So, your child wants to swim! What does that mean for you? Here are some of the frequently asked questions to help guide you into the wonderful world of competitive swimming.
- What kind of time commitment is involved with this sport?
- Swimming is about practice, practice, and more practice. Developing proper stroke technique and muscle tone doesn’t happen overnight and like any sport, the more you practice, the better you get. Most entry level swimmers should be prepared to practice 2 to 3 times a week for about 1 hour each time. As a swimmer advances and grows, practices increase to 4 to 5 times a week and the duration may increase as well, sometimes going to 1 ½ hours to 2 hours depending on the team.
- Swimming is also about competition and meets. A typical Fall season involves 8 – 10 meets, plus Silver and Gold Championship events. Meets typically occur on Sundays, but some are Saturdays, and a few are two day events. Students are grouped by age level and swim either in the morning events, or the afternoon events. You can anticipate spending about 4 to 4 ½ hours at a meet.
- What is the “typical” season for this sport?
- Swimming seasons are typically Fall and Spring. Fall Season normally will start around Labor Day and runs through the end of March. This is the season when most of your meets occur. Spring season typically starts in April and runs through June. Many clubs will also run a summer conditioning program or encourage swimmers to attend summer camps or other programs to keep in shape before the fall season starts back up.
- Other than the cost to join the team, what other costs should I anticipate?
- Most teams require a competition swimsuit in team colors or specific style that usually will cost between $50 – 75. BSSC, Inc. encourages this, but it is not a requirement.
- You should plan to have 1 to 3 practice swimsuits depending on the frequency of your practices. These can range from $20 – 40. Always look for race suits and many sites like www.swimoutlet.com offer clearance sales throughout the year. Also check with The DEEP End for closeout sales at each meet or event, and check your local sporting goods store.
- Some teams require team warm up suits that range from $75 – 150. BSSC, Inc. has a preferred vendor and suit style, but this is not a required item for any member of the team.
- Swimmers should have 1 -2 swim caps that cost $6 – 12 each.
- Swimmers should have 1 – 2 pairs of swim goggles that cost $12 – 20 each.
- Swimmers should have some type of gym bag to carry items to/from practice and meets.
- Swimmers should have deck shoes or flip flops for foot protection.
- When attending a traditional meet, there is also a nominal fee for each event that a swimmer enters (typically $3-4 each) plus a deck fee (typically $4-5). Traditional meets where a swimmer swims 4 events will cost under $20 to attend. As most meets are within a short commute (under 40 minutes) of the home pool, there are no travel expenses like hotel accommodations to take into account.
- Silver and Gold meets are typically within a two hour drive of the home pool, and are often a two day event, so you should plan for one overnight stay in a hotel plus meals.
- Do I have to contribute money for a Booster program?
- Some teams have booster programs, but BSSC Inc., does not have any hidden fees outside of the initial registration.
- During the course of the season, we may conduct some fundraising events, but no swimmer is required to sell a specific dollar amount. Most are designed to help fund special events or projects for the club. Volunteers are always welcome to help coordinate these events, but no additional $s are required to be spent.
- What other events should I plan on other than practices / meets?
- At the start of each season, there is a parent orientation meeting that is 1 hour long
- Suit ordering night takes place in September and that is about 30minutes to 1 hour extra time commitment above practice time
- End of year banquet is planned in April and is traditionally done at a local restaurant or catering facility and serves as our fall season wrap up and awards banquet, you can plan 2-3 hours for this event
- As our club is a not for profit organization, we rely on volunteers to help effectively run our home meets and other events so we traditionally will ask parents to volunteer to help at our home meet in Jan or Feb for at least ½ a day, and if needed for one other event that may involve helping to time at some away meets, helping on team photo days, or helping with fundraising events
- What are some good websites for some additional information on swimming?
- BSSC, Inc. is part of a Local Swim Club known as Niagara Swimming www.niagaraswim.org
- BSSC, Inc. is part of the Eastern Zone within Niagara
- Niagara Swimming is part of USA Swimming www.usaswimming.org
- Swim Tips,insight for moms and funny, witty items can be found on this blog: www.swimmom.org/