As swimmers advance through the groups, the concept of being part of team becomes more and more important. The coaching staff works to stress ideas of being accountable to one another, supporting one another, and developing bonds with one another.
To look like a team we have to dress like a team. What the kids and coaches wear at meets is very important. We expect all of our swimmers to wear Wave gear- T-shirts, caps, sweats, etc.
Verbal support of teammates during both meets and practice is stressed by the coaches as we feel it makes a big difference in creating a positive supportive atmosphere where every athlete can succeed
Partner or group activities take place on a daily basis, be it partner feedback, small group competitions, partner relays, etc.
Swim Meets are the reason we conduct practices. Wave Aquatics is a competitive swim team- but we want to promote healthy competition where athletes walk away from each meet having learned something and had time to bond with their teammates out of the water. Wave also hosts several meets during the year, and we need family support to make sure those are run the right way.
Group Qualifying Standards are based primarily on meet results: in order for swimmers to advance within the group structure, they need to perform at a high enough level in the meets
We view ourselves like a soccer team: one of our goals is 100% participation in meets. Just like a soccer or baseball team, everyone is there, everyone is participating.
Championship Meets are a big deal. We have 3 championship meets each year in December, March and July. Most of what we do leading up to that is so that the kids can perform at their best at those meets. Relays and individual qualified events provide the swimmers the chance to test themselves against some of the fastest swimmers in the area.
A meritocracy is a system in which individuals advance based on their achievement. Wave Aquatics is a meritocracy. Each swimmer must earn his or her way up the ranks.
Kids earn their way from group to group and onto relays. Each group has a set of Group Qualifying Standards. Relay rankings are posted on the website so each swimmer knows what they need to make it onto a championship relay.
Group standards are clear, objective and based primarily on meet results. This is the best way as we see it is to set clear, measurable standards. The coaches make sure to stick to them and hold each athlete accountable to the same standard.
Clear objectives provide concrete motivation and goal for kids. The Group Qualifying Standards are posted on the website (for logged in members only!) so every team member knows what they are. The coaches spend time educating their athletes, and helping them work towards the standards so that they can feel a sense of accomplishment each time they take a step closer to meeting a standard.