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FAQ's

How do I sign up?

To sign up, you need to go through club registration as well as USA Swimming Membership. 

For club registration, you can go online to www.ardenhills.me, under “My Arden Hills” and sign up for Fall or USA swimming. If you have an account with Arden hills, you may sign in using those credentials. If not, sign in as a guest. 

For USA Swimming membership go to www.swim-smarter.com and follow the instructions to create an account and then register your swimmer to your account.


What are the attendance expectations?

Obviously the more your child attends, the more they will gain physically, academically, and emotionally, and the more the team culture will be fostered. Every situation is different and each family needs to figure out the balance that works for them. Consistent attendance becomes more significant as the child grows older, as the demands and workload are increased with age. Communication is key! Coaches work to keep the swimmer focused and on task. If everyone is on the same page, then expectations can be met and deviations that could affect achievement of goals can be pointed out. Click here to see general recommendations. 


What should we expect with the dryland portion of training?

At AH, each of our groups does some form of CrossFit at least once a week. We feel it is important to make well rounded and strong athletes and that in doing this, we make better swimmers. Our youngest groups focus on game play and learning proper technique in the movements they are asked to do. Our oldest group’s prescribed workouts vary greatly but carry a level of intensity that promote strength and endurance and translates well to racing. All groups are held to high standards of movement and our goal as a staff is to teach a sound foundation for growth. 


Should my child take individual lessons?

One-on-one lesson are a valuable tool for both coach and swimmer. Lessons allow the swimmer to receive more personalized instruction; they allow the coach and swimmer to develop short cues for quick correction reminders during group practice sessions; they allow the coach to develop a personalized report with the swimmer, enhancing trust and the bond between. Lessons can be done occasionally, or on a regular (weekly or bi-weekly) basis. All lessons will be billed through the business office and charged to your account.

If you are interested in individual lessons for your swimmer, contact their coach to schedule a session. It is recommended that swimmers rely on one of the coaches working with their group for lessons. If you are hoping to take lessons from a coach other than one working with your swimmers group, please contact your coach first and speak with them. In most cases, this is not a problem; our staff works as a team and will communicate with one another to benefit the swimmer.


What is Team Unify?

Team Unify is the platform our team uses to disperse information to our families. It has many functions from maintaining our swimmer/member database to providing parents with attendance information. You may should log into your account when it is set up and verify that all contact and mailing information is correct. You may add emails, phone numbers, photos of your swimmers, and edit information associated with your account. There may be portions of the website that require login for access such as our team roster or special information intended for members only.

We do not use Team Unify for any billing or collection transactions. All financial issues associated with your swimming account are handled by the Arden Hills Membership Services. If you have any questions regarding your account, please contact The Concierge at 916-480-1163.


How do I register my swimmer with USA Swimming?

You should use the website www.swim-smarter.com  Once you have created an account, you may register your swimmer. In subsequent seasons, you will only need to re-register and the process will be a bit quicker. See Swim Smarter under the Parent Resource Tab for instructions.


How do I transfer my swimmer to ARDEN HILLS from another team?

Swimmers transferring representation from one club to another must do so according to Article 303 of the Code of USA-S. Swimmers must apply for transfer to Unattached status by writing to the Registration Chairman (Mark Brown) stating the swimmer's name, address, birth date, name of club from which transferring, date of last competition with that club, and name of new club (ARDEN HILLS) to which the swimmer intends to attach after completion of the 120-day unattached period. The swimmer must pay a $1.00 service fee (make check payable to Sierra Nevada Swimming) and return the current Registration card. 


What is my USA Swimming ID?

Every member of USA Swimming will have a unique ID number that will rarely, if ever, change. This number will be issued to athlete and non-athlete members.

