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FAQ

Here are some of the questions you have asked and our answers.  Click on the categories below to jump to that portion of the FAQ.


Who do I contact?

Question:
Who do I contact about joining the Makos?
Answer:
Please read the information further down in this FAQ first, and then you can email Coach Heather if you don't find the information you need.
Question:
Who do I contact for help with accessing the Mako website?
Answer:
Please read the information further down in this FAQ, and the information posted in the Documents tab first. If you don't find the information you need, please email the website administrator.
Question:
How do I contact the coaches?
Answer:
The coaches' email addresses are listed in or next to their biographies on the Coaches page. Please send them an email with your question or to see if you can find a time to meet with them before or after your swimmer's practice.
Parents are not allowed on deck during practice or meets, when the coaches need to focus on the swimmers.
Question:
Who do I contact about my swimmer's events?
Answer:
If your question is about what events your swimmer should enter at a meet, please contact your swimmer's coach. The coaches' email addresses are listed here.

If your question is about the status of entries you have made through the online entry system, please read the information further down in this FAQ first, and then contact the website administrator if you don't find the answer to your question.

Questions about joining the Makos swim team.

Question:
How can I get my swimmer(s) on the Makos team?
Answer:
First, check out the descriptions of our swim groups and their scheduled practice times.  During the registration period, look for the Online Registration button on the Mako homepage. Follow the steps to complete and submit the form, and then mail in your check with the registration fee (you don't have to pay the practice fees up front) or contact the Mako office to pay by credit card.
Question:
When is the registration period?
Answer:
Registration normally starts in May for returning swimmers and in June for new swimmers, and by mid June many of our popular groups are full. Please check the Calendar and the Swim Groups page in April - June to find the dates for each year.
Question:
How do I know which practice group is right for my swimmer(s)?
Answer:
Please read the group descriptions under the About tab. The description contains the requirements and whether your swimmer needs to be evaluated in person or get the coaches' approval to register for a group, and the description gives you an idea about what will be expected of swimmers in that practice group.
Question:
How do I know if there is space available in a particular practice group?
Answer:
The online registration system will not allow you to select a group if it is full of approved or pending swimmers.  During the registration period, we try to update the web site as soon as groups fill, so check the News tab and the Swim Groups page first.
Question:
I missed the registration, and now all the groups are full. What can I do?
Answer:
Coach Heather does maintain a waiting list, and you can send her an email with your information and the group(s) that interest you or would be right for your swimmer(s).
Question:
How do I determine the correct size suit for my swimmer?
Answer:
Team suits are supposed to fit tight, since your swimmer should wear the team suit during races, and  your swimmer should wear other suits during practice. You can always go to the Aardvark Swim store in Chantilly to try on the TYR brand suits to determine the correct size, or check the TYR Swimming web site for sizing information, and remember that we normally order the Youth sized suits for our 10 & Under swimmers and the Adult sized suits for swimmers older than 10.  Let us know if your 12 year old wants a Youth sized suit or your 10 year old needs the adult size.

Remember that tight suits help your swimmers swim better, and loose suits can lead to slower times and embarrassing situations.
Question:
What do I do if the suit doesn't fit?
Answer:
Remember, these suits are for races, and they are supposed to be tight.  Also please remember that the suits will stretch both with age and when they are wet.  Far too frequently, we have seen coaches trying to tie straps together to tighten suits at a meet or seen jammers flapping loosely about a swimmer's legs.

With that said, if your swimmer's suit is too tight, you can contact Coach Heather to see if she will be able to exchange the suit or to purchase a different size.
Question:
How much do the practices cost?
Answer:
Please check the information on the Swim Groups page for your swimmer's practice group.

Questions about accessing the web site.

