New Swimmer Packet


Missoula Aquatic Club

New Swimmer Packet


Welcome to the Missoula Aquatic Club! We hope you and your swimmer(s) will find this experience to be a rich one, full of personal growth, accomplishment and fun. This packet will provide basic information to give you a better understanding of our team and the world of swimming.  For more detailed information please go to the MAC website at



Mission Statement

The mission of Missoula Aquatic Club is for swimmers of all ages and abilities to perform at their personal best in an environment that is educational, supportive and fun. Through our core values of teamwork, sportsmanship, health and wellness, integrity, and discipline, swimmers will develop skills to help them succeed in life.



Coaching Staff

Head Coach Jay Friend - Senior Squad, National Track

Age Group Head Coach Mike Turner - Gold Squad

Coach Morgan Zimmer - Senior Squad

Coach Andrew Jarrett - Silver Squad

Coach Shayna Albright - Bronze/Pre-bronze squad




MAC believes that the skills and conditioning obtained in competitive swimming are more rewarding if they are directed toward a specific purpose. This purpose is the swimmer’s individual goal. Goals can be in the form of:

1.   Times to achieve

2.   Techniques to master

3.   Punctuality

4.   Practicing more frequently

5.   Making friends

6.   Improving physical conditioning/general health




MAC divides its swimmers up among squads/ There are 4 main squads: bronze, silver, gold, and senior.  The squad in which a swimmer is placed is determined by maturity, age, and swimming experience.  There is also a national track, a sectional track, and senior track within the senior squad for swimmers who are training to qualify for national level swim meets, regional meets, and the state meet.  The pre-bronze squad is offered for new swimmers as a transition period from lessons to the bronze squad.  Often, swimmers in this group participate in an Arc 4 level lesson during the week, and swim with the team on a Friday or Saturday, a comfortable way to ease into a routine that would prepare the swimmer for the bronze squad.

More information about each squad can be found at the MAC website (Info/Training Groups)



Squad Parents

Squad parents serve as liaisons between the coaches and parents when coaches are not available to answer questions.  For answers to any questions you may have regarding practice schedules, meets, swim gear, volunteering service, or anything else, feel free to call or e-mail any of the following squad parents:


Senior/Gold Squad - Aubrey Remmers, [email protected]

Silver/Bronze Squad - Robyn Lewis, [email protected]




Move-ups of swimmers from squad to squad are done by the coach and only at certain times of the swimming season.  Often, age determines when a swimmer moves on to the next squad, but other factors also contribute to the timing in which a swimmer moves on, or not - factors such as peer grouping and readiness both physically and mentally.  Parents are given advanced notice by the coaches letting them know that their swimmer will be moving up.



Trial Period

There is a two-week free trial period for any new swimmer who is interested in joining the team.



Registering and Payment

In addition to team fees, upon joining the team, every swimmer needs to be a registered USA swimmer. As a registered USA swimmer, swimmer insurance is provided and swimmers can participate in daily practice and sanctioned swim meets. The fee is approximately $95 and is good from September through August. Registration can be completed on the MAC website. Payment must be made at the time of registration via credit card. All members are required to sign up for ACH automatic withdrawal or put a credit card on file that can be charged for monthly dues payment. Please be aware that there is a 5% fee assessed to families who choose to pay their monthly dues payments via credit card. There is no fee for automatic (ACH) withdrawal from families' bank accounts. For payment set-up, specific payment information can be found on the MAC website once you are logged into your account.  For new families joining the team, payment set-up can be done at the same time as registration via the MAC website.



Practice schedule

Practice schedules can be found at the MAC website (Info ⇒ Long Course or Short Course Practices)



Swim Meets

There are a number of swim meets during the year beginning in October and continuing through August.  Coaches encourage swimmers to participate in meets but they are not mandatory. Participating in meets is entirely voluntary, but MAC needs many swimmers to participate in meets to achieve TEAM success. Younger or newer swimmers who are apprehensive about participating in meets are encouraged to swim in the MAC meet held at the Griz pool in Missoula each November.  Other smaller meets are also a good introduction to how a meet works and coaches can recommend those as well.  All meets for the season are listed on the MAC website, with a link to Montana Swimming.

Often listed on the Montana Swimming site are possible discounts to hotels along with other helpful information when planning for out-of-town meets.   If you have questions about swim meets, please talk to your coach or squad parent.



Parent/ Family Involvement

Parents with swimmers entered in the 3 MAC hosted swim meets each year are required to volunteer at the meets.  As a non-profit organization, MAC depends on their parent volunteers as these meets require a tremendous amount of voluntary work. With everyone lending a hand, meets can be run smoothly and successfully. Money made from the meet goes back into the team for equipment, clinics, scholarships, and banquets.  MAC requires volunteer hours of a minimum of 2 hours per day per swimmer each day of the meet. To put on a two and a half (2 1/2) day swim meet it takes over 1500 volunteer hours.  Job sign-up will be posted through Team Unify a few weeks prior to a MAC hosted meet for helping with concessions, swim shop,  hospitality, announcer and various other jobs as well as donating items to hospitality and concessions.  Working at the meets is also a great way to meet other parents and learn more about the world of swimming.  Volunteer officials are greatly needed.  Training is as simple as a 2-hour evening meeting, and a recorded number of training hours accumulated at each swim meet while shadowing credentialed officials.  It’s a great way to be close to the action, lunches and refreshments are served for free to officials, and hotel and miles costs can be deducted when officiating at away meets.   



MAC Board of Directors

The MAC board meetings take place the first Tuesday of each month at 7 pm at the ZillaState offilces on 4th Street. Parents are welcome to come to meetings and encouraged to speak to the president about running for a seat on the board if interested. Board members and their e-mail address can be found on the MAC website.



Swim Gear

Swimsuits, caps, t-shirts, and other swimming products can be purchased through MAC. T-shirts and caps are usually available for purchase before and at meets. Coach Jay can help with apparel orders.


Some Swimming Lingo

Short course:  Competitive swimming in which one length is 25 yards (or, less common in the US, 25 meters).

Long course: Competitive swimming in which one length is 50 meters. 50-meter pools are also called "Olympic" pools. In USA Swimming, the winter season is short course, the summer season is long course

Heat sheet: A meet program which lists each event and the swimmers entered in that event. It will usually cost a few dollars to purchase a heat sheet.

Seed time: The time submitted when entering a meet; used to "rank" the swimmer when assigning the heat and lane for that event. In most cases, it is the swimmer’s best time. When a swimmer has not swum the event before, the coaches usually send in an estimated time, though you may see NT (No Time) on some heat sheets.

Timed Final: All entrants swim their event once and final placing is determined by time.

Prelims/Finals: A meet at which swimmers swim their events in the morning and then the top (the number varies) 6, 8, 12, or 16 swimmers come back later for championship finals.