Winter Swimming Opportunities
We send this email out every summer and update the info frequently. If you swimmer would like to try a year round team, info is listed here along with advice and considerations of the commitment that it requires.
This is the “about winter swimming” email. If you are interested in winter swimming most teams begin evaluations in July, you need to consider contacting teams in early July and having your swimmer attend one of their practices or screening periods. Most teams allow swimmers to try out the team for a period of time also, before you are financially committed. Teams and websites are listed below.
We list all programs in the area. our coaches and staff have opinions on the programs and will give you an opinion if you ask. In this email we outline the programs out there and give some general guidance. If you have a question about a certain program, you can contact one of our head coaches Kevin, Jay, Paul, for an opinion as well as families who swim in different winter programs in the area ( I try to list those families in the team info, I may miss some, no oversight is intended!) Our coaches know many of the coaches in the area and the programs. Some of our coaches do coach or are involved in winter swimming. Kevin and Jay coach at the Garver YMCA. Morgan has coached at New Albany Aquatics Club and is now coaching at the Unified Aquatics Club Team a USA team that practices at the Columbus School for Girls. Lisa Ross coaches at the New Albany Aquatics Club.
Winter swimming is expensive no matter where you go. Some programs cost more than others. Some programs pay coaches to coach full time and their profession is coaching, others have part time coaches and they are not as well paid. How they are paid does not always indicate if they are a good coach, but you will find better coaching generally when there are full time coaches on staff at some club programs.
Winter swimming is a long season. It starts in September and is not over until March. Our summer league program is only eight weeks long. We swim five days a week. In winter swimming at younger ages you should NOT be swimming five days a week or your child will burn out. For those 12 and under three days a week is enough four if they really like and want to improve greatly. 10 and unders three or two per week is fine, and often just one can suffice if you are busy at the very youngest ages. For those of HS age five days a week is usually a minimum and many swim five or six if they are only doing swimming as their sport. Often high school swimmers swim morning and night several times a week as well as a dryland or weight lifting program on many teams. If you are a dedicated high school age club swimmer you typically practice between 17 to 20 hours a week.
We encourage swimmers to do other activities in addition to swimming at younger ages. Upward basketball, PYAA sports, flag football, volleyball, baseball , music and arts and other programs etc are all good experiences for them to learn good team skills and find a hobby or a passion.
Do not make your child swim... They need to choose it as it is demanding on a year round basis. Do not set a goal for them to earn a college scholarship in swimming at a young age. First of all, college scholarships are few in this sport, for NCAA division one where they can offer full scholarships there are limits to what schools can offer and they are as follows:Women's Scholarships: 14 per team; Men's Scholarships: 9.9 per team. This only applies if an institution is fully funded and many are not. So your child's chances of getting an offer are small even if they are very talented. It is also likely that if they receive an offer, it will be combined with an academic scholarship also to reach a full scholarship level as coaches split scholarships up to spread the resources. Academics are so very important, I cannot stress this enough. Second, by setting this goal get a swimming scholarship goal, you are pressuring your child. Even if you never mention it to them, the intensity that you approach their sport will speak volumes. Please let them love the sport not be forced into the sport because of a goal you set for them.
Young swimmers can keep in touch with the sport by doing stroke clinics that are offered by some programs in the area if they are not ready to join a winter team. If they do join a team, keep it fun and do not do a meet every single weekend. The need down time to just be a kid. What we have seen in younger swimmers is swimming in the winter is fun until about December then they lose interest. We have a unique program at Chevington, and you will not find it duplicated in winter swimming that is available in our area. Prepare for some let down as it may not be as fun as summer league swimming. If your child is passionate about the sport and they make a couple of friends on the team to train with, it will be fun for them. If not, they can still get a lot out of it and stay in great shape for summer swimming. We hope everyone has a great experience.
In general we recommend the following: please place your child in a program that has positive reinforcement in the program and good attitude of the coaches working with them. There are coaches and teams in the area who do negative coaching at times. They get results but we think your child should enjoy the sport and not have to deal with any negative comments when the opposite approach normally achieves the same results. Most teams let you try out the team for a few practices before you make your decision. Some allow you to swim for two weeks before you are financially committed. Some teams require you to pay for an entire year of swimming even if your child will not swim with that team in the summer. They do this because it is one way to fund their expenses to offer a good program. Those of us in those programs pay reluctantly but realize it is an opportunity cost if we do not swim our children during the summer with that particular team.
Listing YMCA programs first, USA swimming programs second, no particular order.
YMCA programs offer training and meet set ups like summer leagues as they have dual meets during the season on a regular basis. Most Y programs have part time coaches in our area and differ in their program of training. You can ask our opinions in a separate email about each program that we list if you wish as we know them all fairly well.
YMCA Programs ( listed in distance away from our Chevington Woods Pool)
- Jerry Garver YMCA https://www.teamunify.com/Home.jsp?team=ohjlgy now known as the East TRIDENTS swim team. The Garver team also participates in some USA swimming meets.
