Florida swim camp: athlete guide

Welcome! We are really looking forward to working with you at this year’s swim camp.

The following athlete guide will help you prepare for the camp, find your way around town, and also brief you on the specific protocols we have implemented to minimize risk during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Please review this guide prior to attendance to the camp. Registrants will be invited to an Information Webinar prior to the camp on April 19. 2021 at 7:00pm to answer any questions you may have. You should have received an invite to this session as part of your registration. Please notify the Camp Director Phelling@startlinecoaching.com if you did not receive this invitation.

Camp itinerary:

A mix of open water and pool swimming with a strong focus on technique and skill development. All levels are welcome to the camp. This is not a high-volume training camp – this is a skills camp. Open Water Swims will be scheduled based on weather conditions. Bring your wetsuit.

The first session begins at 5:00 PM on Friday. Please make sure your travel plans allow you plenty of time to arrive well ahead of the first session so you can settle in & then make your way to the pool.

Friday Evening Session (5:00 PM – 8:30 PM)

Location: North Shore Aquatic Center – 901 N. Shore Drive NE, St. Petersburg FL, 33701

  • Welcome swim at NSAC (North Shore Aquatic Center)
  • Introduction to coaches
  • Dryland warm up session
  • Standard swim warm up, & drill sets

Equipment Needs:

  • Cap, goggles, fins if you use them for kicking drills, towel, cap, swim suit, drinks & snacks

Saturday Morning Session (8:00AM – 11:00)

Location: North Shore Aquatic Center – 901 N. Shore Drive NE, St. Petersburg FL, 33701

  • Yoga/strength session
  • Swim technique pool session
  • Video capture

Equipment Needs:

  • Paddles, pull buoy, fins if you use them for kicking drills, towel, cap, swim suit, drinks & snacks

Saturday Afternoon Session (2:00PM – 5:00 PM)

Location: North Shore Aquatic Center – 901 N. Shore Drive NE, St. Petersburg FL, 33701

  • Swim technique instruction
  • Open water technique
  • Class room video review

Equipment Needs:

  • Paddles, pull buoy, fins if you use them for kicking drills, towel, cap, swim suit, drinks & snacks

Sunday Morning Session (8:30 AM – 11:30 AM)

Location: Spa Beach – 615 2nd Ave NE, St. Petersburg FL, 33701
Spa Beach is approx. 10 min walk from the North Shore Aquatic Center.

  • Beach yoga
  • Open water session

Equipment Needs:

  • Wetsuit, swim buoy, goggles, towel, cap, swim suit, drinks & snacks

Equipment to bring to camp:

  • In April, Daily high temperatures are between 78°F & 82°F, rarely falling below 71°F or exceeding 87°F. Daily low temperatures are between 65°F & 70°F, rarely falling below 58°F or exceeding 75°F.
  • In April, Water temperatures are on average about 74-77 degrees, making the water wetsuit legal 🙂

The basics:

Comfortable clothes & shoes: St. Petersburg is a walking city. Be prepared to walk around to see the sights, walk to restaurants & shops, and even go for a run. Light clothing is recommended for the Florida weather.

Sunscreen: You can expect to spend a considerable amount of time in the sun. A high quality waterproof, mineral based sunscreen is recommended. These block UVA & UVB rays most effectively and are effective immediately upon application.

Athletic Swimsuit: You will be swimming a lot. A swimsuit suitable for competition is required. Tri suits are also suitable, if you are looking for more coverage and sun protection. Fashion swim suits, or baggy trunks should not be worn to swim sessions.

Goggles: We recommend that you bring two pairs of googles to the camp. A tinted pair for daytime use and a clear pair for evening use.

Towel: Don’t forget that! Self explanatory really. Something that you can take to the pool & the beach.

Water bottle & snacks: Please bring sufficient fueling for swim sessions. A light electrolyte product & snack foods for sessions. This will keep you happy and productive during the long sessions in the warm weather.

COVID mask & a plastic baggie for storing your mask during all sessions: All campers will wear masks at all times except when swimming. You will need to bring a few masks & a plastic bag to store your mask while in the pool. More on this later in the COVID-19 safety protocols section below.

