For any questions about OKM Swimming, please contact Team Rep Dave Bell by email or call/text 703-980-3015.
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. OKM has enjoyed back-to-back undefeated seasons the last two summers and will compete in Division 8 in 2019!
The OKM Swim Team has three primary objectives:
(1) Having FUN during practices, meets, and team social
(2) Learning and swimming skill development
(3) Promoting healthy 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 different 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!
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 potentially move up to the regular team the following summer. Practice for Mini Ospreys does not start until school is out.
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 5 to 18 – Swimmers must be able to comfortably swim the length of the pool (25 meters) in freestyle and backstroke in a consistent horizontal position. Some children will be ready for Swim Team after one season of Mini Ospreys, but it's perfectly normal for some participants to return to Mini Ospreys for a second summer.
Mini Ospreys: Ages 4 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.
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 three weeks, children in Evening Swim attend the same after-school practices as the other swimmers. For the six 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.
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. Thus, the standard morning program will provide a better opportunity for swimmers to develop, but we are pleased to offer Evening Swim for families who would otherwise not be able to participate. Children in Evening Swim are full members of the OKM team and 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:
- The Evening Swim Program is limited to swimmers aged 12-and-under, but contact a Team Rep if you have an older swimmer who needs an evening schedule;
- Regular team swimmers in the morning program who have a conflict that causes them to miss morning practice may attend evening practices on a space-available basis (but we are NOT able to offer this flexibility to Minis);
- Swimmers in Evening Swim are always welcome to attend regular morning practices when they’re able – but swimmers are not allowed to attend both morning and evening practice in the same day.
- We do have a Mini Ospreys section in Evening Swim, but ** EVENING MINIS IS NOW FULL FOR 2019 ** To be placed on the waiting list, please contact Dave Bell. There is still space in Evening Swim Team and Morning Minis.
Key 2019 Swim Team Intro/Practice Dates
- May 19: Swim Team information meeting – 1:30PM for new families and 2:00PM for returning families.Come learn about the team and meet our new coaches!
- May 28: ** the first day of practice will be for swimmers who are new to OKM only to allow us to meet new families and conduct screenings in a less crowded and safer setting.
- May 29:First day of practice for the entire team.While school is in session, practices are in the afternoon/evening every weekday for 60 or 45 minutes, but we understand that many swimmers have to miss some practices, especially before school is out.
- June 16: First “Evening Swim” practice for swimmers enrolled in the Evening Swim and Evening Minis programs at 6:30PM (before then, children in Evening Swim will practice on the standard after-school schedule with the rest of the team).
- June 17:Morning practices start and run every weekday morning (three 1-hour practice sessions). Also, Mini Ospreys start at 10:00AM for either 30 or 45 minutes.Eligibility screening will take place on this first day.
Basic Meet Information
- The first meet is Time Trials, which is June 15, 2019. This is an intra-squad meet where we hope to have all swimmers get times in all four strokes.We will conduct a limited makeup Time Trials on the evening of Monday, June 17.We may not have time or space for all swimmers to swim all strokes at the makeup meet, so please try to attend the regular Saturday Time Trials.
- 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 Saturday A meets, which begin on June 22, and five Monday B meets, which begin on June 24.
The swim team registration fee is $110 per swimmer for Bonded Members and $135 per swimmer for Associate Members. The third junior team registration (and beyond) across all sports within a family is discounted by $25. This fee covers more than 40 swim practices, multiple stroke clinics, and as many as 13 different swim meets!
It takes many parents to run swim meets (18 volunteers are required to be timers, for example), so we have a volunteer requirement for each family (except for those only participating in Mini Ospreys).For families that choose to not participate, there’s a $150 volunteer opt-out fee.If there are extenuating circumstances that make this requirement difficult to meet for your family, please talk to the Team Rep.
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 mid-June, please try to sign up early so we will have a good sense of numbers.Refunds are available up until June 10 with a reduction of a $10 processing fee.
OKM Winter Swim
OKM runs a once-a-week winter swim program for summer swimmers who want to maintain their skills in the winter with OKM friends and coaches but don’t want the commitment/cost of club swimming. OKM has one of the largest winter swim programs in the entire NVSL – we had over 90 swimmers participate in the 2018-19 program, and we expect to run a similar program for winter 2019-2020.Registration information will be available before the summer season ends.
Swim Team Reps
Our volunteer Swim Team Reps for 2019 are Dave Bell (Lead) and Liz Gibbons (Asst. Rep/Minis Rep).