work meets. You do not need to be certified as an official in our league and will only be able to work our home meets.


The date for this training has yet to be determined. It will happen during the first two weeks of the season. If you are interested, please use the following link to sign up: Once I have some people registered I will work on scheduling a date.


Computer (Daktronics/Meet Manager) Training

                I would like to offer a computer training prior to this season. Any parents who are interested in running the computer system during any of our home meets should plan on attending. This opens up the computer system as a volunteer opportunity for you, which will make meets far more interesting!


                This skill becomes very valuable when your swimmers get to high school, since high school programs are always looking for volunteers to run the computers. If you are interested, please use the following link to sign up: Once I have some people registered I will work on scheduling a date.


Clerk of Course/Benches Training

I would like to offer a clerk of course and/or benches training prior to this season. Any parents who are interested in working as clerk of course or benches during any of our home meets should plan on attending. This opens up clerk of course or benches as a volunteer opportunity for you, which will make meets far more interesting!


This job helps make the meet run more efficiently and helps to make sure swimmers do not miss their events. Please use the following link to sign up: Once I have some people registered I will work on scheduling a date.

I think the only thing I haven’t talked about is our meet schedule; this can be found on the Schedule page of the Otters website.

I know there is a ton of information here so if you have any questions at all, please contact me at




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