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Issue 2: May 12, 2014

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Captain's Log

by Paul Wadehra, Meet Director

Great first week of practice everyone! Enthusiastic swimmers + competent coaches = outstanding progress. Thanks very much to the parents too for their support. Now that everyone has settled in to the routine, we can begin to make strides.

Our Red White & Blue practice meet will be this Saturday, May 17 at our Willow Bend Pool. The Online Meet Entry is due by 9 pm on Monday, May 12. Our normal entry deadline will be Mondays at noon. If you won't make the meet, you still need to register and specify that. Please read the newsletter for more details and 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.

This Saturday we have our Red, White, and Blue inner-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 Nancy Brieger, Volunteer Coordinator

Hi Parents,

Our Red, White & Blue practice meet is coming up on Saturday. When you fill out your Online Meet Entry forms to enter you child(ren) in the meet, please remember to sign up for a volunteer position. 

If you are unable to do so, please email me at this link Nancy Brieger so that I can assign you to a position. 

Remember, every position needs to be filled in order for us to run a successful meet. 

Thanks!

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Relay Take-Off and Stroke Judges' Training - May 14

Training for stroke judges and corner (relay take-off) judges is being held on Wednesday, May 14 from 7-8pm at the Micki Krebsbach Pool next to Round Rock High School. Attendance at this training is required for all who would like to volunteer to be a corner or stroke judge.

If you did not select corner judge or stroke and turn judge as a volunteer option when you registered, you may still attend this training and notify Nancy Brieger that you are available to work as a judge.  We need good judges to help keep the meet fair for the kids, and it's a great volunteer position if you would like to see the entire meet, as you've got a front row view of every event during your shift.  

Please email Anne Bennett if you have questions.

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Red, White, and Blue Practice Meet - May 17

This meet will be a "shortened" version of a regular dual meet.  Meet sign-up is open.  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 noon on Monday, May 12.

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 6:45 am
Team Picture 7:00 am
Warm Ups 7:20 to 7:50
Meet Starts 8:00 am
Snackbar Donations requested from ages 15 & over

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.

Meet Set-up
Friday, May 16 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 normally park in the unpaved lot across the street from the pool, leaving the lot adjacent to the pool for our guest team. Since this practice meet involves only Armada families, there are no such restrictions.
However, please respect the "no parking" signs where posted.
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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 is not able to swim across the pool or you will be out-of-town and cannot participate, you should still login and and complete the form.

Your family has a Swim-Topia account - your email plus a password you created. If you do not have this information, please email Marcynda Verdicchio 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.

You will be able to 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 17

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 17. 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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First Dual Meet - Home vs. Pflugerville

ALL swim team members are REQUIRED to login to our Online Meet Entry system and register for the upcoming meet each week. Click here

Deadline for our first Dual Meet vs Pflugerville is Monday, May 19 at NOON.

All swimmers who can legally swim a lap across the pool should participate in swim meets. If you will be out-of-town, please login and let us know you cannot swim at this meet.

We count on each of our team members to participate in the swim meets. This is very important.

Swimmers who did not participate in the RWB practice meet or those that did not get a legal time must sign up for the short freestyle -- it is the 25 free for those under age 13 and the 50 free for those age 13 and older.

Parent MUST register for a volunteer position when they sign-up their swimmer. We really appreciate your help!

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Bling Is Here!

Anyone who has ordered 25th Anniversary Bling and has not yet picked it up, please make arrangements with Anne Bennett to pick up your bling! Anne is at the 3 early practices most days, with one swimmer in each, and is often wearing the bling.

Also, good news for anyone who wasn't sure about purchasing the bling!  Enough people were brave enough to pre-purchase, so we did go ahead and order the 25th Anniversary tri-color bling as well.  We do have some extras, which you can purchase when Swim Shop is open (during home meets, usually) or by contacting Anne at the email address above or at the pool.

Hope to see you sparkling poolside at our meets this year!

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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 June 5, 2014. (Please note that the date has changed from what we published last week; it was formerly May 30, 2014.)

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 Anne Bennett at bennean7@gmail.com if you are interested in serving on the committee or have any other questions about the WBA scholarships.

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Practice Schedules

We may make changes to this schedule after practice starts if we have too many swimmers in the pool at one time. Our goal is to make each practice as even as possible so the swimmers have the best experience possible.

If you have any questions please contact Marcynda Verdicchio.

Practice Schedule: May 5 - June 5 -- Monday-Friday

Practice 1: Ages 7-8 4:30 - 5:15 PM
Practice 2: Ages 6 and Under 5:15 - 6:00 PM
Practice 3: Ages 9-11 6:00 - 7:00 PM
Practice 4: Ages 12 & Up 7:00 - 8:30 PM

Practice Schedule: June 6 - July 11** -- Monday-Friday

Practice 1: Ages 12 & Up 7:15 - 8:45 AM
Practice 2: Ages 6 and Under 8:45 - 9:30 AM
Practice 3: Ages 7-8 9:30 - 10:30 AM
Practice 4: Ages 9-11 10:30 - 11:30 AM

** Please note that swimmers qualifying for and swimming in the invitational meet will practice the week of July 14-18.  Practice times for this week will be communicated at a later date.

Rain/Bad Weather:
In case of weather changes, please have a back-up plan for your swimmer (bike riders, walkers, etc). Everyone must be out of the water during a thunderstorm and if lightning is seen. Swim practice may continue if it is only raining and the coaches feel practice will be beneficial. If in doubt, you can call the pool and ask the lifeguard if swim practice is on. If the weather changes quickly, and the swimmers must get out of the pool, a coach will remain with them until everyone is picked up. The telephone number to the pool office is 512-310-1833.

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