Parent Hand Book

 Stoney Point Stingrays Parent Hand Book-


This guide provides information, checklists, and guidelines to help you and your child enjoy and understand competitive swimming with the Stoney Point Stingrays.  The purpose of this guide is to prepare parents for the complexities and promises of the world of competitive swimming.  We hope that you will find the time to read this guide in its entirety, for it is an established fact that the positive influence of a swimmer’s parents, is essential for success. There are virtually no swimmers who have been successful without supportive parents.


From the beginning, you should know that your child’s involvement with the Stingrays will necessitate you assuming certain responsibilities and will require a substantial investment of both your time and money.  But the amount of this investment, when compared to the benefits to your child, will, in the long run, seem small.


Swimming is a sport in the true sense of the word.  It is a pursuit of striving for excellence.  Its WELCOME TO COMPETITIVE SWIMMING!

very nature demands self-discipline and great strength of purpose.  Swimmers learn early, the relationship between hard work and results.


As a “Swimming Parent”, you will not only have responsibilities, you will have opportunities. Opportunities to really “get to know” your child in pressure situations; opportunities to praise and applaud his/her achievements; and even more importantly, opportunities to help him/her deal with their non-achievements- to learn from them- and in the end, to gain from them.  In today’s fast-paced society, there are far too few chances for parents to interact with their children on this kind of basic level.  Just these opportunities alone will make your involvement in swimming worthwhile.


Additionally, competitive swimming will offer both you and your child the opportunity to meet and make friends with people from all over the state.  Because of these friendships, as well as for the love of the sport itself, many parents will stay involved in swimming in an official capacity even after their children have stopped swimming competitively.


The Stingrays are the competitive swim team from the Stoney Point YMCA in Cedar Rapids. Tipton is our satellite team (the Tiptonites).  Our team holds practices and the Stoney Point YMCA and in Tipton. Throughout the season (October-March) we compete with other Y’s in eastern and central Iowa. The YMCA follows the USA Swimming Rules and Regulations. A copy can be found on the website, or by our team Officials.


Head Coach- Stoney Point

Chad Wilson


Assistant Coaches-

Josie Thompson

Mitch Crist

Jordan Cue

Angie Litts

Beth Hlas

Head Coach-Tipton

Jeff McKinney

Assistant Coach-Tipton

Daphne Hoefler




In order to be on swim team, your child must be a MEMBER of the YMCA. It is a requirement for all YMCA swimming athletes throughout the region.

To participate on the Stingrays, based on age, each swimmer must meet the following minimum requirements. As a reminder swim team does not replace swim lessons, it is designed to enhance and sharp tune stroke and kick techniques.

8 and under-

-25 yards each of a LEGAL freestyle and backstroke

-25 yards of a legal breaststroke kick and knowledge of the full stroke

Also, some knowledge and understanding of the butterfly stroke


9-10 Year Olds-

-50 yards each of LEGAL freestyle and backstroke

-25 yards of both the breaststroke and butterfly stroke


11-21 Year Olds-

-100 yards each of a LEGAL freestyle and backstroke

-50  yards of both breaststroke and butterfly


***********Squad placement is done by the Coaches and placed by level not by age, this is done in order to maximize instruction and quality learning***************



August-                YMCA Coaches meeting to set-up winter schedules


September-        Open House/Parent information and placement of squads


October-              Registration

                              ****Practice Begins******

                              Apparel Order (Group)


November-          Team Time Trials (Parent Volunteers to learn positions and run this meet)

                              ******Turkey Swim Meet***Annual meet held with HGN YMCA

                              Team and Individual Photos


December-           Swim Meets

                              Pancake Breakfast (This is held on Christmas Eve morning-and includes swim  

                              Practice, breakfast, games and white elephant exchange. RSVP is required)


January-               Swim Meets

                              Information starting to come out on Sectional Swim Meet, State and Regionals.

                              ***Winter Iowa Games**** We usually have a great turn out, and is separate

                              From our regular meets.



February-            Swim Meets

                             Sectional Meet (All swimmers can participate in this meet, but must

                             Swim in at least 3 regular meets to enter) This is also the meet that swimmers

                             Will qualify for the State meet.


                             End of regular swim season

                             ******Annual Awards Banquet******held at Local Cedar Rapids School


March-              *****Boys and Girls State Swim Meets*******Usually in Marshalltown

                           *******Boys and Girls Regional Swim Meet*****In Minnesota OR Iowa City (swimmer’s can

                          Qualify for this meet, at any meet they swim during the current season).



