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Issue 2: May 10, 2017


Please take a few moments to read the entire newsletter! There are numerous items below which include: News from the WBA President, Head Coach and Volunteer Coordinator; Weekly Reminders, Upcoming RWB Meet Sign Up,  Information and Instructions; Team Photo; Swim Shop, Swim Meet Apps and of course Swim Meet Tips and Checklist.  Thanks.


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Captain's Corner

by Peter Mielcarek, 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 Saturday May 20 at our Willow Bend Pool. The Online Meet Entry is due by 12pm on Monday, May 15. 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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Important Reminders:

1. Sat, May 20, Red, White, Blue Meet & Team Photos: We will be hosting our intra-squad meet next weekend on Saturday, May 20.  Swimmer sign-up and volunteer information and instructions are below.  

2. Online Meet Entry:  Tutorial (instructions) for the online meet entry are located under the resources tab or can be found here.

3. Mobile Alerts: If you have not already, you have the option to opt into our mobile messaging service to receive text alerts for cancelled practices and other important information. To join - Text ARMADA to 84483.

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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.

NEXT weekend, 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 20, 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.  We currently have 139 families registered, so everyone's help will be needed and appreciated for the meet next weekend. 

When you register your swimmers for each meet, you will also be choosing a volunteer position to work during the meet.   All families are expected to volunteer for one shift at each meet.   As a reminder volunteer positions are explained here.

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 20

Meet sign-up for the Red, White and Blue opens Wednesday, May 10 (Meets will normally open on Tuesdays). Please log in to https://wellsbranch.swimtopia.com/swim_meets and register your swimmer(s) for events and don’t forget to register a parent for a volunteer job.

Entry deadline is by noon on Monday, May 15

This meet will be a shortened version of a regular dual meet. We will start by having 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. (If you are not sure what to enter your swimmer for, go ahead and enter them in events you’re not sure about, and the coaches will review and pull them out of events they’re not ready for.) 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’d like all swimmers to enter this meet regardless of ability!

The meet should be finished before noon. More details will be posted on the website and printed in next week’s newsletter.

Meet Set-up: Friday, May 19 at 6:30 pm
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 is no such restriction. Additional parking will be along Sauls and Crissom next to the pool and elementary school, 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. 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 Peter Mielcarek and 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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2017 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 20. Please wear your team t-shirt for the picture.

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Swim Shop

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.

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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, there 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 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. Meet Bop and Meet Mobile for the 2017 season.

Meet Bop: 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.

Meet Mobile: 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 Meet Mobile 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.

More details will be sent in upcoming communications.

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Swim-A-Thon: Raffle Donations Requested

Our annual Swim-a-thon & Raffle will be held on Tuesday, June 13. 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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