Team Handbook
East Carolina Aquatics is a not-for-profit organization which strives to serve eastern North Carolina by building quality individuals through the team sport of swimming.


Our Program

Welcome to East Carolina Aquatics! We look forward to working with your swimmer(s). Our team is a year-round, competitive swimming team offering instruction, training and competition to people of all ages and abilities. The team is financed and supported by ECA parents. With the support of the Board of Directors, the head coach/CEO, general manager and coaching staff supervise and operate ECA.
ECA has established itself as one of the top teams in North Carolina. The team competes in local, regional, national and international competitions sanctioned by USA Swimming, Inc., the national governing body for amateur swimming in this country, and by FINA, the international governing body for swimming.
This handbook covers all facets of the ECA program and competitive swimming in general. You will be introduced to our philosophy, team policies, and to the basic information concerning your day-to-day participation in the ECA swimming program. It is our hope that this handbook will help you better understand and enjoy the inner workings of ECA and the world of competitive swimming.

 

Team Philosophy

ECA views swimming as an important part of the overall development of a young boy or girl. Besides the obvious benefit of physical conditioning, swimming requires introspection, reasoning and problem solving under duress. The sport fosters confidence-building through progress in competition; it allows for social growth through peer interactions. Swimming also teaches its athletes that winning and losing must be accepted equally with both grace and composure.
The ECA program strives to instill in swimmers an understanding of and appreciation for the following concepts: high self-esteem, personal accountability, constructive self-motivation, goal-setting and goal achievement. It is our belief that the process of achieving is as significant as realizing the achievement itself. At each level of the ECA program, swimmers are instructed to strive for excellence. Excellence in this sense represents the achievement of that level at which each swimmer knows that they have done their utmost to become the best they are capable of becoming. This philosophy is consistent throughout the program in every swimmer, novice through Olympian. We want every swimmer to swim to the best of their own ability and seek the opportunity to attain the level of excellence to which their desire and ability will move them. We believe swimmers and their parents alike should enjoy swimming and remember it as a positive experience.

 ong Range Objectives

Personal and Physical Development

To provide an opportunity for young people in eastern North Carolina to engage in a wholesome, life saving, lifetime sport and recreational activity.
  • To promote physical fitness and encourage proper conditioning and health habits.
  • To provide opportunities for healthy social, emotional, and educational development, and to encourage peer and family participation.
  • To foster the development of high self-esteem and help cultivate positive self-images.

Competitive Development

  • To create an environment in which the desire for self-improvement and goal achievement motivates the individual to fully develop their natural abilities and help others to do likewise.
  • To provide opportunities to learn the values of hard work, dedication, self-discipline, and perseverance.
  • To promote the ideals of honesty, integrity, good sportsmanship, and team loyalty.
  • To provide quality instruction, training, and competition at all peer and ability levels.
Community Involvement
  • To cultivate the support of community-oriented individuals, corporations and foundations to help fund programs and improve facilities.
State, Regional, and National Administration
  • Participate in the direction and management of North Carolina Swimming and to further the growth and development of competitive swimming in the state.
  • Provide leadership in the southeastern region of the U.S. to allow the area to continue to be one of the national centers of competitive swimming.
  • Participate in the administration of USA Swimming, Inc., to represent the interests of North Carolina and the southeastern region and to establish ECA as a contributor to the national program.

Our Coaching Staff

 

Nothing has a greater influence on the quality of an athlete's sport than the excellence of the coach. The ECA staff consists of professionally trained and certified coaches in USA Swimming who are experienced in the physiology and psychology of adolescent development. Our coaching staff ensures that the time your children spend in swimming will be quality time. Please review the website for full contact information and bios for ECA’s coaching staff.
Coaches’ Responsibilities
The ECA coaching staff is dedicated to providing a program that will enable all swimmers to learn the value of striving to improve oneself -- "to be the best you can be." Therefore, the coaches must be in total control in matters affecting training and competition.
  • The coaches are responsible for placing swimmers in practice groups. This is based on the age and ability level of each individual. When it is in the best interest of a swimmer, he/she will be placed in a more challenging training group by their coach and in accordance with ECA group progression.
  • Sole responsibility for stroke instruction and the training regimen rests with the ECA coaching staff. Each group’s practices are based on sound scientific principles and are geared to the specific goals of that group.
  • The coaching staff will make the final decision concerning which meets ECA swimmers may attend. The coaching staff also makes the final decision concerning which events a swimmer enters in meets.
  • At meets, the coaching staff will conduct and supervise warm-up procedures for the team. After each race, the coaches will offer constructive criticism regarding the swimmer’s performance. (It is the parent's job to offer love and understanding regardless of their swimmer's performance).
  • The building of a relay team is the sole responsibility of the coaching staff.
  • During practices and meets, each coach has a responsibility to constantly be aware of the swimmers’ safety and well-being.
  • Each coach has a responsibility to be a positive role model for the swimmers.
  • Each coach has a responsibility to be a technical expert on the sport of swimming.
  • Each coach has a responsibility to help construct a vision for the athlete of what is possible in the sport of swimming and the path each swimmer will need to follow to achieve that goal.
The coaching staff is constantly updating and improving the ECA program. It is the swimmers’ and parents' responsibility to make the most of the excellent opportunity this program provides for success in swimming.
 

ECA Swimmer Requirements & Expectations 

SWIMMER BILL OF RIGHTS
Swimmers have a right to:
  • Be treated with respect and free of verbal or physical abuse from a coach or another swimmer.
  • Expect that his or her coach, after being made aware of a limiting physical condition, will not ask the swimmer to perform or train in a manner that the coach knows will be harmful to the swimmer.
  • Expect that all practices, both in and out of the water, will be conducted in a safe manner so that the swimmer will not be exposed to unnecessary risk.
  • Know that his or her coach cares about them as a person/individual as well as an athlete.
  • Be positively encouraged to do better, to be congratulated on a good performance, and to be criticized constructively when improvement is needed and attainable.
  • Expect practice to be challenging and that, overall, competition is a rewarding endeavor
  • Set his or her own swimming goals with his or her coach, and the ability to change these goals as circumstances arise.

SWIMMER Code of Conduct
ECA’s Swimmer Code of Conduct ensures every member of the East Carolina Aquatics team represents the team and themselves in a positive manner. The following Code is in effect throughout the year.
 
  1. ECA team members exhibit good sportsmanship at all times. ECA team members win gracefully, lose graciously and congratulate their opponents in either case.
  2. ECA athletes are respectful of their peers, coaches, officials, parents and facilities at all times.
  3. ECA team members do not illegally consume or purchase alcohol, smoking or chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes or use of any other illegal drug or USOC banned substance of any kind. In addition, any team member found to be in the presence of others (regardless of team affiliation) participating in any of the above illegal activities will be subject to the same punishments and potential expulsion from.
  4. The use of audio or visual recording, including a cell phone camera, is not allowed in changing areas, restrooms or locker rooms at any time.  ECA’s disciplinary procedures will apply to any team member violating the Swimmer Code of Conduct.
All disciplinary decisions by a coach or the board of directors are final and cannot be appealed. 
 
SWIMMER Training Responsibilities
As a swimmer's level of swimming ability increases so does his/her responsibility. The program is designed to encourage all swimmers to be Senior Swimming bound. As swimmers improve this is a deep commitment that requires great effort on all parts. A swimmer has responsibilities to the team, the coach, his/her parents, and most importantly to themselves. Swimmers need to prepare themselves for a 100% effort every time they come to practice.
Swimmers have the following responsibilities:
  • To treat his or her coach with respect at all times and to use proper channels to address any problems or complaints.
  • To adhere to the coach’s rules governing training sessions and to focus on the training program.
  • To take his or her commitment to swimming seriously at whatever his or her training level may be.
  • To support the ECA team, fellow swimmers, and his or her coach by encouragement and attendance at practice and meets.
  • To make the minimum number of training sessions set by the coach and strive for the recommended attendance percentage.
  • To train and race as hard as he or she can.
  • To arrive 10 minutes before scheduled practice begins and should be picked up within five minutes of the completion of practice.
  • To understand that the use of audio or visual recording devices, including a cell phone camera, is not allowed in changing areas
  • To conduct themselves as good representatives of ECA at all meets and team functions.
  • Must wear shirts and shorts when exiting  all facilities
  • Must wear shorts and shoes when partaking in dryland activities
 
Swimmers will be required to bring specified training accessories (i.e., goggles, flippers, etc.) to workouts. It is the swimmer's responsibility to make sure these items are properly adjusted and that spares are readily available. Equipment adjustment and repair will not be accepted as excuse to miss part of a training session.
Unruly or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Swimmers disrupting practice may be removed from practice at the coach’s’ discretion.

