How to Find the Perfect Swim Team

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.

Facility

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.

Team

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, genevievem@clubgreenwood.com

Fit Family: the Serenyis

cuteDSC_4696Steve and Christy Serenyis joined GATC ten years ago, just a few months after they were married. Christy: When we moved south of Denver I wanted a good club with some intense classes. I picked GATC primarily because of the class options. We didn’t have children when we first joined, but I had heard the GATC kids programs were really good. I did the Outdoor Fit classes and loved them. A group of five or six of us really bonded last year. We wanted to keep working out really hard so we joined Boxing Babes. Now our group has grown and we participate in PWRFIT with Brandon. I like a teacher that pushes me. PWRFIT has great music and Brandon works us really hard. For Barre, it is the same thing. Christine or Chrissy are both great teachers with some really good high energy flow music.

Steve comes three times a week, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, and focuses on the weight room and maybe some stair-master work. Christy: The staff in the Kids’ Club is special. They are so understanding and forgiving to the moms when we are tired and dropping off our kids quickly. Not that they know us, it is as simple as opening the door, the kids run in and you run away. I have witnessed crying kids and crying moms with the staff saying “We got this, just go” and I have assured other mothers “they will find you if there is a problem.”

Christy and Steve also speak highly of Little Lobbers instructor, Lisa Thomas. They feel that Lisa is good at engaging even challenging kids. She loves them even when they have bad days as kids do. If Christy wasn’t there at the end of Little Lobbers, Lisa knew she was in a class and took her child back to the Kids Club.

Nine-year old Anna just joined the Greenwood Tiger Shark swim team, but also plays tennis and soccer. Anna likes school (third grade) and is great at everything. MarcuteDSC_4737shall is seven and in second grade. He is an excellent reader, well above his age group. He participated in Little Lobbers with Lisa and has taken Stroke School. Harrison is five and has done a lot here at the club. He is in his third year of Little Lobbers with Lisa. He loves everything and Trish has helped him be really good at swimming.

MacKenzie is the youngest at two and a half. She loves Kids’ Club and taking swim lessons with Trish too. Christy: I often think of my mother’s regret. She wishes now that she had taken time for her own needs while raising children. I tell my friends, take just one hour; your kids will be fine. My husband sees that because I work out, I am a lot happier. I know Steve is happier because he works out and we want our children to find happiness and be healthy too. I like the community here. Since GATC is smaller, a lot of us recognize each other. I think the community creates more respect for each other – it is cleaner, neater and friendlier. I tell people to come here all the time!