Club Excellence Spotlight: Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics
By Emily Sampl//Correspondent
For the fifth year in a row, Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics has achieved a top-eight ranking in USA Swimming’s Club Excellence program, coming in sixth this year with 29,805 points. Not too shabby, considering the club has only been around since 2003, when several existing teams were consolidated to form PASA.
With six training sites scattered across the Palo Alto, Stanford and Mountain View areas, the club has attracted many of California’s top swimmers and consistently places swimmers on U.S. national teams, as well as at top NCAA programs.
Currently, Jasmine Tosky and BJ Johnson are a part of the 2012-2013 National Team, while Rachael Acker and Curtis Ogren are members of the National Junior Team.
As a team, PASA finished in 17th place at the recent Phillips 66 National Championships in July.
Head Coach Tony Batis has been with Palo Alto since 1992 and is now the Site Director for the Rinconada training site. He offers five things that have made the club a success in recent years.
1. Our staff features several talented and experienced coaches at all levels. We have been fortunate to have a group of professionals who bring a wide variety of skillsets to the table. This has been instrumental in the development of swimmers throughout our program.
2. Consolidating the talent in our community. With the benefit of good summer leagues feeding into one of our six sites, we end up with a very good crop of young talent to develop. Rather than going to meets with one or two good kids in an age group, we are able to show up with several outstanding kids who make our presence that much stronger.
3. A strong parent base willing to help support our program. We have parents involved in all areas of support including officiating, meet support, fundraising, team managers, etc., which makes the jobs of the coaches easier. They have helped immensely in the day-to-day operations of our program.
4. Support from Stanford University. We are fortunate that the aquatics management at the pool allows us time to use its world-class facility. The varsity coaches and their athletes have reached out in our swimming community to offer clinics or lessons.
5. Our consistency in both short- and long-term planning. We typically have meetings for our entire staff (about 25 coaches) to plan out events, scheduling, relays, joint workouts, etc. In addition we have seven Site Directors who meet to discuss the long-term direction of the program and any needs that will assist in our vision for the future.