Sunday, December 30, 2007

Meeting place idea for 2009

I often see TSA reps at the new TAC facility in Cary as they are either waiting or picking up their year round swimmers. I could check into meeting space and price for this facility if there is interest.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Swim Coach Needed

Happy Holidays to all!

To get a jump start on 2008, I would like to post a "Head Coach" position is available for the DURANT TRAILS TYPHOONS!!!! Our long time head coach has entered the employment world doing much needed work with the Peace Corps overseas! Thus, we need some help.

If you know of anyone, let me know. We are located in North Raleigh and practice in the evenings with exception of Saturday.

Thanks to all!!!!


Friday, November 30, 2007

Invitational meets

Several comments from survey respondents addressed the subjects of the big multi-team invitational swim meets in which many TSA teams participate:

Why wasn't the Cary City meet posted on the front page [of the TSA web site] like the Wave and MOR meets?

There should be input by impacted TSA reps on invitational city meets operations and dates.

TSA needs to get more money from the outside sponsors of the invitational meets--money toward scholarships or to bring dues down.

I'd like to address these comments here. The important thing to remember is that none of these championship meets are TSA events. TSA does not control them, and they do not receive any funds from TSA. They are private, invitational events, and all operational aspects are under the control of their hosts. If you have comments or suggestions about the scheduling, finances or invitation policies of any of these meets, you need to get in touch with the organization that runs the particular meet in question (RSA, MOR, New Wave, Scottish Hills or Cary Swim Club) -- not with TSA.

I am always glad to pass along information from the organizers of these events because most of our teams enjoy participating in at least one championship-style meet. However, I will only do that if the meet organizers ask me to do so, as the MOR JC Meet and the New Wave Greater Raleigh Invitational Meet did this year. It's not surprising that those two meets wanted general notification to all TSA clubs, because they invite all clubs to attend (though in practice, virtually all of the attendees in recent years are North League teams). The other two invitational meets, in contrast, have chosen to define themselves geographically, and they directly contact the teams they wish to invite (but only those teams). That is probably why the Cary City Invitational Meet and the South Wake Invitational Meet did not ask me to post invitation information on the TSA home page.

You've got to be blogging!

Mr Prez, great idea--a running thread of good stuff to know in the planning of the next great season of swimming. I too encourage you reps to consider the officer nomination. Hey, you could be a pioneer and BLOG the minutes! The rewards are great, and remember, there's Secretary's Day. . . give it some thought.

TSA web site accounts

All your existing rep accounts on the main TSA web site will continue to exist. Starting this year, we will not be resetting everyone’s account passwords over the winter, so you can continue to log in with your current password (send email to me if you’ve forgotten it and need it be reset). Thanks to work done this year by our webmaster Fred Burke, each of you now has the ability to manage your own club’s TSA Reps and Alternates: add a new rep or alt, deactivate the account of a retiring rep or alt, or toggle someone’s role between rep and alt. You can use these new features by logging in and clicking on the “club” link. For now, I do ask that you let me know if your club is getting a new rep or alternate, so that I can invite them to join the blog also. I hope to make step unnecessary in the future by having the TSA web site generate such notifications automatically, but we’ll have to do it manually for the time being.

Things YOU might want to post here

Remember, this is a forum for all of us to use. I don't expect (or hope) to be the only one posting articles! So, if you have something you would like to discuss with your fellow TSA reps, don't be shy about starting a new article. Likewise, if you would like to respond to an article, just click on the tiny "Comments" link below it. You can also comment on other people's comments.

Some things that I would expect to see posted here over the coming months might include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Appeals for coaches by teams looking to hire
  • "For sale" notices for pool equipment your club no longer needs
  • Notices of upcoming swimming clinic opportunities that may interest TSA swimmers
  • Ideas and suggestions prompted by responses to the post-season survey

So jump on in -- the water's fine!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

2008 swim meet calendar

As you can see in the survey results, a majority of the clubs that answered the meet schedule question voted to keep TSA meets on Tuesday nights, though a sizeable minority would like to investigate other options. There was no consensus to make any binding schedule decisions before we meet in January, so we will discuss all options at that first Board meeting.

Before that meeting, I urge all of you to discuss this matter with the governing bodies of your club and your team to get their input on the issue. Most of the proposed alternatives are bound to have an effect on the other users of your pool, so it is essential to find out what your club is willing to allow. For example, some clubs may be unwilling to consider hosting Saturday morning swim meets because weekends might be the time when the pool is most in demand by their general membership. At least one club would be unable to participate in Friday night or Saturday meets for religious reasons. There are bound to be other examples of particular times of week not working for particular clubs, but we can't make good decisions about our meet calendar unless each of us has a good understanding of our own club's scheduling latitude.

