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Parent Information

Sherwood Park Silver Tide Swim Club
Parent Information

Sherwood Park Silver Tide Swim Club - The Importance of Parents

Competitive swimming programs provide many benefits to young athletes. They develop self-discipline, good sportsmanship, and time management skills. Competition allows the swimmer to experience success and to learn how to deal with defeat, while becoming healthy and physically fit. These are skills every parent wants their child to learn. They are life skills.

Parents are not participants on their child's team, but contribute to the success experience by the child and his/her team. Parents serve as role models and their children often emulate their attitudes. Be aware of this and strive to be positive models. Most importantly, show good sportsmanship at all times toward coaches, officials, opponents, and teammates.

Remember that your child is the swimmer. Children need to establish their own goals and make their own progress towards them. Be careful not to impose your own standards and goals. When in doubt, ask: "What did Coach tell you about this?"

Let the coach coach. The best way to help a child achieve his/her goals and reduce the natural fear of failure is through positive reinforcement. No one likes to make a mistake. If your child does make one, remember that he/she is still learning. Encourage his/her efforts and point out the things he/she did well. If you need to speak to the coach, please do so before or after practice, not during practice or a meet. Parents are not allowed on deck unless they are coaching or specifically asked to be on deck by the coach. And remember: we all learn by making mistakes. It's the human way. If we don't make mistakes, we don't learn how to do better!

One of the traditional swim team communication gaps is that some parents seem to feel more comfortable in discussing their disagreements over coaching philosophy with other parents rather than taking them directly to the coach. Not only is the problem never resolved that way but, this approach often results in new problems being created.

Listed below are some questions a parent may have and possible answers. Please note that each situation can be resolved by speaking with the coach:

1) Why hasn't my child moved up? Another swimmer isn't as fast as mine and they moved up!

A: Well, there are many reasons why one swimmer moves up and another doesn't. It is only partially based on "speed". Ask the Coach what is expected from a swimmer in regards to moving up! It might be age; stage of physiological development; skill development; social maturity; many things!

2) My child gets so nervous about meets. Why aren't you teaching them not to be nervous?

A: Your child's coach probably is doing their best to teach their swimmers how to cope with "the jitters". However, kids are pretty smart: they pick up on all sorts of non-verbal clues and are VERY concious of their adult guardian's attitudes. An adult very close to them just might be over-emphasizing the environment of a competition. No coach can control that. Please talk with your child's coach to learn what strategies are being used to control nervousness.

3) Someone is bullying my child. This needs to be stopped!

A: Indeed this DOES need to be stopped! Speak with the Head Coach or Board Member IMMEDIATELY. The club has a process that will specifically handle this sort of situation!

Keep in mind the coach must balance your perspective of what is best for your child with the needs of the training group or entire team. On occasion, an individual child's interest may need to be subordinate to the interests of the group, but in the long run the benefits of membership in the group compensate for occasional short-term inconvenience. This is the "to each according to their needs" fairness "rule".

If another parent uses you as a sounding board for complaints about the coach's performance or policies, listen empathetically, but encourage the other parent to speak directly to the coach.The coach is the only one who can resolve a complaint relating to techical matters. If a parent is not comfortable speaking with the coach, then a board member must be informed. Gossip serves no purpose and is destructive in any environment.

Please remember that this is a triangle relationship: the Coach coaches- the Parent parents- the Swimmer swims. All three are equally important but all three have their own areas of responsibility.

Silver Tide Swim Club's team wear during meets will consist of a black swimsuit, a silver STSC swim cap and Club T-shirt or hooded fleece top.

The Club has team T-shirts and Team Jackets and other team merchandise for sale on a continual basis.

All items for sale by the club are sold at cost plus GST and shipping & handling. The club will make no profit from its members. All purchases by members will be paid for on receipt of items.

Other training equipment such as flippers, goggles, practice suits etc. are available through our specific equipment supplier.

Any inquires can be made to the Equipment Director listed on Executive page. Specific information on equipment will be delivered, at times, through the STSC newsletter.

Clothing and Gear for Swim Meets


  • Swim suit - Check three times before you leave to make sure that you have at least one suit packed.
  • Goggles
  • Swim cap
  • Towels(2) - 1 to keep in your bag and dry until the meet is over. You do not want to ride home wet.
  • Sweatshirt and T-shirt
  • Clean runners or deck shoes for deck wear.


  • Sleeping bag stow in a large garbage bag or other waterproof cover
  • Spending money
  • Toothbrush and other personal effects
  • Spare clothing as required by weather conditions
  • Medications
  • Homework, games to occupy idle moments
  • Mascot or other personal good luck charms
  • Waterproof bag for wet swim items
  • Small gift for the billet family. Please choose an item that can be safely carried in swimmer's luggage.

Please label all items with swimmer's last name. Check with the meet manager or pool office for lost and found items.

