FOXRIDGE FOXES SWIM TEAM HANDBOOK
The Foxridge Foxes Swim Team (SwimTeam) at Foxridge Swim and Racquet Club (FSRC) competes within the Mountain Hi Swim League (MHSL), a recreational league with an emphasis on learning, teamwork and fun. The League’s philosophy is that a positive swimming experience is just as important as breaking records and winning awards. At Foxridge, we seek to provide young people the opportunity to develop both their swimming skills and a love for the sport of swimming. Foxridge coaches strive to help each swimmer improve their skill set and achieve their personal goals, within the framework of a team environment. Each success is celebrated, whether that means trying a new stroke for the first time, not DQ’ing, giving it your all, improving a personal best time, or earning ribbons. And through it all, we stress the importance of good sportsmanship.
The Swim Team is run by 4 volunteer Parent Representatives (Parent Reps), each serving a minimum 2 year term, staggered so that there are always 2 senior Parent Reps and 2 new Parent Reps. Parent Reps are FSRC Board of Directors members and are required to be at all FSRC board meetings and MHSL parent representative meetings. Parent Rep duties include representing the Swim Team within the MHSL, working with other swim teams, hiring and supervising coaches, establishing team policies, scheduling and hosting social events, managing team finances, running meets and overseeing all administrative functions. Any questions, comments or concerns regarding such matters should be directed to the Parent Reps (see “Updated Contact and Info” for contact information).
The coaching staff is usually comprised on a Head Coach and three assistant coaches, all lifeguard certified. Traditionally, these are former Swim Team members who possess the knowledge and skill to adequately instruct in the sport, while passing along their team spirit and love for swimming. Any questions, comments or concerns regarding practice drills, event/relay entries, individual swimmer progress, absences, DQ or technique clarifications, etc. should be directed to the Head Coach (see “Updated Contact and Info” for contact information). Please be considerate, however, and refrain from talking to coaches during practices.
The Swim Team communicates primarily through e-mail and online notices posted on the website www.foxridgefoxes.com which is hosted by Team Unify. Registration, event sign-ups, volunteer sign-ups, meet results and news can all be found on the website. If you experience any difficulty accessing or maneuvering within the site, please contact the Swim Team's Team Unify Administrator (see “Updated Contact and Info” for contact information). PLEASE CHECK YOUR EMAIL AND THE TEAM WEBSITE REGULARLY FOR ANY PRACTICE, MEET OR SOCIAL EVENT CANCELATIONS/UPDATES.
You do not have to belong to FSRC to join the Swim Team, however, FSRC members do receive a discount on Swim Team registration fees. The Swim Team is open to any swimmer age 18 and younger that can swim one length of the pool. However, children need to not only feel comfortable swimming the length of the pool with the wall by their side, but also to swim the width of the pool with no assistance. During the first 2 weeks of practice, the coaches will evaluate each swimmer’s skill level. Based on this evaluation, League and team policies, and the rules outlined in USA Swimming, a determination is made as to whether the swimmer may remain on the Swim Team. A full refund of any fees will be issued to families of swimmers not deemed water safe to continue with the program.
MHSL is a volunteer-run league and must have parent support in order to be successful. On average, it takes between 50 and 60 volunteers to run a dual meet. Therefore, each family must provide a parent volunteer in some capacity, to fulfill volunteer shifts totaling 12 points during the swim season. Parents are also required to volunteer at Prelims, Championships, and All Stars if they have a child swimming in those meets. This is above and beyond the regular season 12 point requirement. To ensure that it has the volunteer force needed to function adequately within MHSL, the Swim Team also requires each family to provide a $350 check as a Volunteer Fee. If a swimmer's volunteer commitment is satisfied, this check will be shredded (or returned, if requested) at the end of the season. If the volunteer commitment is not satisfied, the swimmer will forfeit the Volunteer Fee and the check will be cashed. All slots must be committed prior to 10 am on the Tuesday prior to the meet. You must attempt to find your own replacement if you later find yourself unavailable to work the shift you selected. Everyone will write a volunteer cheque and be expected to fulfill volunteer requirements who has a swimmer on the team including pool board members. See list of Volunteer Opportunities and Chair positions below.
Selecting Volunteer Shifts. Volunteer shifts are made available online on a first come-first served basis. To sign up for a shift, your Swim Team membership must be “activated.” In order to be activated, all required forms and payments (including Volunteer Check) must be received by the Parent Reps. Note: If you register at the lower FSRC member rate, your FSRC dues for the current year must be paid or your Swim Team membership will not be activated. AGAIN, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SIGN UP FOR VOLUNTEER SHIFTS OR MEETS UNTIL YOUR SWIM TEAM MEMBERSHIP IS ACTIVATED.
