►Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

View commonly asked questions on a range of topics. If you have a question that is not listed, or have corrections, comments, or suggestions please email them to our team administrator, Gini Howard

FAQ Topics


Q: How can I join the Blue Wave Swim Team?

A: Congratulations on your decision. Here are the steps to follow:

1) Contact one of the Blue Wave Coaches and discuss with them your swimming experience. You can get a feel for which squad might be right for you by visiting the Squad Descriptions page. The coach may ask you to attend a practice session to be evaluated or schedule a separate evaluation. The practice times for all groups can be found on the Practice Schedule page.

2) After agreeing with the coach on which squad is right for you, you will receive an invitation to join our team via email.  The invite will have a registration link and you will ask to register your swimmer online.

3) When the BWST Team Administrator approves your registration, your family account will be made ’Active’ and you will receive an email with your login password. Use your primary account email address as your login ID to sign-in to the website to view areas not accessible to the general public.

4) If you’ve trained/competed under a previous USA Swimming-affiliated club, complete a Potomac Valley Swimming (PVS) Transfer Form. It is your responsibility to transfer your USA Swimming registration to BWST.

5) Spend some time reviewing  the Blue Wave website – there is a lot of information available to you. We highly recommend you take some time and watch the tutorials made available to you.   If you have more questions, always feel free to ask the BWST Team Administrator.  

Q: What swimming strokes does my child need to know to join the team?

A: If your child is 5 to 18 and can swim a lap of the pool then they should contact the coaches for an evaluation.  Generally our minimum requirement for entry level on the team consists of being able to swim 25 meters of freestyle with proper breathing technique unassisted and 25 meters of backstroke.

Q: What is a tryout/evaluation and what should I expect?

A: A tryout is an evaluation done by our coaching staff to place each swimmer in the best possible squad. We start accepting swimmers out of lesson programs around the Y4 level. Each swimmer is different and may or may not be ready. The tryout will last about 15 minutes. Swimmers should be ready to swim with swimsuit, goggles, and a towel. If you are a senior level swimmer, please send us an email at Older swimmers who have been on other teams can also come for a full practice as their tryout.

Q: What to wear?

A: Swimmers must come to the evaluation session ready to swim. This includes:

  • Proper swim training attire. Baggy shorts or ’beach wear’ are not acceptable. Call or email if you are unsure what this means.
  • Goggles
  • Swim cap (kids with long hair should wear a cap)

Q: How do I schedule a tryout?

A: Please contact our Team Administrator  to schedule a try-out/evaluation. We generally hold them during the week after school, however, days and times are flexible, especially during our summer session. The team administrator will send you a link to SignUp Genius to schedule an appointment.

Q: What forms do we need to bring to join the team?

A: The only form you need to bring is our evaluation form.

Q: What if I am registered with another team?

A: If you are currently attached to a team other than the BWST, you will complete a USA Swimming Transfer form, and pay a nominal fee.  Once the form is processed, you will be unattached from any team for 120 days from your LAST DATE OF COMPETITION WITH THE OLD TEAM.  If you are still attached to a team but have not competed with that team in over 120 days, your transfer will be immediate.

Q: What does unattached mean?

A: Unattached means you are unable to represent the new team because of USA Swimming transfer policy.  You are still able to practice with and compete with BWST, but you will be swimming unattached.  Your BWST coaches will still be coaching you at the meet.

More information on joining can be found by clicking here.

General Swim Team Questions

Q: Why should my child swim?

A: Blue Wave Swim Team is a USA Swimming year-round competitive swim team sponsored by Ashburn Village offering high quality professional coaching and technique instruction for swimmers of all ages and abilities. There are many benefits to getting your child involved in competitive swimming, including:

  • Swimming promotes physical development.
  • Swimming develops aerobic endurance and is one of the most beneficial forms of cardiovascular exercise.
  • Swimming enhances a child’s natural flexibility and promotes muscle development.
  • Swimming develops superior coordination.
  • Swimming is the most injury-free of all children’s sports.
  • Swimming is a sport that will bring children fitness and enjoyment for life.
  • Swimming promotes time management and is one of the top academically achieving sports.
  • Swimming is an important safety skill for young children.

Q: What is the swim team and why would I want my child to participate?

A: It’s fun. It’s great exercise. It builds confidence. It’s a great way for your child to meet other kids in the neighborhood. It’s a great way for you to meet other parents.

Q: Who can answer my questions about the swim team?

A: Send your email questions to our Team Administrator.  Your question will be answered or directed to the right person.

Q: What strokes do the swimmers use in competition?

A: Freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly.

Q: I just want my child to learn how to swim better. Do they have to swim in competition?

A:  We have a developmental swim team and this is a great option to those who just want to improve their swimming without competitions. 

Q: What entities regulate the sport of competitive swimming for the team?

A: Potomac Valley Swimming (PVS) and USA Swimming (USAS) are the governing bodies of competitive swimming in our area and the U.S.A. respectively.

Q: I see that there are different age groups for the swimmers. How does that work?

