Posted on Leave a comment

Episode 1: Summer Swim Team Spotlight

Summer Swim Team Spotlight: Episode 1

Christopher, YMCA Aquatics Director, joins us to discuss his experience as meet director in the YMCA organization. Christopher takes us through his expertise in using Hy-Tek Team/Meet Manager in the “olden days” and the transformation to Swimmingly™. Watch to see how Christopher has traded 3+ hours of work the day after each swim meet for a more relaxing day.

Posted on Leave a comment

The Strength of the Sport of Swimming

In the Spring of 2010, my final semester at the University of Michigan, I wrote the business plan for HydroXphere.

My final two semesters at Michigan were the most demanding academically—in terms of both content in the classroom and hours in the classroom. Additionally, those two semesters were my best performances in both the swimming pool as well as the classroom. If you believe that athletic achievement or carrying a job in college run in opposition to excelling academically, you believe a myth.

If you are a parent, reread the last paragraph.

Before I wrote the HydroXphere business plan, I typically had the following thought regarding the future of swimming, “what are the strengths of the sport of swimming?”

Then, reality hit me at a summer swim meet. I watched two swim clubs from neighboring communities dueling it out in a 5 lane (yes, 5) neighborhood pool. Over a hundred families stood on one side of the pool cheering. Another hundred stood on the opposite side howling for their swimmers. In a geographical radius of less than 1 mile, there were hundreds of families, participating…nay…screaming and cheering and splashing and racing…in our sport.

The strength of swimming is in its participation.

Masters swimmers don’t participate in “fantasy swim leagues” because they compete in real-life swim meets. That’s one of the beauties of our sport—regardless of age, you can continue to participate. And compete.

If you’re like me and are a swimmer or parent that has grown up in a “year-round” swimming family, we stand to learn much from “summer swimming” families. Summer swim clubs and leagues highlight the best parts of our sport—the participation. The weekly swim meet, the intensity, the comradery among neighbors, the racing. This is the constituency that fuels our sport—the grassroots level of swimming is, hands down, the most important level of our sport.

My goal, our goal, is to champion that participation.

Posted on Leave a comment

A Note from the CEO & Olympian: My favorite Summer Swimming Memories + Six I Never Had

My Favorite Swimming Memories from Childhood:

1. The sunshine at my neighborhood pool.

2. Staying after practice to play ping-pong until lunchtime.

3. Throwing a hundred kickboards in the deep-end with the “cool coach”.

4. Racing and trying to beat the boys older than me (they were my brother’s friends!)

5. Getting to “swim-up” on relays with the older boys.

6. My parents saying, “I enjoyed watching you swim today, that looked like fun!”

7. The great feeling of going a best time (but rarely remembering the time itself).

8. The great feeling of racing, and beating, teammates, friends, and competitors. And shaking hands.

9. My summer swim club’s “post-meet” restaurant and the ice cream they served.

Swimming Memories from Childhood I Never had:

1. The score to any swim meet in which I’ve ever participated. Ever.

2. What I did with my ribbons after a swim meet.

3. How many ribbons I received.

4. Any connection between a trophy and the thrill of racing (I always opted for the towel over the trophy).

5. Swimming in order “to make my parents proud” (they already were, regardless of swimming).

6. Thinking about athletic scholarship implications after a good swim (I didn’t know what a scholarship was at 10 years old).

I was fortunate to be a part of a swim club where I was surrounded by teammates, parents, and coaches, that, by-and-large, created a positive atmosphere for our community. Swim meets unite communities. What memories will your young swimmers have?

Posted on

WRAL covers Meet Central™


The hectic world of a summer swim meet is where Charlie Houchin feels right at home.

“I grew up swimming at Oak Park here in Raleigh,” Houchin said. “Summer swimming is just very special.”

Houchin went from neighborhood pools as a youngster all the way to the Olympics, where he earned a gold medal during the 2012 Summer Games in London. He retired in 2014 and has since returned to where it all started.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Houchin said. “It’s been an adventure.”

Continue reading WRAL covers Meet Central™

Posted on

A Memorable Practice – Charlie Houchin

As a freshman at the University of Michigan, I had one of the most memorable practices of my swimming career.  As you know, there are some workouts that just really stick with you.  Before I share mine, I encourage you to close your eyes, think for a moment, and allow yourself to be taken back to the emotions of one of your best practices.

Kicking was always my greatest strength in the sport and I relished any opportunity to do a great kick set.  Under Bob Bowman at the University of Michigan, Tuesday afternoon’s were typically our chance to unleash a great kick set as a team. Continue reading A Memorable Practice – Charlie Houchin