Thank you for inquiring about our summer swim team!
Our swim season begins the Tuesday after Memorial Day and it ends the first weekend in August. The kids practice M-F in the mornings at Woodlands Pool. We have swim meets once a week from mid-June through the end of July - typically our meets are in the middle of the week in the evenings (think Wednesdays, 5-10pm). We end the season with a huge championship meet that runs almost all day on the first Saturday in August. Volunteering is MANDATORY, and usually a couple hours, 4-6 sessions during the season. We don’t have any requirements to join the team, except that the swimmer is able to swim 1 lap (any stroke) without stopping, touching the sides or the bottom. Our older swimmers (age 11-18) swim 50 meters (2 laps) in competition, while our younger swimmers swim 25 meters (1 lap) in competition. We have an AMAZING group of coaches with work on endurance training as well as specific stroke instruction. Our team is made up of a great mix of kids - some members are year around swimmers while some members have never been on a swim team before.
Registering for the team is done entirely online, make sure you check our website for important dates, as our swim groups fill fast...especially the younger age groups. As of now, we are expecting our New Swimmer Registration to take place sometime in mid-April. As soon as the dates are confirmed, they will be up on the website, along with fees and other important information.
Hope this gives you a little bit of insight into our team - please feel free to contact us with any questions - and check back often for new information!
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How long are the volunteering sessions?
There are two sessions for each meet. Generally, the first session will end between events 30 and 36. We attempt to have two even sessions and therefore, meet delays are considered and may affect the timing of the end of the first session. Volunteers for the second shift will be called by the announcer when their shift is to start. Sessions are intended to last 1/2 of the meet.
2. My children are done with their events, why do I have to stay to finish my session?
Swim meets at every level, from summer swim to High School, are dependent on volunteers. While we do our best to match your shift(s) to when your children are swimming, there will be times when the duties do not overlap perfectly. Just as each swimmer is part of the team, each parent/volunteer is an extension of the Woodland Wahoos. Performing these duties, even when your swimmers are done, provides an opportunity to lead by example and to connect with other parents, often from other teams, and possibly find new friends.
3. I have small children that I have to keep an eye on; it's too hard to volunteer.
One of the great things about volunteering for a swim meet is that there are so many opportunities to meet each family's circumstances and still meet the four session requirement. For example, concessions provides a confined space and smaller children love to help their parents. Another great opportunity is to be a "card runner" or assist in clerk of course. See Jody Kulstad, the Volunteer Coordinator, for other suggestions.
4. Why do some of the meets end so late? It is hard to get to work the next day or for me to get my kids up for other activities the next day.
There are times, due to a lack of volunteers (one or both teams), weather, equipment issues or other reasons that some meets end rather late. Each RSL team does its best to run an efficient meet to minimize this issue. Please remember that summer swim is about FUN, competition and a positive environment. Many times, some of the longer meets are the most competitive and fun.
5. It seems like the coaches enter my swimmer in their least favorite or least competitive events more than those they love, why does this happen?
There are several reasons why a swimmer may not always get to swim their favorite stroke(s). One of the biggest reasons is that swimming is actually a team sport and not an individual sport. The coaches do their best to be sure that each Wahoo swimmer earns a qualifying time in each stroke during the season so that each swimmer has more opportunities to swim at the season culminating RSL Finals. At Finals, there are A, B, and C level heats for each event. This structure provides more opportunities for swimmers to score points for the team and earn individual medals. We attempt to provide opportunities for each swimmer to succeed and excel, for themselves and the team during the course of the season but especially at Finals. Another reason is that swimmers need/like to be challenged. It may take several disqualifications before a swimmer is legal in an event. However, the pride in the achievement of finally qualifying in a difficult stroke is frequently far more important to a swimmer than winning another heat ribbon in their best/favorite stroke. One of the aims of the team is to provide complete instruction and to be fair to all participants.
6. What are the main methods of team communication?
The team uses e-mail and the team website for its primary means of communication. Important dates, meet results, cancellations, awards picnic assistance or any other important information will be sent via e-mail or can be accessed through the website. Please be sure to send any e-mail address updates to the team's Secretary, at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is always a good idea to check in to the website at least weekly.
7. Why aren't the kids doing laps the whole hour during practice?
Practices are geared for the different age groups and swimmer levels. A child's attention span is generally much shorter at the 8 and under and 9/10 age bracket. Therefore, the technique/instruction/lap period is concentrated in a 30 to 45 minute period early in the practice. The final 15 minutes or so may then shift to more fun activities that are used to build team spirit yet still reinforce swim skills. The coaches adjust practices accordingly for the older age brackets. Yet, there is still time for relays and friendly Wahoo competition. We always want the swimmers looking for more. Secondly, the events in summer swim meets are short, generally either 25 or 50 yards. Consequently, more focus is spent on starts, turns and relay-takeoffs.
8. My swimmer doesn't seem to be getting better, why not and what can I do?
Clearly, each child progresses at their own rate. As long as you make sure that your swimmers make it to as many practices as possible and you support them, they will progress. The best thing to do is support your children and have them follow their coaches' instruction. It is less confusing for them and this generally reduces stress for the swimmer(s). Feel free to discuss this with your child's coach after practice.
9. This is my first season in swimming, what do I bring to a meet?
Each swimmer will need goggles (a spare pair is not a bad idea), at least one towel (again, spares are a good idea) and a swim cap if you desire. Please be aware that the swim cap must either represent the Wahoos or be generic and cannot reflect support for any other team, including High School, college, or year-round teams. See Steve Carbone for team swim caps.
10. What else can I do to help?
Contact any Board member. The e-mail addresses are in the handbook and there are direct e-mail links in the website. Volunteering opportunities should be sent to Jody Kulstad. However, any Board member will do their best to assist you.