There are 3 parts to registration...
- Register Online. Logon to the Team Unify website and click the “Registration” tab, then follow the prompts. Swimmers will fill in their info, complete required team forms with electronic signatures, select team t-shirt size and download the League Insurance form.
- Pay Registration Fees. Swimmers can pay registration fees in 1 of 3 ways...
- by credit card - you can pay online as part of the registration process,
- by check (made payable to “FSRC”) via mail to FSRC P.O. Box, or
- by cash or check in person on Gear Day. (See “Updated Contact and Info” for current prices)
- Submit Completed League Insurance Form and $350Volunteer Check. Print out and complete the downloaded MHSL Insurance form and submit it along with your Volunteer Check (made payable to “FSRC”) to Foxridge Foxes Swim Team, P.O. Box 3234, Englewood CO 80155.
Remember that the Volunteer Check must be a separate check from any other payment because the Volunteer Check will be held until the end of the season. If your volunteer commitment is satisfied, your check will be shredded (or returned, if requested) and if your volunteer commitment is not satisfied, your check will be cashed.
Registration Deadlines. Regular registration only remains open for a few weeks. Late registration will be allowed as space permits on the team at the age group. Should the swimmer be permitted to register late:
a) will be charged a $25 late fee,
All swimmers registering after the registration deadline….
b) WILL NOT get a team t-shirt and
c) WILL NOT be able to order gear
A deadline for all registrations is set just prior to the first meet. No swimmers will be allowed to join the team after that date. (see Swim Meets and Important Dates for current registration deadlines). Refunds of registration fees are available up until the first meet, minus the TU processing charge and MHSL fee.
NOTE: Swimmers will not be allowed to practice or participate in a meet until Registration and Volunteer Fees are paid and all required forms are completed and received by the Parent Reps (insurance regulation and team policy), and volunteer committments are met as discussed under the volunteer section.
The concession stand at all home meets is the Swim Team’s largest and most effective fundraiser. The money raised by the concession stand is used to help pay coach salaries, purchase ribbons and awards, fund socials and defray the cost of meet supplies. To help keep costs down, the Swim Team asks each swimmer to sign up online to donate goods to Concessions for at least one of its home meets.
Swim Suits and Gear
1. Team Suits - The Swim Team is on a two-year program whereby new team suit styles are selected in even years. Suits are always in the team colors of black/red/white and are typically voted on by the team. Swimmers are not required to purchase or compete in team suits.
2. Team T-shirts - The Swim Team provides every swimmer who registers prior to the Late Registration deadline with one free team t-shirt. Additional t-shirts can be purchased/ordered along with other gear via mail-in orders or at Gear Day.
3. Other Gear - “Foxridge” imprinted sweatshirts, sweatpants, shorts, towels, yard signs, etc. may be made available for purchase prior to the swim season (selection changes from year to year.) To order gear, either a) download an order form, fill it out and send a separate check for the gear order total (made payable to “FSRC”) in the same envelope with your MHSL Insurance form and Volunteer Check, or b) attend Gear Day to try on the products and place your order in person. (See “Updated Contact and Info” for Gear Day date and location.)
Distribution: All gear orders and team t-shirts are distributed at the Kickoff Party/Ice Cream Social.
Practices are broken out by age group and begin in May before swimmers are out of school and before the pool is open to its membership for the season. Weather permitting, practices are held in the afternoon M-Th until Littleton Public Schools (LPS) are out for the summer. Once LPS is out, practices are held mornings and afternoons until Cherry Creek Schools are out, then mornings only. (See “Swim Meets and Important Dates” for practice schedule.) Spring weather can be quite unpredictable. Please watch your e-mail and the website for any practice cancelations.
What do the coaches expect of swimmers at practice?
- Be prompt. Be on time to all practices.
- Be positive. Arrive each day with a positive attitude, ready to work hard and swim fast while having fun!
- Be committed. When at practice, swimmers are supposed to practice swimming ( not talking!)
- Be resilient yet wise. There is a difference between hurting and being injured. If a swimmer’s arms are sore, or their knee kind of aches, or they have a paper cut on their finger, and it really stings when they get in the water, they need to practice. If they are truly injured, however, swimming will only aggravate the injury and the most important thing to do is get better. Tell a coach about any injuries.
- Be supportive of fellow swimmers. Younger swimmers think older kids are the coolest people in the world but kind of scary. So all swimmers should be nice and set a good example with their behavior and their language.