Question:
I receive emails from the web site, but I can't login with my email address. How do I login?
Answer:
You can have multiple email addresses for an account, but you have to use the primary email address to login. Ask your spouse or parent for the information, if they are willing to share it.
Question:
My email address has changed. How do I change it for the web site?
Answer:
Please contact our web site administrator with both your old and new email addresses.
Question:
How do we find the names, email addresses and telephone numbers of other parents with swimmers in the same workout group?
Answer:
At the top of each page, and just below the Mako banner, there is a menu bar with a magnifying glass and the word "Members". Click on that to reach the Member search page, select the roster group from the drop down list, and then hit the search button.

Questions about my swimmers USA Swimming registration..

Question:
We are new to the Makos, but our swimmer swam on another team last season. What do we do?
Answer:
You will need to complete the PVS Transfer Form.

Your swimmer's USA Swimming ID is shown in the top right of the Member Profile page.
Question:
How do I find my swimmer's USA Swimming ID?
Answer:
Once you login to the web site, go to "My Account" and then "My Account" submenu to get your account information screen. Then select and click on your swimmer from the list below your address information. Once the "Member/Athlete Profile" page opens, you will see your swimmer's ID in the upper right corner. The ID is created from the two digits for the month, two digits for the day, and two digits for the year of your swimmer's birthday, and then the first three letters of your swimmer's legal first name, their middle initial and the first four letters of their last name.

Please let us know if this information isn't correct!
Question:
What is the LSC code, and what is the Club Code needed on the form?
Answer:
You can find your swimmer's old LSC and Club Code by checking their last USA Swimmign ID card or by looking up their times in the USA Swimmign Times database. If you are transferring from another PVS team, the LSC Code is "PV", and you can find the Club Code in the drop down list. Our LSC Code is PV, and the Club Code is MAKO.
Question:
How do I change my swimmer's name, birthdate, ...?
Answer:
If the field in the Member Profile is grayed out, you will need to send your updates to admin@makoswimming.net. If the field is not grayed out, you can edit the content.

Please do not change any of the fields in the USA Registration tab without contacting the admin.

Questions about entering swim meets.

Question:
How do I enter my swimmer in a meet?
Answer:
Please read the How to Enter Swim Meets document in the Documents tab first and the following answers to other frequently asked questions before contacting the Mako Website Administrator for help.
Question:
Why does the "Location" in the online entry system not match the location in the meet announcement?
Answer:
For some meets, PVS produces one event file even though the meet will be held in multiple locations. Please ignore the location listed in the online entry system, and do believe the location listed in the meet announcement and shown here on the MAKO website. If PVS moves us to another pool, we will update the website and send an email to all the families with swimmers entered in the meet.
Question:
I missed the deadline, can I still enter my swimmer?
Answer:
Unfortunately, no. Registration deadlines will be strictly enforced, and late entries will not be accepted.
Question:
How can I find out the entry deadlines?
Answer:
We post the deadline in the text description of the event. We also send out automatic reminders before the deadline, but the web site only allows us to send out one automatic reminder.
Question:
Why are the entries due weeks before the meet?
Answer:
We need time to review and approve the entries before publishing the entry report and allowing the parents to correct any errors or omissions. We also need time to get the entries into the meet directors before the entry deadlines to be sure the Mako entries are accepted; in the popular meets, it is first come first served, and they limit the number of swimmers.
Question:
How do I enter my swimmer in a meet?
Answer:
Click on the "Attend / Decline" button next to the event name. This will take you either directly to your swimmer or to a list of your swimmers. Click on your swimmer's name and then select whether your swimmer will or will not be attending the meet. Once you select "Yes", you will get a list of the events for your swimmer. Click on two or three boxes per day to select the events, and then remember to hit the "Save" button.

If you have multiple swimmers, repeat for each swimmer.

