Frequently Asked Questions

What us the minimum age to join the swim team? The minimum age for any of our swim team training groups and competition with USA Swimming is five (5).

Is there a prerequisite to join? YES. For swimmers ages 5-8, to begin in our Stroke Academy 1 group, swimmers must be able to swim 50 yards of UNASSISTED Freestyle and 25 yards of backstroke. Swimmers ages 10 and older must be able to swim 100 yards Freestyle under the same standards they need for LA County Junior Lifeguards, and be able to legally swim 50 yards of each competitive stroke, complete a flipturn, and racing start. Training group assignments for new swimmers are based on swimmer age and ability.

How many swimmers are in a training group? As a general rule of thumb, there are no more than 20 swimmers in a group with one coach.

Is the coach in the water? Typically the coach instructs from the deck as the view of the swimmers is better from the side, but there are occasional times when they do get in the water. Often times, swimmers are given individual instruction outside of the pool.

How often do the kids compete? Meets are typically offered once or twice a month. It is important to "seize the opportunity" to race
because racing is just as much of a skill as the stroke mechanics are.

Do you cancel practice in the rain? NO, the kids are already wet! Unless there is thunder and lightening, or if it pouring and is unsafe to drive, we're diehards and we swim!

Do you offer make up classes? No, there are no make up classes. If we have to cancel a practice session we will do our absolute best to come up with an alternative practice.

How much parent involvement is required? Competitive swimming would not exist without the help of dedicated parents, and ZAP would not be the excellent program it is without the support and help of our awesome ZAPPER BACKERS. Parental involvement can be as basic as timing at swim meets, to as involved as running the swim meets themselves. We understand that everyone is busy and that many of you have multiple children who you are getting to different activities as well, so we try to keep the minimum requirement minimal! Teams are always assigned timing chairs at swim meets which are filled by our parents. The general rule of thumb is: plan on 90 minutes per swimmer each session you have a swimmer entered in an "away" swim meet (not hosted by ZAP) and 2 hours of service (could be soemthing other than timing) per session if ZAP is hosting the meet. Please note that this is guesstimated from past seasons, but can increase or decrease depending on the number of ZAP entries and the timeline of the meet. If you are wanting to do more throughout the year, we are happy to utilize your talents away from the pool deck as well!

Are coaches available to answer 'quick questions' during practice hours? As much as we want to be available to parents, the swimmers are our primary concern during practice times. So that we may give you the attention you deserve, please call ot text us, shoot us an email, or catch before or after practices. If it is a simple question you can also call our Parent Hotline 310. 922. 4525. Of course, if there is a dire emergency, please let us know immediately!

Do swimmers have a uniform? YES. During meets, ZAP swimmers are required to wear a black ARENA brand suit and a ZAP swim cap (from the current season). In between events, they wear the designated ZAP t-shirt of the day and black warmups or shorts. These items are also required during "team practices". During regular practice sessions, swimmers may wear their choice of competitive swimming suit (style, pattern and brand) and cap. Each group has different requirements for equipment.

Does my son have to wear a speedo? Boys may wear either a 'jammer' or a classic style "speedo" suit both in practice and meets. ZAP is sponsored by ARENA so technically they aren't "speedos" :) 

What swim gear does my child need? We buy all of our gear through The Swim Guy. There is a complete list of everything your child will need at every level on our website. 

What is Swimmer of the Month and how does my child earn this?  Swimmer of the Month is a child from each of the groups (not including Agon 1, Agon 2, Agon 3 and Arete) whom the coaches think is doing an outstanding job. Whether they are coming to practice on a regular basis, improving a lot, leading their group or swimming out of their suits at meets, the coaches choose the Swimmer of the Month based on many factors.  We choose this honor at the end of every month and e-mail out the results!

How do you contact a coach? The best way to speak to your child’s coach is via e-mail. The e-mail addresses for each coach can be found on our website under the coaches. If more is needed after an e-mail, your child's coach will be happy to set up a time to discuss something in person or over the phone. During practice is not the time to speak with your child’s coach, except for dire emergencies. Our first priority is coaching the kids and we cannot give you the attention you deserve while we are coaching.

What are the different seasons in USA-S club swimming and how do they differ? In Southern California Swimming we have two official seasons, Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer. The fall/winter season is swum from early September to early March and the meets are in short course pools (25 yards).  The spring/summer season is swum from mid-March to early August and meets are in both short course pools (25 yards) and long course pools (50 meters).

What is the difference between a long course pool and a short course pool? A short course pool is a 25 yard pool or a 25 meter pool. In the U.S., we swim in 25-yard pools and these meets are denoted as “short course yards (SCY). The Miraleste Intermediate School and South End pools are 25 yard pools. 25-meter pools are rare in the U.S. but they do exist. A meet in this type of a pool would be called “Short course meters (SCM)”.

How will I know about practice changes both sudden and longer term? If practice is going to change last minute we will always send out an email as soon as the decision is made. We will also put an announcement up on the front page of our website. If practice is going to change in the longer term it will be announced in a weekly or monthly e-mail and be fixed on the calendar.

Does ZAP offer a spring-only season?  Yes, we offer a season for the spring only. This runs from mid-March to early June. Details for Spring 2012 are TBA.

Does ZAP offer a summer-only season?  Yes, we offer a season for the summer only. This runs from mid-June to early August. Details for Summer 2012 are TBA.

When does ZAP Registration begin? Registration begins for all current members before the end of the season until a few weeks after the season has concluded. At that point, we open up registration for everyone, new and current.

How do I register for ZAP? Click on the Team Registration button on our home page to begin registration. Follow the on-screen instructions

How do I register my child for a swim meet?  Log onto our website. Click on the "Meets" tab on the top of our website. Scroll down to the meet you wish your child to attend, click on the "Attend this Event" button. Then choose the name of the child you wish to regsiter, click on it.  You will see a tab that ask for Yes or No to attend this event, choose yes. You can then choose you child's events below or write a note asking for the coach to do so.

What is expected from our children during practice and or competitions? Each individual coach has their own expectations, which are explained to the swimmers and ZAP has a few universal things we expect from our swimmers: 1) We expect them to demonstrate respectful behavior towards other swimmers and the coaches at all times via their listening skills, tone of voice and the language they use, 2)  all swimmers respect the pool and equipment, 3) swimmers to understand the ZAP Code of Conduct and USA Swimming's Code of Conduct.

How many times would we like to see your children at practice? As a team we do not mandate any number of practices. However we do list our recommended amount of practices by group under our practice group pages.






 "Taking Swimming to a Higher Level."