The Road to EFSL Champs
Not everyone who joins the Naples Tiger Sharks will earn a spot at Championships, but if swimmers listen to their coaches, and work hard every swimmer has the opportunity to qualify.
Why? Because hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard. This past season, we had a girl on our squad who swam four years in the states with an illegal breaststroke, swim the breaststroke at Championships! Another swimmer, who never thought he was good enough to swim at championships, because he was always ranked last or next to last surprise himself by just missing the cut-off. He's now sure he can make it next season. These stories are not unique and are repeated again and again.
The Championship meet is a special experience and extremely important in the athletes development. The Naples Tiger Sharks want to qualify as many swimmers as possible for the Championship meets -- that's why our training focus is on solid technique and 100% effort.
As our season progresses, swimmers get excited and motivated to "go for a Championship time". Our coaches believe that the honor of competing in a Championship meet is earned through consistent practice habits and competitive experience at swim meets. There's a big difference between "wanting" to go to the championships and "deserving" to be at the championships. Talent plays a supporting role to commitment.
The Road to Champs begins with:
- Consistency in attending practice. Attending practice is where it all begins. You can't get better if you don't show up!
- Effort during practice. Practice isn't a race -- it needs to be done thoughtfully. This requires listening to the instructions given and putting in the effort to follow through. We want our swimmers to be mindful of their swimming during practice -- not a "just keep swimming" mentality. Doing something wrong again and again will not result in the improvements swimmers wish to see. And, again, consistency is the key word.
- Competition. Participation in meets throughout the entire season is important. Meets offer the experience necessary for the championships. Optimal participation will be one meet per month -- but that can be out of reach for some families, so our minimum meet requirements are the Home Meets and the Division Championships.
The EFSL Championship Meets are not the ultimate goal. They are seasonal goals. Making the "cut off time" is simply a requirement to attend the meet. The goal is to be as prepared as possible and perform to the best of one's ability at the meet. Sometimes swimmers get the "end" and the "means" mixed up.
Swimmers deserve to have positive experiences as rewards for their dedication and commitment -- doing their best, and having fun swimming should be celebrated!
How to Know If You've Qualified
After each meet, individual results will be posted. Simply compare the time you earned to the official "EFSL Qualification Times". If your time is the same or faster than a qualification time in any one event -- Congratulations! You are eligible to swim at Championships! If you aren't fast enough yet -- keep practicing, and keep focusing on doing the best you can every day.