The pool is open at the YMCA … and very busy!

Published 6:20 am Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Editor’s Note: This column is written by Emory Smith, a YMCA staff member.

For most who love water sports, Labor Day is the “last big weekend on the water.” Summer is almost over and the weather is getting cooler. But, at the YMCA, the fun is just beginning.

One of the hallmarks of a YMCA that has an indoor pool is competitive swimming. In the spring of 2013, the Y will start a new swim team. In preparation for this, the Y is offering “Stroke Clinics.”  These clinics are for those who already swim and want to learn other strokes such as the breast stroke, back stroke and butterfly. These classes will work on stroke techniques and training tips that will make swimmers’ strokes more efficient and increase stamina. The classes are taught by experienced instructors who enjoy swimming as a life sport. The classes will be divided into Silver and Gold groups.

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The Silver Group will be comprised primarily of novice-level swimmers. Emphasis will be placed on developing correct stroke technique in the four competitive strokes along with practice on starts and turns. These fundamentals will be taught by means of drills and games to create a fun learning environment. Swimmers must be able to swim one length of the pool without resting or assistance. This group will also consist of intermediate swimmers that will be worked with individually until they can swim 50 yards freestyle with rotary breathing and 25 yards backstroke, thus advancing them to the Gold Group.

The Gold Group gives more advanced age group swimmers the opportunity to attend more practices and increase their endurance training. This group still emphasizes stroke technique, but with more dedicated conditioning. Swimmers must be able to swim all competitive strokes with starts and turns. Stroke Clinics will be held on Tuesday and Thursdays and will begin Sept. 18. The Silver Group will meet from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the Gold group will meet from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m.

In addition to developing its advanced swimming program, your YMCA continues to work on its goal of seeing that everyone learns to swim. As a part of this goal, the YMCA has teamed up with the Decatur County School’s 21st Century program. Starting in September, students from the 21st Century Program at West Bainbridge Elementary School will be transported to the Y for swim lessons.

After the WBES students have completed the swimming program, students from 21st Century from another school will begin their lessons. By the end of the school year, each student enrolled in the 21st Century program will have had swimming lessons.

The YMCA also is open for pool parties, lap swimming and open swim time. Come by and become a member of the Y and get involved in the swimming program.

Emory Smith is a staff member at the Bainbridge-Decatur County YMCA. He can be reached at (229) 243-0508.