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FAQs

How do I know which level to sign my swimmer up for?
During the first week of practice all swimmers will be evaluated by the coaches and placed in the appropriate group.

My swimmer is signed up for the Marlboro or Monroe-Woodbury location.  Can they practice in either pool?
Yes, as long as they do not exceed their maximum # of practices.

How often is my swimmer expected to attend practice?
As many as possible.  Remember, you get out of the sport, what you put into it. We understand that swimmers may have commitments to other sports and activities, but expect this to be communicated to your child’s coach.

What is the difference between Short Course and Long Course?
The short course season runs from September through the end of March.  Short course competitions are held in 25-yard pools.  The long course season runs from mid-April through the end of July.  Long course competitions are held in 50-meter pools.

I have some questions for my swimmer’s coach.  When can I speak to him/her?
The coaches are usually available 15 minutes before and after practice to answer any questions.  The coaches can all be reached via email also.  The email addresses are all listed on the website under the Coach's tab.

What equipment will my swimmer need?
Each swimmer is required to purchase and wear a team suit, cap, and T-shirt at all meets. (Team suits should not be worn during practice as they wear out).  Depending on their group, they may also need to purchase a kick board, fins, pull buoy and hand paddles.  How and when these can be purchased will be communicated at the beginning of the season.

What is USA Swimming?
As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 300,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events and education. Membership is comprised of swimmers from the Age-Group level to the Olympic Team; as well as coaches and volunteers.  USA Swimming is also responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic Games, and strives to serve the sport through its core objectives: Build the base, Promote the sport, Achieve competitive success. 

Which meets should my swimmer attend?
Our team attends many different kinds of meets. Some are for all groups, some just for specific groups and some require a qualifying time.  If you are unsure about which meets are right for your swimmer, check with their coach.

How do I sign my swimmer up for a meet?
You will receive an email with instructions once a meet sign-up is available. Pay close attention to the cut-off date. After this date, entries cannot be modified! If you miss it, your child will not be able to swim in that meet.  If a child is signed up for a meet and does not attend, meet fees will still be assessed.

What can I expect at a swim meet?
1) Arrive to meet on time

Report time is 15 minutes before scheduled warm-up starts; unless a Coach states otherwise.  A late arrival may result in being scratched from the meet.  If you have run into a problem and are going to be late, please call your coach right away.

2) Check in with your Coach
One of your Coaches will be located on the pool deck.  Some pool decks are very big and swimmers may have to walk to the opposite side of the pool in order to find their Coach's and Team area.  CHECKING IN IS VERY IMPORTANT: your child will be scratched from the meet if they are not checked in on time.

3) Find the Coach to warm-up
Look for the Team area on the pool deck. This may take a few minutes, especially if you have arrived before other families. Team areas are not marked; they are very informal.  MWDA will warm-up as a team and the Coaches have a specific warm-up schedule and routine that they follow.  Warm-up is a very important part of race preparation; both physically and mentally.  Therefore, it is vital that your swimmer is present and ready to get in the water.  Be there on time!  Failure to arrive on time may result in your child being removed from the meet.

4) Knowing your heat and lane: how it works
Meet programs are available for purchase at all US Swim Meets; however, these ARE NOT heat and lane assignments.  Programs contain only a list of the events with the swimmers entered according to their seeded time.  Heat and lane assignments are posted on the pool deck prior to each event.  All meets are organized first by event; then by heat and lane.  The Coaches ARE responsible for giving out heat/lane information to each swimmer.  Coaches ARE NOT responsible for telling heat/lane information to parents. 

5) Check in with the Coach before and after your race
Swimmers should to talk to their Coach both before their swim (to talk about race strategy, last minute concerns, and general advice and encouragement) and after their swim (to review the race).

6) What to do during the meet
Pay attention to what race (age group, distance, event number) is in the water.  It is the swimmer's responsibility (Coaches will assist younger swimmers) to be ready and behind the block before their race. Please do not ask the Coaches what event is in the water!  This is their time to Coach.  Swimmers must stay well hydrated.  Athletes need to make sure there is sufficient time between eating and events.  We recommend healthy foods and snacks.

7) What to bring
Food: there is usually a snack bar at the pool, but we suggest you bring your own food as well.  Healthy snacks are best; for example: fruit, nuts, sandwiches, energy bars are ok.  And don't forget lots of water.
Clothes: bring warm clothes to put on over the suit between races and a change of clothes for after the meet.
Swim gear: team cap, extra caps (yours might break!), goggles (an extra pair in case you misplace yours), and extra towels.  WEAR your swimsuit to the meet!

8) Lap counting
During the longer distance events, the swimmer may be asked to provide someone to count laps for them.  Ask the Coach if you can help with this responsibility for another swimmer.

9) When can I leave?
Swimmers may leave after they have completed all of their events.  Please have your swimmer check with their Coach prior to leaving to be sure he/she is not on a relay team at the end of the meet.

My swimmer got DQ’ed. What does this mean?
For all swim strokes, there are technical things that legally can and can’t be done.  If an official notices that a child is doing something illegal for that stroke, they can get disqualified or DQ’ed.  The coach will find out exactly what the swimmer did wrong so they can work on it for the next time.

When will my swimmer move-up to the next group?
Whether or not a swimmer is ready to move up to the next group is at the coach's discretion.  Moving up a level is based on several factors; including (but not limited to): age, skill level, maturity, attendance, swim meet participation, and commitment level.  If you have questions regarding your swimmer's practice group, please contact your swimmer's coach.  They will be happy to discuss your swimmer's progress and the move-up goals and requirements.

How can I become a meet official?
We are always looking for additional officials!  Please contact our board president, Valerie Perillo, for more information.

How can I be a better swim parent?

How to be a Better Swimming Parent
(from an article by coach Michael Brooks NBAC, ASCA News letter)

You are the key to your child's swimming.

A parent's attitude toward swimming, the program, the coach, and his child's participation, is key towards the child's success.  The young swimmer takes cues from his parent.  If the parent shows by word, fact or expression that he does not value swimming, that he doesn't appreciate having to drive to practice or sit in the stands during meets, that "it's not going to matter" if a child skips practice, that morning practices are "optional", and that the child would be better off with extra sleep, then the chances are very high that the child will lack commitment, have little success, and then lose interest in swimming.  Support your child's interest in swimming by being positively interested.

Allow your swimmer to be resilient.

Failure isn't such an evil thing that parents should try to shield their kids from it.  Allow them to fail; then teach them to get up and try harder to succeed the next time.  If parents are continually sheltering their children, cushioning every fall, making excuses for them, and finding someone else to blame, the children never learn anything.  Even worse, they never learn that they are responsible both for their failures and for their successes. Just allow them to stand on their own.

Teach them to dream big.

If you try to temper your children's dreams, and teach them to settle for ordinary, you may save them from many headaches and failures.  But you also prevent them to achieve great things.  Winning big, means failing many times along the way.  Each failure hurts; but these temporary setbacks create the strength for the final push. Instead of having children avoid failure, teach them how to think correctly about failing.  Risk-taking and failure are necessary for improvement, development, motivation, and long term success.

What success is.

It is expected that every parent wants his child to succeed; wants his child to have a good, learning, and valuable experience with swimming.  Every child can succeed; just make sure you define success correctly.  Success means being the best you can be while striving for improvement in every aspect of swimming.