The summer season is about 6 weeks long and runs June to July. This is a great time for kids just getting interested in competitive swimming to try the sport out. There are usually 1 or 2 home meets and 4 away meets, all within the city limits and last only 2 hours on Tuesday (am or pm). The end of season ALL CITY SWIM MEET takes place in July and is on a Saturday in July and it is broke up into a morning session and afternoon session: divided by younger and older swimmers. This meet usually last 4 hours or so.


PAC Committee (Parent Advisory Committee)-

The Parent Advisory Committee is a volunteer group of parents.  They are responsible for ensuring smooth running of the Stingray program all year round.  There are 3 sub-committees, Communications/Social, Fundraising/Budget, Logistics. We then break those committees down, with multiple parents volunteering in each committee, helping out throughout the season. The Pac will meet on a monthly basis and encourage ALL parents to attend, to be up to date and informed on the swim team and provide input.

Communications/Social-The purpose of the Communications Chair is to ensure information gets out to the team, such as schedules, changes, and weekly newsletters in swimmers folders. To update information on the Team bulletin board, promote and get the word out on potential new team members within the area. This Chair will work with Coaches to ensure the website is up to date with current information, is the go to person on communications between Parents and the PAC Committee. They are also responsible for meeting minutes and posting on website or in a newsletter. The Social Chair organizes social functions for the team including Parent Meetings, Spaghetti Dinner, pancake breakfast banquets, blocking hotel rooms for overnight championship meets; and all events designed to unify our team.

Fundraising/Budget- The purpose of the Fundraising/Budget chair is to keep track of the current financial position of the swim team funds.  There is not a separate account for the swim team, so it is important to keep track of funds that are raised and used for the team. These funds are for equipment purchases and team expenses throughout the year. This chair meets with the Y Director to review and keep the funds up to date. They are to request each month from the YMCA Director for a General Ledger report for the income and expenses that have run through the swim team accounts for the month. The YMCA is on an accrual basis for the report. Once the item is expensed it is treated as if it has already come out as cash.  This position is also responsible for various fundraising initiatives that are decided by the PAC. Current active fundraising for the winter season includes the concession stand during home swim meets and the Splash Multi-Sport commission from the sale of the swimming merchandise during the home meets (25%). The team also gets a portion of the team apparel order that happens at the beginning of the winter season. Fundraising during the summer months includes, pay for families who volunteer for the JMS Racing Organization for the Marion Arts Festival (May), and the Pigman Sprint (June) and the Pigman Half Triathlon (August). In years past, we have made over $1,200 for the Stingrays by volunteering at these events (and you get a cool t-shirt). These projects are fun and promote families working together and healthy living. These events may also satisfy community service project required for school. During meets we rely on families to donate baked goods and/or money. The concessions are the biggest money maker we have at a meet and we can bring in $1,000 a meet if we are well supplied for the long day ahead. Money from the meets, we use for the update of our Record Board, updating equipment, pace clock and end of year team celebrations.


Logistics- The Logistics Chair ensures that home meets run smoothly. There are approximately 70 positions to fill for each home meet. Volunteer rosters and signups will be done at the beginning of the season, and each family is expected to volunteer for a minimum of half a swim meet  (events 1-52 or events 52-end). Hours will be logged and monitored to ensure all families are helping out at meets. The swim meets need parent commitment and cannot run properly if they are not fully staffed at each station. Other teams coming to our pool are expecting a great host team, and we want to be that team. Our kids committee to hours of hard work and training, we need to support them on their big swim meet day. We want to promote great a team/family connection and represent our Y. By volunteering your hours you will earn an incentive for your child bead project. We encourage you to choose a position that interests you, we will train in all positions ahead of time (this will be done at our team time trials). No matter what position you chose, you will be able to see your child swim. This chair will send out emails prior to the home meets, asking for donations/money and to fill positions for the meets. Listed below are volunteer position to start thinking about in advance; they are all fun and rewarding and can easily be learned.

MEET SET UP- this is done before the meet starts

(Pool) - Usually several people, and can take place on Friday night (if there is not a basketball game) or first thing before the meet on Saturday morning. Set up timing system, bleachers, dry ease boards, computer table, ribbons, and coach area. Be advised this position does require standing on a ladder at times to hang the timing system, and go outside to bring the bleachers in the side door. Plan on 1-2 hrs. of work

(Clerk of Course and Lobby) Sets up daycare area for Clerk of Course, vending area, volunteer hospitality, and hangs signs, and moving rugs. Plan on 45 mins. of work

(Concessions and Gym) Helps set up concession tables, scoreboard, and laying tarps down on gym floor and coolers filled and out on pool deck for coaches and volunteers. Plan on 45 mins. of work.