 

Practice Attendance Policies

The following guidelines are to inform parents and swimmers of the coaches’ policies regarding practice. These policies are designed to provide the best possible practice environment for all.
  • Each training group has specific attendance requirements appropriate for the objectives of that group. As a general rule, the least possible interruption in the training schedule will produce the greatest amount of success. The expectation level of the coaches’ that each swimmer attends practices increases as swimmers move to higher groups.
  • For the safety and protection of the swimmers they should arrive at the pool no more than 10 minutes before the start of practice and be picked up immediately after practice. It is imperative that the swimmers arrive on time so that the coaching staff can efficiently use the allotted time.  However, it is also extremely important that children not be left unsupervised at the pool prior to or after practice. The coaching staff is NOT responsible for supervising athletes either prior to or following a practice session.
  • Each swimmer should plan to stay the entire practice as each practice is designed to be most beneficial when completed in its entirety and coaches often make announcements at the end of practice. In the event that your child needs to be dismissed early from practice, please notify the coach prior to the beginning of practice.
  • All practice groups are expected to be at their designated starting place with their practice equipment ready to start practice on time.
  • Swimmers must notify their coach if they leave the pool and/or pool deck at any time during the practice.
  • Occasionally some or most of a practice group may be at a meet, in which case your swimmer will be notified of a practice change or cancellation. Such notice will be provided through email or posted on the ECA Website.
  • Swimmers and parents are discouraged from disrupting the coach or other swimmers with unnecessary communication, unless there is an emergency.
  • It is of the utmost importance that ALL swimmers and parents remember that we are guests at every pool we attend.  Therefore, it is imperative that we treat each facility with respect.

PRACTICE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR SWIMMER AND FAMILIES

  • Swimmers are expected to support their teammates at practice as well as in competition. Working together as a team benefits all individuals in the group and is an important part of the ECA. Swimmers are encouraged always to be positive at practice.
  • Swimmers are expected to follow the instructions of the coaching staff at all times.
  • Abusive language, lying, stealing, and/or vandalism will not be tolerated. These behaviors are directly contrary to the objective of East Carolina Aquatics and may warrant strict disciplinary actions, up to and including expulsion from the team.
  • Swimmers may leave practice early only with the coaches' permission.
  • Swimmers are not permitted in any part of the ECU hallways (save the lobby leading into the pool) unless a member of the coaching staff is present or the swimmer is accompanied by a responsible adult.
  • During workouts, the pool deck is for coaches and swimmers. If you need to speak with the coaches, please call or email them at least two hours before practice.
  • Parents are responsible for a swimmer's behavior before and after workouts. This includes carpool members as well.
  • Any individual not registered with USA Swimming, Inc. through ECA is not permitted in the pool at any time or on pool deck.
  • Any siblings or guests must have adult supervision at ALL times.
Illness and Injury
  • Whenever possible, the coach should be informed in advance of an illness or injury, regardless of how serious or trivial it may be. 
  • If your swimmer will be out of the water over a long period of time with an injury or illness, please notify your swimmer’s coach by phone or email.

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ECA Parent’s Role

Your kid’s success or lack of success in sports does not indicate what kind of parent you are… But having an athlete that is coachable, respectful, a great teammate, mentally tough, resilient and who tries their best is a direct reflection of your parenting.
A successful swimming program requires understanding and cooperation among the coaches, swimmers, and parents. This relationship can be critical to your child’s successful development on the team. The coaching staff understands your commitment to your child. Many of the coaches are also mothers and fathers. The coaches understand that you will always be looking out for your child’s best interests. While the coaches are also committed to ensuring that your child’s best interests are served, their responsibility is to serve each athlete on the team. Your perspective and the coaches’ perspective may differ when it comes to your child’s development. Patience, understanding, and most importantly, communication are the cornerstones of this relationship.
With this in mind, please review and consider the following guidelines:
1. Individuals learn at different rates and in different ways. Some athletes will quickly pick up a skill while others may require more time to learn the same skill. Please be patient with your child and his/her development. Direct any questions to the coach.
2. Progress is rarely immediate. New team members will always go through a period of adaptation, no matter their age, that may impede immediate progress. This could be caused by greater training demands, a stronger emphasis on technique, or simply nerves. Patience, trust, and communication among coaches, swimmers, and parents will help any struggling swimmer through such a period.
3. Plateaus can occur at one time or another in every swimmer's career. Plateaus can be both in competition and training. A plateau signifies the swimmer has mastered lower-order skills, but they are not yet sufficiently automatic to leave the attention free to attack newer, higher-order skills. It is important to explain to the athlete that plateaus occur in all fields of physical learning. The more successful athletes are those who work through this momentary delay in improvement and go on to achieve greater performance to approach their personal potential.
4. Swimmers ten years and younger are the most inconsistent swimmers. This can be frustrating for parents, coaches, and swimmers alike! We must be patient and permit these youngsters to learn to love the sport.
5. Parents must realize that slow development of the competitive drive at an early age is normal and perhaps more desirable than precocious or forced early development. It is important that everyone learn to compete and develop some competitive spirit. It is also important for children to learn to adapt to reasonable levels of emotional stress. The small disappointments we must learn to handle as youngsters prepare us for the larger ones we are certain to experience as adults.
6. It is the coaches' job to offer constructive criticism of a swimmer's performance. It is the parents' job to supply love, recognition, and encouragement necessary to help the young athlete feel good about him or herself.
7. Parents’ attitudes often dictate those of their children. A child might not be consciously aware of what is taking place while subconsciously absorbing powerful messages about his/her parents' desires. For example, be enthusiastic about taking your child to practice and meets, fund-raising projects, meetings, etc. – don’t look at these functions as chores.
8. If you have any questions about your child's training or team policies, contact the coach. Criticizing the coach in front of the child undermines the coach's authority and breaks the swimmer-coach support that is necessary for maximum success.
9. No parent should behave in such a way as to bring discredit to the child, the team, or competitive swimming. Any disagreement with a meet official should be brought to the attention of the coach and handled by the coach.
10. Children should swim because he/she wants to. It is natural to resist anything they “have to do.” Self-motivation is the stimulus of all successful swimmers.
11. The etymology of the word ''competition'' goes back to two Latin words: ''com'' and ''pet ere,'' which means “together to strive.” Avoid ''playing'' your child against his nearest competitor, thereby creating friction within the team and swimming community. Close competition provides two great services for the athlete: it brings out the best in him/her and shows where improvement is needed.
12. The communication between coach and swimmer is very important. A two-way relationship must exist daily at practice. It is imperative that the coach has the swimmer’s full attention at these times. 
Please leave all coaching to the coaching staff. If you have questions about technique or coaching strategies, we encourage you to arrange a time (NOT during practice) to speak to your child’s coach.
Remember, particularly in the case of younger swimmers, that attitude and behavior of the parents in regard to their outlook on the sport has an important effect on the child. 
In swimming, as in life, nobody can “win” or succeed all the time – there will always be some disappointments. Every child can gain from his experience, whether or not he/she ever wins a single race. The important thing is to keep on striving to do better next time.

