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New Swimmer FAQ's
How do I join the swim team?
All swim team members must first be members of the Lakota Family YMCA in good standing.  You need to register online then come into the Y to make the payment.  For more information there is an Open House you can come to or get some information from the front desk.
How long does the swim season last?
Practices begin around the middle of  May and the season concludes with the Tri-County League Championships at the end of July.  Prior to the end of Lakota School, practices are held in the afternoons in the indoor pool.  Once the Lakota Schools are out, practices are held in the morning in the outdoor pool.  A detailed practice schedule is located under the Summer Team Info.
How long does a swim meet last?
Home meets will begin at 5:30 and Away meets will begin as early as 6:00 and no later than 6:30, with warm-ups beginning an hour before.  The last events are generally completed by 9:30, but that can vary somewhat depending on how many “exhibition heats” are run, or if we are delayed due to weather concerns.  For those 6 and under swimmers, their last event will wrap up earlier than that unless they are in a relay.
Do I have to attend all of the practices?
We believe each swimmer gets out of swim team what s/he puts into it.  All swimmers must attend at least 3 practices a week, including the day of a meet in order to swim in the meet.  Details can be found under the team rules tab.  Exceptional cases should be discussed with the coaching staff.
What If we will be gone for a meet?
You must sign up for each meet you plan to participate in. Coaches cannot plan for your attendance if you have not signed up/committed your attendance on Team Unify. All entries for a meet will be done a few days prior to the meet date.  If you have accidentally not signed up for a meet, you must email the Head Coach.  There is a league requirement, that you must swim two league meets in order to swim in Tri-County Championships.
Do I have to sign my child up to swim events in a meet?  How do I know what events s/he will be swimming?
No, the coaching staff will assign all swimmers to events for dual meets.  This information will be available just prior to the meet, when your child checks into swimmer check –in, s/he will be given a piece of paper with all his/her events, heats and lanes listed on it.  See the Parent Primer under the Meet Info Tab for more detailed instructions on how to read a heat sheet and event sheet.
For invitational meets, you will need to sign your child up for specific events.  There is a fee attached to invitational events.
How does my child know when to get to the starting blocks?
All swimmers are responsible for keeping track of the current event (usually posted near the starter’s horn) and reporting to the blocks.  There are relay coordinators who will help to get the under-6 and under-8 kids to the blocks before RELAYS ONLY prior to their events. 
As a parent, you will be responsible for getting your child to the block at the start of the event, usually 4-5 events prior.  This is especially important for relay events, it’s always a shame when 3 kids miss a relay because the 4th swimmer cannot be located.
Why does my child only swim in 1 or 2 events at a meet, while other swimmers are in 3 or 4?
Because we have such a large team and some of the pools we swim at only have a 6-lane pool, this can be a problem.  In addition, we tend to have many more young swimmers than some of the older age groups, and more girls than boys.  There are a limited number of exhibition heats that can be swum, and these are generally populated with swimmers from the larger age groups.  The coaching staff does its best to ensure that over the course of the season, all swimmers within an age group will have the same opportunities to swim.  All swimmers are encouraged to try to participate in one of the two invitational meets during the season to try to get additional races.
Does my child have to swim in the invitational meets?
No one is required to swim at the invitational meets, but all swimmers are strongly encouraged to try to participate in one or both of the two invitational meets during the season.
How do I sign-up for an invitational meet?
Like any other meet, the invitational will be online for you to register. Payment for your events will be due to the Treasurer prior to the meet.  Coaches will assign the relay events, and all of the registration information will be passed to the host pools as a team.  The same procedure should be followed for the Championship meet.
How do I get forms or checks turned into the swim team?
The swim team lockbox is located in the pool director’s office while we have indoor practice and in the guard room when we move outside.  All forms and payment should be placed into this lockbox for pick-up by one of the board members, usually every day or two. 
How do I know if practice is canceled due to inclement weather?  How do I know if a meet is canceled?
Please sign up for text alerts under your account, the coaches will send out a text if a decision is made to cancel practice or a meet.  If time permits, we will post information on the team web site.  Practice will continue if there is a rain shower, but not for lightening or thunder.  Because of the timing, cancelations may vary by age group.
We will attempt to swim most meets, but may delay or cut a meet short for weather reasons.  These are usually last-minute decisions, so when in doubt, plan to show-up for the meet.
Do I need to volunteer to work at the meets?  How do I do that?
Yes, each family is required to volunteer for a total of 4 shifts during the season in order to receive a refund of the participation check at the end of the season.  These jobs generally include timers, concessions, ribbons, runners, etc.  Certain season-long jobs, like being a coordinator, also fulfill the full requirement.   All job sign-ups are done on this website under each individual event.   Go to the event, click on the “Job Sign-up” button, then select the volunteer position you would like to fill.  Click on the “Submit” button and then verify that you are signed up for the job you selected.  The website tracks the volunteer position each family works so make sure you sign up on line to get credit for your work.
Who brings the food to meets for Concessions?
Of course we encourage everyone to feel free to bring a donation for Concessions at any of our home meets.  Sign-ups for specific needs are on the website under “Job Sign-ups” for each home meet, but if in doubt, we can always use cut vegetables, baked potatoes, cookies, brownies, and candy.
What fundraisers will I be asked to donate to?
Our biggest fundraisers are our food sales and spirit wear sales.  We may have some family night outs at local restaurants to help raise money for specific equipment needs or to help cover other team expenses.  We’ll keep you posted on the details as they are worked out.
What do the fees and fundraising go to support?
On a seasonal basis, the bulk of the money goes to pay the coaching staff.  We also supply each swimmer with a Stingrays team T-shirt.  There are also fees associated with the YMCA.  We also occasionally have large, non-seasonal expenses such as replacing lane lines, the electronic starter’s console, for which we budget and save year-to-year so that these expenses can be covered when they arise.
Who do I contact about...?
Contact information for all board members and coaches is available online.  At the very top of the website you will see the word “Coaches”, Click on that and then scroll down the page.  All of the board members and coaches and their e-mail links are listed there.