Welcome to the OKM Ospreys Swim Team
OKM sponsors a vibrant summer league swim team that competes in the Northern Virginia Swim League. NVSL swimming, especially at OKM, is a terrific introduction to competitive swimming for beginners and an exciting team atmosphere for veteran competitors. The OKM Swim Team has three primary objectives:
- Having FUN during practices, meets, and team social activities
- Learning and swimming skill development
- Promoting friendly competition with an emphasis on personal improvement
Swimming is a healthy lifetime sport, and even children who are less interested in the competitive aspects will become strong swimmers who are comfortable and safe in any part of the pool, beach or lake. No experience in competitive swimming is necessary – new OKM swimmers will learn the four strokes, starts, turns, and the rules of competitive swimming. Once the competitive season starts, all swimmers will have the opportunity to compete in weekly swim meets where they can focus on improving their personal times.
Although swimming is an individual sport, Osprey swimmers enjoy great camaraderie both in and out of the water. Social events are a big part of the swim team experience – from team breakfasts and pep rallies at the pool to various group outings – and swim team friendships often continue when school starts in the fall. OKM swimming is also a great family activity where all of your children will compete for the same team and swim in the same meets at the same time. We hope your family will join the OKM Osprey swim family!
OKM Mini Ospreys
The Mini Ospreys program is part of the OKM Swim Team, but is designed for novice swimmers aged 8 and younger who are not ready for the regular team. The swimmers are taught in small groups in shallow water, and this is terrific introduction to the swim team. Mini Ospreys swimmers have the opportunity to participate in short “lollipop races” before they are able to complete a full 25 meters of swimming. Our goal is to have these swimmers compete in a 25-meter race by the end of the season and to move up to the regular team the following summer. Practice for Mini Ospreys does not start until school is out (see details below).
The swim program is open to all OKM member families, and we do not make any “cuts” or cap our participant numbers, but we do have the following basic swimming requirements for participation:
Osprey Swim Team: Ages 4 to 18 – swimmers must be able to swim one length of the pool (25 meters) in any fashion.
Mini Ospreys: Ages 3 to 8 – swimmers must be able to put their face in the water and swim 15 feet in any fashion. They must also be comfortable being in the water away from their parents and able to follow directions in a group setting. This is not a learn-to-swim program – for beginners who are not ready for Minis, there are swim lessons offered at OKM through NVPools.
All new swimmers will be evaluated on the first day of practice, so feel free to bring children for an evaluation if you’re unsure about their swimming ability.
Key 2017 Swim Team Dates
A detailed practice/meet schedule is available here, but these are some key dates to note:
- May 21: Swim Team information meeting is at 12:30 p.m. New and returning families should try to attend.
- May 30: First day of swim practice (we always start the Tuesday after Memorial Day). While school is in session, practices are in the afternoon/evening every weekday for 45 or 60 minutes, but we understand that many swimmers have to miss some practices, especially before school is out.
- June 25: First “evening only” practice for swimmers enrolled in the Evening Swim program at 6:30 p.m. (before then, children in Evening Swim will practice on the standard after-school schedule with the rest of the team).
- June 26: Morning practices start every weekday for one hour. Mini Ospreys also start on this day at 10:00 a.m. for either 30 or 45 minutes.
For families who cannot attend morning practices because of work/childcare conflicts, OKM offers evening practices that begin once school is out. For the first four weeks, children in Evening Swim attend the same after-school practices as the other swimmers. For the five weeks of the season that occur after school is out, Evening Swim offers three practices per week at 6:30 p.m. on Sundays, Thursdays, and either Tuesday or Wednesday depending on pool availability (see full schedule on here).
Evening Swim does not provide as many practices as the morning schedule, and because it takes place when the pool is open, there are less lanes available and a smaller coaching staff. We believe, therefore, that our standard morning program will provide the best opportunity for swimmers to develop, but we are please
d to offer Evening Swim for families who would otherwise not be able to participate. Children in Evening Swim compete in the same meets as the rest of the team – Monday evening “B” meets and, if they qualify, Saturday morning “A” meets.
A few additional notes on Evenings Swim: (a) At this time, the Evening Swim Program is limited to swimmers aged 12-and-under; (b) if there is adequate interest, there will be a Mini Ospreys section in Evening Swim; and (c) swimmers in the morning program who have a multi-day conflict that causes them to miss morning practice may attend evening practices if there is space available.
Basic Meet Information
- The first meet is Time Trials, which is June 17, 2017. This is an intra-squad meet where we hope to have all swimmers get times in all four strokes.
- Meets against other teams are divided into “A” meets for the more advanced swimmers (held on Saturday mornings) and “B” or Developmental meets, which are open to all swimmers on the team (held Monday evenings). There are five A meets, and they begin on June 24. There are four B meets, and they begin on June 26.
As with the other OKM Junior Teams, the standard registration fee is $125 for Associate Members and $100 for Bonded Members. The third junior team registration (and beyond) within a family is discounted by $25. This fee covers 44 swim practices, multiple stroke clinics, and as many as 13 different swim meets – a value that is hard to find in any other youth sports league!
All families (except for those only participating in Mini Ospreys) must also submit a $150 check, but it will not be cashed if a family meets the volunteer requirements.
Swim Team registration will open in early May and email notices will go to all OKM members. Even if your swimmer is only doing Mini Ospreys and won’t start until June 26, please try to sign up in May so we will have a good sense of numbers.
OKM Winter Swim
OKM runs a once-a-week winter swim program for summer swimmers who want to maintain their skills in the winter but don’t want the commitment/cost of club swimming. We had approximately 80 swimmers participate in the 2016-17 winter swim program, and we expect to run a similar program for winter 2017-18 (but we don’t know if we’ll have as much lane space). Registration information will be available by late July.
Swim Team Reps
We are thankful for the service of our Swim Team Reps for 2017: Eric Kiss (A Meet Rep), Jen Farris (Asst. Rep), and Karen Smith (B meet/Minis Rep).
If you have any questions about the OKM Swim Program generally, please contact Board Director Dave Bell.