Wanted: a new TSA Secretary

As mentioned at our final 2007 Board meeting back in May, Rebeccah Bodart is retiring as TSA Secretary when her term ends later this year. So far, I have not received any nominations for candidates to fill that post for the two-year term that begins in January. Will you all please take a moment to think about serving in this important position? The duties are not that onerous -- the TSA Bylaws state that:

The Secretary shall:
a. Keep the minutes of all meetings of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee.
b. Send notices and minutes of all meetings to all members.

I should also mention that nominations are also still open for the office of President. So far, I am the only candidate who has declared for that office, but please let me (or one of the other officers) know if you would like to run.

I have purposely delayed the web-based election in the hopes that we will have at least one candidate to list for each of the two offices. If no one steps forward, we may have to conduct a lottery at the January Board meeting to anoint a Secretary :-).
[This post is now a stub, retained because its URL has previously been publicized. The original post's content can now be found here.]

2008 meeting schedule

The schedule for our upcoming Board of Directors meetings has now been set. All meetings will take place on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 as usual. The dates and locations are:

January 15th at Powell Drive Park
February 12th at the Kiwanis Center
March 18th at Powell Drive Park
April 15th at Powell Drive Park
May 20th at Powell Drive Park

Note that due to a scheduling conflict, the February meeting is at a different location (Kiwanis Center, not Powell Drive Park) and on a different week of the month (second Tuesday, not third) compared to the other meetings.

The Powell Drive Park facility is the same building we used for all our 2007 meetings. It's located at 740 Powell Drive, which runs southward from Western Boulevard just west of the Beltline. As many of you no doubt remember, space is tight at the small parking lot there, but there is lots of on-street parking available nearby.

The Kiwanis Center can be found at 2526 Noble Road, which is inside the Beltline and west of Wake Forest Road. There is some parking at the center itself and plenty more just next door at Joyner Elementary School.

Yes, it would have been nice if we could have gone back to using the Glen Eden Center as we did in the first half of this decade. Unfortunately, just like last year, that facility was unavailable to us due to a city-run dog obedience class. Likewise with most of the other large meeting centers run by the Raleigh Parks Department, which all seem to have prior reservations by various city-run classes and activities.

I'm worried about the long-term trend here. The city gets first dibs on its own facilities before they are made available for rental by the general public (that's us), and Raleigh has been growing in population and expanding its activity and adult education offerings faster than it can construct new community centers. As a result, it is getting more and more difficult for us to rent meeting space every year. If anyone has other suggestions for 2009 and beyond, please do comment below. Our meeting space criteria are:
  • Reasonably central location
  • Seats at least 75 (more is better, especially as TSA continues to grow)
  • Inexpensive rates (Powell is $45/hour, Kiwanis is $55/hour, exclusive of damage deposits)

Something to think about...

Survey sez...

The results of the 2007 post-season survey are finally ready. Thanks to all who participated.

The links listed below each cover one section of the survey. All results are anonymous, and some comments have been redacted [denoted by square brackets like this] to remove specific identifying information. All financial information has been aggregated over large numbers of teams, so it will not be possible to deduce specific dollar amounts spent by any particular club.

Survey sections:

[This post is now a stub, retained because its URL has previously been publicized. The original post's content can now be found here.]


During the 2007 swim season, I ended up spamming the inboxes of TSA Representatives with a lot more email than I had originally intended. Reps would often write back to me with questions or suggestions that themselves merited amplification to the rest of the community, leading to even more email from me to you. At one point, I jokingly mentioned that perhaps we needed a TSA blog to handle this sort of discussion in a slightly less urgent fashion. I was surprised at how many people enthusiastically endorsed the idea!

Hence, this blog. Let's give it a try and see how it works out. I begin with the following goals:

  1. This forum is for TSA Reps (including alternates) and officers. All others are welcome to peruse, but I'm going to have to limit posting privileges, at least for the time being, to the 100+ people in those categories. If you are a TSA Rep or officer and you're having trouble posting, please send me email by following the "This blog managed by..." link in the upper right hand corner.

  2. I envision this blog becoming the primary discussion forum for TSA topics when we are not actually physically convened together in a Board of Directors meeting. Very important topics and urgent matters will still merit mass emails to the entire Board, but less crucial matters will hopefully migrate here.

  3. This is a work in progress! Anything and everything (including the preceding goals) can change as our needs and preferences evolve. I want everyone involved to help make this blog what they want it to be. Please don't hesitate to post if you have an idea for an improvement.

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your keyboards!