Guide to being a great swim parent

  1. The first is to remind your child that you love them, no matter how they perform either at practice or at a meet.
    1. Support your child’s goals by first allowing them to make goals of their own in consultation with their coach.
    2. Remember that this is your son’s or daughter’s childhood and not your own: Recognize their dreams and support their ambitions, but don’t create them for the child.
    3. Make sure that your child is having “fun!” If this isn’t fun, then why do it? If they are not having fun, find out why or ask the coach to find out why.
    4. Do not let your child’s performance affect your attitude towards them. If your child swims poorly it will not make them feel better to see disappointment in their parents. Before they race encourage them to have fun and after they race tell them you love them. Simple words can have a drastic impact on a child’s outlook.
    5. Do not pay your child or provide material rewards for swimming well. Children must learn that doing a thing well is worthwhile in its own right. Through swimming they should earn respect because of their commitment and not money for their accomplishments.
    6. Understand that swimming can be daunting, especially to new swimmers or younger swimmers. A fifty meter pool looks awfully long to an eight year old! If your child is afraid to swim an event remind them that the coach would only suggest it or enter them in it because they believe in your child.
  2. It is imperative that your swimmer believe you support the coach, even when you disagree with him/her.
    1. ​Disagreements are natural and when they exist everyone wants resolution, but there is a time and a place to discuss disagreements. The pool deck is not the place to argue or confront the coach about any disagreement. All coaches are available away from the pool deck and will respond to either email or telephone calls.
    2. During practice a coach’s attention must be focused on the group. If you wish to meet in person with your child’s coach please schedule a time to do so; do not arrive at practice assuming that either the coach will be available to meet with you or that it is the appropriate time and place to meet.
    3. Support the coach by understanding they do have a life outside of the pool. This sport requires long hours of work. Respect the coach’s desire to go home to his/her family after practice.
  3. Support the team at practice, at away meets, and at home.
    1. ​Supporting the team means everything from making sure your child wears team apparel at meets to volunteering your own time at any of our home meets. Do not leave it to others to do this work. Our team extends beyond the coaches and swimmers and we need everyone’s involvement to be successful.
    2. Supporting the team also means being a positive influence at any meet from the sidelines. There are often instances where parents from opposing teams do not get along, which only creates more tension for the child. We want each swimmer to be a good sport, which means we need our parents to be good sports.
    3. In order to support the team one must be an active member, beyond just dropping your child off before practice and picking them up afterwards.
      1. Attend parent meetings.
      2. Volunteer at meets
      3. Become an official.
      4. Make donations for meets.
      5. Pay all bills promptly and in full.
  4. Be punctual for practices and meets and plan for your child to spend the entire practice at the pool. It is disruptive to have a child arrive late or leave early. It also diminishes the value of teaching a child the concept of commitment.
  5. Do not coach from the sidelines or stands
    1. ​Leave the racing strategies to the coach.
    2. Allow the coach to discuss technical issues with the swimmer and do not second-guess them either with or in front of your child. If you have questions please discuss it with the coach.
    3. Do not compare your child to anyone else on the team. Your child is unique, wonderful, and full of potential. Remember that everyone achieves potential in different ways and at different times.
    4. Don’t time your child from the stands. There are enough timing devices around at meets and at practice. When a parent times from the stands it simply adds pressure on the child.
    5. Do not criticize officials. Most times officials are parents just like you, committed to their children and committed to their sport.
  6. Winning is NOT everything. The most important things a child can do in a race are:
    1. ​Have fun!
    2. Try to employ the coach’s technical instructions and racing strategy.
    3. Give their best effort and RACE!
    4. Congratulate the other competitors no matter what the outcome.
    5. Encourage healthy eating. Make smart eating decisions for your child and for yourself. Your children will emulate the people they respect and love most, their parents. Allow their desire to swim to make a positive influence on your own life and health by using it as another reason to make good eating decisions.

 

The Ten Commandments for Parents of Athletic Children

 Reprinted from The Young Athlete by Bill Burgess included in “The Swim Parents Newsletter”
I. Make sure your child knows that - win or lose, scared or heroic – you love him/her, appreciate their efforts, and are not disappointed in them. This will allow them to do their best without a fear of failure. Be the person in their life they can look to for constant positive reinforcement.
II. Try your best to be completely honest about your child’s athletic ability, his/hers competitive attitude, their sportsmanship, and their actual skill level.
III. Be helpful, but don’t coach him/her on the way to the pool or on the way back, or at breakfast, and so on. It’s tough not to, but it’s a lot tougher for the child to be inundated with advice, pep talks and often critical instruction.
IV. Teach them to enjoy the thrill of competition, to be “out there trying,” to be working to improve his/her swimming skills and attitudes. Help him/her to develop the feel for competing, for trying hard, for having fun.
V. Try not to relive your athletic life through your child in a way that creates pressure; you lost as well as won. You were frightened, you backed off at times, and you were not always heroic. Don’t pressure your child because of your pride. Athletic children need their parents so you must not withdraw. Just remember there is a thinking, feeling, sensitive free spirit out there in that uniform who needs a lot of understanding, especially when his world turns bad. If he/she is comfortable with you – win or lose – he/she is on their way to maximum achievement and enjoyment.
VI. Don’t compete with the coach. If the coach becomes an authority figure, it will run from enchantment to disenchantment, etc., with your athlete.
VII. Don’t compare the skill, courage, or attitudes of your child with other members of the team, at least within his/her hearing.
VIII. Get to know the coach so that you can be assured that his/her philosophy; attitudes, ethics, and knowledge are such that you are happy to have your child under his/her leadership.
IX. Always remember that children tend to exaggerate, both when praised and when criticized. Temper your reaction and investigate before over-reacting.
X. Make a point of understanding courage, and the fact that it is relative. Some of us can climb mountains, and are afraid to fight. Some of us will fight, but turn to jelly if a bee approaches. Everyone is frightened in certain areas. Explain that courage is not the absence of fear, but a means of doing something in spite of fear of discomfort.

Parents Code of Conduct

ECA’s Parent Code of Conduct ensures we create a supportive environment for our swimmers and coaches so every athlete can achieve their full potential.
 
1.       ECA parents, through their actions and conduct, will exhibit good sportsmanship and encourage their children to do the same at all times. ECA parents will serve as positive role models for their children and teammates.
2.      ECA parents will respect and cooperate with coaches, team members, opponents, spectators, and officials at all times.
3.      ECA parents respect the integrity of swim officials by assuming decisions are based on honest, objective evaluations of performance. Only coaches may approach meet officials.
4.     ECA parents recognize ECA coaches are professionals and allow them to coach without interference. ECA parents leave coaching to the coaches and respect all coaching decisions such as practice group assignments, meet entries, training focus, etc.
5.      ECA parents with a concern related to any coach, or official, swimmer or swim parent within ECA, should discuss the concern with the athlete’s coach privately and in a professional manner. If the matter is not resolved, the issue will be brought to the attention of the Head Age Group Coach or the Head Coach. If the response is unsatisfactory, an ECA parent must submit a formal written, signed and dated statement to the ECA Board Chair. The Board chair is authorized to create a panel of 3 Board members who, in their discretion, will review the matter and make a decision that is final and cannot be appealed.
6.     ECA parents cannot access locker rooms in use by athletes. In addition, the use of audio or visual recording, including a cell phone camera, is not allowed in changing areas, restrooms or locker rooms at any time.
7.      ECA parents will not consume alcohol, tobacco products or illegal drugs and will comply with all facility guidelines at events that ECA attends.
 
Any violation of this code will be brought to the attention of the Board of Directors, which will issue the appropriate response. This response could include one or more of the following: verbal or written reprimand, probation, or temporary/permanent suspension. 
 

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Swim Meets

Expectations
Swim meets are a great family experience! They're a place where the whole family can spend time together. Listed below are some very in-depth guidelines geared to help you through your first couple of swim meets. It may seem a little overwhelming, but we tried to be as specific and as detailed as we possibly could.
Competitive swim meets are chosen to foster the growth of each swimmer in each group.  Meet schedules vary by level, but do contain overlap meets between groups, meaning that sometimes different groups may be at different meets on the same weekend or different groups may be at the same meet on the same weekend.  Generally, meets are held on Saturdays and Sundays. Championship meets are usually Thursday-Sunday. The cost of each meet varies because of host meet fees, but, generally ranges from $35-$75 per meet.
The more meets your son or daughter attends the better swimmer s/he will become.  Swim meets give coaches an idea of where your swimmer is and what the coach needs to do to help your swimmer get better.
Meets are carefully selected for each group thus all meets on the schedule should be attended.  Please see your swimmer’s individual coach if you will not be able to attend any scheduled swim meet.
 
  1. Arrive at the pool at least 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time begins. This time will be listed in the Meet Announcement and emailed to you by the coach.
  2. Upon arrival, find a place to put your swimmer's blankets, swim bags and/or sleeping bags. The team usually sits in one place together, so look for some familiar faces.
  3. Once "checked in" with Coach, write each event-number on your swimmer's hand, arm, or thigh in ink. This helps him/her remember what events he/she is swimming and what event number to listen for.      
  4. Your swimmer now gets his/her cap and goggles and reports to the pool and/or coach for warm-up instructions. It is very important for all swimmers to warm-up with the team. Swimmer's bodies are just like cars on a cold day-he/she needs to get the engine going and warmed-up before he/she can go all out.        
  5. After warm-up, your swimmer will go back to the team area where his/her towels are and sit there until the next event is called. This is a good time to make sure he/she goes to the bathroom if necessary, gets a drink, or just gets settled in.
  6. The meet will usually start about 10-15 minutes after warm-ups are over.       
  7. According to USA Swimming Inc. rules (because of insurance purposes), parents are not allowed on deck unless they are serving in an official capacity. Similarly, all questions concerning meet results, an officiating call, or the conduct of a meet, should be referred to the coaching staff. They, in turn, will pursue the matter through the proper channels.    
  8. Heat Sheets. A heat sheet is usually available for sale in the lobby or concession area of the pool. Heat sheets generally sell for 2-5 dollars per day. It lists all swimmers in each event in order of "seed time". When the team entry is sent in, each swimmer and his/her previous best time in that event is listed. If the swimmer is swimming an event for the first time, he/she will be entered as a "no-time" or "NT". A "no-time" swimmer will most likely swim in one of the first heats of the event.

