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Swimmer/Parent Handbook

General Information:

Mission Statement

USA Swimming is the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming. We administer competitive swimming in accordance with the Amateur Sports Act. We provide programs and services for our members, supporters, affiliates and the interested public. We value these members of the swimming community, and the staff and volunteers who serve them. We are committed to excellence and the improvement of our sport.

Vision Statement

To inspire and enable our members to achieve excellence in the sport of swimming and in life.

Core Objectives

USA Swimming has adopted three core objectives. These core objectives establish the foundation of the strategic business plan for our sport. USA Swimming encourages all members to participate in the local, regional and national efforts to ensure that these objectives are accomplished.

Build the Base

We seek to expand our membership in order to share our sport with as many other people as possible. We are especially committed to sharing the values of our sport with young people who may discover that swimming is an activity they can enjoy for their entire life.

Promote the Sport

We want swimming to receive as much publicity as possible because we believe that the more people learn about our sport the more inclined they will be to join the ranks of our membership. We are proud of our sport and we seek to celebrate it whenever possible.

Achieve Competitive Success

USA Swimming has been ranked as the number one swimming nation in the world for more than 40 years. We seek to continue this tradition of competitive excellence. When our elite athletes are successful in fulfilling their Olympic dreams our society benefits from the inspiration these athletes give us.

Ambush

Ambush Swimming (AMBU) is a registered team of the USA Swimming organization. It consists of two groups of swimmers located in Nacogdoches and Lufkin, Texas.  Both groups compete as one entity at USA sanctioned events. It is run under the same values and core objectives leading USA Swimming. Ambush Swimming is part of Gulf Swimming LSC.

 

Ambush Team Goals:

Create team unity and pride while establishing discipline, enthusiasm and a positive attitude so that swimmers can participate in elite levels of competition.

Group Expectations:

All swimmers will be placed in groups by coach’s consent. Swimmers will be placed into their groups based upon their ability level, age, and or level of effort and commitment at practices.

Communicate Protocol:

If you ever have questions or concerns about the program, upcoming events, payment, etc. please feel free to bring them up with the coaches before or after practices. During practice the Ambush coaching staff is dedicated to teaching your children and the safety of the team as a whole and should not have their attention divided during this time.

If you feel you must speak with another person about these matters contact Aquatics Director Erik Cozadd, at administrative office: 936 560-6844.

Payment:

  • All payments are made to: Boys &Girls Club of Nacogdoches or

                                                            Boys &Girls Club of Lufkin

                                                            *** Include child’s name on the memo line***

  • Please turn in all payments in the lock box outside the pool office door.
  • Payments are expected by the 7th of the month.  If payment is received after the 7th, there will be an additional $10 added on to the bill.

A “try-out” period of three days is allowed for new swimmers before payment is required.

 

Parent’s Role:

As a parent of an AMBUSH swimmer, there are some responsibilities involved.  Along with the commitment the swimmers make, parents should also:

  1. Be supportive and loving.
  2. Encourage children and be positive through good and bad swims.
  3. Bring swimmers to assigned practices and meets and pick them up on time. 
  4. Sit in the designated bleachers during practice without communicating or interacting with the swimmers or coaches during the practice time.
  5. Avoid coaching their swimmers so that confusion is minimal.
  6. Encourage a good diet and sleep habits.
  7. Keep in contact with the coaches through emails, phone calls, and visits, without interrupting practice.
  8. Volunteer at meets to help time or fulfill any other duties. 
  9.  Assist the swimmer in keeping records of best times.
  10.  Submit meet entry information on time.

 

Swimmer’s Role:

General Behavior

  1. Swimmers should give 100% each day at practice.
  2. Swimmers should have equipment adjusted and ready to go when practice begins. 
  3. Swimmers should display respect and good sportsmanship to teammates, competitors, coaches, officials, parents, and all others.
  1. Swimmers should act like a team by cheering on their teammates.
  2. Any illegal activity, including, but not limited to theft, drug use, or vandalism will not be tolerated.
  3. Foul language is not allowed.
  4. Swimmers should set goals and keep up with best times.