- Be warned. If swimmers are disruptive, disrespectful to other swimmers or coaches, or consistently slacking off, disciplinary measures will be taken. Swimmers will be given 3 warnings: First warning is just that, a warning. Second warning is push-ups or laps. On the third warning, the swimmer will be sent home so as to not disrupt what everyone else is trying to accomplish.
Stroke and Turn Clinics
Stroke and turn clinics are scheduled by coaches and held weekly as a low cost opportunity for swimmers to improve their stokes in a small group environment. Specific days and times vary by year, but are generally held two times per week with stroke focus rotating in the evenings. Coaches may request swimmers, especially at the 8 and under age range engage in this opportunity to improve skills if they are not independently swimming the length of the pool by the first meet. There is a sign-up sheet in the Swim Team Box. Swimmers may only sign up for 1 session a week unless a slot remains open 1 hour prior to the clinic. Any open slots at that time may be filled with swimmers who have already attended a prior clinic. The cost is $5.00 per swimmer.
Foxridge strives to have the best sportsmanship in MHSL. To achieve that, the Swim Team expects its coaches, swimmers, their parents and family members to adhere to and surpass the MHSL Code of Conduct (see copy below).
Dual Meets are held 5 times each season, and swimmers are coached to swim strokes according to MHSL guidelines. For Away Meets, see “Pool Locations” tab on website for pool locations and directions.
- Meet Themes – The coaches decide on a theme for each meet (e.g., Hawaiian, Safari, Pirate, Alien Invasion, Tie Dye, etc.) and swimmers dress-up, decorate their tents, and encourage their Swim Family members according to the theme. This is a way of showing team spirit and parents are welcome to dress up, too.
- Event Sign-ups - Each dual meet is comprised of 90 events (see Table of Meet Events.) Swimmers have the opportunity to sign up for the events they would like to swim by logging on to website at www.foxridgefoxes.com by Tuesday at noon of the meet week and clicking the meet sign up tab. Each swimmer may swim in up to three individual events, and in 2 relays in a meet. The coaches will review the meet line-up and do their best to accommodate swimmer preferences but may make changes based on the team’s overall needs (there are no guarantees.) Each event can have several heats so it is important to check the pool sandwich board sign or the meet program posted online on Fridays prior to each meet to determine what events your child will be swimming in. Make a note of your swimmer's event numbers, heats and lanes and bring it to the meet. If you want to print your own copy of the events program, it is available online on Friday nights.
- Pep Rallies - The coaches hold a pep rally each Friday morning after practice from 8:30am to 9:00am to prepare for the Saturday meet. The swimmers enjoy doughnuts and juice, learn cheers, receive important information regarding the upcoming swim meet and get fired up for the meet. Pep Rallies are a key team building activity so it is important for all swimmers to attend.
- Absences - The coaches require that they be notified in writing though the website no later than the Tuesday prior to the meet if your child will not be swimming in the meet. Race schedules are made out mid-week and entered into the computer. Last minute changes are hard on the coaches and the parent volunteers who are running the meet. This is especially true where swimmers leave a meet early. Because relays occur in the last events of the day, the coaches rely on your swimmer to be there until the end of the meet. If you must leave early, please let the coach know as soon as possible so a substitute can be selected. See the Notice of Planned Meet Absences and Relay Policy!
- Warm-Up – The entire team warms up before each meet. The visiting team warm-up starts at 6:50 am and the home team warm-up starts at 7:20 am.
- National Anthem – The Home team provides a National Anthem performer. Anyone interested in performing should contact a Parent Rep early in the season. All swimmers are expected to show due respect for this patriotic tradition.
- Heating – Swimmers should watch the “First Call/Last Call” sign and listen for their events to be called over the loud speaker. Event cards will be issued to swimmers when they enter the heating area.
- Note: At meets, tents, chairs, ropes, benches, swimmers, parents, coaches, officials, volunteers, the score table, and concessions utilize every inch of available space around a pool. This can be intimidating for first-time swimmers. Once your child becomes familiar with meet days, all the chaos will seem much more manageable. Help ease the stress for your child by knowing their events and writing the event numbers down. Remind your child to approach the heating area when their events are being called (usually up to six events ahead.) The coaches especially appreciate your assistance in helping to round up younger swimmers for relay events.
