(printable PDF version)
Welcome to the competitive side of NCSA!
Our goal is to promote and support a highly competitive swim program and we are committed to providing a superior coaching staff accessible to all levels of swimming ability. Our training philosophy follows the recommended swimming Long Term Athlete Development Model by Swimming Canada. How this differs from some other swim clubs is that we train for the future swimmer. It used to be thought that more meters, more practices equaled faster swimming. What studies and experience has found is that this leads to early burnout and plateaus. The average swimming career used to end in the late teens; you now will see athletes at the Olympics in their late twenties.
LONG-TERM DEVELOPMENT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SHORT-TERM COMPETITION RESULTS.
An attainable goal for all our swimmers is varsity swimming. It opens doors regarding choice of schools, scholarships and more importantly a family away from home. The friendships that are made during a swimmer’s journey truly last a lifetime. The support away from home that varsity swimming provides is immeasurable.
Thank you for the privilege in being part of this journey for your child.
General swimming information
- ask your coach what you will be needing this season
- swimmer info section of the NCSA website
- each pool has an equipment contact parent, contact them for info
Q: Where is the schedule of meets?
A: Once you sign into the NCSA website look under the Events tab
Q: How do I know if my swimmer qualifies, so I can plan ahead?
A: On the meet schedule listed under "Qualifying" the different levels that are to attend the meets are indicated.
- All = all NCSA competitive swimmers
- C = swimmers who have not yet achieved a B time or MQT standard
- B = swimmers who have achieved a B time standard
- A = swimmers who have achieved an A time standard
- Qualifiers only = specific time standard requirements specifically to this meet
Q: What are the time standards?
A: Swim Alberta Time Standards
Q: How do make sure that my swimmer is entered into a meet? What happens after the “Sign Up Deadline”?
A: On the meet schedule, the deadline to commit your swimmer for a meet is indicated under the “Sign Up Deadline” column. To commit your swimmer to a meet, you'll need to click on the Events tab. All the meets will have a commit/decline button. Please click on it and make your decision. If the deadline has passed and you either missed it or would like to make a change to your attendance you must e-mail the email@example.com to make a change. Please also inform the squad coach. Changes and refunds are not guaranteed to happen after the sign-up deadline.
Q: What should my swimmer expect at the first meet? Where do they go? When should they be on deck? What should they bring for equipment, food, etc.?
A: Few things that you need to have for a meet:
- your competition suit: plain black swim suit used for swim meets only
- NCSA track suit, T-shirt are mandatory
- two sets of goggles, two orange NCSA caps
- two towels, deck shoes
- healthy snacks: fresh veggies & fruits, cheese, crackers, hummus, water, milk or chocolate milk, granola bars - NO NUTS and no glass containers
- playing cards, books, small board games,
- a positive attitude to encourage and cheer on your NCSA teammates
- smile and HAVE FUN!
Your coach will provide you with a time to arrive prior to the event. For a general guideline, swimmers usually arrive on deck 15 minutes before warm up begins for the meet. (Warm up usually starts 1 hour prior to the start time of the meet/session.) Here you will find your teammates and your coach preparing for the event.
Q: What should parents expect for themselves at the first meet?
A: If you are coming to watch your swimmer here is a list of things to help prepare you for the swim meet:
- it can get quite warm in the stands, so dress light
- bring a sports seat or cushion
- if you are bringing young siblings, bring games/books/toys to occupy them while they watch and wait for their sibling to race
- don’t forget snacks for your family
- bring your book or your crafts (knitting, crochet, etc.)
- bring a camera (please do not use flash photography at the start of the heats because the Starter also uses a flashing device to indicate the start if a race)
Q: How do I know what events my swimmer will be swimming at the meets?
A: Click on the Meet entries icon on of the Home page then click on Entries in the new window
Heat sheets are available for purchase at the meet. Look for your swimmer’s name in the heat sheet and highlight it.
Q: Where do I find my swimmer's event times?
A: Often there will be a session timeline posted near the results.
Q: What are Age Group Trials? Who is eligible?
A: Provincial wide competitions run in both the short course (SC) and the long course (LC) seasons. It is open to swimmers 14 years&under (girls) and 15 years&under (boys) who have achieved a meet qualifying time (MQT) for their age at the time of the competition in one of the 400-800-1500 freestyle or one of the 200-400 IM events.
Q: What are Age Group Provincials? Who is eligible?
A: Provincial Championships held both in SC and LC seasons open to swimmers 14 years&under (girls) and 15 years&under (boys) swimmers who have a Swim AB “A” time standard. Swimmers who win events at the Age Group Trials are eligible as well.
Q: What are Alberta Open Championships? Who is eligible?
A: Provincial Championships held both in SC and LC seasons open to swimmers 15 years&over (girls) and 16&over (boys) who have achieved a Swim AB “B” time standard.
Q: Why does the club host meets?
A: To provide opportunities for swimmers to race and to generate money for the club.
Volunteering at meets
In order to host meets, all parents are needed to take courses and to advance through the officiating courses as their swimmers continue through the program. Meets not hosted by NCSA (but attended by NCSA) often request parent officials to help ensure their meets run smoothly. Visiting clubs to NCSA hosted meets often provide officials to run our meets as well.
Officiating courses are available online and offered periodically (watch e-mail for information).
Swim families are asked to donate food for swim meets. Lists of who is to bring donations, what to bring and when to bring food donations are emailed from the Hospitality Committee prior to swim meets. This Committee’s function is to provide food for the coaches and all the officials (who are volunteers working the swim meet). We try to keep our costs to a minimum by asking families to provide some of the food. We feed 75+ people per session, so for a 2 day meet that is approximately 300 people. When providing your food donations here are a few things to remember:
- keep the cost of your food donation to under $10
- if possible please wash/cut up fruits and vegetables
- please put your name on any containers you want back
- there will be a list in the hospitality room to sign when you bring in your food
- you only need to bring in your donation one day, bring your food to the hospitality room
Swim Family Commitment
Please refer to page 8 NCSA Handbook
Each year, the NCSA Board of Directors will determine the fundraising events and required commitment from each swimmer/family. Specific details will be outlined in the annual registration package and families will be required to provide the Club with post-dated commitment cheques. If you fulfil your obligation, your cheque(s) will be destroyed or returned upon your request. If you do not, your cheque will be cashed.
All money raised through fundraising events is used to help offset the costs incurred to operate NCSA (i.e. pool rentals, purchase of equipment, coaching costs, etc.). Fundraising is imperative to the viability of NCSA and all families with children in the competitive program are expected to volunteer.
Fundraising events may include, but are not limited to, the events outlined below:
Swim-A-Thon – Each NCSA swimmer must commit to raise a minimum as determined by the Board for the Clubs annual swim-a-thon.
Bottle Drives – Each NCSA family must commit to participate in a minimum number of bottle drives during the season. Confirmed dates will be posted on the NCSA website prior to the event.
Casinos – Each NCSA family must commit to participate in one of the casinos that may be scheduled each season.