ETA Coach Open Water Swims and Swim Clinics
ETA Coach Open Water Swims
Join ETA Coach LLC in the tranquil setting of YMCA Camp Ockanickon in Medford Lakes, NJ to improve your open water swimming skills in 2016. This will be the third year we have been welcomed by the YMCA Camp Ockanickon. Athletes can work on their open water swim stroke, sighting, and transitions in preparation for the upcoming race season. There is no other venue in NJ, PA, or DE that provides an environment which includes a marked swim course, open water free of motorized boats, and endless trails for running and country roads for biking. Additionally, we offer swim clinics and, new for this year, swim races once a month. In March, we'll post separate links with details about the swim clinic and swim race series—keep your eyes peeled!
You do not need to be a client of ETA Coach or any other organization to swim in the lake. We welcome all clubs and other coaching services. You are not required to be a member of YMCA Camp Ockanickon to swim in the lake; we are self-insured.
Below are all the updated dates for the 2016 Open Water Season!
2016 ETA Coach Open Water Swim Dates and Times:
Thursdays 4PM - Sunset
• April 28
• May 5, 12, 19, 26
• June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
• July 7, 21
Saturdays Sunrise - 11:00AM
• April 23, 30
• May 7, 14, 21, 28
• June 4, 11, 18, 25
• July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
• August 6, 13, 20, 27
• September 10, 17
Sundays Sunrise – 11:00AM
• May 8, 15, 22, 29
• June 5, 12, 19, 26
• July 10, 17
• August 7, 21
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Open Water Swim Information and Rules
We realize there is a lot of information below, but please take the time to read all the rules and information, so you can be well informed about the open water swim procedures and rules and enjoy the lake and its surroundings safely.
- Swimming outside of posted date swim times (see below) is considered trespassing and strictly prohibited.
- Wet suits are NOT required.
- Swim partners are strongly encouraged but not required.
- The temperature of the water changes on a daily basis. We will post the water temperature 30 minutes before each open water swim session. The lake is only 5-15 feet deep, so it warms up quickly.
- Respect the community and residents at all hours. Remember, residents live adjacent to the lake and voices carry. When swimming in the early morning hours, PLEASE be respectful of the residents trying to sleep nearby.
- There are lifeguards on duty in the water at all times. Please be sure to tip our lifeguards, because they are there for your safety. We encourage swimming with partners, especially for those who are new to open water swimming or not comfortable swimming in open water.
- For beginners: You MAY swim close to the docks to become more comfortable in the open water swim setting. It is highly recommended that beginners take one of our open water swim clinics.
- You MUST WEAR A LIGHT COLORED SWIM CAP. No light colored cap, no admittance to the water. This helps other swimmers and lake users see you. This is even more important this year, because the swim course will be bigger.
- There are no motorized boats on the lake, but there may be residents canoeing from time to time. If you see a boat on the water, please be vigilant and yield when applicable. Chances are, you will see them before they see you.
- If you are riding your bike or running post swim, leave your car in the parking lot by the cafeteria or gymnasium.
- Weekend Swimming: Opens Saturday, April 23rd, 2016 and concludes Saturday, Septmeber 20, 2016
- Thursday Evening Open Water Swimming: Begins Thursday, April 28, 2016 and will end on Thursday July 21, 2016
Cost (NO REFUNDS FOR ANY REASON):
Cash, Check, or Pass Purchased Online
15.00 Cash or Check per Lake Swim. Payment will be taken at venue. (This does not include lifeguard gratuity).
Passes for the 2016 ETA Coach Open Water Swim Season can be purchased here.
- Annual Pass: $165.00
- 10 Punch Pass: $125.00
- 5 Punch Pass: $65.00
- One Day Pass: $15.00
Once you have registered, please bring your ticket receipt to the lake. You will be provided a pass that you must bring with you each time, along with a photo ID and your USAT Card. If you don't have your pass, photo ID, or USAT Card you can't swim. Photo ID, USAT Card, and, your ticket are required every time. Don't assume that the person working registration will know you. Monitors will be informed: no pass, no USAT Card, and no ID, no swimming (it's a liability thing). Please don't PRINT YOUR ONE DAY PASS MULTIPLE TIMES, WE HAVE A SYSTEM to keep track of your purchases. Monitors will keep your pass and return it to you when you exit the lake. This is our way of verifying entrance and exit of everyone from the water.
After a ton of research and weighing the pros and cons, I have decided to continue using USA Triathlon to insure our Open Water Swims, because they are the most reliable, safest, and cost-effective method of insurance.