Training tools:

Note: We will not be able to use pool facility equipment this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each athlete must bring their own gear. No sharing of equipment will be permitted.

Swim Buoy – To maximize safety, we ask all campers to bring a Swim buoy. Swim buoys will be mandatory for all open water swim sessions. They can also hold your valuables while you are in the water as opposed to keeping your keys and wallet in your shoe (not that anyone does that).

Pull Buoy – Bring an adult size Pull buoy. Pull buoys will be used in training sets & will also double as a kickboard during kick sets.

Wetsuit (optional) – We expect to be able to swim not only at the pool facility but also in the open water. You can bring either a short sleeve wetsuit or long sleeve wetsuit for open water sessions. You may also swim in open water without a wet suit.

Fins (optional) – Fins will be used to provide support during drill sets so you can focus on the drill. If you have a strong kick, you need not bring fins at all. Here are couple of recommendations for swim fins: Finis Floating Fins (less experienced swimmers who require much more support) & TYR Burner Fins (more competitive pool swimmers). The longer fins will promote more ankle flexibility and require less effort for propulsion. The shorter fins will mimic the freestyle stroke more accurately and give your legs more of a swim specific leg workout.

Paddles (optional) – We will be working with paddles during the camp. We have recommended Tyr Catalyst 2 paddle. Our focus will be on technique and these paddles will give excellent feedback on your technique and will be something you can continue to use after the camp.

Be sure to select a size appropriate for your hand size. We recommend paddles that are slightly longer than the distance from your wrist to end of your middle finger (yes that finger).

Most campers will need a small paddle. Please don’t show up to camp with paddles the size of dinner plates. If you have shoulder injuries, past or present, please consult your physician before working with paddles.


We are not offering a room block at a hotel. We strongly recommend that you find accommodation in or near Downtown St. Petersburg, close to the North Shore Aquatic Center so that it is easy to get to/from swim practice.

Hotels close to the North Shore Aquatic Center:

In addition, there are many AirBNB or VRBO options in St. Petersburg. Note: Do not confuse St. Petersburg with St. Petersburg Beach.

Restaurants, shops, & things to do:

Downtown St. Petersburg is a active, walking downtown with many shops and outdoor restaurants. If you wish to cook at home, there are convenient supermarkets in the immediate area.


Food shopping:

Other things to do:

Covid-19 safety protocols:

Arrival, departure, & on deck protocols

  • All swimmers will be temperature checked prior to the start of every session. Please arrive 30 mins early to ensure we start on time.
  • Swimmers will bring all their own gear & arrive in swimsuits under their clothing.  The change rooms will not be used.
  • Swimmers will all arrive in masks & remain socially distanced while on deck.
  • Swimmers will exit the swim facility with swimsuits on under their gear. The change rooms will not be used.
  • Swimmers will prepare for swimming on deck leaving all of their gear on deck in their own bags. No sharing of equipment, food, drink etc.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available on deck for use by all swimmers when in the facility.
  • Coaches will wear masks at all times

In pool & classroom protocols:

  • When preparing to enter the pool, swimmers will remove their masks & leave their masks on deck in a plastic bag at the end of the lane.
  • Swimmers will be organize into pods of 10-12 swimmers. Each swimmer will train in the same lane for the entire weekend.
  • Swimmers will attend class room sessions in their 10-12 person pods
  • 4 swimmers per lane with start/end positions as follows: one swimmer at each end & two-mid pool approx. 1/3 & 2/3 down the pool. Swimmers will be assigned a lane & lane position at the start of the camp based upon pace.
  • All sets will be run so that each swimmer returns to their designated start/finish spot in the pool.
  • There will be no gathering at the end of a pool lane unless specifically speaking to a coach.  Swimmers will continue to swim and not stop for coach consultation unless the lane end no longer has a swimmer.
  • Should a swimmer need to go to the bathroom, they will exit the pool, put on their mask, and leave it on until they return to the pool.

Looking forward to working together! Let’s do this!

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