Most of you know me, others have seen me. My name is Andrea Gasic; former marlin, Learn-to Swim (LTS )instructor and coordinator, and current Mini Marlins Coach. I started on the Marlins LTS when I was seven years old and made the team at eight. From then I swam competitively until the age of 18 all while working as an instructor from ages 14-18. At 18 I became a certified USA swim coach and since then have been coaching not only Mini Marlins but other groups when need be.
I am writing to you today because someone has to speak up about what has been going on with this team. When I was a swimmer on the team everything was in the process of development. We were a brand new team without a head coach. When Former Head Coach, Michael Gavrilchin, started working with us there was a lot to be figured out. Under his leadership the team and LTS quickly grew in numbers and results. From then on, the Marlins Swim Team was looked as a competitive, local team that fosters friendships, discipline, and fun. We have been respected, liked and admired by other teams in Metro Swimming.
Unfortunately, that image is not the same today. Our reputation has diminished. In the past two years the Marlins have become more about politics than about swimming. Feuds between parents, lack of communication between coaches and systematic manipulation have led to this point. I’m not sure when the team's priorities shifted but they indeed have.
As a former Marlin and current coach, my top priority is the kids. That is why I have stayed with the team all these years but especially these last two hectic years. Even when I had every reason to leave, I stayed because the kids and team mean so much to me. I’d like to think that you all want the best for your kids and the club in general. If that is the case, then you should support the current Board of Directors. After the fall out of the BOD in summer 2018, we were given an opportunity to start fresh. The current board is bending over backwards trying to bring the Marlins reputation back to where they were two years ago.
We are in a position without a head coach at the moment. Although stressful and concerning I assure you it is not the first or last time this will happen. Picking the right head coach for a team is an extremely sensitive thing to do, especially for a team with the track record we have had in the past two years. No one can hire a coach after one practice with the kids or by one look at a resume. It takes weeks, sometimes even months, to determine whether they are the best fit for the team. One wrong move and it could be the end of the club as we know it. For now, we ask for your patience and support. The board is working tirelessly to find the right person. Just a reminder that Coach Cristina and I have been running the team since March 2018. Results have not suffered, friendships are still intact and LTS numbers are higher than ever.
I can no longer sit back in silence and watch the team crumble. I urge you to speak up and support the current Board of Directors and coaches. It is in the best interest of your child, the coaches, and the team.
I encourage you to send this email along to other parents and community members. If anyone has any questions or would like to speak to me please feel free to approach me before or after practice hours. I hope that this email sheds light on what needs to be done in order for the team to prosper again.