Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Does the Club offer Swim Lessons?
However, WAC (Webster Aquatic Center) does offer swim lessons. Sign-ups are online through their website. The registration link as well as the current Program guide with details of the classes are both options at the attached site.
Q. My child has never swum on a competitive team before. Is a tryout needed before joining?
Yes, before joining the BlueFins, swimmers should participate in one of the BlueFins trial swims. Trial swims are 2 weeks long and held twice per year, in September and January. Please refer to our Membership & Trial Information page for additional details and dates of the next trial swim.
Q. Why do children new to competitive swimming need to complete a trial swim?
The trial swim serves two purposes. First, it allows our coaches to evaluate whether your child is ready to participate on a competitive team. This evaluation includes making sure that the swimmer is able to complete 1 length (25 yards) of the pool each of both backstroke and freestyle unassisted.
The second purpose is to help your child decide if the sport and team are a good fit for him/her. This two week program is a great chance for trial swimmers to interact with the coaches and other swimmers and get a good feel for the sport of swimming. The trial fee is credited back if the swimmer joins the team. See Membership & Trial Information page for more details.
Q. My child has been on a USA Swimming or YMCA team before. Is a tryout needed before joining?
NO, trials are suggested but not required. Each club is a bit different. We believe the BlueFins program offers swimmers the opportunity to improve swimming skills and achieve success at his or her level of ability plus have an enjoyable experience. You are welcome to participate in a 2 week trial to swim to help see what our program, practice and coaches are like and judge if we are a good fit before joining. If you would like to start a trial with us, please contact our headcoach (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set up a start date.
If you are sure your swimmer would like to join the BlueFins, please contact our head coach (email@example.com) to discuss your child’s swimming background to identify the most appropriate practice group for registration.
Q. What happens if my child participates in the trial, but does not seem not ready?
Our swim team welcomes anyone who can safely participate in the program. If the trial swim did not go too well for your child or a coach recommended more swim lessons before joining, don't worry - the learning process varies for everyone. Sometimes, additional lessons and/or giving a child some extra time to become stronger and more coordinated before joining may help one become more comfortable in the water and ultimately be more successful. Once you feel your child is ready to try again, register for the next trial swim!
Q. What if my child can swim but does not know all 4 of the competitive strokes?
That’s okay! As long as your child can swim the freestyle and back strokes the length of the pool (25 yards) unassisted, our practice program is designed to acquaint and teach young swimmers the proper technique and training involved in today's competitive swimming. Emphasis throughout our program is placed on learning the proper stroke, start and turn techniques to maximize each swimmer’s personal success and enjoy the sport of swimming.
Q. What are the costs to join the team?
Program fees are based on the practice groups and the time of joining. The number of practices your child is eligible for will determine the basic cost. If your child joins late in the season, we also offer prorated fees.
See Membership Forms/Documents page for more info.
Q. Are there additional costs to swim on the team?
You will need to purchase a competitive swimsuit and googles for your child. Most of our female swimmers wear caps, which is a suggested additional purchase. The club and / or facilities we use provide the equipment utilized during practice. After joining the team, additional information about purchasing options will be provided.
Other swimming costs are related to meet participation, which is optional but an integral part of a competitive program. Some meets are free to members, while others have fees based on the number of events swum. Most meets in which the BlueFins participate are in the Rochester area, but some require travel to other cities. Participation in all meets is optional.
Q. How long is the swim season?
The BlueFins swim year round. The program is broken up into two sessions, School Year (September ~ June) and Summer (July ~ August). Most of the swimmers sign up for the Summer session but often, our younger swimmers take the summer off. See more info on Practice Schedules.
During the spring and summer, many meets are run in a 50 meter vs 25 yard pool configuration. Our training facility, the Webster Aquatic Center, offers the unique option to be configured as a 50 meter pool, and therefore many of those meets are right here at the WAC.
Q. When can I talk to the coaches?
Our coaching staff is very accessible but NOT during practice times when their attention is focused on the swimmers. The best time to talk to the coaches is before or after practice. You may also speak to one of the team coordinators and ask them to relay a message to the coaches. See Coaches page for more info about each of the coaches and their email contacts.
Along these same lines, please do not talk to your swimmer(s) while they are at practice as this can cause your child to miss important instruction as well as be distracting to other swimmers and the coaches.
Q. Can I watch my child during swim practices?
Yes. Parents/family are encouraged to show a great deal of interest in their child at practice. Parents are welcome, but not required, to observe practice from the bleachers. The coaches request, however, that you refrain from talking or interacting with your child during practice. This can be disruptive and confusing for the swimmer, the other children on the team, and the coaches. See more tips.
Q. Is my swimmer required to attend meets?
Competing in swim meets is not mandatory. However, the coaches strongly encourage all swimmers to participate in some meets during the season. Participating in meets gives the swimmer a sense of why he/she is practicing. Going to swim practice and never swimming in a meet is like going to basketball practice and never playing a game. We understand, however, that every child is different and some need more time than others to be comfortable with competition. Genesee Valley Swim League (GVSL) meets are an excellent opportunity for new swimmers to experience swim meets, as these tend to be smaller and run at a slower pace. The coach is a good resource for helping you determine when your child is ready.
Q. Can my swimmer choose events to swim at meets?
Yes, but with a few exceptions. Our coaching staff believes that swimmers should enjoy swim meets and often are motivated to do well if they select their own events. Pay particular attention to the order of events shown in the meet announcements, and be careful about entering too many events that are too close together. If your swimmer does not know what events to swim at any given meet, you may leave a note when signing up online or ask the coach before or after practice for assistance.
Coaches will select events for younger swimmers for the GVSL 12&U Junior meets and the GVSL Championship meet. If directed in the sign-up, the swimmer or parents may indicate preferred events to swim, but it is ultimately up to the coaching staff to determine which events are most beneficial for each swimmer and the team as a whole.
Q: We are going on vacation/participating in summer camps etc. during swim season. Is it OK to miss meets?
Yes. We realize that families have lives outside of the swim team. It is always the swimmer’s/family’s option to participate in any given meet. With our online sign-up for meets you may indicate if your child will or will not attend a meet. However, once your child experiences the thrill of a swim meet, he/she will not want to miss one!
Q. What happens if my child misses swim practice?
Attending swim practice regularly is very important to a swimmer’s development. The more a swimmer learns and practices the proper techniques, the faster he/she will swim, which results in individual and team improvement. However, all practices are optional. Note the recommended minimum for each of the practice groups - see Group Descriptions.
Q. How will we learn about the various aspects of being a member of the BlueFins?
Our club uses a variety of communication methods to acclimate new swimmers and families to the BlueFins family, including a comprehensive website, calendar, weekly reminders / news (through email), and meet sign-up email invitations, to name a few. In addition, open forums are held at various times to review pertinent topics. Sitting at the pool watching practice or at meets is a great way to meet other parents and to ask questions as well.
Q. Are there opportunities to become involved?
Member participation is a necessary part of operating a not-for-profit, family-run organization. There are many ways to help, which also defrays the cost of membership. Please read the membership documents posted on our website for more information. After joining, you will be able to select among a variety of opportunities, if desired, to share your time and any specific skills you may have. Getting involved supports both the swimmers and club, and is both fun and rewarding.
Q. We’re ready to join! What are the steps?
From the BlueFins main webpage, click on “Start Registration” and follow the guided steps. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us as indicated on the registration page.
Welcome to the Webster BlueFins Swim Club! We are honored that you have made the choice to join the BlueFins family and will do our best to partner with you and your swimmer to provide a positive experience.