New To the Gators?
Eichler Gators Swim Team
A summer of FUN and a lifetime of memories!
If you have questions you’ve come to the right place. Read on...
What is the Eichler Gators Swim Team?
The Gators team is made up of Eichler members starting as young as age 4! Swimmers can race in the league until they turn 19. We race in the six team Junipero Serra Swim League. The JSSL is composed of local teams from Palo Alto in the North to Saratoga in the South. All six teams host meets against one another and finish the season with the Championship Meet where all teams race for “The Title.” This year our Champs meet will be held at Stanford’s amazing Avery Aquatics Center! (Did I mention pasta night?).
When is the Team Season?
Things get started for new families with New Swimmer Placement Week in spring. During this week all new swimmers are evaluated for readiness and placed in an appropriate practice group. Practices officially begin in April/May. Practices are held every weekday, and Saturday morning swim meets begin in June. The season ends with our Champs meet and a team awards dinner in July.
When are the Swim Meets?
The regular season swim meets are held on Saturday mornings with the first race at 9:00 am. Meets usually conclude around Noon. Our season begins with our inter-squad practice meet and is followed by our dual meets through Champs in July. We take one Saturday off for the July 4th Week. (Kids love the relays, which are REALLY exciting and often decide the meet!)
Does my child have to be an accomplished swimmer to join?
No! Swim team is for children of all abilities who love to swim. Kids have the opportunity to improve their skills at practice and become competent in the water with the help of our expert coaches! For many kids this will be their first experience with an organized team where sportsmanship, steady effort, and personal successes are emphasized. For safety reasons, coaches must assess all new swimmers prior to joining the team. (Gators LOVE the FUN of the team and Gator Fun is blind to ability!)
When are the practices?
The Gators will train, learn, and have fun every afternoon Monday-Friday through the end of the season. Practice groups follow this schedule:
4:00 to 4:30 (M/W/F only) - Pre-Competitive Group - our youngest group (parent or guardian must be present)
4:30 to 5:00 - 6 & under and beginners (parent or guardian must be present)
5:00 to 5:30 - 7 & 8 and older beginners (parent or guardian must be present)
5:30 to 6:15 - 9, 10, & 11 based on ability
6:05 to 7:00 - 11 - 18 based on ability
7:00 to 8:00 - 15- 18 (begin mid-May)
How many times a week do most Gators attend practice?
The more practices you attend, the better your swimming progress will be. Everyone has some conflicts but you are encouraged to practice whenever possible. The coaches recommend attending half the practices or more, unless scheduling prevents it, which would be five practices out of every two weeks. (Personal Bests take practice!)
What is a swim meet like?
Swimmers arrive at the pool for warm-ups at either 8 or 8:30. The meets begin at 9:00 and races are organized by age for boys and girls starting from youngest to oldest. The age groups are: 6&under, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, and 15-18. (Wear your GREEN! The cheering is infectious!)
The order of the meet is butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle and relays. All swimmers are timed and everyone receives a ribbon for their participation and for keeping a record of their times. Points are scored and the winning team is announced at the end of the meet. At the Championship Meet, a trophy is awarded to the team with the most season wins, and the team with the most points for that day. High point trophies are also awarded in the individual age groups. That evening we return to Eichler for our own awards ceremony and dinner. (A GREAT music video of he Gator kids? Yup!)
Does my child have to race?
There is no requirement that your child swim in a swim meet, but we hope that they will want to! Meets are FUN! The work that your child does at practice is truly made complete by putting it to the test in competition for the team. Meets teach our kids things and bring them together in very special ways that simply don’t happen in practices.Our relaxed and fun meets promote bravery, great sportsmanship, hard work, and perseverance. Far beyond basic fitness, these are the qualities we hope our children will use for forever. (The best awards at the end of the season are not about first place finishes in the pool.)
What do parents have to do?
Encourage your child to participate in swim team and be involved yourself! REMEMBER...The team and all of our meets are run by parents! Outside of coaching (and some of that is done by parents as well!), all team jobs, from administration and organization, to setting up and running our meets, are done by parents. Without parents there would be no team. The Eichler Swim Team is a family affair! To meet these needs, each family is expected to work 9 jobs (1 job is equivalent to ½ of a swim meet) over the course of each season. There are jobs at meets as well as social event and organizational jobs throughout the season. Families whose children choose not to race in meets will still be expected to work at home swim meets and at Champs. You also have the choice of being a member of the parent’s relay held at the conclusion of each dual meet! (Have you seen parent/coach David Smith sprint? Yes, it’s inspiring!)
Are there other activities for the swimmers?
Sure! Swimmers, and the WHOLE FAMILY enjoy such things as our Ice Cream Social, Pasta Dinner, Movies, Moonlight Swim (An adult Belly Flop Contest? Seriously!?!?), Poker Night, wonderful Teen Dinners, and whatever else you might want to help organize. You get to meet other families and enjoy our club together (LOTS of casual BYO dinners @ the club). Swim team brings our kids and our families...Lots of new friends! (That’s a big smile! Wait...is that your THIRD bowl of ice cream?
OK, How do I sign up for the swim team?
By visiting the team website at: www.eichlergators.com you’ll be able to register your swimmer, pay your team dues (by credit card or PayPal), and sign up for parent jobs.
Additionally, we always kick off the season with a potluck “Kickoff Brunch” filled with food and fun. The coaches and Swim Team Committee members will be in attendance at the brunch to answer any questions we may have missed. You can also contact Swim Team Chairs Tim Edmonds & Steve Haney anytime at: firstname.lastname@example.org
How much does swim team cost?
We feel that the Eichler Gators is one of the best bargains in town! Registration fees pay for our extraordinary coaching staff, league dues, all entry fees, many social events, and team awards. We offer early bird discounts each year! Dues also have a discount for additional children. After the deadline, rate go up.
Additionally, team suits, fins, caps, and “Gator Gear” may also be purchased through the team at special rates. You can “shop” at the brunch or buy using a printed order form from the website! If you are unable to begin in the spring, don’t worry. New families and late joiners can start anytime; there’s always room for one more!
EICHLER GATORS SWIM TEAM
The beginning of a lifetime of swimming enjoyment!