A: The age groups are 8 & under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-18. Every other year your child will have an "up" year when they are the oldest in their age group and a "down" year when they are the youngest in their age group. The system generally works well.

Q: What if I can't make the recommended practices per week?

A: We believe attendance is one of the keys to successful swimming.  You should make every effort to be at all practices.  Should you have an emergency or appointment that necessitates missing a session, try to let the coach know in advance.

Q: I just left ABC Swim Club, how does that affect me?

A: When a swimmer changes teams, the swimmer’s registration status with PVS is changed to "unattached". An unattached athlete is insured and may enter competitions but may not participate in relays. The unattached status ends 120 days after a swimmer’s last competition with his/her previous team. The Blue Wave Swim Team must comply with strict rules about unattached swimmers; therefore, a swimmer’s last competition date with his/her former team is critical.

Q: When will I know that I am registered for BLUE WAVE?

A: New swimmers that begin in the fall will be registered officially with PVS and BWST within the month of Sept.  PVS will mail registration cards that will be handed out to swimmers, or placed in their folders.  Swimmers that begin during the year are registered after they join.

Competitive Swimmers will be registered with USA Swimming and the Developmental Swimmers will be registered with AAU Athletics

Q: When and how do I receive my bill?

A:  All accounts will have a credit card on file and can choose to pay monthly, your account will be charged automatically each month.  The same account will be used for meet fees. You can also choose to pay the full amount for the year (minus meet fees) at one time when the year starts.  You will receive a billing summary prior to the first of the month and an invoice after payments have been made.  

Q: What does it mean when I receive an invoice email notification that says I have a balance due?

A:  Please contact our Team Administrator to discuss charges and invoices.  

Q: Where can I see the detailed charges on my account?

A:  Log in to your account on  MY ACCOUNT / MEMBERSHIP DUES SCHEDULE

Q: What kind of charges are posted to my Blue Wave account?

A:  Monthly dues, meet fees and event fees. 

Q: How do I cancel my membership?

A:  Please discuss this with Coach Mike and the BWST Team Administrator.

Q: What if my swimmer wants to take a break from swimming for a couple of months?

A:  Please discuss this with Coach Mike and the Team Administrator

Q: Who do I talk to if I have a question on my bill?

A:  Please call the Team Administrator at 703-729-0581 x 208

Q: I forgot my password! What do I do?

A: On the "Sign-In" page, click the link and your password will be emailed to you. Your password will be auto-emailed to the email address on file with your members-only account.

Q: Can I change my password?

A: Yes. After you sign in, click on "Change Password" near the top-right corner of the home page. Then type the new password and click submit.

Q: How can I change my email address or other contact information?

A: After signing in, Click on "My Account" and change your personal information. Make sure to click "Save" at the bottom when you are done.

Q: Why require username/password to use the Blue Wave website?

A: Members-only login protects private information. Because our website draws traffic from all over, each family’s username and password allows access to their specific family account. Some portions of the website are activated by signing-in and are viewable only by registered Blue Wave families.

Q: Do I need a username/password for each family member?

A: No. Membership is set up as ONE ACCOUNT PER FAMILY. A family account can cover multiple swimmers in that family.

Q: How do I easily navigate around the Blue Wave website?

A: All pages are navigational from the Home Page, as well as the upper and left menus. For further assistance, go to the double delta symbol (►►) at top right: The Blue Wave Site Map.

Q: Sometimes, some of the choices on the top navigation bar of the website are missing. How do I see them?

A: Some parts of the website are visible only after you sign-in.

Q: How can I get a Member Directory?

A: First, you must sign-in with your member name and password. Then, click the "Members" tab under the main navigation bar- this takes you to the Member Search page. Here you may look up individual members or groups. Swimmer names, parent names, street address, email address and home number are visible for all members who have not indicated a preference in the "My Account" page to not be listed. Note that if you are not listed you can not see the directory either. In this section, you can also direct email any viewable BWST family member. When you are viewing the member search results, click on the postal letter graphic to launch the email tool.

Q: How do I know which training squad is right for my child?

A: Returning swimmers must have coach’s approval before changing practice squads. New swimmers should use information at Squad Descriptions to narrow down their choices, and then may attend an evaluation to be placed in the right squad.  Coaches will always make the final squad placement decisions. For a coach-to-parent discussion of your child’s needs please call or e-mail Coach Mike.

Q: When are practices for my child?

A: The Practice Schedule page shows the practice times all training squads.

Q: How early should we arrive for practices?

A: It depends on the practice, but in general swimmers should be on deck, dressed and ready to go, 15 minutes before practice is scheduled to start.

Q: What happens in inclement weather, do we still have practice? How do I find out if practice has been cancelled?

A: We will have practice as long as the facility is open, so it does not matter if school is canceled. If practice is canceled we will send out an e-mail update and have it posted on the team’s website as soon as we can.

  • If the pool is closed due to thunder & lighting (but the pavilion is open) we will still hold dry-land training for the squads.  Times may be adjusted.

Q: How do I know what training equipment my child needs?

