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What is the difference between Short Course and Long Course?

During a calendar year in USA Swimming there are two seasons, commonly referred to as “Short Course or SCY” and “Long Course or LCM”. Short Course refers to the season where a 25-yard pool is used for practices and competitions, whereas Long Course refers to the season where a 50-meter pool is used for practices and competitions. While the schedule can vary slightly, Short Course season is typically from September through March, and Long Course season is typically from April through August. We at times will take a short break from practices for some, or sometimes all, of our swim groups in-between seasons.


What are time standards?

Time Standards are specific event times set by USA Swimming and Indiana Swimming used to establish swimmer qualifying for Championship Meets. These championship meets range from the local, state, regional, and national level. Our swimmers train all season long, and year-round with the goal in mind of improving. Time Standards set benchmarks to work towards, and help track improvement. Time Standards can be accessed on the USA Swimming and Indiana Swimming websites.


What is USA Swimming’s IMR/IMX Program?

The IMR/IMX Program is a great way to track improvement, and to see where your swimmer stacks up against others. IM Xtreme is a program that allows USA Swimming members to track their times against swimmers all across the country. By simply swimming in a specific program of events, you can see where you rank against your teammates, region, and even across the USA. The program of events needed for an IMX score are:

  • Ages 10 & Under – 200 Free, 100 Back, 100 Breast, 100 Fly, and 200 IM
  • Ages 11 & 12 – 400 (LCM) or 500 (SCY) Free, 100 Back, 100 Breast, 100 Fly, and 200 IM
  • Ages 13-18 – 400 (LCM) or 500 (SCY) Free, 200 Back, 200 Breast, 200 Fly, 200 IM, and 400 IM

If you are new to swimming and not quite ready for the events in IMX, you can start by getting IM Ready. IMR is tailored towards younger swimmers, and has shorter distances than those from IMX. The program of events needed for an IMR score are:

  • Ages 10 & Under – 100 Free, 50 Back, 50 Breast, 50 Fly, 100 IM (SCY) or 200 IM (LCM)
  • Ages 11 & 12 – 200 Free, 50 Back, 50 Breast, 50 Fly, 100 IM (SCY) or 200 IM (LCM)
  • Ages 13-18 – 200 Free, 100 Back, 100 Breast, 100 Fly, 200 IM

IMR is simply a stepping stone for IMX, and is not a requirement for participation in IMX. Once you have completed all the events in your age group, you will have a score. You must complete all events in the same course (SCY or LCM) to have a score in that particular course. Also, in order to receive a score, you must have swum each event at a sanctioned meet within the years’ competition period, which begins September 1st and ends August 31st. IMR and IMX scores can be accessed by logging into your deck pass account through USA Swimming.


How will my swimmer be evaluated?

Swimmers will complete goal setting with their coach at the beginning of each short course season. The swimmer and coach will work together to set goals for both short course and long course seasons. Parents will receive mid-season and end-of-season progress reports that detail how the swimmer has progressed, and lay out what the swimmer needs to continue to work on. Coaches will constantly communicate with the swimmers about improvement and progress towards goals. Parents are encouraged to reach out to the coach to discuss areas of needed improvement, moving up groups, or anything else relating to a swimmer’s progress.


How and when do I communicate with my swimmer’s coach?

All of our coaches are available via email to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding your swimmer, the team, or swimming in general. The best time to talk to a coach in person is immediately following practice. We ask that you do not interrupt the coaches during practice time. Coaches can also be made available via appointment if necessary.


Is my swimmer required to attend all practices?

No, your swimmer is not required to attend all practices. Multiple practices are offered throughout a given week to assist with the swimmer’s development. We aim to provide an opportunity for all swimmers, regardless of their desired commitment level. That being said, attendance should align with a swimmer’s respective goals. Practice is the only way to improve, and a swimmer’s attendance should reflect their level of commitment. 


Are parents required to stay for practice?

Parents are not required to stay for their swimmer’s practices. You are welcome to drop your swimmer off and pick them up at the end of practice. If a parent does leave, we ask that swimmers be picked up in a timely manner at the end of practice. If a parent does stay for practice, they are to watch practice from the designated seating area, and not interrupt the coaches or swimmers during practice unless an emergency arises.


What if my swimmer needs to leave practice early or arrive late?

Swimmers need to make every effort to attend the entire practice. Arriving late or leaving early become a distraction at practice and hinder the swimmer’s ability to properly warm up or cool down. We understand that things do come up that cause a swimmer to miss a part of practice. If something does come up you must reach out to the coach beforehand to make necessary arrangements.


Is my swimmer required to attend all swim meets, or every day of a swim meet?

No, your swimmer is not required to attend all meets, or every day of a particular meet. Each season we try and offer at least two meets a month, however it does not always work out that way. Your swimmer is encouraged to attend at least one meet per month, doing so allows for consistent opportunities to track progress and improvement. Swim meets are flexible, if you cannot attend all days of a meet you may sign your swimmer up for only the ones that you can make. Your swimmer is encouraged to attend all days of a swim meet if possible, doing so allows for swimmers to swim in a wide variety of events.


What is a session?

A session refers to a specific part of a swim meet. Sessions are often broken down by age group, splitting up the younger and older swimmers, but this is not always the case. Sessions are typically not more than 4 hours long. Sessions can range from as few as one or two sessions per day, to as many as three. Sessions vary from meet to meet, therefore it is important to read the meet letter before signing up, to see when your child will be swimming.


Is my swimmer required to stay for an entire meet or session?

Swim meets, and even individual sessions, tend to be very long. Therefore, we do allow swimmers to leave after they are done swimming. That being said, swimmers must ask the coaches for permission before leaving the meet. We do encourage our kids to stay because it shows support to your teammates. Also, relays are often at the end of the meet and it lets down the rest of the team when one individual has left causing the relay to not be able to swim. Anyone swimming in a relay must stay until the entire relay has ended. 


What should I do if my swimmer is sick?

Parents/Guardians know your child’s health better than the coaches. If your child is sick, and at risk to get others sick, please keep your child home until symptom free. If your swimmer has to miss part or all of a meet due to being sick, please let the coaches know as soon as possible.