If you have additional questions, please check the How to Enter Swim Meets guide in the Documents folder.
Question:
Why do I still get a reminder even if I already entered my swimmer in the meet?
Answer:
The reminders are automatically sent from the web site system, and unfortunately, the system doesn't filter out the swimmers who have already committed or declined. We found most parents like the reminders, and hope the extra emails don't bother you too much.
Question:
How do I pay swim meet entry fees?
Answer:
When you registered your swimmer, you paid an advance on the meet entry fees.  Coach Heather's accountant deducts the meet entry fees from that account once we have submitted the final entries to the meet director.  As the balance gets low, Coach Heather will send you an invoice to replenish the fund.
Note: If your swimmer's account goes to zero, Coach Heather will not accept any additional meet entries.
Note: Entry fees are charged even if your swimmer doesn't compete, since Coach Heather has to pay the meet director before the meet. We know that things do come up which lead to unexpected absences, and we are sorry that we can't cancel the charges once we have submitted the final entries to the meet directors.
Question:
How much do meets cost?
Answer:
There are two aspects to a meet’s entry fees, and both are normally shown in the meet announcement.  First, there is a per swimmer charge, and second there is a per event charge.  The charges vary, and you should take both into account.  
If the per swimmer charge is high and the per event cost is low, you would want to enter your swimmer into as many events as allowed or you think is appropriate to spread that per swimmer charge over multiple events.  Conversely, if the per swimmer charge is low and the per event price is high, you might want to only select a few events.
Question:
Can our swimmers chose their own events or do the coaches decide who swims in which events?
Answer:
Unlike some other teams, you and your swimmers decide which events you want them to enter. Ask the coaches for guidance, and they will be happy to offer suggestions. There are some big meets where the meet organizers require certain minimum times and conversely there are a few meets that have No Faster than times. The online registration system should enforce all of those restrictions. Unfortunately, the online email system doesn't enforce those restrictions when sending out the meet announcements and reminders.
Question:
How can we be sure that our swimmer's events are properly recorded when entering a meet?
Answer:
Remember to hit the Save Changes button once you have made your selection. After you have saved the selections, you can go back to the Meet and click on Attend this Event again to check that the application saved your selections. The application does not send an automated response to confirm your selections.
Question:
Why does my swimmer's name have a line through it, and why can't I click on the name to enter the meet?
Answer:
Entries to some meets are restricted by practice group, and we show that in the meet description page. If your swimmer's name has a line through it, your swimmer is in a group that isn't attending that meet.

Sometimes, swimmers get moved to a different group, and we forget to update the database, so please send us an email if your swimmer does swim in one of the groups scheduled to swim in that meet.

Swimmers are also only allowed to compete in meets when the swimmer is actively practicing. Sometimes we forget to update the swimmer's information on the website when you have changed the sessions from your original registration form. Please contact the Mako Admin in these cases.
Question:
How do I know on which day and at what time an event is held? or What do those Day and Session numbers mean when I'm entering my swimmer?
Answer:
The online entry system uses numerical days and session numbers to generalize the online entry system, since meets don't always run Saturday to Sunday and because meets may have more than just a morning and afternoon sessions. By looking at the meet announcement, you can match, for instance Day 2, Session 3 to Sunday Morning for a two day meet with two sessions per day, or you could match Day 2, Session 6 to the Saturday Afternoon session of a three day meet starting on Friday and with three sessions per day.
Question:
What time is event X?
Answer:
First look at the meet announcements to see when the session will start and when the next one start to get an idea about how long each session is. You can then estimate the start times for various events.

Remember, unless your swimmer's coach tells your swimmer otherwise, your swimmer needs to be at the pool and ready for warm-ups at the start of the session.

We will publish the timeline when one is available, but that is a guideline and not a guarantee for when an event will start or end.  If we don't have a timeline, please look at the meet announcement for the session start times, and those are subject to change. Please read the meet announcement to see when the session is supposed to start and when the session is supposed to end. You can very roughly estimate the time for an specific event by dividing the length of the session by the number of events to get a very rough idea about how long each event will take. Remember that there are always a lot more swimmers doing the shorter distances and the easier strokes, so those events can actually take longer than things like the 100 IM or 200 free.
Question:
How do we tell when my swimmer's entries are approved?
Answer:
After the registration deadline, Coach Heather (and possibly the other coaches as well) will review and approve or reject your swimmer's entries. After the entries have been approved or rejected, you can check the status through the web site. We post the entry report and send out an email to let you know that it has been posted. Once the report is posted, Coach Heather gives you about one day to review the entries and request any changes before we finalize the report and send it to the meet organizer.
Question:
How can I be sure my swimmer is in the meet / has the correct events after a last minute change?
Answer:
Please check the psych sheet as soon as we post it on the web site. The psych sheet is created by the meet director, and it will show the entered swimmers and the events for each swimmer.

