Parent Handbook

Coeur d'Alene Area Swim Team

 Parent Handbook

Welcome to the Coeur d’Alene Area Swim Team!  CAST is an organization of coaches, parents, and swimmers dedicated to the development of young athletes.  We as a team are committed to teamwork, sportsmanship, fitness, character development, and striving to achieve set goals while enjoying and mastering the sport of competitive swimming.  CAST is a year-round program with competitions offered about once a month, and all skill levels are welcome!


If you are brand new to our team, we offer a two week trial period for your child; if he or she decides that the team is not right for them, those weeks are free of charge.


Items for Success

To get started, your swimmer will want:

1.      Swimsuit-most of our male swimmers wear “jammers” (similar to bike shorts) rather than baggy board shorts. For females, one-piece swimsuits should be worn. The suit should be relatively snug to reduce drag, and remember that suits will stretch with wear.  Rinsing suits out after use can prolong their lifetime.  Suits can be found online or at most sporting goods stores.

2.      Goggles-should have a rubber seal that fits around the eyes (rather than foam) and have an adjustable strap.  Goggles should be comfortable and fit the swimmer’s face.  The Speedo® Vanquishers are a favorite among the coaching staff, and can be found at most sporting good stores like Big 5 for around $12.

3.      Cap-girls with longer hair will want a swim cap. CAST sells team caps, and for practice any cap from a sporting goods store will be fine.  Many of our male swimmers also wear caps to prevent wear and tear on their hair, but this up to the swimmer. 


Equipment can be purchased at, and part of your purchase goes towards supporting the team!


The Parent’s Role in Swimming

            As a swim parent, your #1 role is to be SUPPORTIVE!  Remember that the coaching staff is paid to coach your child; your job is to make sure that your swimmer has a positive environment that will create a fulfilling experience.  We want ALL our athletes to enjoy swimming, from our newest novice through our graduating seniors. 

            Our goal is to create an environment for athletes to excel and to become lifelong lovers of swimming, and that is made possible by the unconditional love and support of each individual parent.  We do not expect all our athletes to become Olympians, and neither should you!  There are 300,000 athletes affiliated with USA Swimming, and only 52 spots available on each Olympic swimming roster.  Judge your child’s success by their effort, improvement, and their enjoyment more than by their times!!!

            If at any time you have a question, a problem, or simply want to talk about how your child is doing, please come talk to us after practice or send your child’s coach an email!  We want open dialogue between parents, swimmers, coaches, and our board; this will benefit your child and the team as a whole. 

            One of the most important aspects of being a swim parent is volunteering your time at swim meets and team functions.  CAST cannot function without parent volunteers, especially when it comes to hosting meets.  We ask that our parents volunteer eight hours of their time for meets hosted at the KrocCenteror our open water swim on Lake Coeur d’Alene.  CAST normally hosts two meets per year, and it is the family volunteers who make it possible to put on a great competition!




            A lot of information can be found online at our website,; we encourage you all to become very familiar with the site!  Once you’ve joined the team, you will use the email address you provided the team on your registration form to access things like meet signups and our directory.  Every week we send out via email a newsletter that is also available online which lists swimmers of the week, meet recaps, and any upcoming events including team activities and meet signup deadlines.  Make sure you are familiar with the site, it hasa lot of information and will help you stay connected with the team!


            Other sites you may want to check out:  This is the website for Inland Empire swimming, the Local Swim Committee (LSC) that CAST is a part of along with 13 other teams in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.  This site will have detailed information regarding upcoming meets, meet results, records, etc.  USA swimming is the governing body that sanctions our sport. Their website has results for each individual swimmer, national club rankings, time standards for meets, a nutrition tracking program, and a whole lot more.


Practices and Squad levels

            The practices available to your child will depend on the squad level they are assigned to after their tryout.  CAST has 6 squad levels: C (our novice team, most new swimmers start here), B, A, Junior, and Senior.  To move up a squad, there are set criteria mostly dealing with technical proficiency; these standards can be found under the "CAST Swimmers" tab. Remember, moving up means mastering all aspects of the squad that the swimmer is currently on, not just meeting a time standard!

           A full schedule for all squads can be found online under the parents tab. There is no minimum practice requirement; of course, the more your swimmer attends the faster they will progress!  We hope that all the swimmers ENJOY practice as well as learn stroke proficiency, and that they are eager to attend practices.

            Expectations for practice include:

1.      Being on time for stretching (the first 10 minutes of each practice includes our dryland routine)

2.      Having the necessary equipment

3.      Bringing a positive attitude, including the willingness to learn and improve!



            CAST is a competitive swim team; our training is geared toward making athletes ready to swim to their highest level of ability.  However, we do not require anyone to compete at meets; swimmers should begin attending them when they feel ready to!  We do highly encourage participation, as meets are the “payoff” for all the work that swimmers put into the pool.  Moreover, meets are FUN!  They represent an opportunity to gauge progress, spend time with your teammates and friends from other teams, and to excel in the sport of swimming. 

            We offer a team focus meet about once a month; these meets are relatively close (usually in Spokane, Moscow, or Coeur d’Alene).  As swimmers progress to the upper squads, they may have the opportunity to compete in sectional level meets in Federal Way(near Seattle) and national level meets as far away as Atlanta.  CAST is committed to supporting our swimmers at meet levels all the way through Olympic Trials.