MEET TEAR DOWN- this is done directly after the meet

We ask that all help out with this one. If everyone helps tear down everyone can go home quicker. Everything that was done at set-up now would need to be taken down and put away properly so we are able to quickly find it next time and ensure accuracy. Tarps picked up, garage gathered up, rugs put back, tables returned to original place, signs taken down, concession area broke down and put away, timing system and ribbons all put back.


CONCESSION STAND- staffed during the meet.

Sell food and drink from concession area. This is a great job for parents as well as teenager brothers and sisters. With 5 workers, everyone can leave to watch their swimmer. This position also involves a lot of standing. Set up and tear down has a bit of lifting.


RIBBONS- staffed during the meet right up by the swim blocks and timing table (great view)

Place printed stickers with meet results to the appropriate ribbon. Files to judges table, away team ribbons in manila folders, more hectic towards the end of the meet (the teams go home with their ribbons, so they wait patiently). If you are very organized, this position is for you. If you see we are low on ribbons, please advise the Coach or PAC member as a second pair of eyes to ensure these never run low for meets.


Clerk of Course- must have a good loud voice J and you ARE the speed of the meet

Responsible for getting swimmers from the holding area to the pool deck in order of events and heats, handing out pink and blue slips, and putting swimmers in reverse lane order. Two of these positions require firmness, organization, and lots of patience (and that good loud voice). The other two are great for parents who want to get to know the kids and walk them out of clerk area to the swimmer area.


Computer/Administrative Official- this is a certified position (if interested contact Mark Robinson or a PAC member- the team pays for the training class).

This position is done sitting behind the glass partition on the pool deck. You are responsible for ensuring the automatic timing system starts and stops, the system is hooked up correctly prior to the start of the meet, and printing off times and results for posting and ribbons.


Timers-the best seat in the house along with wet feet!

This position is responsible for running a stop watch and/or plunger for the back-up timing system. 2 timers are in each lane. This position does require a lot of standing and looking over the side of the pool, but is the BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE. All timers are required to attend a timer meeting 15 mins. prior to the meet; whether you are timing the first half or second half. You will be paired up with another timer, each given a stop watch and 1 clip board. Always remember to have the swimmer in your lane tell YOU their name, don’t ask if they are “Jonny or Sally” no matter if that is their name or not they are nervous and will probably say yes yes I am that person. This just helps the swimmers to make sure they are in the correct lane before the start of their race.



Run Ribbons, time cards, and other items from Officials to the computer desk. This is a very active position and you will be on your feet most of the time. We do have a chair and water is provided.



This position must have completed Official’s training course and certification test. A course will be announced at the beginning of the season and the Y will pay for this training with Mark Robinson. For Sectionals, one timer in each lane has to be certified. We are in NEED of Officials, this is a great opportunity to learn everything you can about the strokes to requirements of the pool, etc. This position requires standing for long periods of time. This person must be able to disqualify swimmers when necessary, knowing the benefit of the doubt goes to the swimmer and it helps them improve. The Official announces the heats and starts the races. There are two levels of Officials, a level 1 and a level 2. A level 1 Official can be a stroke and turn Judge. Level 2 can be a Starter and has the overall say on disqualifications and deals with issues or problems that arise.


Splash Multi-Sport- open during the meet at a table right across from the front lobby desk

At home meets the team sells swim products and gear. These volunteers will be responsible for helping customers and supervising merchandise. The Y staff processes all payments.



The team website is run through TeamUnify, which most of the Y swim teams throughout Iowa use. The team will have to have your email entered into the system in order for you to gain access after you register for the team. If you are not able to log into TeamUnify with 2 weeks of the season starting, please contact a coach or PAC member immediately. This website will contain team information and updates, and this will be how you will register your swimmer for meets, CHECK REGULARLY. It will contain Meet information, Qualifying times, Meet results, photos, etc. We will also this for volunteering.



In a program of this size and having 2 locations for practice, communication is essential to make everything run smoothly. We have many ways of communication and do utilize all of them when getting information out to the Team Families.

-Team Website 

-Email- This method is the method we use the most, it’s fast and easy in a group setting

-Swimmer’s folder. Located on pool deck (ribbons and newsletter will be placed there)

-Bulletin Board on pool deck by the lifeguard office

-Bulletin board in the front lobby.