- DQ's - Only swimmers 7 and older are subject to disqualification by stroke and turn judges, although 6 & under can be disqualified if they fail to demonstrate a continuous effort to perform the designated stroke or need physical assistance from a coach. Stroke Judges are trained and experienced and should explain to the swimmer why they were DQ'd. Remember, they are not “out to get” anyone, rather they are there to provide valuable feedback to help swimmers develop a proper stroke according to the guidelines. If there isn't enough time to explain a DQ, the DQ notification will go to the Head Coach and the Head Coach can discuss it with your child. DO NOT APPROACH STROKE & TURN JUDGES WITH ANY QUESTIONS/PROTESTS because they need to keep focused on what's happening in the pool. Swimmers should direct all questions/comments to the Head Coach. DQ's are important learning opportunities for swimmers to learn the correct stroke before they get to the final meets where judging tends to be a little stricter. (See MHSL Stroke Briefing)
- Results – meet results are posted poolside throughout the meet and are usually available on the website within 24 hours of the end of the meet. To determine the winning team, team points are awarded for the top placements. Individual events are awarded 6 pts. for first place, 3 pts. for second place, 2 pts. for third place and 1 pt. for fourth place. Relay teams are awarded 8 pts. for first and 4 pts. for second place.
- Some pools are 25 meter and some are 25 yards. To convert times...
- Yards Time (in seconds) x 1.11 = Meters Time (in seconds)
- Meters Time (in seconds) / 1.11 = Yards Time in seconds)
- After the Meet - Please make sure your group cleans up after themselves!! This is especially important at away meets. A team that leaves a mess is deemed unsportsmanlike and has in the past been fined, or in extreme cases, MHSL league points are deducted. Swimmers are expected to help clean up trash after each meet. Cleanup needs to be done quickly to get the pools ready for open swim.
- Spaghetti Feeds – as fundraisers, the Swim Team arranges a team spaghetti dinner at the Foxridge pool the night befoe each home meet. After eating dinner the team can stay and help set up for the meet the following morning.
Prelims are held at the end of the season and include all teams within the Division, divided by age group. Prelims are held over Friday and Saturday mornings and are a deciding factor of which swimmers will swim in the Championship meet. The top 12-16 qualifiers (depending upon pool size where Championships will be held) and 2 alternates in each event will compete at Championships. All swimmers are encouraged to participate at Prelims. Parents who have children swimming at Prelims must volunteer to help run these meets. This is above and beyond the 12 volunteer points required during the regular season.
Championships is the sixth and final Division team meet. The 12- 16 fastest swimmers in each event (as well as 2 alternates) as determined at prelims, qualify for Championships. Additional swimmers may be invited by the coaches to swim in the relay events, even though they have not qualified for an individual event. Swimmers must swim in a minimum of two regular dual meets in order to be eligible to swim at Championships. ALL swimmers are encouraged to attend and cheer on their teammates. Parents who have children swimming at Championships must volunteer to help run the meet. This is above and beyond the 12 volunteer points required during the regular season.
All-Stars is the last swim event of the MHSL season. Only swimmers who meet or beat a pre-set “All-Star” time during the regular season, prelims, or championships are eligible to swim in this meet. All-Stars is the “best of the best” competition from within all 24 teams in the MHSL. Parents who have children swimming at All-Stars must volunteer to help run the meet. This is above and beyond the 12 volunteer points required during the regular season. There is an additional swimmer cost for this event, which includes an All-Star t-shirt. All fees must be paid prior to competing. The team may budget to purchase the T-shirt, please contact a parent rep for details each season.
Notice of Planned Meet Absences and Relay Policy
Swimmers are expected to be prompt, participate in warm-ups and meets, and communicate with coaches if they will be absent. Absences include having to leave early or come late to the meet. The coaches rely on the swimmers to be at a meet until the last event, since they are often placed in relays. If a swimmer is missing at relay event time, that relay team will be scratched if a substitution cannot be made. It is also important that the team show spirit and support for all swimmers, including those in the last relay events. Since the meet line-ups are created on Tuesday evenings, swimmers should notify the coaches in writing or by email through the Foxridge swim team website of planned absences for Saturday Meets by the prior Tuesday at practice. If a swimmer fails to give a written note of absence (including leaving early or arriving late), the swimmer will not be allowed to swim in any relay in the following meet. It is very important that the coaches are notified of meet absences IN WRITING!
The Swim Team honors its swimmers with ribbons, patches, medals, trophies and other items throughout the season. Team banners for displaying patches are available for purchase through gear orders.
1. All-Star qualifiers receive ribbons/medals based on performance at All-Star meet.
2. Championship qualifiers and participants receive a Championship cap, plus ribbons/medals based on performance at Championship meet.