            Types of meets include:

1.      Developmental meets-usually a one day meet only a few hours long.  Open to all swimmers, and a great chance to try out competition for the first time.  These meets are very close to home and do not require an overnight stay.

2.      Invitational meets-usually take place over a weekend.  Open to all swimmers, and offer a wider range of competition than Developmental meets.  Swimmers do not have to attend each day of competition, some may opt to only participate on Saturday or Sunday.

3.      Championship meets- 2 champs meets are offered each year, one in March (Short Course Champs) and one in late July (Long Course Champs).  These meets require qualifying times, and we expect all qualifying swimmers to attend!

4.      Sectional meets-held in Federal Way, Washington and Gresham, Oregon.  Several levels of meets with varied and challenging times standards

5.      National meets-held all over the US, and have fastest qualifying times.  Includes meets like Junior Nationals and Olympic Trials


            Signing up for meets is done on our website; you will need to sign in using your email and the password you created.  You can pick events that your child is comfortable swimming, but if you are not sure, the coaches are happy to pick the events for the swimmer.  There are times that we will want to challenge swimmers in new and more demanding events, but for their first meet, we want them to swim what they are comfortable with!

            Meets should be positive, encouraging experiences.  Make sure that your swimmer talks to one of the coaches (their primary coach if possible) before and after every race.  The coach will remind them of what to work on beforehand, and offer encouragement and tips for improvement afterwards.  Don’t worry if your child has a disappointing swim!  No swim is ever perfect, and mistakes will happen.  The important thing is to be positive and ENCOURAGE your child to learn from their mistakes.  This is one of the reasons we want our swimmers to check in with their coach after a race; each swim is an opportunity to learn and become a better swimmer!

Things to consider bringing to a meet:

-Healthy snacks

-Camp Chair/blanket/sleeping bag

-Extra towels and goggles

-Sharpie for marking down your swimmer's event, heat, and lane numbers

-Warm clothes (sweatshirts, parka, etc.)


            Each CAST practice begins with a dryland routine specially developed by Coach Bob.  This program is designed to aid in flexibility, breathing, and body awareness.  As swimmers progress to the upper squad levels, elements of strength and conditioning will be added.  The coaching staff firmly believes that a large part of our success is due to the implementation of this program; our top level athletes do a tremendous job and have mastered the key components of the routine which gives them a tremendous advantage once they are in the pool, and will serve them well in terms of overall health long after they have finished swimming.



            The most important aspect of nutrition for swimmers is hydration.  For our highest level swimmers, we require a water bottle at practice.  For new swimmers, they should make sure to drink water periodically throughout the day and immediately after workout.  Swimmers sweat during hard workouts even though they may not feel it, and that liquid should be replenished as soon as possible.  Especially for new swimmers, we recommend water rather than sports drinks to rehydrate.

            Swimmers should also “fuel up” their bodies with a healthy snack before practice and try to eat soon afterward.  This is doubly important at meets; make sure to bring food to keep your athlete’s energy up!  Fruit, yogurt, and any food with complex carbohydrates (bagels, granola bars, etc.) are good choices.  Candy and drinks packed with sugar are to be avoided!


CAST’s History

            CAST has been providing a positive learning environment for swimmers for over 30 years.  In that time, we have sent many swimmers to national level meets including 3 athletes to Olympic Trials, one of the fastest meets in the world.  We have been consistently ranked in the top 500 USA swim teams in the nation (out of over 4,000 clubs) for the last decade. Most importantly, we have helped hundreds of young athletes realize goals and potential through their competitive swimming efforts. 

            We have practiced at several different locations over the years, but the Kroc Center is the most advanced facility around.  We are guests at the Kroc and are very fortunate to have access to this pool!  Please make sure to keep our relationship a good one so we can continue training at our optimum level for future success.


CAST Coaching Staff

Here is a brief look at the coaches who will be teaching and training your swimmer.  All four coaches work with all the squad levels and are highly experienced individuals who make it their mission for the swimmers to succeed and enjoy their time on our team.  The coaches share responsibility for the development of our C squad, and often co-coach with all our squads.

David Dolphay ([email protected])

Coach David has been with CAST since 2008, after swimming four years at Whitworth University.  Coach David is in charge of meet entries, swimmer registration, and the Senior and A squad programs, and took over as head coach in 2016.


Jade Sobek ([email protected])

Coach Jade joined CAST in 2017 after serving as head coach for the Bozeman Barracudas for the previous 9 years. Jade swam for Denison University and was a National level sprinter for that program. Jade is our head age group coach, primarily working with A and Junior squads.


Shelly Sobek


Mason Watson


CAST Board of Directors

Our Board consists of volunteer parents who hope that long after you have finished swimming, the lessons of self-discipline, time management and work ethics will be with you. But they hope that your foremost memory is: “I had fun and enjoyed my time with CAST”.  These parents are here to make sure the team holds to the standards of excellence that CAST has worked hard to develop. 

            The Board meets once a month, and all parents are welcome to sit in! A list of current position holders and their contact information can be found under the "Joining Cast" tab.


Membership Dues

            We realize that swimming with CAST is a financial and a time commitment. We try to keep our dues as low as possible, and firmly believe that you are paying for the best services around!  Your monthly dues pay for:

1.      Coach’s salaries

2.      Renting lanes at the Kroc Center and Witter pool in Spokane

3.      Equipment purchases

4.      Coach’s travel expenses for meets and education

5.      Our open water swim across Lake Couer d’Alene


We look forward to having you as a part of our team!