Note from Coach Kevin - Feb 17, 2021

Posted by Birmingham Blue Dolphins on Feb 17 2021 at 05:30AM PST

Dear Swimmers and Parents,

I am so grateful I get to coach in a warm pool area during these frigid winter weeks! As we navigate these trying times it is important to remember our good fortune in being able to do as much as we have, safely, while facing a pandemic. The YMCA values of respect, responsibility, honesty and caring are evident in the work the swimmers, coaches and board members are all doing to keep age-group swimming afloat in the Birmingham area.

We have many good things to report:

…Our eight and under have begun a series of clinics to re-acclimate them to the rigors of the team. The plan was to have four clinics in the hope that we will get outside pool time and be able to go into a program like we have had in the past. If that doesn’t happen we will extend the clinics until the situation changes. I really appreciate the Y keeping the costs reasonable for these sessions.

…We will have our intra-squad meet in a little under two weeks. In order to ensure safety the sessions are small and every swimmer MUST have a parent volunteering to run the meet. We can’t do it without everyone’s cooperation. Thank you to the board for creating this competition.

…We will have two Y competitions that take the place of the traditional meets——a zone meet and a National Festival Meet. The board has plans to recognize the participants that may be different than what they we have done in the past, but these competitions are different too. In no way are these competitions less——they simply recognize that swimmers have not all been able to train like they have in the past. My fervent hope is that we get some new swimmers to the Y Festival, because it will raise their aspirations for the future.

In spite of every obstacle that the team has faced the swimmers who have committed to the program by attending the 75%-80% of the practices we are offering are thriving. We have been able to send swimmers to a few out-of-state meets where they have been incredibly successful, Our older boys have broken team records in spite of a curtailed training regimen and that is indicative of what all of our swimmers are capable of accomplishing.

Maintaining a positive attitude during these times is difficult, but essential. We are creating a new reality for our athletes. These times will certainly be memorable for a lot of reasons, but together we can create positive memories. Think of the stories our swimmers will be able to tell their kids!! “I lived in a mask, trained in a five-lane pool, and I still managed to achieve my goals!” Our kids are showing their determination and resilience every day!

Stay well!