Sep 12

Read this:

You’ve been a part of your team for a few years, and a bunch of new swimmers just joined the team this fall. At first, they seemed really nice, but over the past few weeks, the team has become very clique-y. Some of the new swimmers don’t know the rules and are taking snaps in the locker room and telling dirty jokes. A few of your old teammates have joined in. You used to think that your team was a really positive one, but now you’re not so sure.

Discussion Questions:

What’s going on in this situation?
>Safe Sport says: This seems like a team culture issue. “Culture” is the way the team interacts, the values it has, and the way the team goes about its business. When the new swimmers joined the team, perhaps they didn’t pick up on the culture of the team or weren’t told what the rules and expectations are.
>Taking photos in the locker room is against the rules!

What do you do?
>Safe Sport says: Be a force for the positive things about your team! Be the kind of teammate you want to have and use phrases like “We don’t do that here or treat each other that way,” and “You know that’s against the rules.”

Do you have to tell your coach?
>Safe Sport says: Yes, you should tell your coach what’s going on. He/She probably knows that something isn’t right, but tell your coach how your teammates are making you feel about being a part of the team and coming to practice.

Wrap It Up:

What are some good ideas to build up a positive team culture?
>Safe Sport says: First, talk about it! Talk about the team you want to be. Encourage your teammates during practice, make a new friend on the team, and say “thanks” to teammates who do the right thing.

*For Coaches: You’ve worked hard to develop a good culture on your team! Talk about it with your swimmers and encourage kindness and positivity from warm-up through the end of the practice. Address the issue of taking pictures in the locker room according to your team policy. For more resources, visit www.usaswimming.org/toolkit or contact Safe Sport at (719) 866-4578 or safesport@usaswimming.org.

written by Kevin Lee

Aug 07

Read this:

There’s an official who works a lot of the meets your team attends, and he’s become friendly with your teammate.  It makes you uncomfortable when the official gives your teammate congratulatory hugs or snacks from the officials’ hospitality room.  He doesn’t do this with any other swimmers.

Discussion Questions:

Is this kind of behavior by the official okay?

>Safe Sport says: While this kind of behavior is not against the rules, the apparent favoritism raises red flags.  It’s a good thing to have friendly officials, but singling out your teammate is going too far.

What do you do?

>Safe Sport says: You can ask your friend if it make him/her uncomfortable.  Talk with your coach and let him/her know how it makes you feel to see the official give your teammate this special attention.

What if the official is a parent or long-time family friend of your teammate?

>Safe Sport says: The behavior is more understandable if the official is a family member or family friend, however the official should practice professionalism and refrain from showing favoritism to a swimmer.  

What are the different roles an official serves in at a meet?

>Safe Sport says: Officials can be starters, watch strokes and turns, and serve as meet marshals.  Ask your coach to explain what each of these roles involve so you know what to expect from the people in white shirts!

Wrap It Up:

What are good ways to show appreciation to officials volunteering their time?

>Safe Sport says:  We couldn’t have meets without officials!  Respect their space and their judgments on the competition.  If you see an official taking their break, feel free to say THANKS for volunteering their time at your meet!

*For Coaches: If this official is not a relative of the swimmer, he is exhibiting grooming behaviors.  Talk with your swimmer about what’s going on and call Safe Sport to discuss if anything needs to happen.  

Talk with your swimmers about the different roles of everyone on deck at a meet: officials, meet marshals, timers, and other coaches.  Let them know what to expect from these individuals and where to bring concerns should they arise.  For more resources, visit www.usaswimming.org/toolkit or contact Safe Sport at (719) 866-4578 or safesport@usaswimming.org.  

written by Kevin Lee

Mar 07

The following safe sport scenarios have been released for March.  There are separate scenarios for age-group swimmers and senior swimmers.  Please read these to your swimmers.

Age Group Scenario

Seniors Scenario

written by Kevin Lee

Dec 09

Read this to your athletes:

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” –Aesop

How we treat each other on this team is important.  We may not think about it very much, but it’s nice to show appreciation and kindness to each other.  Let’s take a team challenge this month to do random acts of kindness for one another.

Discussion Questions:

What can you do to show kindness to your teammates?

>Safe Sport says: Kindness can be encouragement during a tough set.  It can be picking up a teammate’s equipment.  It can be complimenting someone’s work ethic.  Kindness can also mean standing up for a teammate and making them feel included.

What can you do to show kindness to your coaches?

>Safe Sport says: Kindness can mean respect, listening, and working hard.

What can you do to show kindness to the lifeguards and/or janitors?

>Safe Sport says: Kindness can be leaving them a thank-you note on the whiteboard.  It can mean that you clean up the pool deck of all equipment and make sure that the locker room is tidy when you leave.

Bonus Question:

What can we do as a team to pledge kindness to each other this month?

A great idea is to do a “secret buddy” week.  Have swimmers draw names of their teammates and do one or two really nice things for that teammate during the week.  At the end of the week, talk with the team about what they noticed by carrying out acts of kindness for their teammates, and discuss how this attitude can contribute to creating a great team culture.

*For Coaches: for more information and resources on team culture, visit www.usaswimming.org/toolkit.  To report concerning behavior, contact Safe Sport at (719) 866-4578 or safesport@usaswimming.org.  

 

written by Kevin Lee

Nov 05

Please share the attached November safe sport scenario with all athletes. November Safe Sport Scenariosafesport-logo

written by Kevin Lee

Oct 10
An incident recently occurred at our recent Freestyle Festival hosted by PS.  During the starting instructions (“take your mark”), a swimmer prematurely entered the pool.  The officials allowed the swimmer to get back on the blocks and swim the race.  When the swimmer had fallen into the pool an unidentified person behind the blocks was heard to have said, “It is because he’s Mexican”.  The parents heard the comment and were very upset.  The parents notified their child’s coach, who in turn, notified the Meet Referee.  Proper protocol was carried out by the Meet Referee.  Safe Sport and the Diversity & Inclusion committees were notified in order to open a discussion on how to best recover from such an incident.

The aforementioned comment is not representative of the culture in San Diego Imperial Swimming.  Racist, sexist, derogatory, or any other non-inclusive outbursts are unacceptable behavior throughout all of USA Swimming.  We intend to make our LSC diverse and inclusive in the best interest of all of our members.  Please join us with your words and actions to move us toward this goal.  Thank you.

Kevin Lee – General Chair
Jolyn Yanez – Safe Sport Chair
Krissy Payton – Diversity and Inclusion Chair

written by Kevin Lee

Oct 03

The following safe sport scenarios have been released for October.  There are separate scenarios for age-group swimmers and senior swimmers.  he scenario for the senior swimmers involves watching a video.  This can easily be done by having kids watch it in small groups on a phone and talking as a small group before wrapping it up with the team.safesport-logo

Safe Sport October Scenario for Senior Swimmers

Safe Sport October Scenario for Age-Group Swimmers

written by Kevin Lee