By Emily Sampl//Contributor | Wednesday, April 17, 2019
With a handful of current swimmers on the U.S. National Team and National Junior Team and an impressive list of alumni that includes Olympic gold medalist Cody Miller, the Sandpipers of Nevada have built a winning formula that has led to their second consecutive top five ranking in USA Swimming’s Club Excellence program. Head coach Ron Aitken and head age group coach Chris Barber outline the team’s keys to success.
2018 Ranking: 4th
2019 Ranking: 5th
Number of Swimmers: ~400-430
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Current National Junior Team Swimmers: Joseph Gutierrez
Current National Team Swimmers: Logan Houck, Brennan Gravley, Erica Sullivan
Notable Alumni: 2016 Olympic gold medalist Cody Miller
What are three factors to your team’s continued success?
- Consistent coaching. Coach Ron and I have been working together for 23 years, and many of our coaches have been with the program for a long time.
- Consistent belief in hard work. We have succeeded with swimmers who are willing to out-work their competition. They are challenged every day in practice. They show no fear in swimming any event, from the 50 to the 1,650 This allows them to build upon their strengths and improve upon their weaknesses.
- Coach Ron. He is the biggest reason for our success. Not only is he constantly learning himself and challenging himself to get better, but he sees the big picture better than any coach I’ve known. He sets incredibly high goals for the team and is relentless in his attention to details.