What does this mean for those of you who are USAT members? At each swim you attend, you will need to bring your USAT card and photo ID. You can show proof of membership via your smart phones or a printout as well. If you don't bring proof of membership and your photo ID, you cannot swim. There are no exceptions. You will not need to sign any forms, but simply show your pass or pay the lake fee, show your ID and USAT card, get body marked, and then swim!
NON USAT Members:
What does this mean for those of you who are not USAT members? At each swim you attend, you will need to bring your photo ID and an additional $12.00 for a 1-day USAT membership. I cannot encourage you enough to get a USAT Membership on your own, because it will save you money if you plan on racing or attending the lake more than 4 times. You will spend more money paying the 1-day membership fee if you do more than 4 races or swims. When you arrive at the lake, there will be a table before the main check-in with USAT forms; you must fill out the form in its entirety. You will then bring your completed form to the main check-in table and show your photo ID. If you don't bring your photo ID, you cannot swim. There are no exceptions. You will then simply hand in your completed form, show your pass or pay lake fee of $15.00, get body marked, and then swim!
Approximately 1/8 of a mile after you enter the Camp, you can start parking your cars to the left and in the small parking areas by the lake Lenape Beach entrance before 7am. After 7am, please drive about 200 meters (once you enter camp) and cross a small bridge (the lake will be on your right). After the small bridge, there will be a huge dirt parking lot on your left. You can park here, and parking here is encouraged if you plan on running or cycling after your swim.
Camp Ockanickon - 1303 Stokes Road, Medford, NJ 08055
The lake will be closed if threatening weather is in the vicinity. An announcement will be posted on our Facebook page as soon as we are informed that the lake is closing. Be aware that sometimes we won't know that the lake is closing until we arrive on site.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO KNOW BEFORE YOU ARRIVE:
- Children are welcomed but are NOT allowed in the water. On the weekends they may use the playground facility, but must be accompanied by an adult.
- YOU MUST WEAR A LIGHT COLORED SWIM CAP.
- The water temperature changes from day to day, and we will be posting the water temperature on the Facebook page until the water is above 70 degrees. Please do not e-mail us or message us on Facebook about the water temperature.
- The lake has race style buoys. We do our best to keep the course marked each week, but if the buoys move overnight, we may not be able to reset them.
- There are bathrooms, one outside shower (just for rinsing off), and changing rooms where you check in.
- We do have a lot of rules, but the positive trade-off is that our situation is unique: there are no other swim venues with our set-up and relationship with the YMCA Camp. If we respect their rules, we can swim in their lake. It's that simple.
What's the difference between Swims & Swim Clinics?
You DO NOT have to sign up for the Open Water Swims. Swimmers can pay for a 1- day pass on arrival or sign up for a pass online as mentioned above. Open Water Swimmers can arrive at any time and swim for as long as they want during the 3-5 hour window when we have the lake reserved. Pricing is discussed above.
You DO have to sign up for the Open Water Swim Clinics.
The Open Water Swim Clinics and the Open Water Swims will be occurring simultaneously. You don't have to take the swim clinics to do the open water swim, and the swim clinics will not interfere with the open water swim. All swim clinic information is below.
ETA Coach Open Water Swim Clinics
The ETA Coach Open Water Swim Clinics are designed to help beginner to advanced swimmers become more comfortable in the open water. We do this by practicing skills that will help each swimmer offset anxiety and navigate swim courses more effectively, resulting in safer and faster open water swimming!
Skills that will be demonstrated and taught include:
• Dealing with anxiety
• Triathlon swim starts
• Sighting techniques
• Swimming in a straight line
• Breathing techniques
• Swimming with a crowd
• Drafting techniques
• Swimming around buoys effectively
• Triathlon swim exits
• Swimming in a wetsuit
• Fast wetsuit removal
2016 Swim Clinic Dates and Times
Saturdays 8:00am - 9:30am
• May 14, 21
• June 4, 11
Sundays 8:00am - 9:30am
• May 15, 22
• June 15, 12
Each swim clinic will last 70-90 minutes and will be limited to 20 participants to ensure that individual attention is given to each swimmer.
You can view Dates, Times, and Reserve your Spot for the Swim Clinics by clicking the link below.
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN »
Check out what open water swimmers are saying about the ETA Coach Open Water Swim Clinics here »
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For more event details, questions or to sign up, don't hesitate to contact me at Jason@etacoach.com