Amy Singleton spends her summer days at the pool. But instead of lounging on a floatie with a cold drink in her hand, she is up and down the sidelines of the pool, coaching swimmers in the annual Prosper Youth Sports Association Swim Program.
The program just completed its sixth season in competition, and allows swimmers from age 4 to 15 to compete in meets throughout the summer. This year, the season took place from June 3 – July 29, including an end of season celebration to reward the swimmers for their accomplishments. Swimmers were offered a swim cap and a T-shirt for their participation, and were taught all about the sport of swimming — from stroke technique to respect in the pools.
“I am so honored to say that I have been with the program since the beginning,” Singleton said. “Not just as a coach, but as the parent of three swimmers on the team.”
For the PYSA Swim Program, Singleton is the coach of the Prosper Piranhas, and works full time during the summer days. Additionally, she works as an instructor at Singleton Swim School, which teaches water safety, swim lessons and stroke techniques for more advanced swimmers.
This summer in particular, the PYSA program has seen tremendous growth. Singleton says the 2017 season yielded their highest number of swimmers since the program’s start – 116. Swimmers flock from all over the North Texas area, including as far as Gunter, McKinney and Frisco. In order to accommodate for this increase in swimmers, Singleton said she had to add an additional morning practice to the daily schedule.
“There were a handful of brave swimmers (and parents) that took on the challenge of getting to the pool at 6:30 a.m,” she said. “It was sometimes dark and the coaches were still rubbing sleep out of our eyes, but we managed and it worked out.”
For the last three seasons the program has been utilizing the Junior Olympic-sized pool at Paloma Creek South Pool in Little Elm for both practices and meets. With such exponential growth, however, Singleton said they are going to have to look for a secondary location to house the growing number of swimmers. Adding a Prosper location would be ideal, as it would benefit the families in Prosper who make the slight commute.
“Having a Prosper location to host practices for our Prosper families would be extremely beneficial in convenience as well as in the growth of our team,” she said. “We think it is a wonderful opportunity to give back to the kids and allow them a place to build strength, endurance and lasting relationships.”
Offering a variety of events for swimmers to compete in, the PYSA Swim Program is ranked as an intramural team, meaning that the swimmers practice and compete against other teammates rather than other programs in the area, but eventually Singleton wants to expand to competing against neighboring cities to compete in outside meets. During the summer, the swimmers have the opportunity to participate in four intramural meets that are broken down into heats. Each heat is awarded a prize based on placing — first through fifth places each receive a ribbon, while every overall event is given a medal for first, second and third place.
“We like to reward all our swimmers with ribbons for participating and sometimes really stepping out of their comfort zones in events that are tougher for them, but we also really want to recognize the top three swimmers in each event that have gone above and beyond and really put the work in during their practices,” Singleton said. “In the end, we celebrate all of our swimmers of all skill levels.”
Though the offers ribbons and medals, the program doesn’t emphasize winning as the main goal. Singleton has built the program on technique and skill, and ensuring that the swimmers are working harder and smarter. In the end, she wants her swimmers to have fun, while preparing for the next phase of competition, such as high school tryouts or club.
As both a parent and a coach, Singleton has the unique experience of extending her family to the entire program. She looks forward to the future of the Prosper Piranhas and hopes to encourage others to keep joining.
“At Prosper Piranhas we are more like a large family. I take pride in being able to call each of our 116 swimmers by name when I see their smiling faces.”