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All about Stingray practices and meets
Today is all about practice and meets:
My only goal is to give you knowledge I needed myself. Take what you need from it. I know its alot! I hope you find it helpful.
Practice: Yes, I know its summer and all. Its early and the water is cold. We want summer swim to be fun. And who doesn't have fun getting a ribbon with their name on it? Practice practice practice. That is what makes a swimmer stronger and faster. No way around it. We also get summer is when many people vacation or do summer school. If you are going to miss practice or be gone for an extended amount of time, please email our coaches at: to keep them in the loop. 
Be on time - practices are shorter this year.
Be good :-) - Our coaches can and will ask a swimmer to get out of the water and leave the pool. This rarely happens. If your swimmer is disrupting practice or being disrespectful our coaches have full autonomy to make the decision to remove a swimmer from practice.
Sometimes practice ends a few minutes early or goes a few minutes longer depending on what they are practicing: Always good to be in contact by cell if you can with your swimmer. Again, this rarely happens. We just ask for your flexibility.
IF YOU NEED TO SPEAK WITH A COACH: please email They will set up a time to talk or can discuss through email. There is no time at practice or a meet. I am the first person to want an immediate chat with a coach about something, I probably learned this lesson the hard way. What I had to realize is these coaches are responsible for 150 plus kids and mine is no more important than anyone else's. I don't want to be responsible for taking time away from another swimmer or family. 
Meets: YOU MUST SWIM IN THREE MEETS to participate in conference championships. However, you only have to qualify by "qualifying time" in one of those meets. You just have to be entered and swim in three. There are no exceptions. This is a northland conference rule. They pull all times from all meets and double and triple check this. If this is important to your swimmer, plan accordingly with summer activities. 
Disqualifications: They happen to every swimmer. No matter what. It is part of the learning process. Technique is comes with practice. Our coaches will do their very best to demonstrate and teach this. Many a tear shed at the Roberts house over disqualifications (and often times it was me disqualifying them ;-). 
Some common causes:
False start- this can be falling in or even a big flinch or just jumping off early
Pulling on lane lines - this often happen during back stroke to advance or free to take a break
Backstroke - turning over too early on turn/finishing on stomach
Fly - kick not same time up and down/underwater arm recovery or not simultaneous pull/
Finish not 2 hands at same time on wall-this is BIG one.
Breast - pulling past hips, double pull, scissor, flutter or dolphin kick, not 2 hands and same time on wall
It is the swimmer/parent responsibility to get a kiddo to the coaches table/clerk of the course for a relay. Many a little has missed a relay. They are running around playing with their friends and having a good time. Our coaches do not have time to leave the table and search though the woods for relay swimmers. Please listen to the announcements so you know when your swimmer needs to get to the table or clerk of the course to line up. I promise you I do not mean to sound harsh. I have seen many sad little faces that missed a relay. There is so much going on the coaches just can't leave the table. If you are new and want to know this process at at meet. Please find a board member and we will explain it better. 
Hanging around the coach table at a meet: Coaches want and need to talk to a swimmer before and after a race. If there are a bunch of other people around the table it is hard for the coach to focus on their swimmer. We will talk to the swimmers about this too. There will be four chairs at the table for coaches only. Every swimmer deserves the chance to talk to a coach after a race. We want all swimmers to feel equal. No favorites. All loved Stingrays!  
Relay swimmers are picked at the coach discretion: It might not always be the fastest kids in that stroke, but it also might! Our coaches make the decision on this and might decide to try something new or put someone in a different stroke to see how they do. Try to not let this discourage you or your swimmer. 
I am here to answer any questions.
Tomorrow: All about volunteer jobs! 
Thanks again for being part of the team!