Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I begin?

You need to be able to swim freestyle and backstroke for 25 yards - the length of all Tampa YMCA pools. We will teach you the rest.  If you cannot swim the minimum, our swim lesson program will teach you how and you can move to the team when you are ready. Everyone has a place at TYS.

2. Do I have to try out?

Yes.  We hold swimmer evaluations to help us place swimmers into appropriate groups.  Watching you swim helps us to know whether to place you in our Competitive (TYS), Stroke Development, or lesson programs.  Because we offer a program for every ability, no swimmer is turned away.  

3. What if I’m involved in other sports?

Most of our swimmers participate and thrive in other sports and activities.  Playing multiple sports at a young age creates well rounded athletes.  Better athletes make better swimmers.  Our practices are offered on multiple days each week to allow for more opportunities to participate.

4. Are meets held every weekend?

No, and it is up to you how many meets you enter based on your schedule.  Usually, swimmers can compete one or two weekends a month in age-appropriate settings suited to their competitive level.

5. Is there a lot of travel involved?

Most of our meets are in the Tampa Bay and along the Gulf Coast of Florida.  Although we do offer meets in other areas.  All trips are optional.

6. Where and when are practices held?

Practices are held outdoors at the New Tampa, Bob Sierra (Carrollwood), and Campo (Brandon) YMCA branches around Tampa.  During inclement weather, athletes also have use of YMCA fitness facilities and gyms.  During the school year, practices are held in the afternoons.  During Summer, practices are held in mornings and afternoons and vary by location.

7. Can I join anytime?

Yes, you may join the team any time throughout the year.  The most popular seasons to join are Fall (September) and Spring (April/May). We are a year round competitive swim team. Swimmers are expected to remain active on the team year round. Our team does not take breaks or allow "holds" on an account for any reason. Any decision to leave the team must be in writing via email to the coaching staff with 30 day advance notice.

8. Do the boys have to wear “speedos”?

No, although some boys opt for the knee-length “jammer” suit, the smaller “brief” suit is preferred for training. 

9. What is the cost?

The cost varies based on the group in which your swimmer is placed and how many competitions you enter. An annual registration fee is paid when you join, and monthly fees are payable by automatic draft.  Reduced fees are available to families that demonstrate need.

10.  Who does the coaching and what are their certifications?

We have a staff of professional, experienced coaches who love what they do.  They are all certified through USA Swimming and are required to maintain CPR-Pro, Coaches Safety & First Aid plus other coaching certifications. 

11.  Is a Y membership required?

Yes, all swim team participants are required to be Y members. Membership rates and information can be found at www.tampaymca.org