Charger Aquatics FAQ’S
1. Our child had a successful tryout and has been registered. Our first practice is tonight, what do we wear?
Boys: Wear a racing swimsuit, either jammer or brief styles, not the traditional “trunks” that are worn to the pool during public swim. Girls: Wear a one piece swimsuit with secure straps.
- Caps for everyone are needed for practice and meets; they protect hair, and swimmers learn to hear the coach when their ears are covered; goggles are a necessity.
2. Where do I purchase swim gear?
Swim suits and Charger Aquatics team gear can be purchased in several ways. We are a Speedo-sponsored team and appreciate your support through Speedo brand purchases. Purchases can be made online at D & J SPORTS, our official Speedo vendor, or locally at STREAMLINE Swimming Equipment and Apparel. Both offer our families discounts on team suits and gear; click on their logos on our homepage for info.
3. We were told that our child is in Bronze? What does that mean?
Swimmers are assigned to specific practice groups based upon the coach’s assessment of skill level and training ability. Factors such as age, practice habits and attendance, emotional maturity, skill development, commitment and attitude also affect a swimmer’s placement. Swimmers may “move up” to the next tier of practice group progression, at the discretion of their coach, based on the above criteria. They can answer specific move-up questions regarding your swimmer; all move-ups are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Practice Group Names (beginner to advanced):
- Age Group 2
- Age Group 1
- Senior 3
- Senior 2
- Senior 1
Please note: Team dues increase when your swimmer moves to a higher skill group, as these levels practice more frequently and for a longer duration. This dues increase will be reflected on the monthly statement following the group change.
4. How do I pay my monthly dues?
Charger Aquatics partners with FACTS Management Company to provide convenient online payment options to our families. Automatic payments can be made from a checking or savings account, or by credit card. Your payments are processed securely through a bank-to-bank transaction. You may check your personal account or make additional payments online at any time.
5. Where are the majority of swim meets held?
Most swim meets are held in the Albuquerque metro area. Charger Aquatics hosts several meets each year; others are hosted at pools around the city. There are some overnight or travel trips, most often for older swimmers. Please refer to the meet schedule on the CAQ website for details.
6. Which strokes will my child will be learning?
The swimmers are learning and perfecting Freestyle (FR), Backstroke(BK), Breaststroke(BR), and Butterfly (FLY). The event called the Individual Medley (IM) gives them the opportunity to swim each stroke in this order: FL, BK, BR, FR.
7. Does my child REALLY have to go to ALL of these practices?
Yes! If possible, it’s important to attend all scheduled practices. The coaches check attendance at every practice, and most groups have a minimum attendance requirement, as it is a factor in decision making for group advancement. Swimmers who attend only sporadically tend to fall behind in training as the others progress, which can be frustrating for a young swimmer. Another important aspect is the bonding and friendship building that happens in the practice pool, as these teammates are likely to advance together through the various levels over the years.
8. Can we just come to practice regularly and not attend the swim meets?
While winning is not the primary goal, this IS a competitive club, and recreational swimmers should look elsewhere if competition is not their goal. Meets are where your swimmer sees all the hard work in practice pay off, and it gives them a great sense of team spirit as they support their fellow swimmers. Swimming is ultimately about racing and times, and meets give coaches the opportunity to see how well they are progressing. Yes, it is scary at first, but also fun and inspiring. And it gets easier with each meet…. really!
9. Are there practices and meets in the summer? What about during holidays?
Yes to both. As a USA Swimming team, CAQ practices and competes year round. The summer practice schedule is somewhat different from the school year schedule. Practice schedules also vary during holidays, swim meets, and school breaks; watch for changes on the website calendar or through emails.
10. May I watch my child practice? Where…….?
USA Swimming insurance and safety specifications dictate that no one is allowed on the pool deck at any time during work-outs unless directly involved in the practice. The Albuquerque Academy Natatorium has seating in the upstairs bleachers, giving all waiting parents a great opportunity to meet each other and ask questions. As a CAQ parent, please remember that it is your responsibility to ensure that your swimmer is properly supervised before and after practice. CAQ policy states that swimmers should be delivered to and picked up from the practice facility within 10 minutes of their scheduled practice times – late fees will apply if swimmers are habitually picked up late. Children should not be left unsupervised while their siblings are swimming.
11. I’ve got a few questions for my child’s coach; if I can’t go down on deck during practice, how do I get in touch with him/her?
For everyone’s safety, please do not approach the coaches while they have swimmers in the pool; their attention needs to be focused on the swimmers at all times. The best way to contact a coach is through email:
These email addresses are also listed on the website at the bottom of each coach’s bio or on the website under “team info”/”office numbers”.
12. How does the team communicate general information to its members?
- Our most effective way to communicate with all of our swim families is through email. Please be sure we have a correct email address for anyone who should be receiving CAQ information; please check your email regularly for updates.
- The website is also a great resource, particularly the calendar, which will note any practice updates. We will post any last-minute changes (such as pool closures or snow days) on the website home page, so check it frequently as well.
- Check the mail bins in the hallway outside the CAQ office that have a drop file for each family. These files will be used to distribute medals and awards, registration cards, lost items, handouts, etc., so check them regularly.
13. I understand there is a volunteer requirement. What’s that all about?
Charger Aquatics hosts 4-5 swim meets per year, most of them quite large, and your support at these events is critical to our success. The swim seasons run Sept 1- February 28 (short course) and March 1 – August 31 (long course). At the end of the “year” any family who has not participated in the required 6 volunteer sessions (this does NOT include helping out at outside meets other than state championships) will be assessed a $150 charge. Volunteer tasks include but are not limited to:
- selling heat sheets
- working concessions and hospitality
- timing the swimming events or serving as an official
- safety marshals
- running the timing system
- providing meals for hospitality
Non-meet opportunities include heading up a committees, fund raising and sponsorships, and organizing social activities for each group. Our website, www.chargerswim.com , will provide you with the ability to sign up for swim meet related jobs on line. All positions will be available on a first come, first served basis.
Please be advised that it is not a good idea to wait until the last minute to fulfill your volunteer requirements. The last CAQ hosted meet for the year is usually held in May……..it is YOUR responsibility to find ways to fulfill your volunteer commitment before the August deadline.
REMEMBER: You must sign in/out on the posted volunteer sheets in order to receive volunteer credit at any meet.
14. I’m feeling very lost and overwhelmed. Who can help me?
If you stay to watch practice, get to know the other parents in your group; many of them have been in the program for years and are very knowledgeable in the ways of the swim world. This is NOT, however, a time to engage in rumor, gossip or complaints regarding any aspects of the team or other swimmers. If you have specific questions regarding your swimmer or any aspects of their training, please contact your coach directly through email. If you have questions about your account, meet information, or general team activities, contact the CAQ office at 858-8808.
Please ask questions! Most parents didn’t know what they were doing when they joined either!
USA Swimming web site section for Swim Parents