Learn About The Philosophy That Has Made NCA San Diego’s Top Swim Club
Since NCA was founded in 1979, the team’s coaches have sought out the best approaches to building confident, strong swimmers. Sometimes that means being willing to take risks and experiment outside the sport’s standard operating procedures.
“Our entire philosophy is about being willing to evolve,” says NCA Coach Mickey Murad.
The most distinguishable difference between NCA and other clubs is the way teams are structured. Most swim clubs organize kids based on ability level, but NCA is known for grouping swimmers by their age.
“Kids are socially more comfortable with their peers, and we’ve seen this approach improve their performance across the ability spectrum,” Coach Murad says. “Swimmers new to the sport are becoming top performers in their age group because they’re with top level swimmers consistently.”
Some swimmers who display speed or talent at a particular stroke at a younger age are encouraged by other clubs to move up to an older division and specialize, prioritizing the need for yardage and time in the water over cultivating leadership skills in their own peer group and broadening their skills. This results in stagnation for many team members who rarely get a chance to train with the fastest kids in their cohort or work on their weaker strokes. Because the whole team develops rapidly in this model, the strongest swimmers are ultimately pushed harder.
“With the levels you have flexibility,” says NCA Coach Michael Galindo. “Coaches move kids around so the lanes aren’t dominated by one swimmer or stroke. This allows everyone the chance to step up on any given day.”
Parents notice the improvement.
“At NCA my son has mastered his legwork while swimming freestyle, and gotten better at underwater work and his backstroke,” says Julianna Szabo. “The coaches challenge him to swim faster and to become more diverse, for example to be competitive in the individual medley race.”
Where do you fit in at NCA? Being placed in an NCA swim group is easy.