The swimmer ID formula is as follows: date of birth, first 3 letters of legal first name, first letter middle name, and first 4 letters of last name. So Sally Mary Jones born on 01011998 would be 010198SALMJONE. It is always 14 characters so if you have no middle name or your name has less letters in it than the formula requires, an asterisk (*) will be put in that spot as a place holder (ie. 090201DAVCFRY* or 080399MAR*BLAC).


What are short course and long course?

For years the "American Standard Short Course" pool has been a 25 yard pool. Almost all high school pools and most college pools are 25 yards long and most high school and college meets are run as short course meets.  USA Swimming Club teams generally swim short course meets from September through March and Long Course from April through August.

Eventually we all will be at swim meets during the spring and summer that are long course.  This will cause some confusion about times.  The times will be slower because a 50 meter swim is approximately 5 yards longer than a 50 yard swim.  Another factor are turns.  There are less turns in long course swimming and generally, turns are faster than swimming -- we can push off the wall faster than we can swim. Some people attempt to "convert" a short course time to a long course time or visa versa. The conversion factors are not precise due to differences in turns, strokes, and individual's ability to swim the extra distance at speed. Conversions can lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointments, or to a false sense of achievement. For those reasons we generally do not convert times for meet entry. We simply say that each swimmer has two sets of best times, one for long course and one for short course. There may be occasion to use converted times. Look for your coach to indicate when this is appropriate.


How do I know what events to enter my swimmer into for swim meets? 

Once the meet is available for entry online, your coach will send out an email with specific events that he would like your child to swim at the meet. Include your swimmer in the decision making process, as often there are options offered for the swimmer to chose. Including them allows them ownership of their choices.


What should I expect at our first swim meet?

Swim meets are a lot of fun but can be a bit overwhelming until you get the hang of it. Don’t worry you’ll catch on quick, but to help you along, here is a short description of what you might expect.


What kinds of foods should I bring to swim meets?

Check out these articles for some ideas on excellent meet and recovery foods for swimmers.

Smart Eating for Swimmers on Race Day - USA Swimming

Stay-in-the-bag Snacks for Swimmers - USA Swimming

Top 5 Recovery Snacks for Swimmers - USA Swimming


How do we plan for extended absences, like vacations or school trips?

Swimming is a sport where time out of the water affects performance quickly. We try to periodize our season to keep the kids moving forward, with our biggest break (2-4 weeks) in August, and one or two smaller breaks (3-5 days) in late-December and early-April, which depend on our meet schedule. Generally, it is ideal to plan vacations during these down times.

If you will be traveling during the training portion of the season, you have a couple of options to help your swimmer stay on track with training and minimize the effects of being away.

-  You can ask your swimmer’s coach for workouts for some or all of the days you will be away, finding a pool to swim in. Sometimes this is a great option, allowing flexibility and quick completion of the workout.

-  You can locate a team near where you will be traveling, and ask your coach to contact their program to see if your swimmer might be able to join their training sessions. This can be a really fun experience and a great way to meet new people and see how other teams do things.

School trips come up and usually the dates are predetermined by the school. If the dates are flexible, please speak with your coach about which date might be less detrimental to training and success at the end of the season. We know that the kids enjoy their school travel experience and we hope that they are refreshed and ready to resume training when they return. 


If we would like to return to our Summer Rec Team, when does my swimmer need to be out of the water?

Every league is different so please check with the head coach of your rec team or the governing body of the league to find out the specific date. Most local leagues require that you are out of the water somewhere between February 1st and February 15th. Again, please check with your team to verify the date. 


If my child decides to discontinue participation with the team, who do I need to contact?

If your swimmer will no longer be swimming with Arden Hills, you need to do THREE things.

- Please contact The Concierge (916-480-1163) and inform them of your decision to discontinue participation. You must give 30 days notice for billing to be stopped for the next month. Partial months are not prorated.

- Fill out and sign a form that declares your intentions to stop participating. This form can be obtained from the business office.

- Please notify your coach. They will remove you from the roster so that you will no longer receive group/team communication.