3. End of Season Awards are given out by the coaches on Awards Night. The coaches select a swimmer from each age group and gender to receive Most Improved, Most Dedicated and Most Valuable medals and patches. The coaches also select swimmers from the entire team to receive the Sportsmanship Award, 2 Spirit Awards and the Coaches' Award. Those swimmers receive a medal or trophy and the Coaches' Award recipient's name is placed on the perpetual plaque in the FSRC pool trophy case. Please see the Head Coach for a description of the criteria used in selecting these award recipients.
4. Gag Awards are given out by the coaches at the Awards night.
5. MHSL League & Pool Record breakers receive a certificate and have their names posted on the FSRC pool bulletin board.
6. Ribbons are provided by MHSL for places 1-6 and all heat positions for swimmers 12 and under, which are delivered the week after a meet into the Swim Team Box folders. There are no DQ ribbons.
7. Speeding Tickets are given out by the coaches at pep rallies to honor personal best times.
9. Swimmer of the Week certificated and Fox Bux are given out by the coaches at pep rallies to swimmers in each age group who stood out in the preceding week's practices.
An end of season Awards Night is held at the end of each season at the pool. It is typically held on Sunday evening of championship weekend. Each swimmer will receive a gag award, medals/trophies will be presented to select swimmers. All team members are encouraged to attend and help celebrate the season!
Team and Individual Photos
Early in the season, a professional photographer is brought in on a Friday in lieu of practice to take individual and team photos. The gate opens at 7:30 am and swimmers are assigned a number as they arrive. The team photo is usually taken promptly at 8:00 am, followed by individual pictures. Swimmers fill out their order envelope, enclosed their payment, then line up by number until their individual pictures are taken. When swimmers are not in line they are in the lower lawn participating in an extended Pep Rally. A few weeks later, photos are delivered to the pool and placed in a drop file by last name, in alphabetical order.
At the beginning of the season, the coaches create nicknames for all 15-18 swimmers. These nicknames will appear on the meet programs and results, pool records, all-star stars, etc. Be sure to learn the nicknames of any Swim Family members!
Fox Bux are pretend Swim Team currency, redeemable only at Home Meet Concessions. They are sold by the Parent Reps and at Concessions for $1.00 with a Concessions value of $1.00 and are only valid for the current swim season. They make great encouragement gifts for Swim Family members!
Just before the season begins, the Coaches are given the team roster listing swimmer names and ages. The Coaches divide the swimmers into Swim Families (roughly 1 member from each age group). The Swim Families meet for the first time at the kickoff party, decide on a family name and are given a list of their family members. As new swimmers register, new Swim Families are formed. Swim Family members sit together at Pep Rallies and are encouraged to exchange encouragement items (notes, inexpensive themed toys or treats, Fox Bux, etc.) at the Pep Rallies and to cheer each other on at meets. Successful Swim Families have Swim Family leaders who take the lead in all of these areas. DO NOT leave encouragement items in Swim Team File Box because it takes up too much room and ruins ribbons, photos, etc.
IT IS IMPORTANT FOR ALL SWIMMERS TO PARTICIPATE IN ENCOUARAGING THEIR FELLOW SWIM FAMILY MEMBERS SO THAT FEELINGS ARE NOT HURT. TO MAKE SURE THIS IS NOT A BURDEN ON ANYONE, WE ASK THAT THE ENCOURAGEMENT ITEMS BE SMALL & INEXPENSIVE, PREFERABLY HANDMADE. THIS IS ABOUT ENCOURAGING, NOT GETTING “STUFF.”
We request applications from 15 and older swimmers interested in joining our coaching staff as a Team Captain. Generally, we select 1 to shadow each coach/assistant coach who are enthusiastic swimmers and are passionate about Foxridge, and are interested in learning coaching skills while creating a fun environment for the team. Team Captains should consider themselves “interns” in that they are considering coaching as a position in the future, and would like mentoring with those skills, while mentoring and supporting the team.
Interested swimmers are asked to please write a letter of interest explaining why they are interested in being a Team Captain and explain why they should be considered for the opportunity. Priority will be given to swimmers who are available for the entire swim season from Icecream Social through the final Championship meet. Swimmers may have an interest in helping coaches, but not in committing as a Team Captain. We request those swimmers speak to coaches directly prior to their practice about things they could do to help. This is the best solution for swimmers who are not able to attend practices or meets on a regular basis.
The following is the job description for our Team Captains:
Team Captains will follow coaches’ directives and assist with running effective practices by
1. Giving specific swimmer feedback as directed by coaches
2. Remaining actively engaged with swimmers during practice
3. Attending practices and meets requested by cooperating coach
4. Other duties as assigned
The Team Captain’s chief responsibility is to foster team spirit and tradition by:
1. Attending meets and practices as requested by cooperating coach (ie) if the cooperating coach is responsible for 6 and unders, the captain may be asked to attend those practices and assist with those swimmers at meets.