We try to verify that all swimmers are entered in the proper events, but you will of course pay more attention to whether your swimmer or swimmers are in the proper events and can catch a mistake we might miss. Please let us know ASAP if you do find an error or your swimmer is missing.
Question:
Can we see the list of entries before the deadline, or Why doesn't my swimmer show up in the Entry Report when I submit my entries?
Answer:
Sorry. The application doesn't automatically produce a report whenever things change. We will try to post a report before the entry deadline, but it is obviously just a snapshot of one moment and may not reflect your choices made after we took the snapshot.
Question:
Can we change our selections before the entry deadline?
Answer:
Yes, you can change your selections as often as you want before the deadline. Just click on the Attend this Event button, and then click on your swimmer's name to get the list of events. Click on the Save Changes button to make any changes, or just click on another link to leave the selections as they currently are.
Question:
What about the relays?
Answer:
There are only a few meets with relays, and the coaches will make those decisions. The coaches will tell your swimmer if your swimmer is selected for a relay, and we will post the relay teams on the team website.  The coaches will sometimes change the relays at the meets, perhaps to rest a swimmer who has qualified for finals or to give another swimmer an extra race.
Question:
What are these No Slower Than (No Faster Than) times on the meet announcement?
Answer:
Swim meet organizers set No Slower Than (NST) times to limit entries to just the fastest swimmers at the bigger meets. To swim in an event with a NST, your swimmer has to have an official time that isfaster than or equal to the NST. In the same fashion, meets with No Faster Than (NFT) times prevent the faster swimmers from swimming, and so the other swimmers get a better chance to win a race.

Questions about fastest times, NT entries and times from other meets.

Question
Why are my swimmer's new, fastest times not showing up when I use the online entry system?
Answer:
We have to receive the official meet result reports and update the times after each meet. Sometimes, we don't have the most recent times by the entry deadline, but we will update the times as soon as they are available to help our swimmers get seeded into the proper heats. Check the psych sheets once they are posted to confirm your swimmer's best times are used.
Question:
How do I correct a time or provide one when the system shows the wrong or "NT" for an event?
Answer:
Enter your swimmer normally, and then send an email to Mako website administrator with the correct time and when it was recorded. This should only apply to new swimmers if their former club didn't use Team Unify.
Question:
What times can I send in if the web site doesn't show my swimmer's time for an event?
Answer:
For almost all meets, we can accept Short Course Yard times your swimmer achieved in a USA Swimming sanctioned event.  Sorry, summer league swims aren't official times in this context, and most High School meets also don't qualify.  Please pull your swimmer's times from the USA Swimming Times Search web page, and then send the screenshot to the admin.
Question:
How do I enter my or my swimmer's High School times to use in meet entries?
Answer:
High School dual meet times are usually not officially recognized by USA swimming. Times from the District/Conference, Regional and State championship meets are normally recognized by USA swimming. If the times show up in the USA swimming data base, send a screenshot in an email to admin@makoswimming.net before the meet entry deadline.

Questions about what your swimmers and you should do on the day of the meet.

Question:
How do I know which schedule is correct when the meet announcement and the emails or timeline are not the same?
Answer:
Use the timeline posted in the meet description and in the session timeline also posted on the web site. The meet announcement does have a tentative timeline you can use for roughly planning when your swimmer will be racing, but the official start times are set when the timeline is created and posted.
Question:
How do I know which location is correct when the meet announcement and the location in the online entry system are not the same?
Answer:
Please ignore the location listed in the online entry system, and do believe the location listed in the meet announcement and shown here on the MAKO website. If PVS moves us to another pool, we will update the website and send an email to all the families with swimmers entered in the meet.

