Competitive Coach’s Corner – November 2011
Club and High School Swimming: A Symbiotic Relationship (hopefully)
As High School swim season winds down with this week’s high school state championship at Skyline on Friday and Saturday, it seems like a good time to touch on some benefits of practicing with both the high school team as well as RIO and some tips on doing this successfully for future high school state qualifiers.
This is allowed and it is okay! – AIA rules permit a swimmer to practice both with their club team and their high school team during the season! Practicing with both is perfectly acceptable within the guidelines and nearly all high school coaches recognize the benefits that club swimmers and coaches bring to their squads.
It is beneficial to both the swimmer and high school coach – As a club swimmer, you are in an elite group on your high school team in that you are much more competitively experienced and most likely have a greater skill set than your high school teammate. High school coaches need to spend time teaching how to do the butterfly and breaststroke legally and how to do a flip turn. By continuing to train with your club team you are ensuring that you will be at your best for the season while your high school coach can get those new swimmers up to speed.
Communication is key – Talk to your high school coach and club coach about the expectations for yourself and your practices. Certain days may be required in order to compete with your high school team. Your high school coach may want you at practice the day before the meet, that’s not a problem. If you have concerns about the scheduling, talk to your RIO coach and give them contact information for your high school coach; we will talk to them and explain what we do and that we are willing to work with them to make their team as good as it can be!
Stick to the schedule – Make a workout schedule with your RIO coach that will be acceptable to your high school coach and stick to it! Yes, days of the week may change due to invitationals or school activities, but those should be the exceptions and not a weekly occurrence. If we aren’t consistent we can’t expect consistent results.
Goals of the programs differ – High school and club differ in goals. High school programs look to do well at the high school level. You, as a club swimmer, have set your goals higher. We are looking long term; to give you the opportunity, if you choose it, to be successful at the collegiate level. Have fun with your high school team and achieve team success because of your experience, but remember that you have long term individual goals and do what you need to do to achieve them!