Many FOSS families join us and know us for our Learn To Swim program, focused first on safety and then on the fundamental skills that go into being a strong swimmer. Those who stick with us through graduation may also see that those who complete the program are getting instruction that sets them up for swim teams—perfecting form, getting comfortable with lap swimming and such.
We strongly encourage anyone who loves swimming to look into joining a swim team—it’s a fantastic lifelong activity with countless physical, social and emotional benefits.
But many people are unaware that FOSS has deep roots in competitive swimming, and that we have swim clinics and programs that help competitive swimmers improve. In fact, FOSS helped produce an Olympic gold medalist and national record-holders.
The competitive history of FOSS
Foss Swim School grew out of competitive clinics offered by Jon Foss, himself and accomplished college swimmer, in 1989. Having observed and analyzed the techniques of national champion swimmers, he created a custom curriculum and manual to help teach his swim teams how to be the best, fastest swimmers possible.
The same approach was used to create the Foss Swim School learn-to-swim curriculum—breaking down swim techniques into separate skills, only tailored for children instead of competitive swimmers.
Two women who learned to swim at FOSS, Gretchen Hegener Rech and Rachel Bootsma, went on to set national records at the college level. Gretchen was the American record holder in the 100-yard breaststroke while swimming for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and Rachel went on to win gold in the 2012 London summer games as part of the 4×100 meter relay team.
FOSS also continued to also invest in competitive swimming, establishing and operating the FASTJets swim team in Blaine, Minnesota, which continues to produce top swimmers who take the podium at national meets.
How FOSS can help your competitive swimmer
If your swimmer is thinking about joining a swim team, or even is on one, FOSS would love to continue to be part of their journey. We offer:
- Skill clinics/Breakthrough Clinics™: For swimmers on teams who want to sharpen skills or get advice on technique, our clinics are a great help. Clinics are separate from classes and scheduled by each school based on capacity and demand. At skill clinics, swimmers focus on a single skill or stroke with an instructor. Ask your school when a clinic appropriate for your swimmer’s level will be available.
- Fun meets: For swimmers on junior teams or thinking about teams, these meets, scheduled by each school, let kids compete against others of their own level and get a feel for the excitement of a swim meet.
- Private instruction: FOSS can give even advanced swimmers one-on-one instruction in the finer points of perfecting strokes.
- FASTJets Swim Team: Only available in Blaine, Minnesota, the FASTJets team continues to thrive. The team is where FOSS refines its competitive swimming approach, which filters throughout the organization.
If your swimmer is interested in any of these, please contact your local Foss Swim School for upcoming events or opportunities. And the next time you are at our pools, think about this—you may be looking at a future gold medalist, or you may be looking at someone who will just enjoy being in the water, but either way you are looking at winners!