If there is a problem at the pool, or even at one of the other pools for the PVS Open meets, we might get moved at the last minute, so please make sure that your SMS numbers are verified.  We may need to send text message alerts with new location or other information.
Question:
How do I sign up to be an official?
Answer:
You need to first check out the PVS Official page for general information, and once you are on your way to being a PVS official, contact Ken Anderson, the MAKO Officials chair, to sign up to work at the meets.

Incentive: If you become a registered official, your child's event fees will be covered by MAKO for each session that you work during a meet. Every MAKO official will also receive a new NIKE jacket and a new collared Polo this season. Coach Heather will reimburse all officials for any registration fees for clinics or certifications once Coach Heather receives your receipt.
Question:
We're new to winter swim. Where do our swimmer's go at a meet?
Answer:
The Makos will have a team area on the deck at all swim meets, and your swimmers should go there before warm-ups start. They should look for the Mako banner or ask an official for directions. The swimmers should stay in the team area until their last event, so they can hear the coaches as they call the swimmers to go to the starting area. Yes, they can come to see you after they swim and have talked with the coaches, but they should go right back to the team area after you congratulate them. After your swimmer's last event the swimmer should collect all of their gear and help the coaches clean up the area before they leave to join you.
Question:
What do I need to do for the 500 (and longer) Freestyle?
Answer:
Each swimmer needs both a timer to run the stopwatch and press the timing system plunger, and a lap counter on the 500 Freestyle, and longer events.

One parent will be at the Start/Finish end of the pool in your swimmer's lane to time your swimmer. Normally, you time just your own swimmer, but sometimes you will be asked to time the swimmer before or after yours as well.

While the swimmers try to get a teammate to count the laps, you should also have a second parent, a sibling or some other person who isn't afraid of being splashed when the swimmer makes her or his flip turns. The coaches, or other experienced counters, will show you how to operate the lap counter, and during the race, the coaches will let the counter know whether the coach wants the swimmer to pick up the pace.
Question:
What is Positive Check-in?
Answer:
For Positive Check-in events, the swimmer has to sign sheet at a special table on or near the pool deck to indicate that they are present. Normally, the table is surrounded by a sea of swimmers, and a coach or teammate can help your swimmer find the check-in table. Positive Check-in closes before the start of the session, so it's best to have your swimmer sign in before warm-ups. In some meets, the Makos will have a coach "take roll" and then do the check-in for the swimmers while the swimmers warm-up.

Once the positive check-in closes, the meet organizers will seed the events. They do this to shorten the meet by making better use of the lanes instead of running lots of heats with empty lanes in the longer events. This does make it hard to know in which heat and lane your swimmer will be swimming, but the ubiquity of cell phones does allow your swimmer to text you with the information.

Note:If your swimmers misses the event after doing a Positive Check-In, your swimmer may be disqualified from their next event or possibly the rest of the meet. Check each meet's meet announcement for the rules in effect at that meet.
Question:
What are Prelim and Finals?
Answer:
Most meets, the swimmers swim each event one time, and the swimmers time in that heat determines the swimmer's place. In Prelim and Finals meets, the top 8, 16 or in a few cases 24, swimmers from the preliminary heats get to race the same event again that evening in the Finals. The swimmer's time in the finals, and whether the swimmer is in the fastest heat of the Finals (top 8) or a lower heat determines what place the swimmer gets. At meets with Finals, it is very important that your swimmer check with the coaches before leaving to see if they have qualified for Finals. If a swimmer qualifies for finals, the swimmer can chose to scratch by telling the coach. If the swimmer fails to scratch and then fails to show up for their event in Finals, the swimmer can be disqualified from their next event or possibly event he rest of the meet.
Question:
Do we have to be at the meet all day?
Answer:
For most meets, there are separate sessions for swimmers in different age groups. Check the meet announcement and the timeline to see when your swimmer or swimmers will be swimming, and be sure to have your swimmer at the pool before the warm-up for that session.
Question:
The meet starts on Friday. Does my swimmer have to miss school?
Answer:
With the exception of travel meets, swimmers and their parents can chose whether the swimmer misses school for Friday daytime events in those few meets which start on Fridays. If there are relays on a Friday, the coaches will select swimmers who are scheduled to swim on that Friday to make the relay teams.
Question:
What time will the meet end / When will my swimmer be done?
Answer:
When we can, we post the tentative timeline on each meet's event page. You can check the timeline to see when your swimmer's last event is scheduled to begin. If you swimmer isn't in the last event, just look at when the next event is scheduled to begin. If your swimmer is in the last event, you can try to multiply the number of heats by an average time for the event to get a ballpark figure.

