New Parents' Introduction to the Nessies Swim Team
If you're thinking about signing up your child for the Nessies swim team, you're probably full of questions about what to expect and what swim team is like. Here is a brief overview of the Nessies experience, along with frequently asked questions.
The summer begins in late May with afternoon practices every weekday. Once school ends, the team also practices in the morning. The more practices your children can attend, the more progress they'll make in their stroke form and speed.
However, there's no expectation that swimmers must attend every practice. We understand that families are busy and even if your child practices just 2 or 3 times a week, that's fine -- especially the first summer or two on the team.
Once the summer is in full swing, all swimmers are welcome and encouraged to participate in B meets, a fun Wednesday evening tradition. The Pre-Team swimmers can compete in kickboard races even before they're ready to swim a length independently. Away B meets are held only at nearby pools for travel convenience on a weekday night. Host pools sell food for dinner or snack and the kids all love the cheers and fun music.
On Saturday mornings, the fastest swimmers in each age group and event compete in A meets that are held at pools in the same division as the Nessies. Just like B meets, A meets are full of fun music, enthusiastic cheering, and team spirit. The coaches determine who will compete in A meets based on the top times in each event and the availability of particular swimmers that weekend. The lineup for Saturday is usually announced on Thursday or Friday.
To get revved up for A meets, the team holds pep rallies on Friday nights for all swimmers on the team, regardless of age or whether they're swimming the next day. Everyone practices the cheers and gets to know the newest swimmers on the team. Pep rallies are guaranteed FUN! There is often a theme and swimmers are encouraged to come prepared with costumes, etc. Swimmers are fed at the pep rallies (and parents can bring their own dinner or purchase dinner from the Friday night food trucks at the pool).
The Nessies rely on a solid, devoted network of parent volunteers and leaders each and every summer. As a new parent, there are many roles you can take on, from serving as timer during an A or B meet or helping with food at pep rallies. If you're not sure whether your child will stick with the team, just sign up once! We appreciate everyone's volunteer time, from one hour to one hundred. Volunteer signups are available in the Events section of this Web site.
If you have a younger child or new swimmer, pre-team may be right for your child. The pre-team swimmers have a separate practice schedule but are encouraged to compete in B meets either in kick board races or 25-meter freestyle as the summer progresses. If you're unsure whether your child is ready for the team or should be on pre-team, please get in touch with the Head Coach. Pre-team swimmers participate in pep rallies and other team social events.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What if my child isn't sure she wants to join the team?
A: Your child is welcome to try out the swim team by participating in a few practices until deciding whether to join for the summer. One idea: invite a friend to check out the swim team with your child -- that can lessen the fear factor and make it more fun.
Q: What if my child is scared to compete?
A: The Nessies coaches are encouraging and supportive of children at all levels and have years of experience coaxing nervous swimmers into the water. The younger children are paired up with older swimmers during B meets so they can gain confidence in competing. The team's primary goal is to have fun and improve in swimming, so your child will never be pressured into competing before he or she is ready.
Q: We will be away on vacation during part of the season. Can my child still join the team?
A: Absolutely! We welcome as much time as you can give to the team. Please be sure to look ahead at any meets and team events you will miss and select the appropriate availability in the online system.
More questions? Email the coaching staff at firstname.lastname@example.org who are happy to field your inquiries. For registration or team event questions, email the current A Reps (parent team managers) at email@example.com.