-This awesome and amazing handbook- keep it, read it, refer back to it

-We will also be handing out a team phone list to refer to


****Coaches encourage communication, they ask that this be done after or before swim practice. If you feel you need a little extra time, just send an email and set a time up that will work for both Parent and Coach********

Winter Season Schedule-

Then winter swim season is a long one. It runs from October to March usually, especially for those who are more advanced in the sport and are moving into the higher levels of competition. Past swimmers should be familiar with the squads and know which squad they feel comfortable in training with. For the newer swimmers, we will have an early Fall meet and great and at that time the Coach will help parent/swimmer decide what squad will work best for your swimmer, and may be altered throughout the season.

****Please have your swimmer arrive 10 minutes prior to start time of workouts******

                                                                     Stoney Point                                          Tipton

Yellow and Black Squads              M-Th  5:30-6:30, F 5:30-6:30              M/W 3:30, F 3:30-4:30

Purple and Gold Squads               M-Th  6:00-8:00, F 5:30-6:30              M/W/F 3:30-5:30  


                                           (Times are subject to change each season)        


Coaches Philosophy-

The Stingray’s swim team is a competitive program that focuses on all 4 of the competitive strokes; freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. We promote swimming as a lifelong sport and great way to exercise for many years to come. The Coaches  stress the 4 core values of the YMCA, Caring, Respect, Honesty, and Responsibility. These core values will enable your child to grow as an individual and as a group, and gain leadership skills, self-esteem, and success. This team will define and develop swimming techniques in a fun and structured atmosphere.

Coaches Expectations-

-Swimmers to attend practice on a regular basis and be on time (10 mins early)

-Swimmers to give their best effort at practice and swim meets and to be on time

-Parents to volunteer at home meets for a minimum of ½ the meet

-Parents to stay informed and communicate problems and/or questions promptly

-All, to be Stewards of the YMCA core values

Swim Team Etiquette-

-Circle swim in the lane, right going down, right coming back

-If you are tapped on the foot by a swimmer behind you, pause and move over for them to pass

-Stay in the pool at the end of your RACE until ALL swimmers have completed the heat

-Tell other swimmers great job and give a hand shake

-Be motionless if in the water during fly over starts and move to side

-Do not walk in front of any OFFICIAL during a swim meet

-Do not talk to any Official during a meet unless they approach you

-Do not sit or stand in front of Coaches tables

-Always pick up after yourself and others


-1 to 2 practice swim suits

-1 to 2 pair of goggles

-extra swim cap

-Water Bottle

-Fins (Flippers)

-Lock if you will be using the lockers

-Bring your own towel.

Locker Room Etiquette-

It is very important that we respect the Y facilities and the space around us, that other members will be using too, during practices. All swimmers need to clean up after themselves by the pool and in the locker room. If you used equipment during practice, please put it away when you are done. When using the locker room ensure that the following is done: turn off your shower, close your locker door,  and if there is anything left behind help out and take it to the front desk, so it can be turned in to lost and found. If any of the above occurs, swimmers will face disciplinary action. If you also notice something, such as supplies being low or out, or something is not working properly; advise Y staff right away. Rule of thumb, “LEAVE THE SPACE CLEANER THAN WHEN YOU FOUND IT”.  If for any reason, inappropriate conduct is taking place in the locker room, report to a Coach immediately.


Every team member is asked to compete in as many swim meets as possible. There are usually around 8 meets per winter season. At the end of the regular season there is a Sectionals Meet, which is where swimmers strive for a state qualifying time. Throughout the season a swimmer may qualify for a regional time at ANY meet. All swimmers will be notified if they have qualified for state or regionals by the Coach.

Now, on to the day of the swim meet. This is the day swimmers are waiting for. This is their time to shine and show themselves what all of this hard work can accomplish. Parents are encouraged to cheer their swimmers on; and regardless of the outcome, offer praise and positive reinforcement. We must remember we all have good days and bad days, and we want our kids to enjoy the experience of swimming.

There is a saying we like…….”If today was the last day on earth, I would spend it at a swim meet, they last forever”.


Swim meets usually run 4-6 hours depending on the amount of swimmers attending, and size of the pool. So we suggest the following SURVIVAL ITEMS to make it through this day.


-Have your swimmer eat a healthy dinner the night before and hydrate hydrate!

-Have your swimmer mentally ready with plenty of sleep the night before.

-Have your swimmer wear their suit to the meet, so no one shows up missing it!

- Remind your swimmer to grab their goggles and cap. Swimmers become very attached to their goggles and cap, it is part of them when they are swimming. It can be difficult for some to have to borrow or use a different pair that are not their own for the race.