Time to check in as the summer winds down and the mosquitoes have a field day at Micki!
First, thanks to all our new and trial members. We are having the biggest boom of new families since the club started so we are grateful for you being part of the club. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: this is a really exciting fall for the team.
We are working harder than we ever has as a club, meaning we are getting our athletes in as good of shape as we can in four practices a week. Our expectations are high and our young athletes have responded very well to our demands. We want to be the team that won’t be outworked but we have to do actual work to get there. So far, so good.
The fall tournament schedule is updated so please log in to your TeamUnify accounts to commit to each one of them. Use TeamUnify to commit, but I share more details about each event on the aquatexwaterpolo.com site.
By “commit” we mean share your intentions. There is always some chance we won’t have enough players to go to a tournament (increasingly rarely). But by committing on TeamUnify you’re saying you will take part and that you understand you’ll be charged for it after the tourney is over.
The Cowtown Stampede has been updated on TeamUnify; it had an incorrect deadline but has now been fixed. And remember that participation in that tournament is determined by age as of August 1 and not by school grade.
A reminder for our new families, you can read more about how traveling to tournaments works on our Programs page. Scroll down to the FAQs and expand “How does traveling to tournaments work?” It includes the fact that if we don’t have enough athletes to field a strictly-AquaTex team we combine with our friends from Longhorn.
I shared a link via GroupMe to a form we’re asking all our families with 14u athletes to complete. We need to confirm which grade your youngster is in! The first three tournaments of the fall are grade-based instead of age-based. Let me know if you need the link. The form should take 2-3 minutes max.
Required team suits
A RYTE fitting kit for boys’ suits is on the way. So if you want to wait and actually try on one of the boys’ suits prior to purchasing, it should be here in the next few days and I’ll make it available to you at practice.
As you know all registered athletes are required to have a team suit. Based on input from our athletes and families we asked the popular fabricator Turbo, based in Spain and vendor to the US National Team among many other American programs, to provide suits for us in addition to our main vendor RYTE Sports. The AquaTex Turbo store is now open until September 18 for you to place suit or robe orders. After that it will close for several months.
However, as much as Turbo provides very fine products, I have come to advise all our families to order from RYTE Sport. For several reasons:
- It’s cheaper
- The store never closes; orders can be placed throughout the year
- The suits are fabricated in the US so they don’t get hung up in customs
- The orders take something like 2-4 weeks. Recently Turbo gear has been taking quite a bit longer
- The people at RYTE have treated AquaTex quite well over the years (not that Turbo hasn’t). Our RYTE competition caps are really good
- The water polo suits are very solid and durable
- Alex Young, the founder of RYTE, worked at Kap7 (Turbo) for three years so he knows those products
One additional pitch: regardless of vendor we know that some boys prefer jammers over water polo briefs. But, as I think some of you know, jammers are not made for water polo durability. Coaches all suggest boys buy and get used to wearing a brief, which will last for as long as you fit in it.
All members are also required to have at least one AquaTex tee shirt for travel tournaments. You can shop for all our gear in our fantastic new online store.
I have a parent meeting tentatively on the calendar for Thursday, September 8 at 7:00 PM. It will be held online (I like the open source jit.si meet for videoconferencing. It works on any browser but requires the app if you’re participating via a device) and I’ll cover our plans for the fall and beyond. But it’s also just a chance for our new parents to introduce themselves, ask questions, and hear more about how the club operates.
We’re still planning on a new Novice group beginning on September 5. We need to make some internal changes to our TeamUnify database and will let you know when that’s all done. Novices are age 10-14 who are new to the sport and need a different level of training than our Age Group athletes. Novices will practice four times a week for one hour each.
It is very likely we’ll host at least one Game Day this fall so that all our 14u athletes can play regardless of school grade. It may simply be a set of officially refereed scrimmages against Longhorn. Stay tuned.
Since we’re using TeamUnify more than in the past I’d appreciate it if, the next time you log in, you enter your athlete(s) USA Water Polo membership number in the proper field. I do not have access to your records at that level so I can’t do it for you. Thanks in advance.
See you on the deck,