2. Attend social events requested by cooperating coach
3. Take primary responsibility for producing the swim team end of season video (seeking coach assistance as needed)
4. Assisting swimmers as directed by coaches in heating at all meets
5. Dressing out for meet themes
6. Leading by example: cheering for all swimmers in their designated age group, having a positive “can do” attitude, demonstrating good sportsmanship at all times, and appropriate respect for the coaching staff and opposing team
Priority will be given to applicants that can perform the majority of the items above
Social Events - The Social Committee organizes and hosts several social events throughout the season for swimmers and their families, including...
Kickoff Party/Ice Cream Social - A general parent meeting and a new swimmer parent meeting are held while the kids meet their Swim Families & coaches and play lawn games. Gear is distributed and as a fundraiser, raffle tickets are sold for reserved tables and parking spots at the home meets. This is all followed with an ice cream social that is paid for by the team.
Fun Meet and Potluck Dinner - Before the first meet, a “fun meet” is held to introduce new swimmers to how a meet is done. This is also a good opportunity to have new volunteers practice heating, timing, running, etc.
Tie Dye Party in the Park - After the first pep rally, the team creates its own tie-dyed t-shirts at the park across from the pool. The Social Committee purchases the dye, rubber bands, rubber gloves & squeeze bottles and the swimmers bring their own t-shirts. A fee is charged to cover the cost of dying supplies.
Swim Under the Stars - This event is a fun night of team building through lawn games (“Drip, Drip Drop,” sponge tag, 2liter bottle relay) and pool games (ducky contest, raft race, belly flop & cannonball contests.) The event is paid for by the team.
As a way to give back to the community, a swim-a-thon is sponsored by the Swim Team, whereby swimmers obtain per lap or flat fee donations for a charity selected by the team and swim for that charity during a predetermined practice day. No regular practices are held that day. The swim-a-thon chair surveys the team to select a charity, distributes the pledge forms, collects the money, and delivers the donated proceeds to the charity on behalf of the Swim Team. Participation is completely OPTIONAL.
Swim Team File Box
A plastic file box with folders labeled with swimmers' last names is placed on a table during practices. Be sure to check it regularly for ribbons, photos, tickets, fliers, forms, etc.
PARENT SURVIVAL GUIDE
“So how do I know if my child is ready for Swim Team?”
Q: My child can swim great when I am assisting them in the pool, but when I get out, they tend to become frightened and panic. Are they ready?
A: For the safety of your child and those around him… no. Your child is not ready to be in a setting where there are other kids in the lane with him. Private lessons are a great way to build a child’s confidence and increase his swimming skills to the point where he feels comfortable in the water, and the coaches feel comfortable as well.
Foxridge pool offers individual and group lessons and the coaches are also available for private coaching sessions.
Q: My child is comfortable swimming in the shallow end by herself, but is frightened of the deep end. Is she ready?
A: Yes, this is a common obstacle that children can overcome very quickly. Sometimes, this happens during practice, and other times it takes private lessons to help gain the confidence, but it is definitely possible. This child is ready to be on swim team.
Q: My child can swim the full 25 yards, but needs to stop and catch his breath on the wall a few times. Is he ready?
A: This is a very difficult question. For some children, they just need to build up strength and endurance to swim the full lap without holding onto the wall. For others, however, they become fearful and panic because they do not understand how to breathe while swimming. This obstacle can be overcome through practice and lessons, but sometimes it is only alleviated as the child matures and develops stronger water confidence over the long-term. If the child needs to be coached the entire length of the pool, he is not ready to be on swim team. If he can do it on his own but just need to catch his breath a few times, he is ready.
Your child’s safety is of the utmost concern, and if she is not ready, she is not only at risk herself, but she puts other kids in the pool at risk as well. If you have any questions about your child’s ability, progress, or readiness, please contact any one of the coaches.
“What should I bring to practices?”
- Swim suit – it's best to have a racing practice suit and keep the team suit for meets.
- Sunscreen – even in early morning the sun can do damage
- Swim Cap
“What should I bring to meets?”
- Map/Directions to pool – see “Pool Locations” tab on website or at MHSL website (mhsl.org)
- Swimmer in team suit
- Sweatshirt and sweatpants – to keep swimmers warm between warm-up and events
- Water Bottle
- Swim cap
- Goggles – bring a spare pair because they get lost and broken easily
- Towels – 2 or 3 because they usually don't dry in between events
- List of Events & Sharpie – write events, heats, lanes on swimmer
- Volunteer assignment/shift
- Snacks and Drinks and/or Money for Concessions
- Sun Umbrella, Tent, or Canopy – the sun is brutal and there is often little shade to be found
- Chairs or blanket to lie on (and tarps because ground is often wet from rain or sprinklers)
“How long do meets last?”
