Coaches Update and Upcoming changes to squad structure

From: Coach <>
Sent: Tuesday, April 26, 2022 10:09:54 AM
To: Coach <>
Subject: Coaches Update and Upcoming changes to squad structure


Kia ora Raptors whanau,

As the Summer racing season comes to a close, we have thoroughly enjoyed coaching at the Raptors for the last few weeks and getting to know swimmers and parents within the club.

We are very pleased to let everyone know that on Tuesday last week we formally accepted the clubs offer to become permanent coaches for the club.

We have seen a lot of positives from a few weeks evaluating the program and swimmers. We also see opportunities to enact positive change with a revised programme and have a plan to implement new club values and goals.

As a result, we have been working hard to create a programme which is inclusive for all within the club, whether you are a social swimmer who wants to train with friends, to those aiming to medal and perform at national level meets.

We have 7 new squads – two learn to compete groups, two regional performance groups and two national performance groups along with a swim fit squad. Details on these squads, their expectations, criteria and timetables are available in the attachments. The learn to compete groups have no expectation around attending competition meets, however the regional performance and national performance squads do have a compulsory competition criteria and need to be registered with Swimming New Zealand. For the more social swimmers, our fitness squad has been tailor made for you with four potential training sessions per week.

Along with these changes to squad structure, we have also drafted new club values. We are going to workshop these with the senior athletes and board. We feel these will enhance all aspects of our swimming and personal lives. These club values are very important to us; swimming is a demanding sport and can sometimes feel very individual. We want to do everything in our power to create an atmosphere that is supportive, encouraging and has swimmers, coaches and parents who take pride in each other across all levels of our club.

We appreciate these changes are being rolled out relatively quickly. The new squads will provide us with the ability to tailor our coaching to a greater variety of levels as we place swimmers together with others of the same ability, goals and objectives. Our new timetable allows the senior swimmers to have a night off which we feel is very important for their general wellbeing. It also allows us time and space to work on our skills and technique with the juniors and allows for our top end junior swimmers to swim partially alongside the seniors so that the transition into the senior squads is easier.

We feel a transition period is more than appropriate for us all as we get used to the new changes ahead. The winter short course season provides the perfect opportunity for us and our athletes to adapt to the new timetable, session structure and gear requirements. By September and the summer season, we feel many will have found their niche and following some solid winter training will be ready to race fast in summer.

We will contact you all on an individual basis in the coming week to communicate the squad your athlete will be in moving forward. Thank you in advance for your patience but we endeavour to contact all of you prior to the new timetable starting in May. We ask that once you have had a look at the timetable, have a think about what your potential goals and objectives will be. Do you want to compete? How often do you want to train? What meets would you like to qualify for in the summer season?

We want to reiterate that we do have options for those who feel like competing is not for them. Athletes are also free to move levels following discussions with us over the next few weeks – this is just an estimate from us after observing everyone’s swimming over the last month.

During June we will set up Individual Performance Plans for those in T-Rex, Spinosaurus and Velociraptor (those aiming to swim at Wellington Champs, Junior Festival and other national meets). For those in Stegosaurus, Triceratops and Pterodactyl we are going to have a parent meeting to outline our plans for the athletes in these squads.

We are very excited for the future of the club and look forward to working alongside you.

Yours in swimming,

Sam and Emma

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