Club Excellence Spotlight: Scottsdale Aquatic Club


2014 Club Excellence Gold Medal (Small)

By Emily Sampl//Correspondent

This year, Scottsdale Aquatic Club will celebrate its 50th anniversary, and there may be no better way to celebrate than by being recognized as one of USA Swimming’s premier clubs.

After reaching silver or bronze medal status for the past eight years in USA Swimming’s Club Excellence program, Scottsdale elevated itself to a gold medal club this year.

With just under 400 kids on the team, the club continues to grow and improve. The team is off to the Speedo Champions Series Western Region Sectional meet this weekend, and head coach Kevin Zacher provided a few of the team’s keys to success before the team’s departure.

1. TEAM philosophy. It’s an acronym: Together Everyone Achieves More – TEAM. We’re all working together to achieve our goals – parents, swimmers, coaches – everyone.

2. We provide a positive, encouraging environment on the pool deck. The energy is always positive and high. Our swimmers generally enjoy being on the pool deck every day. One of the biggest battles is getting the kids to show up every day to do the work. By providing a positive environment, we don’t have to harp on them to come every day.

3. We keep it fun. We want their swimming to be a fun and enjoyable experience, especially at a younger age. Our goal when they’re young is to get them to fall in love with swimming. If they love swimming, they’ll stick with it.

4. Stability in our program. I’ve been the head coach for six years, and all of the key coaches have been a part of the program since I’ve been here. We’re very stable with our staff and don’t have a lot of turnover. Our board of directors has also been very consistent over the years.

5. One of the things that helps us continue to be good is that we’re always trying to be better. Our coaches go to clinics and read literature and ask questions. We’re all trying to improve as coaches and as a club.