Plan on arriving at meets NO LATER THAN 6:45 am to find parking, get your seating set up and ready your swimmer for warm-ups. Meets usually run until 1:30 – 2:00 pm.
“What do I do at meets?”
- Be sure to check in with the coaches and Volunteer Coordinator when you arrive.
- Find your Swim Team Family members, learn their events so you can cheer them on and wish them good luck.
- Check the events board to make certain you know which events your swimmer is entered in.
- Get swimmer to warm-ups (8 & under may not want to because it's cold – that's o.k.)
- Have your swimmer join in end of warm-up cheer. “What's that Foxridge Battle Cry? V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!”
- Take swimmers to bathroom – the lines can get long!
- Respectfully observe the National Anthem which officially starts the meet.
- Be sure to show up for you Volunteer shift as instructed.
- Get swimmers to heating when you see their event on the “First Call” board or when announced over the loud speaker. Swimmers who are entered in Medley Relays need to be in heating before meet starts. Swimmers should have cap & goggles but nothing else in heating because they will go directly to the blocks from heating.
- Check in with Clerk of Course in heating area to have swimmer obtain deck card. This is the card that the swimmer's time will be recorded on. The swimmer will hold it until they reach the blocks when they will hand it off to a timer.
- Once in heating, swimmers sit on benches (starting furthest back) in event, heat and lane order. Volunteers will guide them forward and eventually to the blocks. Parents should not hang out in heating because it gets quite crowded and should not be behind the blocks because there needs to be room for 3 timers, a runner and other officials at each lane.
- Cheer on your swimmer (and all the other swimmers, as well!)
- Keep your swimmer warm, hydrated and fed between events.
- Have fun!
“What do I do if my child gets disqualified?”
The Stroke & Turn Judges should explain the disqualification to your child immediately but they may not have time before the next race is in the water. If you are unsure why your child was disqualified, contact one of the coaches and they will explain it to you. Remind your child that swimmers of all ability levels sometimes make mistakes and get disqualified. It's just part of learning the sport and it gives you something concrete to focus on before the next meet. It shouldn't detract from all the positives of good effort shown, good sportsmanship, other skills exhibited, and the fun of the meet.
Volunteer opportunities are available in 2 or 3 shifts depending on the meet/location/shift and are assigned points per shift/role. Unless otherwise stated below, at home dual meets the first shift runs from just prior to the start of the meet through Event 45 and the 2nd shift runs from Event 45 through the end of the meet. Some positions are only available for home meets and some are available for both home and away meets. It is imperative that volunteers for both shifts check-in with the Volunteer Coordinator 30 minutes before the meet begins and report to their volunteer location on time. The website will have the most up to date volunteer shift information, shift times, and point values. These areas change for away meets based on that team's requirements.
Home Meet Volunteer Shifts
Announcer: Calls the swimmers by event to the heating area, announces scores, and any other announcements that need to be made during the meet.
Concessions: First Shift: Helps set up concessions area 1 hour before the meet begins and sells concessions during meet.
Second Shift: Sells concessions during the meet and helps take down concessions after the meet.
Grillmaster: First Shift: Arrives early to preheat grill and makes pancakes for breakfast.
Second Shift: Cooks hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch, then cleans grill.
Heating: Helps kids get cards, find correct event/ lane and move through the heating area then over to the blocks.
Hospitality: Delivers water & light snacks to all volunteers working home meets.
Runner: Collects cards from timers and delivers to scoring table, collects DQ slips from officials and delivers to scoring table, then over to coaches and, on 25m races, collects cards from swimmers at blocks and delivers to timers at other end of pool.
Scoring: Assists Scoring Chair in identifying official times by circling middle times on cards, checking times entered into computer against cards and posting results during the meet.
Timer: Stands at end of lane and times the events from sound of starter to touch of wall using either manual stopwatch or Dolphin timing system.
Committee Chair Positions
These positions are held by the same person from year to year until they decide to give it up. They fulfill the Volunteer Commitment without keeping track of points. If you are interested in one of these positions let a Parent Rep know and you will be put on a list for when positions open up.