Rules for swimming with Ambush Swimming:

  1. Gum chewing is not allowed on deck or in the pool.
  2. Do not push or shove teammates into the water.
  3. Enter pool with coach’s permission.
  4. Diving is only allowed with coach’s permission.
  5. Stay off the blocks unless otherwise instructed.
  6. Do not hang on the lane ropes.
  7. Bathroom breaks are before and after practice unless an emergency.
  8. Swimmers should bring drinks (water/ Gatorade) to the pool, in a plastic containers (NO GLASS), so they do not have to leave the deck during practice.
  9. Swimmers must ask for permission before leaving practice early.
  10. Swimmers are not permitted in the spa.

Consequences:

If at any time the conduct of a swimmer does not comply with the guidelines set forth, the coach will determine the disciplinary action suitable.  Such action may include, but not limited to, the following: removal from practice, probation on the team, suspension from the team, or dismissal from the team.

The Four Strokes:

  • Helpful link:  http://usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?Tabld=1696

Freestyle Also known as front crawl. The arm movement in freestyle is alternating, i.e., while one arm is pulling/pushing, the other arm is recovering. The arm strokes also provide most of the forward movement in freestyle. The move can be separated into three parts; the pull, the push, and the recovery. The leg movement in freestyle is called the flutter kick. The legs move alternately. One leg kicks downward while the other leg moves upward. While the legs provide only a small part of the overall speed, they are important to stabilize the body position.

 

Backstroke The arm stroke consists of two main parts: the power phase and the recovery. The arms alternate so that always one arm is underwater while the other arm is recovering. One complete arm turn is considered one cycle. During the power phase, the hand follows a semi-circular path from the catch to the side of the hip. The palm is always facing away from the swimming direction, and the elbow always points downward towards the bottom of the pool. For the recovery phase, the hand is rotated so that the palms point towards the legs and the thumb side points upwards. At the beginning of the recovery phase of the one arm, the other arm begins its power phase. The recovering arm is moved in a semicircle straight over the shoulders to the front. The leg movement in backstroke is similar to the flutter kick in the front crawl. They make a small contribution to the forward speed, yet are very significant for stabilizing the body.

 

Breaststroke The breaststroke starts with the swimmer lying in the water face down, arms extended straight forward and legs extended straight to the back. There are three steps to the arm movement: outsweep, insweep, and recovery From the initial position, the hands sink a little bit down and the palms face outward, and the hands move apart. During the outsweep the arms stay almost straight and parallel to the surface. The outsweep is followed by the insweep, where the hands point down and push the water backwards. The hands push back until approximately the vertical plane of the shoulders. At the end of the insweep the hands come together with facing palms in front of the chest, and the elbows are at the side at the body. In the recovery phase the hands are moved forward again into the initial position under water. The leg movement, colloquially known as the "frog kick", consists of two phases: bringing the feet into position for the thrust phase and the insweep phase.

 

Butterfly From the initial position, the arm movement starts very similarly to the breaststroke. At the beginning the hands sink a little bit down with the palms facing outwards and slightly down at shoulder width. Next, the hands move out to create a Y. This is called catching the water. The pull movement follows a semicircle with the elbow higher than the hand, and the hand pointing towards the body center and downward. The semicircle ends in front of the chin, with the hands close together so the swimmer can form a triangle with the fingers. The push pushes the palm backward through the water underneath the body at the beginning and at the side of the body at the end of the push. The swimmer only pushes the arms 1/3 of the way to the hips, making it easier to enter into the recover and making the recovery shorter and making the breathing window shorter. The leg movement is similar to the leg movement in the front crawl, except the legs are synchronized with each other. The shoulders are brought above the surface by a strong up and medium down kick, and back below the surface by a strong down and medium up kick. This is also known as the “dolphin kick."

 

Disqualifications:

Disqualifications (DQ) are a common part of the sport of swimming. Just about any swimmer you ask can remember a time when they have been disqualified in an event for one reason or another. This is no reason to worry or become angry. A DQ can create a good opportunity to learn from a mistake or bad practice habit.

