START OF THE SEASON TRYOUTS: To accommodate as many new swimmers as possible at the start of the school year – and to help you decide if the Gators are a good fit for your family – the Gators host an Open House in September. This year's Open House was held on September 5th, 2017, and we evaluated approximately 50 new swimmers. Those swimmers have filled the open spots on our team.
During the Open Houses, swimmers and their families meet and interact with all of our coaches, and our coaches evaluate each individual athlete for placement in the right practice group/level. Current swimmers and parents are also on hand to answer questions from a participant perspective and to share why it is so much fun to be a Gator!
Following each Open House, all participants are invited to TWO FREE WEEKS of practice with their recommended practice group, before making a final decision about whether to join the team. We do have each swimmer register for the team and pay registration fees in advance of the two-week trial. This way all of their contact and medical information is in our system in case of emergency. Those fees are refunded immediately if for any reason you tell us within the two weeks that you will not be joining the team.
LATER TRYOUTS: After the September Open House, new members will be welcomed on a space-available basis, and tryouts and free practice weeks will be managed individually. Right now, the introductory levels of the team have a few spaces. Please contact us if you are interested in the year-round program.
If you are an experienced high school swimmer with PC-JO and/or USA Swimming A times or better, and you would like to try out the Gators, please contact us to set up a trial period. If you would like to join our intermediate groups and you have USA Swim times that you can share with us, please contact us and we will be happy to schedule an evaluation with our coaches to determine which group would be best for your swimmer. We try hard to find space for every interested swimmer.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q. What level or age does my child have to be to join the team?
A. There is no set answer to this question. The readiness of a child to join the team depends on a combination of factors. This can all be discussed at placement. In general, we accept children who are 5+ years old and are able to swim a lap in the pool unassisted and without stopping. The coaches also assess whether or not your swimmer is ready and able to participate in and successfully complete a one hour workout. No specific skill level is required in any of the competitive strokes, but your child is most likely to enjoy the program if they have some working knowledge of freestyle and backstroke.
The coaches reserve the right to decline swimmers whose inexperience or other attributes pose a safety risk to the group as a whole or to the individual swimmer even if they meet the above qualifications. Some attributes that may limit participation can include, but are not limited to, ability to follow directions, speed at which they are able to swim, or any other factor that the coaches notice during an evaluation. Please remember that even if your swimmer isn't ready yet, we are more than willing to evaluate them again in a few months. We are committed to on-boarding every interested swimmer once they can safely and ably participate in our program.
We want your swimmer's first experience with the team to be a positive one, so sometimes we will recommend a bit more time before joining.
Q. What do I need to bring to placement?
A. Swimmers participating in the Open Houses should bring a swimsuit, goggles and towel. A completed medical release form will then be required on the swimmer's first free practice day. For individual placement appointments later in the year, swimsuit, goggles, towel, and a completed medical release form will be needed at the time of tryouts.
Q. Can I chose the time that my child swims?
A. Swimmers are placed in practice groups according to their skill level, not their preference of times. Please note that is not always possible to have all siblings swim at the same time.
Q. How often is practice and what are the minimum number of practices my child must attend?
A. In general practice is offered 5 days a week. For the beginning levels of our team, our swimmers can come as many or as few days as they wish. As swimmers move up in levels, the minimum recommended practice days change.