 

Meet Starts

  • It is important for any swimmer to know what event numbers he/she is swimming (again, why they should have the numbers on their hand). He/she may swim right away after warm-up or they may have to wait awhile.
  • A swimmer's event number will be called, usually over the loudspeaker, and he/she will be asked to report to the area behind the starting blocks. Swimmers should report with his/her cap and goggle. Generally, girls’ events are odd-numbered and boys’ events are even-numbered.        
  • The announcer or referee will signal the swimmers to get on the starting block with a series of whistles. The Starter will then ask the swimmers to “take their mark” and a buzzer will sound when to take off. You can expect at least 4-8 heats of each event.
  • The swimmer swims their race.
    • After each swim:
      •  He/she is to ask the timers (people behind the blocks at each lane) his/her time.                       
      • He/she should go immediately to their coach. The coach will ask him/her their time and discuss the swim with each swimmer.
    • Generally, the coach follows these guidelines when discussing swims: 
      • Positive comments or praise                            
      • Suggestions for improvement
Things you, as a parent, can do after each swim if they visit you:                    
  • Tell him/her how great they did! The coaching staff will be sure to discuss stroke technique with them.  You need to tell him/her how proud you are and what a great job he/she did.               
  • Recommend they go back to sit with the team and relax.                     
  • This is another good time to revisit the bathrooms, get a drink or something light to eat.                     
  • The swimmer now waits until his/her next event is called and starts the procedure again.
When a swimmer has completed all of his/her events he/she and their parents get to go home. Make sure, however, you, as a parent, check with the coach before leaving to make sure your swimmer is not included on a relay. It is not fair to other swimmers who may have stayed to swim on a relay where your swimmer is expected to be a member and he/she is not there.

What Happens If Your Child Has a Disappointing Swim?
  • If your child has a poor race and comes out of it feeling bad, talk about the good things. The first thing you say is, "Hey that is not like you. You're usually a top swimmer." Then you can go on and talk about the good things the child did. You never talk about the negative things.

  • If your child comes up to you and says, "That was a bad race, don't tell me it wasn't," there is nothing wrong with a swimmer negatively evaluating a race. The important thing is for the child not to dwell on it. You should move the swimmer on to something good. "All right, you have had a bad race. How do you think you can do better next time?" Immediately start talking about the positive things.


THINGS TO BRING TO MEETS
What to Take To the Meet?
  1. Most important: Appropriate Swimsuit and ECA cap, and goggles.

  2. Towels-Realize your swimmer will be there awhile, so pack at least two.

  3. Something to sit on. Example: sleeping bag, old blanket, or anything that will be comfortable to sit on. The swimmers will be spending a lot of time on it.

  4. Team shirts/sweatshirts/warm ups: Swimmers and their clothes get very wet and soggy. Even if it is warm out be prepared with dry clothes.

  5. Games: travel games, coloring books, books, anything to pass the time.

  6. Food: bring a small cooler. It is better to bring snacks. They usually have snack bars at the meet, but the lines are long and most of the time they only sell junk food.

Once you have attended one or two meets this will all become very routine to you and your swimmer. Please do not hesitate to ask any other ECA parent for help or information! 
These meets are a lot of fun for the swimmers! He/she gets to visit with his/her friends, play games, and meet kids from other teams. He/she also gets to "race" and see how much he/she has improved from all the hard work he/she has put in at practice.

 

Meet Registration Procedures
Meet registration is handled online through our website.  In most cases, parents will have the opportunity to choose events for their swimmers during registration; however, the coaches have the final say in determining event selections.  Changes may be made based on either the individual or group progression and goals.  
Registration for the meet is a commitment to pay for the meet.  Once committed to attend, you are agreeing to pay for the meet. Billing will occur after the registration closing date.
Due dates are usually set 2 to 4 weeks before the meet start date.  Late entries may be accepted but are not guaranteed. There is a $10 fee for late registrations.  Please meet all due dates.  
Current schedules, meet information, directions to pools, due dates, entries, results, fees, and meet eligibility requirements can be found on the website.  

Competition Suits

Swimmers are required to wear specific team suits for competitions. Suits can be ordered through the website once logged in by using the Store link. Technical racing suits may be ordered for swimmers qualified for state, sectional or national championship level meets and may only be used at these meets unless specifically stated by coaches.  

Communication

Email

Email is our first line of communication.  We send group specific and team wide emails many times throughout the week.  It is vital you read the contents of each email. Most questions are answered by reading the details.  ECA sends emails to up to 4 emails addresses for each account. 
Website
The website is constantly updated with tons of information.  You will find meet information, team records, pictures, news updates, educational materials, and much more.  Please check the website often, if not daily.  
Meetings
Parent meetings are held throughout the year for educational purposes. The beginning of the year parent orientation is an important event and must be attended by all families.
Problems or questions
  1. Email your swimmer’s group coach to resolve the matter (You may also want to meet face to face)
  2. If you feel the problem has not been resolved, contact the head site coach.  
  3. If you feel the problem has not been resolved, contact the Head Coach.
  4. If you have any questions about account information, website, and/or registration, please contact the ECA General Manager

Electronic Communication Policy of East Carolina Aquatics

PURPOSE
East Carolina Aquatics (the “Club”) recognizes the prevalence of electronic communication and social media in today’s world. Many of our swimmers use these means as their primary method of communication. While the Club acknowledges the value of these methods of communication, the Club also realizes that there are associated risks that must be considered when adults use these methods to communicate with minors.  
GENERAL CONTENT
All communications between a coach or other adult and an athlete must be professional in nature and for the purpose of communicating information about team activities. The content and intent of all electronic communications must adhere to the USA Swimming Code of Conduct regarding Athlete Protection.
 For example, as with any communication with an athlete, electronic communication should not contain or relate to any of the following: 
·        drugs or alcohol use;
·         sexually oriented conversation; sexually explicit language; sexual activity
·        the adult’s personal life , social activities, relationship or family issues, or personal problems; and
·        inappropriate or sexually explicit pictures
·         Note: Any communication concerning an athlete's personal life, social activities, relationship or family issues or personal problems must be transparent, accessible and professional. 
Whether one is an athlete, coach, board member or parent, the guiding principle to always use in communication is to ask: “Is this communication something that someone else would find appropriate or acceptable in a face-to-face meeting?” or “Is this something you would be comfortable saying out loud to the intended recipient of your communication in front of the intended recipient’s parents, the coaching staff, the board, or other athletes?”
With respect to electronic communications, a simple test that can be used in most cases is whether the electronic communication with swimmers is Transparent, Accessible and Professional. 
Transparent:  All electronic communication between coaches and athletes should be transparent.  Your communication should not only be clear and direct, but also free of hidden meanings, innuendo and expectations.  
Accessible:  All electronic communication between coaches and athletes should be considered a matter of record and part of the Club’s records.  Whenever possible, include another coach or parent in the communication so that there is no question regarding accessibility. 
Professional:  All electronic communication between a coach and an athlete should be conducted professionally as a representative of the Club.  This includes word choices, tone, grammar, and subject matter that model the standards and integrity of a staff member. 
If your communication meets all three of the T.A.P. criteria, then it is likely your method of communication with athletes will be appropriate.
FACEBOOK AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Coaches may have personal Facebook (or other social media site) pages, but they are not permitted to have any athlete member of the Club join their personal page as a “friend.” A coach should not accept any “friend” request from an athlete. In addition, the coach should remind the athlete that this is not permitted.  Coaches and athletes are not permitted to “private message” each other through Facebook. Coaches and athletes are not permitted to “instant message” each other through Facebook chat or other IM method.
The Club has an official Facebook page that athletes and their parents can “friend” for information and updates on team-related matters. 
Coaches are encouraged to set their pages to “private” to prevent athletes from accessing the coach’s personal information. 
TWITTER
The Club may choose to start an official Twitter page that coaches, athletes and parents can follow for information and updates on team-related matters.   Coaches are not permitted to follow athletes on Twitter. Likewise, athletes are not permitted to follow coaches on Twitter. Coaches and athletes are not permitted to “direct message” each other through Twitter.
TEXTING
Subject to the general guidelines mentioned above, texting is allowed between coaches and athletes during the hours from 7am until 9pm.  Texting only shall be used for the purpose of communicating information directly related to team activities. 
EMAIL
Athletes and coaches may use email to communicate between the hours of 7am and 9pm. When communicating with an athlete through email, a parent, another coach, or a board member must also be copied.
 REQUEST TO DISCONTINUE ALL ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS
The parents or guardians of an athlete may request in writing that their child not be contacted by coaches through any form of electronic communication.