Your swimmer does not have to stay until the end of the meet. They are free to leave after checking with their coaches after their last event and doing any cool down the coaches suggest.
Question:
What do I do if my swimmer can't make it to the meet.
Answer:
Please try to send your swimmer's coach a text message or email to let them know your swimmer won't be showing up. You can also email or text or web administrator, who can normally get a message to the coach if she is attending the meet.

If your swimmer is going to miss a relay, please let the web site administrator and the coaches know as soon as possible, so that they can try to find a replacement swimmer or let the other parents know that the relay will be scratched.
Question:
Can my swimmers wear their personalized caps with the old Mako logo at the meets?
Answer:
Your swimmer should ask their coach, but in general the answer is, "Yes." our team photographer encourages you to have your swimmers wear their personalized caps, since it helps her and you identify your swimmers in the water and in the pictures.
Question:
What should my swimmer wear at the meet?
Answer:
Your swimmer should wear their team T shirt, sweats, or warm-up when at the meet, a team cap when swimming, and, except for championship meets, their team suit. In championship meets, swimmers can wear their speed suits if they have one, but they should wear their regular team suit in most meets, which is why we recommend that team suits should be a size smaller than your swimmer's normal practice suit to be tight and help your swimmer go fast.

Your swimmer should not wear their summer league or high school suit, shirts, sweats etc.

Questions about volunteering at the meets and at other times

Question:
How can I help out at a meet?
Answer:
Great question!  Please click HERE to read about our Volunteer Service Hours Requirements. When the MAKOS host a meet you can use the online job sign up system to sign up for various positions. We will send a reminder to the parents of participating swimmers once the jobs are setup for a meet.
 
Question:
Do I get credit for helping out?
Answer:
Yes.
Question:
How do I sign up to time during the meets?
Answer:
These days, we need to know who is timing both at our MAKO hosted meets and other meets. For the MAKO hosted meets, use the online job sign-up link next the the "Attend/Decline" button for the meet. For meets hosted by other clubs, we will send out an email with the information you will need to use to sign up.  Make sure to email admin@makoswimming.net to inform us of your volutneering hours at other PVS hosted meets. This way you will get the proper credit for your time.

Please remember that you should sign in at the Officials Table when you are a timer.  Look for all the white shirts and a few laptops.
Question:
I want to help, but I can't help all day / the whole session
Answer:
We can still use your help. At the MAKO hosted meets, look for jobs like swimmer check-in, or meet sheet / gear sales. 
Question:
How do I watch my swimmer's races if I am working Hospitality or the Meet Sheet / Gear Sales?
Answer:
We normally want at least two people working these jobs, so that you can slip out to the bleachers or look through the doors from the Hospitality room.

Questions about meet results.