Fundraising/Fees Membership Fees
The Silver Tide Swim Club has endeavored to maintain its commitment to be a family oriented club that is reasonably accessible to all interested swimmers. All Silver Tide's fundraisers are optional with the exception of our Silver Tide swim meets(Poppy, STSC Winter Invitational, Age Group Trials and Silver Cup)and Casino's. It is required that all Silver Tide Parents provide support for all meets and Casino's. To maintain membership in good standing in the Club all annual fees and obligations must be paid in full and kept current.

The fee schedule is set as low as possible and includes each family's portion of the fundraising commitment. The fee schedule is set at the Club’s Annual General Meeting held in the spring. Fees are different for each group.

By active participation in fundraising, fees can be maintained at a reasonable level. S.N.C. Fees are determined each year and are included in swim Fees. Most dry land training fees are included. Should you decide to withdraw early, notification must be submitted in writing to the Executive, two weeks in advance. A pro-rated formula will be used to calculate your family's total commitments for membership. You will be assessed up to and including the month in which notification was received. The S.N.C. fees are non-refundable Entry fees for meets, travel costs, equipment costs, etc., will be assessed at the time the expense is incurred and billed to your family account. Family Accounts are to be paid in full when statements are sent out.  The Swim Club relies extensively on fundraising and sponsorship to generate Club revenues.  The advantage of fundraising, is that Club fees are kept at lower levels.

General Fundraising
Each year the Club organizes ways each family may fundraise through the sale of various items. The Club counts on your participation to control fees.

Sponsorship is another form of fund raising that involves all Club members. Sponsors are generally solicited for Club events such as the Swim Meets. For such events, a letter will go out to Club members requesting that they approach individuals and companies for sponsorship.

Occasionally the Club has an opportunity, every two to three years, to work a Casino. These Casinos are usually held in St. Albert or Camrose, as Sherwood Park does not have such a facility. Casino workers are volunteers from the club. 

Parent’s play two vital roles at swim meet competitions: the occasional billeting of out of town competitive swimmers(Silver Tide has not billeted since 2005) and providing good officiating. In order to provide a top quality swim experience, many officials are required. There are a number of different types of officials required; timers, stroke and turn judges, marshalling, etc. These positions are all within the capabilities of any parent and short training clinics are provided to train the inexperienced. These clinics teach the basic skills and can lead to S.N.C. officiating designations. Please watch the newsletter for information.

EXECUTIVE MEMBERS / MINUTES The Silver Tide Swim Club is a registered “Not for Profit” Society that exists to administer the functions of the Swim Club. The Club maintains an affiliation with the Swimming/Nation Canada, S.N.C. and /Swim Alberta and adheres to the rules and regulations of these governing bodies. The Club is run by an elected Board of Directors drawn from members of the Club. The Board of Directors consists of five Director positions and six Director-at-Large positions. These members are elected at the Annual General Meeting in the spring of each year; all positions are volunteer. The Board of Directors meets on a monthly basis or as required. The by-laws of the Club detail the rules, regulations and descriptions of officers in the Club. Copies of the by-laws are available upon request.

What to Watch at a Swim Meet

There are 17 individual events and FIVE relays for men and women in a swimming meet. In the Olympic Games there are only 13 individual events and three relays for men and two relays for women. Not every meet will offer every event due to time constraints.

Only backstroke is started in the water. The swimmers hold on to the end of the pool or the starting block with their backs towards the course. All other strokes are started from a dive, either from the blocks or from the edge of the pool. All races are started by a starter who issues the command: " Take your mark," then fires a pistol or uses an electronic visible and audible device (e.g. a horn). The swimmers must take their positions immediately after the command is given, and must remain motionless until the signal is given.

Many races are lost in poor starts and turns. In the start, the swimmer is called to the starting position by the starter who visually checks that all swimmers are down and still. Then, once the starter is satisfied, the race is started by either a gun or electronic tone.

Quick turns are essential to a good race. In all events the swimmer must touch the wall, but in the free style and backstroke the swimmer may flip turn as he/she reaches the wall, touching only with the feet. In the other strokes the swimmer must touch with or both hands before executing the turn.

The sprint races (50 and 100 metres) are an all out scramble from start to finish. The slightest mistake can cost precious hundredths of seconds and the race.

The 200 metre events require the swimmer to have a sense of pace as well as the ability to swim in a controlled sprint.

The 400, 800 and 1500 metre free styles require the swimmer to constantly be aware of where they are in the water and how tired they are becoming. Swimming the first portion of the race too fast can sap a swimmer's strength and cause a poor finish. Swimming the first portion of the race too slowly can separate the swimmer from the pack and make catching up impossible.

There are two ways to swim a distance race. Swimmers may elect to swim the race evenly (holding the same pace throughout the race) or they may negative split the race. A negative split occurs when the swimmer covers the second half of the race faster than the first half.

A swim team is composed of any number of swimmers. Participants compete in different age groups and meets depending on their achievement level and how old they are on the day of the meet. Nationally recognized age groups are 10 and under, 11-12, 13-14, 15 to 17, and seniors. Local meets may also feature events for 8 and under swimmers. Team practice groups are usually determined by age and/or ability.