Message from Coach Kevin + Practice Changes - January 3rd

Posted by Birmingham Blue Dolphins on Jan 03 2024 at 01:50PM PST

Dear Swimmers and Parents,

Happy New Year!
Thank you to all of you who thought of the coaches this holiday season. Your generosity is very much appreciated and affirming!

Please take time to read this missive carefully. The season is stepping up into high gear in the next few weeks and then into a very busy championship season.

Practice changes:

Friday morning practice returns 6:00-7:15 at the Y for 13/14 and 15/18 swimmers.

Friday, January 5th
We will combine 9/10 and 11/12 at Cranbrook this Friday. No Derby.

Sunday, January 7th
No Sunday practices at Groves because of the meet.

Flint Meets;

This weekend Flint is our host. The Flint team also added a meet at the end of the month. I am very grateful for that because it will allow some of our wayward swimmers to swim their third meet and be eligible for championship meets. The Flint team lost their head coach rather abruptly at the end of November and several of their leading families left. We have pledged to help them in any way possible through this challenging time, so if you arrive at the meet and they are appealing for timers, please volunteer. I will really appreciate your support.

Championship Meets;

For the most part, championship meets are required. Please make sure you are communicating with us if there is a conflict because non-attendance puts future participation on the team in jeopardy.

February 9-11 is our first championship meet, the YMCA Eastern Cluster Meet. It is required for all swimmers. There are no time standards for this meet. If any nine and up swimmers have not met their three-meet requirement, this marks the end of the season for them. This same weekend is the Michigan Open. 13/14 and 15/18 swimmers may opt to swim one day at Clusters and then the others at the Michigan Open. 9/10 and 11/12 swimmers may only attend the Michigan Open to swim an event not offered at Clusters and with a coach’s permission.

February 24 is the YMCA Eight and Under State Meet at Traverse City. This is a required meet for all eight and under swimmers and the culmination of their season unless they have qualified as a 10-and-under for other championships. Even though we do not have all of the details about the time, the warm-up will likely be mid-morning.

March 2-3 is the YMCA State Meet at Saginaw Valley hosted by BBD. This is a required meet for all qualifiers except high school boys. Swimmers will have bonus events if they have only qualified in one event. Parents of qualified swimmers are expected to volunteer at this meet.

March 9-10 is US MAGS for 10 and unders at Holt High School. This is a new meet this year as US Swimming has broken the 9/10s apart from the 11-14 swimmers. This is a US Meet so a swimmer’s age the first day of competition decides their age group.

March 15-17 Is YMCA Great Lakes Zone Meet at Canton,Ohio and US MAGS Meet at Holland Aquatic Center. This is where it gets tricky. I hate that we have a conflict between the two meets. The YMCA Great Lakes Zone Meet is a competition among five states where we are the traditional champion. The US MAGS Meet is a relatively new competition where we have fared well also. Generally speaking, those swimmers who have aged up for US competition will attend the Zone Meet; we’d like the rest of the qualifiers at the MAGS meet. We won’t break up families (unless you want us to….) We will not require 9/10s who already swam at the US Meet on March 9th to go to Zones, but you know we want you there!

BBD is a developmental swimming program. As coaches we are always looking for the next opportunity to improve and be successful and all of our decisions have that as a premise. There is nothing easy or convenient about age-group swimming. Everyone, swimmers, parents, coaches make sacrifices by giving so much of their time to the sport—but we think it is worth it!. During the championship season, we will witness our swimmers taking big steps forward in their evolution

Thanks for reading!!