The high school season is over which means it is essentially summer. We have ambitious plans for the next few months and, as always, have to adjust our training schedule to fit the city’s summer needs. There is a lot here so, AquaTex families, please read it all.
In order to maximize the amount of time we get in the deep pool we are doing our annual schedule changes. As always we attempt to keep all training updates current on our calendar.
May Training Schedule
Ends May 29
- Mondays 7-9 PM, middle school & high school
- Fridays 7-9 PM, middle school & high school
- Saturdays 10 AM-noon, middle school & high school
- Sundays 10 AM-noon, middle school & high school
- Sundays 10:30-11:30 AM, Swim2Score
- Sundays 11:30-1 PM, masters
Tentative Summer Training Schedule
May 30 – July 8
High school and middle school
- Mondays and Fridays 7:15 – 9 PM or earlier start if available.
- Sundays 9-11 AM
- Tuesdays 6-8 PM (subject to swim meet schedule)
- Saturdays 9-11 AM (select Saturdays, when available)
- TBD but likely Fridays at 10:00 AM or Sundays at 9:00 AM
- TBD but likely Tuesdays at 8 PM or Sundays at 8 AM
Summer Parent Meeting
Parents are asked to join us in a mandatory Zoom meeting with coaches on Tuesday, May 17 at 7:00 PM. We will cover details from both coaches and parents about our plans for Junior Olympics this summer, but also other stuff:
- What are Junior Olympics and why should athletes participate?
- What are the deadlines for committing, etc.?
- Which of our teams are trying to qualify for Sessions 1 and 2 in NorCal, and which will register for Session 3 in North Texas?
- Does my athlete’s team need to qualify for JOs
- Which club, Longhorn or AquaTex, is fielding each team and who’s coaching?
- How does travel work for AquaTex families going to JOs (or any other tournament)?
- Which other tournaments, including Welcome to Texas Shootout, are we planning on registering for this summer?
- What do we know about collegiate coaches scouting at JOs?
- How are we preparing for the first UIL fall high school season?
We’ll share Zoom invites via GroupMe and email so if you’re new to the program please be sure to join the GroupMe and that we have a current, working email address. Contact me for a link to GroupMe and/or any email address updates, or if you have any topics you’d like us to cover.
Junior Olympics Qualifier & Festival
It’s confirmed that those teams that plan to register directly for JOs Session 3 in North Texas are invited to the Southwest Zone Festival, which takes place simultaneously with the Junior Olympic Qualifier Tournament June 10-12 at CyFair and other local pools. This tournament will help the Zone seed teams for JOs Session 3 so it is NOT considered optional. We will send our best rosters and try to get the highest seeds possible.
Welcome to Texas Shootout
The deadline for us to register is Friday, May 20. Spaces are filling up so please go to the Tournament Commitment Google Sheet to make any updates. You can find tournament info, including current rosters, on the tournament event page.
National Junior Olympics
Again, filling up quickly. In particular we’re looking to add to the AquaTex 16u boys and 18u girls teams, and the Longhorn 10u team, headed to Session 3 in North Texas (breaking news). More info on the JOs Qualifiers page. The form for committing to play at JOs is different than our Tournament Commitment Sheet so please let me know if you need the link.
Welcome Coach Tom
Not only did Cammi earn MVP honors from West Region Coaches for her high school season, we also now have in our presence the West Region’s Coach of the Year from Round Rock High School! I’m delighted that Tom Arredondo will be helping us coach this summer and hopefully beyond. He’s been the very successful swim coach at Round Rock HS for well over a decade and has coached the water polo teams on and off since it was created in (around) 2011. Welcome aboard, Coach Tom.
Speaking of Swimming…
I have been speaking with some of our athletes, especially our middle school-aged ones, about joining a swim team. I’d like to make that case more strongly to our parents whose athletes are not already part of a swim program.
Obviously our game depends on mobility, which means efficient swimming. As you can tell from our training schedule we have limited time to strictly develop swimming skills. And our coaching staff has been assembled not for teaching swim technique (though we all have some skills in that regard) but in technical and tactical water polo skills. That is our focus.
To put it directly, we need to improve our swimming skills and speed, especially among our younger athletes. So if your athlete is not already signed up for a team we suggest as strongly as possible that you do so. Of course, we want all our athletes to swim for AquaTex. But a summer league team can be a huge help, and we have athletes who swim for other programs as well. The point is simply that, we need to get faster and have more stamina. And it takes specific swim training to do so.
To be clear: swim lessons and recreational swimming on your own are not substitutes for training with a team with qualified coaches. If you are interested in playing water polo in college, for example, it’s a rare thing for someone to do so without some swimming background. Take a listen to my conversation with three-time Olympian and NCAA Champion coach at UCLA, Adam Wright, who makes specific reference to swimming skills as a requirement for water polo success (that discussion starts around the 24:00 mark, but do listen to it all!).
Contact me if you have questions but I hope you’ll take my point seriously and help our team get better more quickly. And, as always, thanks for your support.
Austin High School Rumors
It’s been mentioned by a few people that AISD schools are poised to drop water polo prior to the first UIL season this fall due to a lack of training facilities. That would eliminate programs for many of our friends at schools such as Austin, Anderson, McCallum, and LASA. My understanding is that at least a couple of those schools have already come to an agreement to use Austin city pools during the UIL season. We’ll share the news when those plans are final but I think the concern for those programs is premature… thankfully.
Travis Benson, one of our masters players and father to two of our awesome Swim2Score athletes, plays a key role in the construction of the new Round Rock ISD Natatorium. So here are a couple photos of what it looked like on April 28. Rumors are that it may open pretty soon.
See you on the deck,