A: Look at the Squad Descriptions for a list of workout equipment that your swimmer will need. All swimmers (if wearing a swim cap) MUST wear a Blue Wave logo cap. We do this so ALL swimmers become part of the team. If you are new, there is a grace period. Please contact the BWST team administrator ASAP to purchase Blue Wave swim caps (latex or silicone) for your swimmer. If you have any questions, please ask the coach assigned to your swimmer. All swimmers are given a BWST cap at the beginning of the year and may purchase more during the year.

Q: Can I stay at the pool and watch my child’s practice?

A: While we understand a parent’s desire to see their child learn to swim, it is not encouraged that you remain in the pool facility. For Breaker and Typhoon squads, parents may sit/stand in the spectator seating area to watch their child’s practice. However, we respectfully request that you do not interfere with the practice session being given and remain a bystander. Our highly trained coaches know the best way to instruct your child and parental guidance is not necessary during this time. At levels above Typhoon, it is in everyone’s best interest (swimmers, coaches, and parents) if you remain away from the pool deck until it is time to pick your swimmer up at the end of practice.

Q: Where do I find information on upcoming swim meets that my child may be eligible to enter?

A: Refer to our Meets / Events tab at the top menu for all dates, eligibility, forms, travel information, and results.

Q: How do meet entries work?

A: At the beginning of every season, our coaching staff publishes a meet schedule. This seasons schedule is currently located under “MEETS / EVENTS” tab. The schedule will list which groups can attend which meets. Please plan your schedule around these meets so that your child can attend. Please also plan on volunteering at meets, as meets can not run without parent volunteers. If you have a schedule change during the season and can not attend a meet that you had originally planned on attending, you need to let you coach know. All parents must pay for their swimmers entries fees, even if they don’t end up swimming in the meet. Paying for meets will be done online through the website.

Q: Do I have to wear a Blue Wave Swim Team suit at meets?

A: Team suits should be worn at all team meets as they are part of the team uniform. The team suit does not need to be worn at swim practices, however, so that it does not get worn out. Swimmers should have different practice suits to wear at practice.

Q: Where can I buy the team suit as well as other team apparel and equipment they may need?

A: All of our team apparel and equipment can be purchased through Cassel’s.

Q: What should I tell my child when he or she says it’s not fair that I have to swim against Suzy, she is so much bigger than I am?

A: Look at a classroom full of school children. The diversity in size and shape is remarkable. Even though these children are similar in chronological age (calendar age) they may be very different in biological age (physical/sexual maturity). Puberty is a critical point in the developmental process. It is well known that girls mature more rapidly than boys do. In fact, the average girl matures 2-2.5 years earlier than the average boy (see sidebar on next page). However, these values are merely averages and the range can be several years within each gender.

It is important to remember that “early bloomers”-children who move through biological maturation more rapidly than average- tend to be more physically developed. This can sometimes be an advantage for them in the swimming pool. “Late bloomers” tend to catch-up over time and will often become even more proficient at the sport. Regardless of the maturational pace of your child, she needs to focus on her personal improvements over time.

Q: What steps are involved in becoming an official?

A: By following these steps:

  • Attending an Apprentice Swimming Official Clinic
  • Taking the written PVS/USA Swimming Official test
  • USA swimming Non-Athlete registration
  • Finishing a minimum of four (4) apprentice sessions within two (2) meets

Q: Do officials get paid?

A: Blue Wave officials do not get paid at meets, but they get volunteer service hours credit for the sessions they work.

Q: How often do I have to work if I am an official?

A: You are required to work a minimum of 4 sessions per year to maintain certification.

Q: Who can I contact for more information on becoming an official?

A: You can contact Suzanne Marron (703-966-8394) our Blue Wave Officials Coordinator.

Volunteer Work Service Hours FAQ Click here...

Q: Do I have to volunteer at meets?

A: Yes, it is the best seats in the house are down on the deck. Timers and officials are a necessity to the success or a meet. You can help the meet run smoother by volunteering.

Q: Do I need any training to volunteer as a timer during the meet?

A: No, if you can push a button, we can teach you how to use a stopwatch. Timing is a great first step in getting involved at swim meets.

Q: How do I find out about social events?

A: All events are announced on the website’s “News" area at the upper right corner of the homepage. Also, check out the "General Calendar" on the Blue Wave Calendar tab. Some social events will require advance sign-up in the “Events" area at the lower right corner of the homepage.

Q: What kinds of social activities can I expect will be available to my child?

A: From the Blue Wave ’Back-To-Swim BBQ’ in the fall to the annual awards & recognition spring picnic, the Team tries to offer varied social activities for groups of all ages. These include food and socializing during BBQ (fall only); Halloween and Christmas holiday break activities such as bowling, movies, or gym time; team dinners during travel meets; training-group-specific activities; and the annual spring picnic. Poolside social activities and summertime picnics are also coordinated during long-course season. Most of the activities depend on you, the parent to help organize and staff these type of social events.

Q: How do I volunteer to help organize social events or offer ideas?

A: Please contact Director of Volunteers _______________.