OAKHURST – There’s something mouth watering about a big, beautiful pool like the one at Yosemite High School. Maybe it’s the inviting depth of the clean, cool water reflecting clear blue skies, mixed with the backdrop of trees and the sounds of laughter dancing off the surface of the pool.
Whatever it is that draws you, the happy members of Yosemite Swim Club (YSC) invite you to jump in and join them as the beginning of the Rec League season kicks off on June 1st. (click on photos to enlarge)
YSC is a year-round USA swim team whose youth swimmers compete in both USA swim meets and a summer recreational league. With 20 years experience teaching fitness and coaching a variety of sports, Oakhurst resident Jules Tuggle is Head Coach.
“We are currently swimming over 85 swimmers,” Tuggle reports. “The beauty of swimming is that it can meet each of those kids where they are. I ask every swimmer to have a goal, and goals vary from wanting to swim a freestyle lap with perfect breathing, to wanting to master a new stroke.”
Club swimmers range in age from 5 to 18 years and include beginners along with some of the fastest in the league. Tuggle has four children, with three on the team and one anxiously awaiting his 5th birthday so he can participate, too. She became involved in competitive swimming when the family lived in Fresno.
“We were so thrilled when we moved up here two years ago, that they could continue to swim,” says the busy mom. “After their second summer season, the previous swim coach resigned and the team was looking for a new head coach.” Tuggle took on the task and since then, the team has grown exponentially.
“We now swim our team in four different groups, based on ability,” Tuggle explains. “Mini Dolphins include beginning swimmers age 5 and up. To join they must be able to swim 25 yards unassisted.”
The Bronze Group is made up of novice swimmers, with instruction geared toward all four strokes: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. Bronze swimmers also focus on turns and starts via drill-based workouts.
“Silver Group swimmers are legal in all four competitive strokes and are ready to sustain proper technique over distance,” says Tuggle. “Swimmers will learn to use a pace clock in practice sessions and start interval training.”
Gold Group swimmers include those who are becoming experienced workout swimmers and competitors, requiring strong proficiency in all four competitive strokes, starts and turns, and can expect a greater degree of difficulty with their interval training.
“We have taken swimmers to all of the USA meets in our league, which are held Saturday and Sunday, once or twice a month in different locations throughout the valley,” adds Tuggle. “Our swimmers have had a great deal of success at our USA meets with too many ribbons to list. We even host a USA meet at our local pool in October. We had four swimmers make it to the Junior Olympics and two of them placed in the top eight. One swimmer won her age group overall.”
YSC recently formed a partnership with foothill resident Cheyenne Coffman, who is bucking to make the 2016 Olympics Team, which will head to Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Cheyenne has worked with Yosemite Swim Team members and coaching staff, through clinics and private sessions, helping to build the team’s base of fundamentals.
“Swimming can be a very intense sport due to the level of training involved,” says Coach Tuggle, who is married to Fresno City Fire Captain Todd Tuggle.
“At YSC we try to balance improvement with fun. Our goal is to help young swimmers develop skill, self-discipline and a lifelong love of fitness in general and swimming specifically.”
For more information Yosemite Swim Club