Question:
How soon will the results be posted?
Answer:
We will try to load the result file as soon as it is posted on the PVS web site. Once we load the result file, your swimmer's times will be automatically updated.
Question:
How do I find my swimmer's results?
Answer:
Login to the web site, and then go to My Account > My Meet Results to see your swimmer's times.
Question:
Why are some results listed twice?
Answer:
Multiple teams use the TeamUnify platform that powers our website, and multiple teams will load the meet result files.  When this happens, your swimmers’ results can be duplicated under some circumstances. You will notice little differences in the Meet Name or the date of the swim.  Those little differences prevent the system from recognizing the duplicate times and hiding them from your view in On Deck Parent or on the website.  It’s a bother, but there’s no actual impact on your swimmers’ times when entering meets.
Question:
Where do I find the full meet results?
Answer:
Please check the Potomac Valley Swimming (PVS) website. Results are normally posted there within a day or two.
Question:
Why is there a line under my swimmer's time(s)?
Answer:
The line indicates that the system can show your swimmer's split times in that event. A split is the time for each 50 in a 100 or longer race. Click on the time to see open a popup window that will show your swimmer's splits. Unfortunately, not all meet result files contain splits.

Questions about Mako Records and Top Times.

Question:
Why did the records change?
Answer:
In the Spring of 2015, the coaches decided to align the age groups and events with the top times reported on the PVS web site. This means that we added the 17-18 age group. This also means that we no longer are tracking times for 8 & Unders or 9-10 swimmers that are not included in the PVS top times list for 10 & Unders.

The coaches still encourage our top swimmers to compete in the longer events, like a 10 year old swimming a 200 Backstroke. We just won't recognize those swims as records unless the swimmer beats the 12 & Under, 14 & under or Open time.
Question:
Why does the Top Times list on the website show events that aren't in the Mako Records?
Answer:
We can't control the events shown in the Top Times Report, so you will see events like the 9-10 400 IM and the 15-16 50 Backstroke.
Question:
Why doesn't the Top Times list show all the results in the Mako Records?
Answer:
The Top Times report only shows data from the database, and for active swimmers. Several of the Mako Records were set long before we moved to the Team Unify system, so those swimmers and their results are not in the database.

Also, the Top Times report is set to show the top swims in the current year. We only use the current year's results when creating the report.
Question:
Why don't you publish a "Top 10" or ladder for results?
Answer:
The coaches believe that it is important to recognize our top swimmer in each event, but the coaches don't want swimmers or parents worrying about where they or their swimmer "rank" compared to other swimmers.

Questions about practices.

Question:
Are all practices at GMU?
Answer:
Yes, all regular practices are at the GMU pool. Certain groups will occasionally practice in other locations when the GMU pool is in use by the college team or other groups.
Question:
Do I need a bag tag to watch practice?
Answer:
Per GMU policy, all swimmers need a bag tag and need to enter through the swimmer entrance. Parents and siblings who need to enter through the swimmer entrance also must have a bag tag, for example during the morning practices or when escorting a Mini Mako Developmental swimmer to the pool.

During normal Aquatic and Fitness Center hours, parents and siblings should enter through the front entrance, and do not require a bag tag during those times.

Parents and siblings must sit in the bleachers during practice.  The tables and the benches by the television are for the GMU students, faculty and AFC members.
Question:
How do I find out about practice changes due to inclement weather?
Answer:
We will send out emails and post a News item if practices have to be canceled or rescheduled because of the weather. For last minute changes, we will also try to send text messages to the impacted swimmers and parents, so please make sure that you verify your cell phone number(s).
Question:
How do I find out about practices on school holidays?
Answer:
Please check the News page and Calendar for practice schedule changes, pool closures and other announcements.
Question:
What time is practice?
Answer:
It depends upon the Roster group for which your swimmer is registered or to which your swimmer has been assigned. You can find your swimmer's Roster group, by checking your swimmer's information under the "My Account" tab on the website.Please check the practice schedule in the Group Descriptions, and with many groups such as Age Group, Junior Blue or High School Prep, your swimmer has a specific set of days and a specific time for your swimmer's scheduled practice.

Please check with the coaches before your swimmer attends practice at a different time or day of the week, since we want to avoid overcrowded lanes.

