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Expectations

Practice Expectations
Meet Expectations
What you can expect as an NTA member

Practice Expectations

What do I do if I cannot make a practice?

  • For SHP - If you are going to miss practice you must first contact your coach and find a time when you can make up the missed practice. You cannot attend another groups practice without first contacting your coach and the coach of that group.

  • For groups D7/A10/JP/SP - If you are going to miss practice you should first contact your coach. If missing this practice will put you under the required practice attendance limit, you can make it up with another group. You MUST talk to your coach to see if this option is appropriate for you. You cannot attend another groups practice without first contacting your coach.

  • For groups D6/A9/JA/SA - If you are going to miss a practice you should first contact your coach. You should be getting in the habit communicating with your coach as it is essential to your success moving forward.

  • For groups I/N/D5/A8/JR/SR - We encourage swimmers to contact their coach if they are going to miss practice, however it is not a requirement.

What do I do if I am playing another sport?

  • For SHP - You are at the top level of the team and swimming is expected to be your main focus. If you are planning on playing another sport you must first discuss this option with the coaching staff to determine if SHP is the appropriate fit. 
  • For D7/A10/JP/SP - Talk to your coach and come up with a plan that will enable you to be successful. This plan may include training with another group while you are playing your other sport and/or training with another group when you return from that sport. Swimmers in these groups are must still meet the minimum practice attendance requirement (75%) while they are playing the other sport.
  • For all other groups - Talk to your coach and come up with a plan that will enable you to be successful.

What do I do if I am going out of town?

  • For SHP - Talk to your coach and come up with a plan to train while you are away. Your coach can get you set up with another team, help find you a pool and/or send you workouts while you are away. You are expected to train at least once a day while you are away.

  • For groups D7/A10/JP/SP -  Talk to your coach and come up with a plan to train while you are away. Your coach can get you set up with another team, help you find a pool, and/or send you workouts while you are away. While we do not expect you will swim everyday on your vacation we do expect that you will be in the water at least 3 times per week (either with a swim team or on your own).

  • For groups D6/A9/JA/SA - Talk to your coach and try to come up with a plan to train while you are away. While this is not a requirement, it is a good habit to get into so you can continue to move forward in the sport.

  • For groups I/N/D5/A8/JR/SR - Talk to your coach and let them know you are going out of town. If appropriate we can try to find another place for you to practice while you are away, however this is not a requirement.

What do I do if I get sick?

  • For all groups - DON’T COME TO PRACTICE. Stay home and get healthy. This is an instance where your absence will be excused. Stay in contact with your coach and let them know how you are doing. Don’t just disappear, but do stay home and get healthy.

What if I hate waking up early in the morning?

  • For Groups JP/SP/SHP - Nobody likes getting up early in the morning...probably including your coach. Unfortunately there is no way to avoid morning workouts. We need these workouts to get in the proper amount of volume and training for the week. These workouts will also prepare you to swim fast in morning sessions of meets and help you with prelim/final meets (which are nearly all the important meets for you going forward). If you are just starting morning workouts (in the Junior level) this is good practice for when you go to high school. During high school you are expected to attend morning practice. This is your opportunity to learn how to manage yourself so it isn’t a shock when you go to high school.

  • For all other groups - for the vast majority of time you will not have to worry about morning practices. You will only have morning practices on Saturdays and during the summer when school is out.

What happens if I don’t meet the practice expectation?

  • For SHP - This is the highest training group at NTA. Attendance at all workouts is required. Athletes must communicate all absences to the coaching staff and arrange for make-up workouts. Should an athlete consistently miss workouts, we will need to re-evaluate goals and placement. 

  • For groups D7/A10/JP/SP - Swimmers in these groups are required to attend 75% of practices. The first time an athlete is under 75% for a given month, the coach will send an email home informing parents and swimmers that they need to be at more practice. If an athlete is under 75% for two months in a row, they will be required to have a sit down meeting with the swimmer and parent to discuss a plan to attend more practice. If you are under 75% for a third consecutive month your training group will be adjusted to a group that better fits your commitment.

  • For groups D6/A9/JA/SA - It is recommended that you attend 60% of scheduled practice. Each month, the coaching staff will inform parents of athletes that are not meeting that recommendation. Coaches will work with athletes and parents to try to make a plan to get athletes to the recommended attendance percentage. If athletes are not meeting the recommendation they may be their training may be adjusted to a group that better fits their commitment.

  • For groups I/N/D5/A8/JR/SR - There are not attendance requirements for these groups, however it is recommended that they attend a minimum of 50% of practices to continue to develop in the sport.  

Meet Expectations

Should my child compete?

  • For all groups - YES! Unless told otherwise by your child’s coach, they should absolutely compete at every applicable meet. Competition is an important metric for us to measure improvement.

What do I do if I cannot make a meet?

