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Issue 2: May 10, 2016

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Captain's Log

by Marcynda Verdicchio, President

Great first week of practice everyone! Enthusiastic swimmers + competent coaches = outstanding progress. Our eager swimmers hit the water and showed us their passion.. The Armada Coaches were able to watch all the swimmers and start placing them in their lanes. Last, but certainly not least, our parents did a great job in stepping back and letting go. I’m sure some of you were wondering what you had gotten yourselves into. As you can now see, the kids quickly pick up the practice routine and parents can chat and get to know each other! Thanks very much to the parents too for their support.

Our Red White & Blue practice meet will be next, Saturday, May 21 at our Willow Bend Pool. The Online Meet Entry is due by 9 pm on Monday, May 16. If you won't make the meet, you still need to register and specify that. Please contact our Meet Director, Paul Wadehra, with any questions you may have at paul.wadehra@gmail.com. Have a great week at practice! 

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Coach's Corner

by Gina Zayas, Head Coach

What an awesome first week! I loved seeing so many new faces along with our returning swimmers! Swimmers, thank you for having such terrific attitudes as we moved you to different lanes this week, asked you to try new strokes and drills that were challenging, and pushed you to swim longer and farther than you have before. This week we will continue technique work on all four strokes as well as starts, finishes, and turns.

In two weeks, we will have our Red, White, and Blue intra-squad meet. This is a great opportunity to practice what will take place at our meets the rest of the season. Swimmers have the chance to swim more than the usual three individual events so that we are able to get a base time for future meets and time improvement. Also, it will be team policy that each swimmer compete and receive an official time in each of the events offered to them by the fifth dual meet. It is important for swimmers to attend meets for a few reasons:

  • Swim team is a team sport that benefits from meet participation from every member. As in other team sports such as soccer and baseball, participation is an understood part of being on a team.
  • Swim team has the added benefit of having individual time improvement opportunities.
  • The swimmers work hard all week and it is good for them to see the results of their hard work through competition.
  • The meets provide an opportunity for swimmers and parents to get to know each other more.

Thanks to the Armada parents and board members who have been helpful and supportive. We appreciate all you do! Coaches, you are amazing! Keep up the good work!

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Volunteer Spot

by Wesley Freeman, Volunteer Coordinator

Next Saturday, May 21, is our intra-squad Red, White, and Blue practice meet.

This meet stretches our volunteer resources since we have approximately 130 positions to be filled, more than a standard meet. With a standard dual meet, the positions are shared with another team. With that said, we appreciate everyone's help next weekend.

As a reminder, if there are any issues with being able to volunteer such as having to work, other commitments, etc. please let me know. We will try to find a role and time which can accommodate your need. Also, if you know you need a first-shift position, sign-up early so you have the opportunity.  Thank you!

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Red, White, and Blue Practice Meet - May 21

This meet will be a "shortened" version of a regular dual meet. Meet sign-up will be opened later this week.. Please login to https://wellsbranch.swimtopia.com/swim_meets and register your swimmer(s) for events and a parent for a volunteer job.

Entry deadline is by 9:00pm on Monday, May 16

We will start by having every swimmer who is able participate in the freestyle relays. Following the relays, each swimmer will have the opportunity to swim all four strokes -- freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. Swimmers who have not learned a stroke yet will not have to swim it. 

This will give all participating swimmers seed times to use the following week when we put together the relays and will also help us get them seeded correctly in events.

Younger swimmers will be allowed to have kickboards and coaches in the water at this meet if needed.

We should be finished before noon.

Key Information

Location

Willow Bend Pool
Arrive 6:00 am
Team Picture 6:15am
Warm Ups 6:45am
Meet Starts 7:30 am
Snackbar Donations requested from ages 15 & over

Meet Set-up:  Friday, May 20 at 6:30 pm
Meet setup will start at 6:30 pm for this meet. We must move all tables and chairs and put out ready benches, ropes and the announcer tables. If you signed up as part of the setup team for your volunteer assignment, or if you'd like to lend an extra hand, please be at the pool then.

The morning of the meet, we need help setting up pop-up tents around the pool. We appreciate all the help we can get putting these tents up and taking them down at the end of the day. 

Clean Up

We ask everyone to clean up the pit and pool areas before they leave. We must return the pool area to its original condition. The more people who help, the sooner everyone can leave. Pit parents should not release swimmers until their area is restored.

Parking

At a home meet, Armada families leave the lot adjacent to the pool for our guest team. Since this practice meet involves only Armada families, there are no such restrictions. Additional parking will be along Sauls and Crissom next to the pool and soccer fields, and on the street on Long Vista. Please do NOT park along Bratton or in any of the parking lots for businesses you see along Bratton and Long Vista, as you will risk being towed. Please also do NOT block the construction entrances/ driveways to the school property, as construction should have commenced by then and may be in process on Saturday morning. There will be overflow parking at the Rec Center on Shoreline Dr., but it is a small hike from there to the pool.

Please allow extra time to find a place to park and potentially walk a fair distance to the pool. You may also wish to drop swimmers off and then go find parking.

Concessions Donations: Also, please note that for each home meet, a certain age group (or groups) is asked to bring concessions donations to help our concessions stand provide low-cost, nutritional snacks for the swimmers at a reasonable price. The preferred donation is fruit, since this is something that the concessions volunteers cannot pre-purchase or store easily and is in high demand at meets.