This is the closest program to Pickerington about a seven minute drive see note >. This year they will add a second facility for practices and it will be the Eldon Ward YMCA in addition to the Garver Y pool. The Head coach is Kevin Yates. Many Kingfish swimmers swim for this team now or have in the past. Kristen Shuster, Andrew Taulbee, and other Kingfish swim for this team
Head coach Matt Reiss, The Gators team also participates in some USA swimming meets.
There are some swimmers from Pickerington on this team, Car pooling may be available. Newer YMCA facility with a very nice pool. About a 35 minute drive.
- Lancaster YMCA http://www.lyststingrays.org/ Their head coach Heather Parkman
40 min plus drive depending on traffic. The Stingrays team also participates in some USA swimming meets and had an Olympic trial qualifier this year. Currently no Kingfish swim for this team but a few are considering for the fall of 2017.
All YMCA programs require that your swimmer be a metro member or a full member of each YMCA in addition to the team fees.
USA Swimming Programs:
USA swimming offers many full time coaches and a different format than summer league as far as meets. Most USA meets are the size of our championship meet and they can last for three days over a weekend. The Friday night events are usually distance events for older swimmers or distance swimmers and then multiple sessions arranged by age group are held on Saturday and Sundays. Each session is limited to four hours. Some meets have prelims/finals where a swimmer may qualify to swim in the evening championship finals if they place high enough in prelims. Beginning swimmers in USA swimming can enter B meets where they are swimming against swimmers of similar talent as swimmers who are faster and achieve A times are not permitted to enter these meets. B meets only last for one session on one day and are a perfect introductory meet for new USA swimmers.
Once again, Listed in the distance away from our pool
- Capital City swim team ( formerly Dynamo Swim Team) coached by Tony Phillips http://www.capitalcityswimming.com/ The Capital City program is one the closest USA programs to Pickerington other than YMCA teams. Practice at the Jewish Community Center Pool in Bexley, 20 minutes away. Former Kingfish swimmer Amber Krieger coaches at Cap City!
- UNIFIED Aquatics Club Team at Columbus School For Girls coached by Brian Botsman, this is a 20 minute commute they swim in a state of the art new pool at Columbus School for Girls in Bexley.
http://www.unifiedaquaticsclub.com/ Coach Morgan is also a coach for this team and offers swim clinics for non year round swimmers in the fall and spring that we highly recommend. Asher Zumock, Anthony Ojeda Pesa ( HS pre season) , The Brunelle family swim for this team.
- New Albany Aquatics Club NAAC, head coach John Coffman. NAAC practices at the New Albany High School Pool. This pool is about a 25 minute drive if you use the back roads to reach New Albany.
www.newalbanyaquatics.com Wyatt Ross and Emily Borchers swim for this team in the high school training group. Coach Morgan coached for this team for several years. Lisa Ross is assistant coach at NAAC.
- Greater Columbus Swim Team http://www.gcsto.com/ head coach Steve Nye They practice at multiple locations, Columbus Academy, St Charles. many levels offered, professional coaches. Offers swim clinics in fall and spring which we recommend for those not joining a team. 30 minute drive time to most locations they practice at. Parent worker commitment to work the meets they host. The Harness family swims for this team.
- Ohio State University Club program. Head coach Kyle Goodrich
There is now a large contingent of Pickerington swimmers who train at OSSC, including many Kingfish and there is a large carpool. 35-45 minute commute to OSU, complicated parking however you can pay a fee to streamline it. Discounted memberships to the RPAC are offered to OSSC families so you can workout while your child swims if you want. ( very nice perk at one of the finest facilities in the nation) The OSSC team had three Olympic trial qualifiers this year, all three are current or former Kingfish Team members!
Jason and Janessa Mathews, the Kreinbrink and Hopkins families, Lindsey Keaton, the Muszynski family, the Schwartz family are some Kingfish who swim for this team.
USA swimming in general down issue:
1.There are event fees to swim in meets for USA swimming ( applies to all USA teams) generally $5 or more per event on top of your team fees. The Ohio State Swim Club includes meet fees in your total fee paid up front. This is a simple solution, however, you are paying for meet events even if your child is not entered in that particular meet.
Most USA programs begin tryouts and evaluations in early July. Tryouts are to determine the level and training group your swimmer would be placed in. These tryouts will continue into the first weeks of August with age group swimming practices starting later in September.
Most USA programs will fill up. Contact them early for a trial swim if you are interested there is information on their websites beginning in late June. You do not have to commit to them and if you can try two different teams, I recommend that you do this. You need to find a good coach match and see if the kids get along with your swimmer too. Most teams have your child swim with them to see if they would like it before you commit. Many allow two weeks of training to be experienced and if you do not like it you can get your money back before then. Good Luck!
If you have questions about any program you can contact our coaches and ask or talk to parents who have swimmers on certain winter programs for assistance and information.
As I receive information from each team listed their flyers etc, I will send these out to our team. Please remember we favor no particular team and provide information for all of the teams in the area. It is important that you find a program that is a good fit for your child and family situation regarding the commitment of time and treasure to support your athlete.