Awards – Responsible for purchasing/printing and distributing to coaches all swimmer awards (patches, medals, championship caps, trophies, speeding tickets, fox bux), maintaining a list of All Star qualifiers for each meet and giving that list to the coaches, bulletin board chair, and team unify coordinator by the Monday following each meet, and posting all pool records on the pool record board. There are also 2 Ribbons positions in charge of inventorying & replenishing ribbons at start of season (ordering correct quantity of ribbons from League), sorting and storing the ribbons, placing recipient labels on all ribbons, and putting the ribbons in swimmer folders in the Swim Team Box after each meet.
Bulletin Board - Responsible for decorating & posting swim family list, coaches' profiles, meet schedule and bead designations. This person is also responsible for updating the bulletin board each week with pictures from the team photographer and all-star qualifiers.
Concessions - Responsible for buying/selling all food needed for home meets, setting up pizza and breakfast burrito deliveries and supervising Concessions volunteers at home meets. Due to the complexity of this position, a Concessions Chair will work alongside the current chair.
Fundraising - Responsible for contacting local businesses for fundraising opportunities through team feeds. Team feeds should be scheduled in advance at a restaurant willing to give back a portion of sales to the team. This person will attend all of the team feeds and ensure the proceeds percentage is delivered to the team. They will also raffle off the table and parking spaces for each home dual meet and home prelim.
The Clerk of Course - Responsible for the heating area at home meets (places labels on cards before meet, performs deck adds and scratches & puts cards up on heating board for each event that is currently heating.) Requires additional training and meetings through the MHSL. Due to the importance of this position, a clerk in training will always work alongside the Clerk of Course.
Officials - The Meet Referee is responsible for knowing the official swimming rules & regulations and resolving race disputes. The Starter signals the start of each heat and any false starts. Stroke and Turn Judges watch swimmers to make sure that relay starts, stokes, turns and finishes are legal. DQ Notifiers explain the DQ's to the swimmers. A Scribe assists the committee in recording DQ's. All of these positions require additional training, certification, and meetings through the MHSL.
Photographer - Responsible for capturing a variety of photos at meets and social events throughout the season, giving the Bulletin Board chair a CD of pictures weekly and coordinating with the coaches to create the end of season slide show DVD's.
Scoring - This position works closely with the Team Unify Administrator and opposing teams to set the home meets, i.e., creating meet files, importing meet entries into Meet Manager, seeding the meet, combining heats & creating meet programs. The Scoring Chair is in charge of creating the deck card labels and delivering them to the Clerk of Course. The person is also in charge of setting up the scoring area the morning of the meet and taking it down after the meet is finished. During a home meet, the Scoring Chair enters last minute changes to the program, verifies the accuracy of the posting of each swimmer's time and any DQ's. They publish the meet results, notify the League of final score and any records broken, document any All-Star qualifiers, and print ribbon labels which they deliver to the Ribbon Chair. Requires additional meeting through the MHSL.
Social Committee - Responsible for organizing and running the following events:
a. Ice Cream Social - Responsible for buying ice cream, toppings, and paper products. Needs to set up and tear down table as well as serve ice cream.
b. Swim Under The Stars - Responsible for organizing games/pool relays, buying supplies, setting up & cleaning up lawn games and assisting coaches in running games in the water.
c. Fun Meet - Responsible for setting up, monitoring & cleaning up potluck dinner.
d. Tie Dye Party - Responsible for organizing and conducting tie dye party, including collecting money, buying necessary supplies, set-up and tear down.
Pirate's Cove/Team Pictures- Responsible for reserving the Pirate's Cove event date in January, executing contract with Pirate's Cove, selling admission tickets, collecting tickets at the gate and monitoring participant behavior during the event. Responsible for arranging photo shoot with photographer, communicating date/process to team, distributing order forms, organizing and managing picture taking, distributing photos.
Swim- A-Thon - Responsible for conducting vote to determine charity, arranging for visit by charity representative, create and pass out fund donation forms to swimmers. Arrange for local businesses to donate breakfast food such as bagels and coffee. Arrange for volunteers to count laps on morning of swim-a-thon. Process all funds raised and get them to the charity. Announce to team how much funds were raised. Team gives a donation in the swimmer's name for the swimmer in each age group that swims the most laps.
Team Unify Administrator - Responsible for coordinating with Team Unify staff to maintain a website to provide electronic registration, volunteer & concessions sign-ups, meet entries and team communications.
Timing Coordinator - Responsible for ensuring adequate supply of functional timing equipment, bringing the equipment to all meets, including away meets as a backup, training the timers the morning before each home meet, supervising timers during each meet, and securing the equipment after the meets.
Volunteer Coordinator (and assistant)- Responsible for monitoring open volunteer slots, soliciting volunteers as needed and tracking volunteer requirements.