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How to Choose Your “Most Improved” Swimmers and other End-of-Season Awards

Most teams have some kind of “Most Improved” award at the end of the season; we’ve talked to teams all over the country and it seems there are many different ways teams decide how to award Most Improved Swimmers! For some teams it might be for the biggest time drop throughout the season, or the biggest time drop from the last season to this one, it might be subjective and chosen by the coaches for a combination of skills improved both in and out of the water… There might be just one “Most Improved” or there could be one for each gender, or you could go crazy, like my team, and award one for each age group AND gender.

Using SwimTopia Reports Can Help Determine Your Most Improved Swimmers

No matter how you choose your Most Improved Swimmers, SwimTopia is here to help. We have a number of “Athlete Performance” Reports that can help you select swimmer awards (like High Points), but for Most Improved our “Athlete Report Card” or “Most Improved” Reports are the place to look.

When I was coaching I used the Athlete Report Card AND some subjective judgment to award Most Improved for each age and gender. If you download the Athlete Report Card report to a CSV file you’ll have a lot of flexibility to sort through the information. We had a separate award for Biggest Time Drop for a boy and girl (usually little ones) because it’s just fun to see how much time they slice off one event from the first meet to the end of the season! We never had any issues with kids sandbagging at the first meet on purpose hoping to win this award! To determine biggest time drop simply sort the CSV download of the Athlete Report Card by the appropriate column (Amount Improved Sec). Our team also had a High Points award for each gender, so we really tried to cover all bases!

Our CEO and Founder, Mason Hale, swears by his team’s method for choosing Most Improved. The Wild Orcas award “Most Improved” to the athletes in each age group, and of each gender, who get the highest number of personal bests throughout the season. Mason likes this method because it rewards kids who try new events and who swim multiple events regularly throughout the season. If swimmers show improvement, versatility, flexibility, and consistency they’re likely to win under this criteria. We created the “Most Improved” Report to help you come up with Most Improved swimmers using the Orcas method. If you get ties for the total number of personal bests, consider using the percentage improved number as the tie breaker.

However you decide to award your swimmers – enjoy your end of season celebration – and take a moment to appreciate how much every swimmer improved during the fast and furious summer swim season!