Swim team basics



Welcome to Waunakee Wave. We are a non-profit swim team led by professional coaches and a committee of parents and coaches to represent our team. The Waunakee Wave team is committed to excellent coaching that meets the goals and needs of all swimmers and their families.


Practices:  Each level has required practice days and times. Swimmers will show greater endurance and improvement with consistent practice attendance. A new swimmer may find workouts challenging.  Even active children in great physical shape may find the first few weeks of practice difficult. Talk to coaches if you have any concerns.


Communications:  Information about your team is shared through email, the website and the team bulletin board in the pool lobby. Each family will have a folder located in the file box at the pool bleachers. We also use text messaging to send urgent messages about pool closings due to lightning. Please add your text number in your online account.

Contact your coaches directly:

Greg Lake: [email protected]

Sandy Kuecker: [email protected]

with concerns about your child's swimming practices and meets. Contact the [email protected] with issues on billing, fees, registration, transfer paperwork, and frequently asked questions.


Practice Equipment: Swimmers will need to have minimal equipment.  All swimmers need to have a suit and goggles.  All female swimmers or swimmers with hair longer than 3 inches, regardless of age or level should wear a swim cap. We require that at meets swimmers wear a black suit with the team logo, and the team cap.  Each swimmer will receive one silicone cap and one team t-shirt for free with their registration.  Additional team apparel is available for order.  More information on apparel can be found at§=97&tid=130


Swim Team Committee:  Our Swim Team Committee is a group of coaches and parents that represent all group levels.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact [email protected].  


Membership Fees:

1.  Registration Fee –  Current practice fees can be found on the website.

2.  USA Swimming Registration – Our “Parent” organization is USA Swimming and our local swimming committee (LSC) organization is Wisconsin Swimming, Inc. They require that all athletes swimming on a USA Swim Team pay a registration fee.

3.  Equipment Fees - Each swimmer is required to have a team suit, cap, goggles, and a snorkel (if Silver level and above). This cost is the family’s responsibility. 


Family Commitment - Volunteering:  Families are expected to volunteer at all home meets, totaling 8 hours per meet.  We depend on you to run our meets and concession stand that makes money for the team and ensures our registration prices stay affordable. Volunteer sign-ups are online and the number of family commitments will be determined at the beginning of each session.  Anyone, high school age or older, is allowed to fulfill the commitment.  Proceeds from home meets are used to help cover the cost of operations throughout the year and are an important part of our annual budget. Families unable to fulfill their commitment will be charged a family commitment fee.  These fees will be used to pay additional help, ensuring a successful meet.  

Behavior Expectations:  The team parent and athlete Handbook is distributed at the beginning of each swimmers first session. A copy of the Handbook can be found at /wiwaun/UserFiles/File/Waunakee%20WAVE%20Handbook%202015%20-%20UPDATED.pdf



What Is a Swim Meet?:  Swim meets are for swimmers and coaches to measure progress.  Swim meets that we plan to attend will be posted online and on the bulletin board.  Swim meets are divided into AM and PM sessions as well as prelims/finals where appropriate according to age groups.  Meet information is posted on  

What is the Philosophy of Competition?: Meet schedules are designed to give swimmers an opportunity to measure progress.  All swimmers are expected to participate in meets as part of their development.  It is important that all swimmers attend meets and contribute to the total team effort.  See the "Coaching Philosophy" is it's entirety under the "Coaches" tab.

Meet entries:   The coaches will make appropriate event entries for each swimmer.  If for some reason your swimmer is Not able to attend the meet, please inform their primary coach ASAP!  Swimmers are billed for each event entered.  Fees are non-refundable after the meet deadline.

What Types of Meets are Available?

  1. Dual Meet – A meet with two teams
  2. Tri-Meet – A meet with three teams.
  3. Invitational – A meet with multiple teams.
  4. Championship Meet - Championship Meets start at the basic level with the Wisconsin State Meet, and graduate upwards to Junior Nationals, US Nationals, the US Open and Olympic Trials.  All participants must have met or exceeded the qualifying standard of the specific meet


Swim Meet Guidelines: Swim meets are a great way for the swimmers to experience the benefit of hard work and healthy competition. Listed below are some guidelines to help you through your first few swim meets.

