The Joliet Y JETS Swim Team, one of the area’s most historic youth swimming clubs, is a year-round competitive swimming program that offers instruction and training for swimmers, ages five and up. Back at the helm of this incredible program is Director of Competitive Aquatics Dave Hedden. Dave has been connected to the Y for more than two decades, and we are very excited to officially welcome him back to the JETS family! You can learn more about Coach Dave by reading the Q&A below:
Q: Can you describe your background with the JETS swim team?
I swam with the JETS from age 11-18, and then started coaching. I coached the JETS for 18 years before moving to New York in 2017, and now I’m back!
Q: Why are you passionate about the JETS program?
Swimming is a great sport because it allows everyone to participate and work towards individual goals and improvement, yet at the same time firmly set within a team environment where teammates help push each other to new levels. Through the natural ups and downs of the sport, there are countless teachable moments to develop the type of character that helps kids be successful in their life outside of swimming.
Q: What are the most important things young swimmers should know if they are thinking about joining the team?
If kids love being in the water, and they’re interested in developing strong bonds with teammates and gaining confidence in themselves by learning new skills and working towards goals, that’s our main purpose. For younger swimmers, practices are offered 3-4 times per week for about an hour and 100% attendance is not required. As kids get older, practices are longer and are offered more often, and attendance should be aligned with the goals they set. There is room for kids to do multiple sports and activities and still participate with the JETS.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time outside the Y?
I play piano, bass, and guitar, and I write and record music. Over the past few years, I’ve also gotten into coding and App development. I also like to spend time with my wife hiking, camping, skiing, and dancing.
Q: What’s coming up with the JETS in 2022?
I look forward to developing relationships with all the swimmers and seeing them improve and reach their goals.
If you have any questions about the JETS swim team, you can contact Dave at (815) 782-0805 or [email protected]