In the states, there are two major types of competitive swimming: Recreational or Summer Leagues, and more highly competitive "Club" teams with the YMCA and/or USA Swimming. The Naples Tiger Sharks is a mixture of both of these types of swim teams.
The Naples Tiger Sharks try to foster the cooperative-fun environment of a recreational league, while still offering a strong competitive environment like those found in a Club or High School League. It can be a daily challenge to balance the goals and needs of each group - but the fundamentals of both types of swimming leagues rests on solid technique.
The overall coaching philosophy of the Naples Tiger Sharks is technique-first. We practice technique-driven, quality sets. This doesn't mean that we don't value volume or fast paced practices -- only that the pace (volume) we accomplish is limited by the level that can be accomplished with solid technique -- no garbage yardage.
And, the proof is in our results -- 15 Divisional Titles are only one small part of our story.
The Naples Tiger Sharks has swimmers who come to us from highly competitive club teams in the states who were stalled in their progress -- only to see huge jumps in their swimming times, simply changing their focus from doing more faster, to doing less very, very well. This philosophy has resulted in some of our high school swimmers being recruited to swim in college, or accumulating AA, AAA or even faster times they never thought possible.
Well respected coaches from well respected Club and College teams all agree -- Great Technique is the key to faster swimming.
Why Extra Equipment?
Many parents look at the equipment we use and think it's unnecessary -- that kids should just "swim." But, there's a lot to think about when swimming. Head position, core engagement, body alignment, kicking from the hip, hand entry, early vertical forearm -- and depending upon the stroke a child is learning, many other things. There is no way most developing (or even advanced swimmers) can focus on every detail and learn to swim well this way.
- Snorkels allow swimmers to focus on stroke, body alignment, and kicking technique while reinforcing a proper head position.
- Fins take pressure off the shoulder, and enable swimmers to swim longer sets with better technique -- without fatigue -- all while helping to develop stronger leg muscles.
- Paddles help develop proper hand entry and hand position, and also help build power in the stroke.
Every piece of equipment the team purchases has a purpose -- whether it's to build or reinforce proper technique, or build power and strength and endurance. These tools for training are not crutches -- they are stepping stones to technique-driven, faster swimming.