PHOTO USAGE
East Carolina Aquatics may wish to take photographs (individual and in groups) of swimmers under the age of 18 that may include your child during their membership in the club for the purpose of promoting East Carolina Aquatics or USA Swimming, or for training purposes.  All photos will be taken and published in line with club policy. The club requires parental consent to take and use photographs and/or videos. Parents have a right to refuse agreement to their child being photographed or video recorded.  

Financials

ECA is a non-profit organization that relies on club dues and fundraising for success.  Dues are kept as minimal as possible. Scholarships are available.  
POLICIES AND FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS 
ECA is a year-round swim club. ECA is required to pay the club’s expenses 12 months a year.  The Board of ECA will do everything possible to maintain the current dues structure for the 2016-2017 year; however, if it becomes necessary for the Board to modify the rate structure, account holders will be notified at least one month prior to the effective date. All dues are paid through the online system unless previous arrangements have been made with Scott Pake or the in the case of special events where manual payments will be accepted. Account inquiries by phone: 252-945-8400. 
ADDITIONAL CHARGES
A fee will be required in order to enter a swim meet, due at time of registration for the meet. This cost covers USA and NC Swimming meet charges, and coaches traveling expenses. 
CONTRACT TERM
By joining East Carolina Aquatics, you agree to the payment of monthly dues for a period of time specific for each practice group on a 9 month, 10 month, 11 month, or 12 month pay schedule. All payment plans end in June, July, or August, regardless of the time of registration, also specific to each practice group. The Camp Lejeune location's monthly dues are calculated for ten (10) monthly payments, September through June. There will be no July or August payments for the previously referenced locations. The Greenville, Washington, and Carteret locations pay dues for eleven (11) months with the month of August designated as the non-pay month. Some specific groups or programs may have other payment plan requirements as specified.
 Dues are to be paid by the 1st of the month and any dues not paid by the 15TH of the month are considered PAST DUE and a $15.00 late fee will be charged. (Anyone needing special financial arrangements please contact the General Manager, Scott Pake @ 252-945-8400.) If any account becomes PAST DUE by 30 days (the 15th of the following month), swimming privileges will be suspended until my account is brought current. If a swimmer(s) participates at least one time during the month, dues are payable for the entire month. There are no partial payments.
RETURNING ATHLETES 
Returning athletes must have a $0 balance of their account before being accepted on the team for the new season. DUE DATES: Monthly dues are assessed on the 1st of the month and are due on the 15th. A late fee of $15 will be charged to accounts if payment is not received by the 15th. Accounts more than 45 days past due will be subject to suspension. Swimmers of these account holders will not be allowed to participate in practice or any team related functions until the account balance is paid in full.
EARLY TERMINATION
Requests for early withdrawal must be submitted in writing to the ECA General Manager. Early withdrawal requests made after the 1st of the month will be charged for that calendar month. Failure to submit withdrawal requests in writing will result in charges accumulation.  Account holders will be held accountable for these charges through failure to properly communicate termination requests. WRITTEN notice of intention to stop swimming must can be mailed to Scott Pake, General Manager, 107 Commerce Street, Greenville, NC 27858 or emailed to ecacoachscott@gmail.com. Verbal notices to coaches or other club officials will NOT be accepted. For any swimmer wishing to stop for any length of time, upon return to the team, all balances must be brought current. Medical exceptions for an ENTIRE month can be made with a doctor’s notice.
TEMPORARY SUSPENSION 
Accounts suspension may be granted during the contract term. Account suspension requests must be submitted in writing to the ECA Treasurer and General Manager. Reactivation of accounts must also be submitted in writing, and will be subject to a $20 fee unless the suspension is medical related. Medical related suspensions will be excused, but must be verified by a doctor. The ECA board and ECA coaching staff, following guidelines as set by USA and NC Swimming, has the right to enforce all rules, regulations and conduct by all participants including swimmers(s) and parent/guardian(s). If at any time the ECA coaching staff, with approval of the ECA board, feels that any rules, regulations or conduct of any individual does not meet club expectations affirmative action will be taken in the form of warning, suspension or expulsion from the team. NO FEES WILL BE REFUNDED IN THE CASE OF SUSPENSION OR EXPULSION.
Account Holder Privacy Policy
East Carolina Aquatics Financial Officers will only discuss the account status and business transactions with the primary account holder.  Payments may be accepted toward an account by another individual with the permission of the account holder. Information regarding account status may be discussed with, but is not limited to, the primary account holder, General Manager, Head Coach, ECA President, ECA Treasurer, and ECA Accountants Office, or any other ECA Office or staff member in a need-to-know basis.  All attempts to keep account status confidential will be made.
 
ECA reserves the right to nullify this policy if the following occurs:
·        The account becomes delinquent and ECA is attempting to collect funds.
·        Discussion of such issues with another individual may be considered to be beneficial to the swimmer.  

Financial Aid
East Carolina Aquatics has a financial aid/scholarship program that exists for the sole purpose of helping members through periods of financial hardship. Scholarships are available annually until funds are depleted. The program is designed to cover the cost of the swimmer’s dues for a period of up to one year. The eligibility period is from the beginning of the short course season (September) through the end of the long course season the following August. The program does not cover registration, meet fees, or other swimming expenses.
Financial assistance is based on a sliding scale considering family income, number of swimmers, number of members in family household, and hardship expenses.
Families that apply will have to comply with the requirements as set forth below. Failure to do so can lead to the termination or lack of eligibility for aid.
Applications are considered in the order that they are received. For the 2014/2015 season, applications will be accepted starting August 31st. See the website for application.

Emergencies

FACILITY EMERGENCY:
  • Lifeguards will notify Coaches of Emergency
  • All members will evacuate with their respective Coach
  • Coaches will remain with the members until they are retrieved by their designated guardian
  • In the event the members must vacate the premises, Coaches will notify GM and Head Coach of Site.  Emails will be sent to all guardians and notify them of their swimmer’s location and the reason for the evacuation to the best of their ability.
WEATHER EMERGENCY
  • Life Guards of the facility have the responsibility to close the pool in the event of lightening.  Times will be determined by site.
  • Coaches may cancel practice if lightning is present while practicing in the pool. 
  • Coaches will reconvene practice if the lightning stops for the appropriate wait time.
FIRE and/or CHEMICAL EMERGENCY
  • Alarm will sound and Lifeguard will direct all members to evacuate
  • Follow FACILITY EMERGENCY PLAN
EMERGENCY INCIDENT
  • If a swimmer is injured during the course of practice or meet, the facility Life Guards will be notified.
  • First aid will be administered if required or 911 will be called if necessary.
  • Coach will immediately notify the swimmer’s parent/guardian of the situation
  • Appropriate facility first aid and incident reports shall be completed and submitted.


Volunteering

ECA’s success is dependent on the parent volunteers. Many positions must be filled at meets or social events. We organize volunteers through our website.

VOLUNTEER COMMITMENT
ECA members and families must understand that swimming requires a volunteer commitment either of time or product donation during swim meets sponsored by ECA. One volunteer per family is required during these events. As a parent(s) of a registered swimmer, you are committing yourself to participate in ALL fund-raisers for the East Carolina Aquatics, such as the swim meets and, Gator-a-thon, and any other activities that may arise that require volunteer time in return for funds for the club.

