Rules for Practice
Athletes should strive to attend all scheduled practices. Competitive swimming is a sport that requires athletes to put in the yardage as well as work with the coaching staff to improve stroke, turn, and starting techniques. Simply said, it’s impossible to get to your best form if you don’t attend regular practice.
Athletes must attend the practice sessions for their specific age group unless invited to attend a different practice session by the head coach. Since the practice sessions are designed to be age and skill appropriate, and because the numbers of athletes that can be effectively supported at a practice session are limited by the availability of coaches and the facility, this policy is necessary to facilitate the most effective practice sessions possible for all athletes.
Practice Requirements - All swimmers are encouraged to be at all practices scheduled for the level they are in. However, there is a minimum requirement as stated below. National Prep swimmers are highly encouraged to attend all scheduled practices. High School swimmers MUST check in at least once per week with the Head Coach. This helps the swimmers learn the drills, language and rhythm of the coaches, and is important to the continued development of your swimmer. Failure to meet the practice schedule requirements may result in your swimmers’ removal from the team. Depending upon the circumstances, this is at the coaches’ discretion.
4 Scheduled Practices = Minimum of 2 Practices Per Week
5 Scheduled Practices = Minimum of 3 Practices Per Week
6 Scheduled Practices = Minimum of 4 Practices Per Week
Heartland Area YMCA Requirements - In order for swimmers to be eligible to participate in either practices or meets, YMCA member accounts must be in good standing. This includes all YMCA monthly dues, meet fees, and any other charges related to any YMCA or swim team account. A swimmer must be a YMCA member in good standing for the past 30 days in order to be eligible to participate in YMCA dual, trial or invitational swim meets; and for the past 90 days to be eligible to participate in the Area or National Swimming Championships.
Parents should refrain from talking with or otherwise interfering with the coaching staff during practices unless an emergency exists. A member of the coaching staff will be available at the beginning and at the end of each practice session to communicate with parents.
We request that parents refrain from communicating with their swimmers during practice, except in the case of an emergency, both verbally and non-verbally. Parents are encouraged to view practice when their schedules permit but should do so from the observation window in the Y’s lobby. To minimize distraction and enhance safety, parents are asked to stay off the pool deck during practice.
The team practices at the O’Fallon YMCA located at 3451 Pheasant Meadow Dr. O’Fallon, MO 63368. Practice consists of dry-land exercises, swimming practice sets, stroke drills, starts and turns work, and sprints; as well as working with the coaching staff one-on-one and in group sessions. Athletes should come to practice prepared for all activities mentioned.
The coaching staff may change the practice schedule to accommodate meet schedules, holidays, and other circumstances. Changes will be announced at practice, sent out via email or text message, and a schedule update will be placed on the website.
Please refrain from timing your child during workouts. Many times the coaching staff instructs athletes to swim practice sets that are designed to improve strength, endurance, or technique, that have nothing whatsoever to do with speed in the water.
Not every drill or lesson that a coach gives to an athlete is designed to yield immediate improvement in the swimmer’s technique. Some drills and sets take weeks or months to yield noticeable improvement. Be patient and supportive. Communicate with the coaches if you have doubts. Remember that the coaching staff has your athlete’s best interest in mind.