* The purpose of this practice meet is to get swimmers and volunteers comfortable in the way a swim meet works, specific responsibilities, and where everyone should be when. If you have questions, please ask. Board members and experienced parents will be on hand to help with questions and training.

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Online Meet Entry - OME

For every swim meet on our schedule, EVERY family MUST login to our website and register your swimmer for the meet. If your swimmer will be out-of-town and unable to participate, you should still login and and complete the form.

Each family has a Swim-Topia account - your email plus a password you created. If you do not have this information, please email Marcynda Verdicchioand you will be sent a link that you can click on to set up your password.

Please login to https://wellsbranch.swimtopia.com/swim_meets

You should see the name(s) of your swimmer(s) and the events for their age group(s).

For the RWB meet, you choose all four events shown - unless your swimmer has not mastered one or more of the strokes yet. Then, please just click on freestyle and any other strokes your swimmer can swim. Remember…. Younger swimmers will be allowed to have kickboards and coaches in the water at this meet if needed.

Please tell us if your swimmer(s) will not attend the meet or if they will not be available to swim either the early or the late relays for that meet.  We need each registered swimmer to fill out this form for each meet.

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Team Photo: May 21

Team Photo: The team photo - featuring all swimmers and coaches - will be taken prior to the start of the Red, White, and Blue meet on Saturday, May 21. Please wear your team t-shirt

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Swim Meet Tips and Checklist

Here are a few important tips to make your swim meet experience successful:

tips Be on time. At the beginning of the meet the coaches will make changes to relay events if there are swimmers that are absent or missing. It is important that swimmers check-in with their pit parent to avoid being scratched from any relay event.
tips Bring nutritious snacks. The swim meets begin very early in the morning and last until noon or later. Please pack healthy snacks for your swimmers to eat such as fresh fruit, bagels, crackers, water, sports drinks, etc. We make an attempt to offer healthy items at the concession stand.
tips Pack appropriate supplies.Towels, sunscreen, goggles, etc - See checklist below...
tips Swimmers should stay in their pit areas The Pit Parents are responsible for watching the swimmers in the pit area and getting them to the ready bench when it is time for their event. If your child is going somewhere with you, please let the pit parents know.
tips MARK EVERYTHING! Please write your child's name on ALL belongings. At the meet, you will be dozens of identical t-shirts, caps, goggles - plus similar towels, flip flips, sunscreen. Don't forget to mark any electronic games - they get mixed up!

Checklist:

Checklist 2 towels Checklist Water or sport's drinks
Checklist Blanket to sit on in pit area Checklist Nutritious snacks
Checklist Warm clothes for after warm-up in early a.m. Checklist Quiet activities to keep them occupied in the pit area between races
Checklist Swim cap Checklist Sunblock
Checklist Goggles Checklist Parents: Bring a chair, wear a hat, apply sunblock!
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Swim Shop

New items were introduced this season during registration and I’ve received lots of positive feedback and requests for another order.

An order form has been attached as well as a file with pictures of the items available, sizes and prices.If you have any questions, please let Marcynda know. Order forms and payment may be turned into Marcynda or placed in her hanging file located in the Board/Coach filebox.

WBA’s swim shop will be up and running during our home swim meets. Can’t wait until Saturday? Please email or see Marcynda during practices.

Item Details

Order Form

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Swim Meet Apps: MeetMobile and MeetBop

Parents with Smart Phones! There are a couple of apps that you can utilize to keep track event times and event results. MeetBop and MeetMobile for the 2016 season.

MeetBop:A parent in the Northwest Swim Circuit developed this app to notify parents via text message an event or so in advance of when swimmers are swimming. It is free to download and since the Circuit has paid for it, it does not require a subscription this year. We highly recommend that you download this app if you volunteer in a position that cannot see the pool, and/or that may require wrap-up and transition to someone else prior to leaving for a moment to see your swimmer swim.

MeetMobile: This app allows you to view heat sheets, heat and lane assignments, estimated start times and real time results both individual and team. You can also flag your “favorite swimmers”. Please note that some of the features requires a “subscription fee” to utilize. The requested fee is a MeetMobile requirement and the Wells Branch Armada swim team does not benefit from the fee in any way, nor can we waive it.

Meet results are always posted on the wall behind the lifeguard stand at every meet, and also on the website once the meet is completed. ).

If you have questions, please contact one of the board members.   

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WBA Scholarships

Did you know that the Wells Branch Armada offers college scholarships to up to three swimmers each year in that swim in their age-out year? To be eligible, swimmers must have swum on the team for 3 years, including their “age-out” season.

If you meet the above minimum requirements for consideration for these scholarships, be sure to check your family folder for information, which we will be getting out to you by mid-May at the latest. Scholarship applications will be due back by May 31, 2016.

We also need volunteers to serve on the scholarship committee. The scholarship documents state that a Board member or parent of a swimmer in their age-out year may not serve on the committee, which means everyone else can! To serve, you will need to be available to meet in mid-late June to make a decision and communicate to the Board prior to the awards ceremony.

Please contact Soonee Wright if you are interested in serving on the committee or have any other questions about the WBA scholarships.

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Swim-a-thon: Raffle Donations Requested

Our annual Swim-a-thon & Raffle will be held on Tuesday, June 14. This is our primary fundraiser for the year and the funds raised help us keep our registration fees low and help us purchase needed equipment.

We are asking for donations of goods or services or gift certificates that we can raffle off during the event. We are a registered 501c3 non-profit organization and donations are tax deductible.  More details to come.....thanks

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