1. When is the best time to talk to my child's coach? Please for safety reasons, do not interrupt the coach during class. Please email any questions to your coach, or request a phone meeting, or meet with the coach in person before or after classes.
2. How often are Swim Meets & is my swimmer required to go?
Summer Season: Meets are typically once a week. You are expected to be at EVERY meet- including the away meets! Our team can't be successful if the team members don't show up. There are no additional charges for summer swim meets. If you cannot attend a meet you must inform the coaching staff at least 48 hours prior to swim meet and 1 week prior to Championship Meet. Failure to show up at a summer swim meet, without adequate notification, will result in a $20 "No Show Fee" per swimmer, and failure to show up at the Championship Swim Meet is a $25 "No Show Fee". All swimmers going to Championships must swim a minimum of 2 swim meets during the season.
3. Who chooses the races my child swims? The coaches choose for the most part. The coaches try to expose the swimmers to all of the events that they're capable of swimming, balanced with the team's need to score points.
4. What are the age groups?
Summer Season: 6 & Under, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-18
5. How do I make sure that my child doesn't miss their race? Before warm ups, either buy a heat sheet or find one hanging on the wall for the athletes, then write down their events on their arm or leg with a Sharpie (see below). Many meets will often organize the 10 & under swimmers in the "bullpen" to help make sure they get to the blocks when they are supposed to. For older swimmers it's up to the swimmer and parents to keep up with the action and know when to report to the blocks. It is not the coach's job to get the swimmer to their event.
6. How long does a swim meet last? Summer meets last 2 1/2- 4 hours.
7. How are relay teams chosen? The "A" relay team is comprised of the 4 fastest swimmers in an age group. If there are enough members in an age group, the next 4 fastest swimmers would make up the "B" team, and so on. Freestyle Relay teams are easy to determine. However, the Medley Relay is more complicated. The coaches use a software program to determine the fastest combination of four swimmers. It doesn't always work out like you'd think it would! Coaches do have leeway to remove a swimmer who is either injured or has demonstrated a poor attitude in practice or poor attendance, but this is rarely an issue.
8. What does "swimming up" mean? Sometimes at a meet we will have a shortage of swimmers in an age group to form a relay team. The coaches can take a swimmer from a younger age group and swim him/her up (example: 8 year old boy will swim on the 9-10 boy relay team). Swimmer can only go up in an age group and not down. The swimmers get a kick out of swimming with the big kids.
9. What should I bring to a meet? Portable chairs to sit in, something for swimmers to sit/lay on, extra towels, swim parkas (if they have one), and change of clothes. Make sure that your swimmer's swim bag is packed with an extra cap and set of goggles, and an extra suit. Just in case. There are usually equipment vendors at the winter meets, but not at the dual meets during the summer. Sunblock, sunglasses and hats can be useful in the summer. Bring money for concessions, and to purchase a heat sheet and t-shirt at the bigger meets. Healthy snacks for the swimmers are a plus. Before the meet, make sure to review the team's warm-up time, and make sure that you're comfortable with directions to the pool if it's an away meet. Bring a Sharpie marker or something similar to write your child's races on their arm or leg in the E-H-L format (event, heat, lane). Highlighters and pens come in handy to track results. Games help occupy your swimmer during their downtime, and to occupy your younger non-swimmers too. Electronic games and MP3 players are popular with the team for example.
10. Do we have an official uniform?
Summer Season: Yes. These suits are custom suits and will remain the same for 2014.
11. What exactly is a Heat Sheet? This is the meet program, which lists all the events in order and all of the heats comprising them.
12. Should I be volunteering? If you can, yes. New this year, earn credits for volunteering. For every point you earn, you get $10 credit towards swimming in the fall WST team, or towards next summers Penguins Team. Credits cannot be applied to FC Middle/High School team. See Ms. Melanie to sign up. You can do as many jobs as you'd like and family/friends can also work towards your account.
13. How do I become an official? By volunteering to learn and then going through an apprenticeship process. Official positions include Referee, Starter and Stroke & Turn Judge. We can always use more volunteers in this capacity. Becoming a registered official is a great way to learn more about the sport and give something back to the team, and it's also an unbeatable way to get the best seat in the house during a meet- on the pool deck!
14. Is transportation provided? No. You are responsible for getting your child to/from practice, and Penguins meets. Many parents carpool and leave as a group from the Swimplex.
15. What equipment is my swimmer required to have? Swimmers will need a practice swimsuit (1 piece for girls) and goggles. Girls with long hair should wear a swim cap or pull hair back. All other equipment may be borrowed from the team, however; it must be returned in the proper place after each workout. Most of our flippers are donated from past swimmers and are limited in availability. You may want to purchase your own pair. Please write your name on all personal equipment, otherwise; it will end up in the community pile!
16. What does DQed mean? When a swimmer does not follow all stroke rules, including the start, finish and/ or turns during a race, they are "disqualified" or a. k. a. DQed.
17. Can my swimmer wear the team suit during practice? Yes, swimmers may wear their team suit to practice in.
18. How do I care for my swim suit? Your swim suits should NEVER be washed or dried in a machine-NEVER< NEVER< NEVER! The suits should be rinsed out EVERY TIME it is worn in the pool. Rinse in warm water with a little mild soap is fine. Manufactures recommend laying flat to dry. Before you remove tags, read the manufacture's care instructions and follow. Also, do not sit on concert decking. It will pull the bottom of your suit. Sit on a towel