  • For SHP - Talk with your coach. You are at the highest level of the team are you are expected to be at all meets. With that being said, we understand that things do come up. You need to be transparent and and communicate with your coach so they can come up with a plan to make you successful.

  • For D7/A10/JP/SP - Talk to your coach and let them know. You are expected to compete at every meet however we understand that there are circumstances that arise that make it impossible to attend some meets. Please just have open communication about this and work with your coach so they can come up with a plan to make sure you can continue to be successful.

  • For D6/A9/JA/SA - Talk to your coach and let them know. We highly recommend that swimmers in these groups attend all possible meets. With that being said, we know that things come up that make it impossible to be at some meets.

  • For D5/A8/JR/SR - Talk to your coach and let them know. We highly recommend that swimmers in these groups attend all possible meets. With that being said, we know that things come up that make it impossible to be at some meets.

How are relays decided?

  • At in-season meets, relays will be determined by athletes who are available and willing to swim. Coaches may create relays to set up lead-off splits, equalize racing across the team or try a new line-up...among other reasons.

  • At championship meets and travel trips, the fastest possible relay will be put up for optimal performance and highest scoring potential. Athletes refusing to participate in relays at championship meets will have their membership with the program suspended until further notice. In a travel trip situation, athletes will be removed from the team environment for the remainder of the trip.  

  • In all situations, relays are determined by the coaching staff and at their discretion.

Is my child required to swim on a relay?

  • For all groups - If your child earns a spot on a relay they are required to swim unless there is a compelling reason why they cannot. This is especially true for championship meets including: Regionals, Age Group State, Senior State, NCSA Junior Nationals and any USA Swimming National level meet.

Is my child required to swim at any particular meets?

  • For D7/A10/JP/SP/SHP - Swimmers in these groups are required to compete in all possible meets especially any championship meets qualified for including: Regionals, Age Group State, Senior State, NCSA Junior Nationals and any USA Swimming National level meet.

  • For all other groups - Swimmers are required to compete in all championship meets they are qualified for including: Regionals, Age Group State, Senior State, NCSA Junior Nationals and any USA Swimming National level meet.

What if I don’t like competing on Friday’s?

  • For all groups - Get used to it! Many high school events are held on Friday’s. If you don’t like competing on Friday’s you are going to have a rough high school swimming experience. Also, typically the longer events are held on Friday’s. These events are very important and cannot be avoided. It will only hurt your development.

What do I do if I don’t feel ready for a certain event?

  • For all groups - Talk to your coach. You will not be entered you in an event that you are not prepared to swim. With that being said, you are probably more prepared than you think you are. You can always do a practice swim during one of your workouts, just talk to your coach about setting that up. Trust your coach and trust your training. You are a lot stronger than you think you are!

Expectations of NTA Members

What are some of the expectations of my child?

  • Swimmers are expected to treat each other with respect. 

  • Swimmers are expected to respect all coaches. This includes that swimmers lead coach as well as any assistant or visiting coach during any team event (this includes practices, meets, team events, etc.)

  • Swimmers are expected to respect all volunteers with respect. This includes but is not limited to timers, officials, parent volunteers etc.

  • Swimmers are expected to respect the facilities.This includes cleaning up after practice, in the weight room and at meets.

  • Swimmers are expected to arrive to practice and meets on time.

  • Swimmers are expected to wear the correct suit at meets. Team suit for non championship meets and tech suit for championship meets (if applicable).

  • Swimmers are expected to wear proper clothing to practice. Anytime swimmers are doing dryland training, they MUST wear proper shoes, athletic attire and a team shirt.

What are some of the expectations of parents?

  • Be your child’s biggest fan

  • Praise/reward/react to their effort not their outcome. They will not always go best times, but they can always give their best effort.

  • Respect the drive home. Don’t try to critique your child on the drive home from a meet or practice. The best thing you can say is, “I love to watch you swim.”

  • Try to watch them swim as if you were a grandparent. Grandparents just love watching their grandkids. They don’t know all the details, they don’t know all the other kids, they are just excited about seeing their grandkids compete and have fun.

  • Communicate with the coaches when necessary to facilitate effective and compassionate coaching.

  • Wait 24 hours before sending an email to coach to express frustration to allow for proper reflection and compassionate communication.

  • Respect coaches personal time. Unless there is an emergency, coaches will not respond to emails when they are on deck (coaching), at night after practice, and on non-meet weekends.

What are some expectations of coaches?

  • Coaches will maintain a safe environment for all children.

  • Coaches will arrive to practice and meets on time.

  • Coaches will provide constructive criticism and appropriate accolades.

  • Coaches will be available for communication via email and at weekly office hours.

  • Coaches will provide regular communication with parents and athletes regarding meets, practice, and coaching philosophy.

  • Coaches will wait 24 hours before sending an email to a parent to express frustration to allow for proper reflection and compassionate communication. With the exception of emergencies or safe sport concerns.