East Carolina Aquatics Plan to Address Bullying

PURPOSE 
Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at East Carolina Aquatics (the “Club”) and will not be tolerated. Bullying is counterproductive to team spirit and can be devastating to a victim.  The Club is committed to providing a safe, caring and friendly environment for all of our members. If bullying does occur, all athletes and parents should know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. Anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell a coach, board member or athlete/mentor.
Objectives of the Club’s Bullying Policy and Action Plan: 
1.     To make it clear that the Club will not tolerate bullying in any form.
2.     To define bullying and give all board members, coaches, parents and swimmers a good understanding of what bullying is.
3.     To make it known to all parents, swimmers and coaching staff that there is a policy and protocol should any bullying issues arise.
4.     To make how to report bullying clear and understandable.
5.     To spread the word that (Name of Club) takes bullying seriously and that all swimmers and parents can be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
WHAT IS BULLYING?
The USA Swimming Code of Conduct prohibits bullying. Generally, bullying is the use of aggression, whether intentional or not, which hurts another person.  Bullying results in pain and distress.  
The USA Swimming Code of Conduct defines bullying in 304.3.7.  Bullying is the severe or repeated use by one or more USA Swimming members of oral, written, electronic or other technological expression, image, sound, data or intelligence of any nature (regardless of the method of transmission), or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at any other member that to a reasonably objective person has the effect of:
  • causing physical or emotional harm to the other member or damage to the other member’s property;
  • placing the other member in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property;
  • creating a hostile environment for the other member at any USA Swimming activity;
  • infringing on the rights of the other member at any USA Swimming activity; or
  • materially and substantially disrupting the training process or the orderly operation of any USA Swimming activity (which for the purposes of this section shall include, without limitation, practices, workouts and other events of a member club or LSC)
REPORTING PROCEDURE
An athlete who feels that he or she has been bullied is asked to do one or more of the following things:
·       Talk to your parents;
·       Talk to a Club Coach, Board Member, or other designated individual;
·       Write a letter or email to the Club Coach, Board Member, or other designated individual;
·       Make a report to the USA Swimming Safe Sport staff.
There is no express time limit for initiating a complaint under this procedure, but every effort should be made to bring the complaint to the attention of the appropriate club leadership as soon as possible to make sure that memories are fresh and behavior can be accurately recalled and the bullying behavior can be stopped as soon as possible.
HOW WE HANDLE BULLYING
If bullying is occurring during team-related activities, we STOP BULLYING ON THE SPOT using the following steps:
1.     Intervene immediately. It is ok to get another adult to help.
2.     Separate the kids involved.
3.     Make sure everyone is safe.
4.     Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.
5.     Stay calm. Reassure the kids involved, including bystanders.
6.     Model respectful behavior when you intervene.
If bullying is occurring at our club or it is reported to be occurring at our club, we address the bullying by FINDING OUT WHAT HAPPENED and SUPPORTING THE KIDS INVOLVED using the following approach: 
FINDING OUT WHAT HAPPENED
1.     First, we get the facts. 
a.     Keep all the involved children separate.
b.     Get the story from several sources, both adults and kids.
c.      Listen without blaming.
d.     Don’t call the act “bullying” while you are trying to understand what happened.
e.     It may be difficult to get the whole story, especially if multiple athletes are involved or the bullying involves social bullying or cyber-bullying. Collect all available information.
2.     Then, we determine if it's bullying. 
There are many behaviors that look like bullying but require different approaches. It is important to determine whether the situation is bullying or something else. 
a.     Review the USA Swimming definition of bullying;
b.     To determine if the behavior is bullying or something else, consider the following questions:
  • What is the history between the kids involved?

  • Have there been past conflicts?

  • Is there a power imbalance? Remember that a power imbalance is not limited to physical strength. It is sometimes not easily recognized. If the targeted child feels like there is a power imbalance, there probably is.

  • Has this happened before? Is the child worried it will happen again?

c.      Remember that it may not matter “who started it.” Some kids who are bullied may be seen as annoying or provoking, but this does not excuse the bullying behavior.
d.     Once you have determined if the situation is bullying, support all of the kids involved. 
3.     Support the kids who are being bullied
a.     Listen and focus on the child. Learn what’s been going on and show you want to help. Assure the child that bullying is not their fault.
b.     Work together to resolve the situation and protect the bullied child. The child, parents, and fellow team members and coaches may all have valuable input. It may help to:
i.     Ask the child being bullied what can be done to make him or her feel safe. Remember that changes to routine should be minimized. He or she is not at fault and should not be singled out. For example, consider rearranging lane assignments for everyone. If bigger moves are necessary, such as switching practice groups, the child who is bullied should not be forced to change.
ii.     Develop a game plan. Maintain open communication between the Club and parents. Discuss the steps that will be taken and how bullying will be addressed going forward.
c.      Be persistent. Bullying may not end overnight. Commit to making it stop and consistently support the bullied child.
 
4.     Address bullying behavior
a.     Make sure the child knows what the problem behavior is. Young people who bully must learn their behavior is wrong and harms others.
b.     Show kids that bullying is taken seriously. Calmly tell the child that bullying will not be tolerated. Model respectful behavior when addressing the problem.
c.      Work with the child to understand some of the reasons he or she bullied. For example:
i.     Sometimes children bully to fit in or just to make fun of someone is a little different from them.  In other words, there may be some insecurity involved.
ii.     Other times kids act out because something else—issues at home, abuse, stress—is going on in their lives. They also may have been bullied. These kids may be in need of additional support.
d.     Involve the kid who bullied in making amends or repairing the situation. The goal is to help them see how their actions affect others. For example, the child can:
i.     Write a letter apologizing to the athlete who was bullied.
ii.     Do a good deed for the person who was bullied, for the Club, or for others in your community.
iii.     Clean up, repair, or pay for any property they damaged.
e.     Avoid strategies that don’t work or have negative consequences:
i.     Zero tolerance or “three strikes, you’re out” strategies don’t work. Suspending or removing from the team swimmers who bully does not reduce bullying behavior. Swimmers may be less likely to report and address bullying if suspension or getting kicked off the team is the consequence.
ii.     Conflict resolution and peer mediation don’t work for bullying. Bullying is not a conflict between people of equal power who share equal blame. Facing those who have bullied may further upset kids who have been bullied.
f.       Follow-up. After the bullying issue is resolved, continue finding ways to help the child who bullied to understand how what they do affects other people. For example, praise acts of kindness or talk about what it means to be a good teammate.
5.     Support bystanders who witness bullying.  
Every day, kids witness bullying. They want to help, but don’t know how. Fortunately, there are a few simple, safe ways that athletes can help stop bullying when they see it happening.
a.     Be a friend to the person being bullied;
b.     Tell a trusted adult – your parent, coach, or club board member;
c.      Help the kid being bullied get away from the situation.  Create a distraction, focus the attention on something else, or offer a way for the target to get out of the situation.  “Let’s go, practice is about to start.”
d.     Set a good example by not bullying others.
e.     Don’t give the bully an audience.  Bullies are encouraged by the attention they get from bystanders.  If you do nothing else, just walk away. 

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Team Travel Policy 

Purpose: 
Athletes are most vulnerable to misconduct during travel, particularly overnight stays. This includes a high risk of athlete-to-athlete misconduct. During travel, athletes are often away from their families and support networks, and the setting – new changing areas, locker rooms, workout facilities, automobiles and hotel rooms – is less structured and less familiar.
Team Travel is defined as overnight travel to a swim meet or other team activity that is planned and supervised by the club or LSC.
Section 1 - USA Swimming Required Policies
Club and LSC travel policies must include these policies. These items are Code of Conduct stipulations in the USA Swimming Rulebook.
a.      Club travel policies must be signed and agreed to by all athletes, parents, coaches and other adults traveling with the club. (305.5.D)
b.     Team managers and chaperones must be members of USA Swimming and have successfully passed a USA Swimming-administered criminal background check. (305.5.B)
c.      Regardless of gender, a coach shall not share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangement with an athlete (unless the coach is the parent, guardian, sibling, or spouse of that particular athlete). (305.5.A)
d.     When only one athlete and one coach travel to a competition, the athlete must have his/her parents’ (or legal guardian’s) written permission in advance to travel alone with the coach. (305.5C)
Section 2 - ECA Travel Team Policies
ECA will follow all USA Swimming guidelines with regards to team travel. Trip-specific rules will be disseminated in writing before the trip begins.
 