When a swimmer does not meet all requirements or adds extra movement to a standard stroke they may receive a disqualification in that single event. The consequence of a DQ is that there will be no official time or placement given for the swim.  Another way to receive a DQ is for the swimmer to dive before the start or, with relays, before the preceding teammate touches the wall. At high-level swim meets when a swimmer does not show for an event they are scheduled to be competing in, the meet director will disqualify the swimmer for all future events at the meet.

In the event of a DQ the meet official will write down the offense and communicate it with the coach and/or possibly the athlete. Under no circumstance are parents to communicate with meet officials about these disqualifications. Parent communication with officials can result in negative team consequences such as; team disqualification or no longer invited to future swim meets.

Time Standards:

Individual time standards are based on the age and speed of the swimmer in each event. Every swimmer starts as a “C” swimmer with their age and time in each event further classifying them into one of the following categories: B, BB, A, AA, AAA. “B” being the beginner level and “AAA” being the elite level swimmer. It is also common for a swimmer to have multiple time standards based on their ability in a variety events. For instance, my child can have an “A” time standard in the 50 freestyle and a “BB” time standard in the 100 breaststroke. A list of the current time standards can be found at: www.usaswimming.org

Some swim meets offered during the year require that swimmers have a specific time standard before signing up for the meet. These meets are denoted on the meet schedule as “Elite” or “Qualifying Times”.  

Meet Registration:

The Ambush Swimming will compete in several swim meets during the season. It is a difficult task getting registration done accurately and sent in timely before each one of these events.

Our team unify website at www.ambushswim.com now allows parents to login to the family account and commit or decline attending swim meets and other team events. Most entries will be due three weeks prior to the swim meet weekend. Please don’t wait for reminders, you can log in and commit/decline well before hand and change your mind before the deadline.

Last minute meet registration is possible in most cases but can create a huge mess in our process. Once payment and information is sent there will be no refunds.

 

Short Course vs. Long Course:

The USA Swimming year is broken into two main seasons called Long course (LCM) and Short course (SCY); here are the main differences.

  • The LONG COURSE (LCM) season takes place over the summer months and is held in competition pools that are 50 meters in length. Since our practice takes place in 25 yard pools the event times can be converted using several different conversion methods found on the internet at: www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/results/conversions.asp Note: Some but not all swim competitions will not accept a conversion time as “official” therefore official times must come from 50 meter competition.
  • The SHORT COURSE (SCY) season takes place during the school year months and is held in competition pools that are 25 yards in length. Note: there is another kind of short course competition that is held in 25 meter pools (SCM), but historically we have not gone to any of these competitions.

 

The Swim Meet:

  • Remember the goal of swim meets is often to improve a swimmer’s best times and to have fun, not necessarily to win first place.  A winner does not have to come in first.
  • Swim meets are highly encouraged.  As part of a team, swimmers should attend to support Ambush Swimming.  This allows the coaches to adequately evaluate the swimmer’s progress as well as serving as a motivational factor for the swimmers.
  • The coach has the final say in what events the swimmers will be entered in.  The swimmers should turn in their swim meet entries and fees by the appropriate date. The coach will make decisions that are best for the team. 
  • Swimmers should wear the team suit and cap to all meets if instructed to do so.
  • Travel arrangements to and from meets are the responsibility of the parents.
  • Any question regarding an official’s call should be directed to the coach.  Do not confront an official or meet director; this is the coach’s duty.
  • At swim meets, parents should remain in the spectator area unless they are helping out with the meet.

 

Swim Meet Check List:

When attending swim meets there are a few things that your swimmer will need to remember to bring along.

  • 2 towels
  • Goggles and Team Swim Cap
  • Team Suit or a solid suit (non-team suits can not have brand names or symbols)
  • Foldable Lawn Chairs
  • Healthy Snacks: Gold fish, Chex-Mix or Trail Mix, fruit, granola, no candy 
  • Healthy Drinks: Gatorade, Water, PowerAde, Fruit Juice, no sodas
  • Make sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before warms start
  • A Heat Sheet, or schedule of meet events, can be purchased at each meet. The heat sheet lists event numbers, heats, and lane assignments of every competitor.
  • Sharpie or permanent marker. Many swimmers use a permanent marker to write their event numbers, heats, and lane assignments on the inside of their forearm. This is an easy way for the swimmer to be prepared for their races.