Please check the News page and Calendar for practice schedule changes, pool closures and other announcements.
Question:
How do I find out what the coaches have planned?
Answer:
The coaches do not produce a specific schedule, but some of the coaches do contribute general objectives for their groups in the current period. You can find those updates in the practice group specific page under the News tab.
Question:
What should my swimmer bring to practice?
Answer:
Please check with your swimmer's coach for specific answers. We have published a table showing the Recommended / Required Gear. Please alaso check the News tab for your swimmer's group for any additional notes.
Question:
My swimmer lost ____________. How does my swimmer get it back?
Answer:
The lifeguards pick up things left on the pool deck, and the lifeguards have a lost and found your swimmer can look through in the guards office. Items left in the locker rooms may be in the found item stash at the main desk or in the lifeguard office.

Sometimes, swimmers scoop up another swimmer's items without noticing, and the items just slowly decompose in the bottom of the swimmer's swim bags or get taken out at home and not brought back to practice. Ask your swimmer to ask their coach and teammates about missing items, and use the Lost and Found discussion thread to post a message for other parents and swimmers to see. You can also try asking other parents in the stands during your swimmer's practice.

Make sure all your swimmer's gear has your swimmer's name on it, and remind your swimmer to put everything in their packs unless they will need it (fins, water bottle, etc.) during practice. Your swimmer should take their mesh bag to the end of the lane at the start of practice and then put everything back into the mesh bag as soon as they exit the pool.

Questions about the emails and other messages from Coach Heather and from the web site.

Question:
I don't seem to get the emails, and I don't want to miss an important announcement or dealine. How can I be sure to receive the emails?
Answer:
Two answers. First make sure that your email address is correct in the web site online database. Please contact us if you need help getting on the web site.

Second, emails do occasionally get lost, since there is no guaranteed delivery in the email protocols. As a result, you should also make a habit of checking the web site for upcoming deadlines and any emergency announcements.
Question:
How do I know if my email address is "Verified"?
Answer:
Login to the web site if you haven't already. Go to My Account. You should see a screen like this:

Verified Email

If the "Verified" box has a check mark, your email address or SMS number are verified. If not, select your email address or SMS number and then click on the "Verify" button, and the system will send you a message with instructions on verifying that email address or SMS number.
Question:
How do I add add an email address for my account?
Answer:
First, login to the Mako web site then click on "My Account" in the left hand menu bar to open those options, and then click on "My Account" to edit your entry. You can add your email addresses on that account screen. If you have more than one swimmer, and your swimmers are in different groups, you can click on your swimmer's name if you would like to add your swimmer's email address. By adding your swimmers' email addresses to their own entries they wil receive emails targeted to just their practice group.
Question:
When do you use text messages?
Answer:
We use the web site's text messaging to send out urgent messages, like weather related pool closings, last minute changes in venue or schedule for a swim meet or other time critical information. We don't use the text messaging for everyday communcation.
Question:
Why do I still get a reminder to enter a meet even if I already entered my swimmer in the meet?
Answer:
The reminders are automatically sent from the web site system, and unfortunately, the system doesn't filter out the swimmers who have already committed or declined. We found most parents like the reminders, and hope the extra emails don't bother you too much.

Questions about Invoices and Balances

Question:
How do I pay for the meet entry fees?
Answer:
You may pay by check each month, or your credit card on file will automatically be charged on the first day of each month.
Question:
What are the costs for my swimmer's practice group?
Answer:
Please check the fee information on the Swim Groups page for your swimmer's practice group. In addition to the practice group fees, your bill will include the meet entry fees for the meets your swimmer enters, whether they swim or not, since the entry fees are non-refundable after we submit our entries to the meet director and PVS.

Questions about photos of your swimmers.

Question:
I have some great photos of my swimmers that I would like to share. How can I do that?
Answer:
We are happy to get your pictures for posting on the web site.

You can send copies to our web site administrator and the administrator will try to post them under the Photos tab. Please note that images on the Mako web site or the Mako Facebook page are visible to anyone on the internet.

Please remember to get permission from other swimmers' parents before you submit a photo for the main Mako web site or the Facebook page.