Glossary of Terms

Here is glossary of words used in the sport of swimming:
A Finals     The top 6 or 8 swimmers (depending on the # of pool lanes) in Prelims/Finals meet who, after the Prelims swim, qualify to return to the Finals. Big Finals is the fastest heat of finals when multiple heats are held.
Admission     Certain swim meets charge for spectators to view the meets. These are usually the larger more prestigious meets. Sometimes the meet program (heat sheet) is included in the price of admission.
Age Group     Division of swimmers according to age. The National Age Group divisions are: 10-under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18. Some LSC's have divided the swimmers into more convenient divisions specific to their situations: (i.e.) 8-under, 13-Over, 15-Over, Junior, Senior.
Alternate     In a Prelims/Finals meet, after the finalists are decided, the next two fastest swimmers other than the finalist are designated as alternates. The faster of the 2 being first alternate and the next being second alternate. If a finalist cannot participate, the alternates are called to take their place, often on a moment’s notice.
Anchor             The final swimmer in a relay.
Approved Meet     Swim meets conducted by organizations (other than USS member clubs or LSC's) that have applied to USS or the local LSC for approval. If approval is granted, swimmers may use times achieved as USS qualifying times. A USS official must be present at all sessions of the meet. Approval does not mean Sanctioned.
Backstroke     One of the 4 competitive racing strokes, basically any style of swimming on your back. Backstroke is swam as the first stroke in the Medley Relay and second stroke in the I.M. Racing distances are 50 yds./m., 100 yds./m., and 200 yds./m. (LSC's with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd back)
Banner     A team sign that is displayed at swim meets. Banners are usually made from nylon material and carry the Team Logo and possibly the name of a popular team sponsor. Some size restrictions are enforced at certain meets. 
Beep     The starting sound from an electronic, computerized timing system.
Bell Lap     The part of a freestyle distance race (400 meters or longer) when the swimmer has 2 lengths plus 5 yards to go. The starter fires a gun shot over the lane of the lead swimmer when swimmer is at the flags.
Blocks     The starting platforms located behind each lane. Some pools have blocks at the deeper end of the pool, and some pools have blocks at both ends. Blocks have a variety of designs and can be permanent or removable.
Bonus Heat     The heat held during the finals session of a Prelims/Finals meet, which is slower than the swimmers participating in Big Finals. The Bonus Heat may refer to Consolation Finals or and extra heat in addition to Consolation finals.
Bottom     The floor of the pool. Bottom depths are usually marked on the walls or sides of the pool.
Breaststroke     One of the 4 competitive racing strokes. Breaststroke is swam as the second stroke in the Medley Relay and the third stroke in the I.M. Racing distances are 50 yds./m, 100 yds./m, and 200 yds./m. (LSC's with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd back)
Bull Pen     The staging area where swimmers wait to receive their lane and heat assignments for a swimming event. Area is usually away from the pool and has rows of chairs for the swimmers to sit. The Clerk of the Course is in charge of the Bull Pen.
Butterfly     One of the 4 competitive racing strokes. Butterfly (nicknamed FLY) is swam as the third stroke in the Medley Relay and first stroke in the I.M. Racing distances are 50 yd./m, 100 yd./m, and 200 yd./m. (LSC's with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd back)
Button     The manual Timing System stopping device that records a back-up time in case the touch pad malfunctioned. The button is at the end of a wire, plugged into a deck terminal box. There are usually 3 buttons per lane. It is the timers responsibility to push the button as the swimmer finishes the race.
Cap     The latex or silicone covering worn on the head of swimmers.
Championship Meet     The meet held at the end of a season. Qualification times are usually necessary to enter meet.
Championship Finals     The top 6 or 8 swimmers (depending on the # of pool lanes) in Prelims/Finals meet who, after the Prelims swim, qualify to return to the Finals.
Check-In     The procedure required before a swimmer swims an event in a deck seeded meet. Sometimes referred to as positive check in, the swimmer must mark their name on a list posted by the meet host.
Circle Seeding     A method of seeding swimmers when they are participating in a prelims/finals event. The fastest 18 to 24 swimmers are seeded in the last three heats, with the fastest swimmers being in the inside lanes. See USA Swim rule book for exact method for seeding depending on the lanes in the pool.
Club     A registered swim team that is a dues paying member of USA Swimming and the local LSC.
Colorado     A brand of automatic timing system used at swim meets.
Consolation Finals     After the fastest 6 or 8 swimmers, the next 6 or 8 swimmers (depending on the # of pool lanes) in a Prelims/Finals meet who, after the Prelims swim, qualify to return to the Finals. Consolations are the second fastest heat of finals when multiple heats are held and are conducted before the Championship heat.
Course     Designated distance (length of pool) for swimming competition. Long Course = 50 meters / Short Course = 25 yards or 25 meters.
Deadline     The date meet entries must be "postmarked" by, to be accepted by the meet host. Making the meet deadline does not guarantee acceptance into a meet since many meets are "full" weeks before the entry deadline.
Deck     The area around the swimming pool reserved for swimmers, officials, and coaches. No one but an "authorized" USA Swimming member may be on the deck during a swim competition or practice.
Disqualified     A swimmers performance is not counted because of a USA Swimming rules infraction. A disqualification is shown by an official raising one arm with open hand above their head.
Dive     Entering the water head first. Diving is not allowed during warmups except at the designated time, in specific lanes that are monitored by the swimmers coach.
Diving Well     A separate pool or a pool set off to the side of the competition pool. This pool has deeper water and diving boards/platforms. During a meet, this area may be designated as a warm-down pool with proper supervision.
Division I-II-III     NCAA member colleges and universities are assigned divisions to compete in, depending on the schools total enrollment.
Drag     Resistance created by an extra suit, body hair, or device as part of the training process.
Dropped Time     When a swimmer goes faster than the previous performance they have "dropped their time".
Dryland     The exercises and various strength programs swimmers do out of the water.
Dry Side     That part of the Code book (rule book) that deals with the "Administrative" Regulations of Competition.
Dual Meet     Type of meet where two (2) teams/clubs compete against each other.
Entry     An Individual or Relay event list into a swim competition.
Entry Fees     The amount per event a swimmer or relay is charged. This varies depending on the LSC and type of meet.
Entry Limit     Each meet will usually have a limit of total swimmers they can accept, or a time limit they cannot exceed. Once an entry limit has been reached, a meet will be closed and all other entries returned.
Electronic Timing     Timing system operated on DC current (battery). The timing system usually has touchpads in the water, junction boxes on the deck with hook up cables, buttons for backup timing, and a computer type console that prints out the results of each race. Some systems are hooked up to a scoreboard that displays swimmers time.
Eligible to compete     The status of a member swimmer that means they are registered and have met all the requirements.
Equipment     The items necessary to operate a swim practice or conduct a swim competition.
Event     This is a label for a race over a given distance. An event equals one preliminary race with a final to be swum at another session, or 1 timed final.
False Start     When a swimmer flinches or leaves the starting block before the horn or gun. One false start will disqualify a swimmer or a relay team.
False Start Rope     A recall rope across the width of the racing pool for the purpose of stopping swimmers who were not aware of a false start. The rope is about 1/2 way on yard pools and about 50 feet from the starting end on meter pools.
Fastest to Slowest     A seeding method used on the longer events held at the end of a session. The fastest seeded swimmers participate in the first heats followed by the next fastest and so on. Many times these events will alternate one girls heat and one boys heat until all swimmers have competed.
Fees     Money paid by swimmers for services. Practice fees, registration fee, USA membership fee, etc. FINA The international, rules making organization, for the sport of swimming.
Finals     The final race of each event.
Final Results     The printed copy of the results of each race of a swim meet.
Flags     The colored pennants that are suspended over the width of each end of the pool approximately 15 feet from the wall.
Format     The order of events and type of swim meet being conducted.
Freestyle     One of the 4 competitive racing strokes. Freestyle (nicknamed Free) is swam as the fourth stroke in the Medley Relay and fourth stroke in the I.M. Racing distances are 50 yds./m, 100 yds./m, 200 yds./m, 400 m/500 yds. 800 m/1000 yds., 1500 m/1650 yds. (LSC's with 8-under divisions offer the 25 yd free)
Goals     The short and long range targets for swimmers to aim for.
Goggles     Glasses type devices worn by swimmers to keep their eyes from being irritated by the chlorine in the water.
Handbook     A reference manual published by teams/clubs and LSC's or other swimming organizations.
Heats     A division of an event when there are too many swimmers to compete at the same time. The results are compiled by swimmers time swam, after all heats of the event are completed.
Heat Sheet     The pre-meet printed listings of swimmers seed times in the various events at a swim meet. These sheets vary in accuracy, since the coaches submit swimmers times many weeks before the meet. Heat sheets are sold at the admissions table and are used mainly to make sure the swimmer has been properly entered in all the events they signed up for. Parents enjoy looking at the seeding prior to the race plus swimmers can tell the order the events will be conducted and get a rough idea how long the meet sessions will last. 
High Point     An award given to the swimmer scoring the most points in a given age group at a swim meet. All meets do not offer high point awards; check the pre meet information.
Illegal     Doing something against the rules that is cause for disqualification in a race. 
IM     Individual Medley. A swimming event using all 4 of the competitive strokes on consecutive lengths of the race. The order must be: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Freestyle. Equal distances must be swum of each stroke. Distances offered: 100 yds., 200 yds./m, 400 yds./m.
Insurance     USA Swimming Inc. offers "accident insurance coverage” which is automatic when swimmer, coach, official, pays their USS membership fee. Many restrictions apply so check with your club for detailed information.
Interval     A specific elapsed time for swimming or rest used during swim practice.   
Invitational         Type of meet that requires a club to request an invitation to attend the meet. 
Jump     An illegal start done by the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th member of a relay team. The swimmer on the block breaks contact with the block before the swimmer in the water touches the wall.
Jr. Nationals     A USA National Championship meet for swimmers 18 years old or less. Qualification times are necessary. National Meets are conducted both short course (in April) and long course (in August).
Kick Board        A flotation device used by swimmers during practice.
Lane             The specific area in which a swimmer is assigned to swim.
Lane Lines     Continuous floating markers attached to a cable stretched from the starting end to the turning end for the purpose of separating each lane and quieting the waves caused by racing swimmers.
Lap             One length of the course. Sometimes may also mean down and back (2 lengths) of the course.
Lap Counter     The large numbered cards (or the person turning the cards) used during the freestyle events 500 yards or longer. Counting is done from the end opposite the starting end. The numbers on the cards are "odd numbers” only with the final lap being designated by a bright orange card.
Late Entries     Meet entries from a club or individual that is received by the meet host after the entry deadline. These entries are usually not accepted and are returned to sender.
Leg             The part of a relay event swam by a single team member.
Length             The extent of the competitive course from end to end.
Long Course         A 50 meter pool.
LSC     Local Swim Committee. The local level administrative division of USA Swimming, Inc. with supervisory responsibilities within certain geographic boundaries designated by USA Swim.
Mark             The command to take your starting position on the block.
Marshal         The adult(s) who control the crowd and swimmer flow at a swim meet.
Medals     Awards given to the swimmers at selected meets. They vary in size and design and method of presentation.
Meet             A series of events held in one program.
Meet Director         The official in charge of the administration of the meet.
Mile     The slang term referring to the 1500 meter or the 1650 yard freestyle, both of which are slightly short of a mile.
NAGTS             National Age Group Time Standards - the list of "C" through "AAAA" times published each year.
Nationals     USA senior or junior level meets conducted in March/April and August. See Senior or Junior Nationals.
Natatorium         A building constructed for the purpose of housing a swimming pool and related equipment.
NCAA             National Collegiate Athletic Association
Non-Conforming Time     A short course time submitted to qualify for a long course meet, or vice versa.
Novice             A beginner or someone who does not have experience.
NT     No Time. The abbreviation used on a heat sheet to designate that the swimmer has not swam that event before.
Officials         The USA Swimming certified, adult volunteers, who operate the many facets of a swim competition.
Olympic Trials     The USA sanctioned long course swim meet held the year of the Olympic Games to decide what swimmers will represent the USA on our Olympic Team. Qualification times are faster than Senior Nationals.
OT             Official Time. The swimmers event time recorded to one hundredth of a second (.01).
OTC             Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Open Competition     Competition which any qualified club, organization, or individual may enter.
Pace Clock     The large clocks with highly visible numbers positioned at the ends or sides of a swimming pool so the swimmers can read their times during warmups or swim practice.
Paddle             Colored plastic devices worn on the swimmers hands during swim practice.
Positive Check In     The procedure required before a swimmer swims an event in a deck seeded or pre seeded meet. The swimmer must mark their name on a list posted by the meet host.
Practice         The scheduled workouts a swimmer attends with their swim team/club.
Prelims             Session of a Prelims/Finals meet in which the qualification heats are conducted.
Prelims-Finals     Type of meet with two sessions. The preliminary heats are usually held in the morning session. The fastest 6 or 8 (Championship Heat) swimmers and the next fastest 6 or 8 swimmers (Consolation Heat) return in the evening to compete in the Finals. A swimmer who has qualified in the Consolation Finals may not place in the Championship Finals even if their finals time would place them so. The converse also applies. 
Pre-seeded     A meet conducted without a bull pen in which a swimmer knows what lane and heat they are in by looking at the Meet heat sheet, or posted meet program.
Proof of Time     An official meet result or other accepted form. Swimmers/Coaches must supply proof of time with some meet entries, and other meets it is not required unless a swimmer misses a cut of time at the meet.
Psych Sheet         This booklet lists the swimmers in a meet based on fastest to slowest in each event.
Pull Buoy         A flotation device used for pulling by swimmers in practice.
Qualifying Times     Published times necessary to enter certain meets, or the times necessary to achieve a specific category of swimmer.
Ready Room         A room pool side for the swimmers to relax before they compete in finals.
Referee             The head official at a swim meet in charge of all of the "Wet Side" administration and decisions.
Registered         Enrolled and paid as a member of USA Swimming and the LSC – North Carolina Swimming.
Relays     A swimming event in which 4 swimmers participate as a relay team each swimmer swimming an equal distance of the race. There are two types of relays: 1.) Medley relay - One swimmer swims Backstroke, one swimmer swims Breaststroke, one swimmer swims Butterfly, one swimmer swims Freestyle, in that order. 2.) Freestyle relay - Each swimmer swims freestyle. 
Ribbons         Awards in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors, given at certain swim meets.
Sanction         A permit issued by an LSC to a USA Swimming registered team to conduct an event or meet.
Sanction Fee         The amount paid by a USA Swimming registered team to an LSC for issuing a sanction.
Scratch     To withdraw from an event after having declared an intention to participate. Some meets have scratch deadlines and specific scratch rules, and if not followed, swimmer can be disqualified from remaining events.
Seed             Assign the swimmers heats and lanes according to their submitted or preliminary times.
Senior Nationals     A USA National Championship swim meet for swimmers achieving qualifying times. National Meets are conducted both short course (in April) and long course (in August).
Session     Portion of meet distinctly separated from other portions by locale, time, type of competition, or age group.
Shave     The process of removing all arms, legs, and exposed torso hair, to decrease the "drag" or resistance of the body moving through the water. Only recommended for certain senior swimmers.
Short Course         A 25 yard or 25 meter pool.
Splash             USA Swimming Inc. newsletter that is mailed bi-monthly to members.
Split             A portion of an event, shorter than the total distance that is timed.
Stations         Separate portions of a dryland or weight circuit.
Start             The beginning of a race. The dive used to begin a race.
Starter     The official in charge of signaling the beginning of a race and insuring that all swimmers have a fair takeoff.
Stand-up         The command given by the Starter or Referee to release the swimmers from their starting position.
Step-Down     The command given by the Starter or Referee to have the swimmers step off the blocks. Usually this command is a good indication everything is not right for the race to start.
Stroke             There are 4 competitive strokes: Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Freestyle.
Stroke Judge     The official positioned at the side of the pool, walking the length of the course as the swimmers race. If the Stroke Judge sees something illegal, they report to the referee and the swimmer may be disqualified.
Suit             The racing uniform worn by the swimmer, in the water, during competition. 
Swim-off     In a Prelims/Finals type competition, a race after the scheduled event to break a tie. The only circumstance that warrants a swim-off is to determine which swimmer makes finals or an alternate, otherwise ties stand.
Taper             The resting phase of a senior swimmer at the end of the season before the championship meet.
Team Records     The statistics a team keeps, listing the fastest swimmer in the clubs history for each age group/each event.
Timed Finals         Competition in which only heats are swum and final placing is determined by those times.
Timer     The volunteers sitting behind the starting blocks/finish end of pool, who are responsible for getting watch times on events and activating the backup buttons for the timing system.
Time Standard     A time set by a meet, LSC, or USA Swimming that a swimmer must achieve for qualification or recognition.
Time Trial         An event or series of events where a swimmer may achieve or better a required time standard.
Top 10     A list of times compiled by the LSC or USA Swimming that recognizes the top number of swimmers (boys & girls) in each event and distance.
Touch Out         To reach the touchpad and finish first in a close race.
Touch Pad     The removable plates (on the end of pools) that are connected to an automatic timing system. A swimmer must properly touch the touchpad to register an official time in a race.
Transfer     The act of leaving one club or LSC and going to another. Usually 120 days of unattached competition is required before swimmer can represent another USA Swimming club.
Trophy             Type of award given to teams and swimmers at certain meets.
Unattached     An athlete member who competes, but does not represent a club or team until the 120 days have passed since representing another team.
Uniform     The various parts of clothing a swimmer wears at a meet. (Parka, Warm up outfit, swim bag, bathing suits, cap, goggles, T-shirts, etc.)
Unofficial Time     The time displayed on a read out board or read over the intercom by the announcer immediately after the race. After the time has been checked, it will become the official time.
USA Swimming Inc.     The governing body of USA swimming. 
USA Swim Number     A 14 digit identification assigned to a swimmer after they have registered and paid their annual dues. The swimmers date of birth, then first three letters of swimmer’s first name, middle initial, then last four letters of last name.
Watch             The hand held device used by timers and coaches for timing a swimmers races and taking splits.
Whistle         The sound a starter/referee makes to signal for quiet before they give the command to start the race.
Yardage     The distance a swimmer races or swims in practice. Total yardage can be calculated for each practice session.
Zones     The country is divided up into 4 major zones: Eastern - Southern - Central - Western. At the end of the long course season (in August) the Zone Administration sponsors a championship age group meet.