The Night Before:

  • Diet – Pasta, rice, fruits, vegetables and other carbohydrates.
  • Early to bed –Make sure your swimmer is well rested for the meet.

What to Take to the Meet:

1. Clothing.

  • Team Suit
  • Team Swim Cap,
  • Goggles. Make sure the goggles have been worn for starts during practice to ensure a good fit at the meet.  All caps worn at the meet MUST be a team cap.  

2. Towels – Pack a minimum of two.

3. T-shirt, hoodie or warm up jacket.

4. Book, iPod - Between events, swimmers usually talk or cheer on teammates. But if very lengthy breaks occur between events, bring a book. All electronic devices must be used sparingly and in a non-distracting way.

5. Food – Host teams provide concessions during the meet as fundraisers. We encourage you to support their team by purchasing food at the concession stand, and they will likewise purchase from us.  The coaches do not support the purchasing and ingestion of any sort of junk food by any of the athletes.  There is plenty of time for that after the meet is over - a swim meet is not an appropriate place to indulge in junk food.  If you do bring your own food, we suggest the following:

  • Drinks: Fruit juice, Gatorade, or water (no glass bottles)
  • Snacks: Granola bars, yogurt, cereal, sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, or pasta


Before the Meet Starts:

1. Parents should head to the stands to find other Wave families.

2. After warm-ups, swimmers should return to the team area until their events are called.  Now is a good time to double-check events, talk to parents, use the bathroom, or get a drink.

3. Meets will usually start 10 to 15 minutes after warm-ups are over.

4. According to USA Swim rules (because of insurance requirements), parents are not allowed on deck unless serving in an official capacity.  All questions concerning meet results, an officiating call, or the conduct of the meet should be referred to the Wave coaching staff. Please do not approach officials or other coaches with questions or concerns.  All parents must obey the 48-hour rule with the coaches as outlined in the Team Handbook.

5. There may be multiple heats for each event.  Heats are determined by “seed times”.  With the exception of distance events, heats run slow to fast with the fastest “seed times” in the last heat.  Swimmers in events for the first time will be entered as a “no time” or “NT” and will likely swim in one of the first heats of the event


During the Meet:

1. Swimmers should sit together and wait for their events.  Swimmers should be sitting as a team, not in the stands with their parents. Swimmers leaving the team area for food, or bathroom breaks should return as soon as they can. Do not leave the meet.

2. Events are announced and swimmers should report, with their cap and goggles, to the staging area or their lane.  Swimmers report to their lanes and give their name to the timers when reaching the blocks.  Generally, girls’ events are odd-numbered and boys’ events are even numbered.

3. If there is a staging area, it is usually for swimmers ages 8 and under.

  • The staging area is a designated area near the pool.                                         
  • An adult asks swimmers their names and places each swimmer in the correct heat and lane.

 4. After each race: 

  • Stay in the water until the last person finishes the race. The officials may have you stay in until the next heat or race has entered the pool ( a fly-over start).
  • Shake hands with swimmers on either side of you and congratulate them on their race.
  • Immediately following their race, swimmers should consult with coaching staff to discuss their results.

5. A parent’s role after each race:

  • Do not attempt to coach your child.  The coaching staff will discuss race specifics.  A parent’s job is to support their child.
  • Swimmers now wait until their next event is called and start the procedure again.
  • Make sure swimmers have something to eat or drink, if needed, before returning to the team area before their next event.

6. After swimming all their events, swimmers should stay with the team to cheer on their teammates.


What happens if my child has a disappointing swim?

If your child has a poor race and is disappointed, talk about the good things they did. Ask what the coach said. There is nothing wrong with a swimmer negatively evaluating a race, however it is important the swimmer doesn’t dwell on it. Talk about the negative things in a constructive way. “How will you work on this in practices? What did your coaches tell you?”  Keep it positive.

DQ:  Disqualifications (DQ) can and does happen to all swimmers, even college and Olympian swimmers.  It is important to focus on the experience as an opportunity to learn and to grow. Swimmers need not be embarrassed, since even the best swimmers DQ.


After the meet, ribbons will be placed in family folders.  Families may pick them up at practice. Disqualified (DQ) swimmers do not receive awards (“DQ” means the swimmer did not swim the stroke legally) and a coach will discuss this with individual swimmers.

Families and siblings attending the meet

The pool area is VERY warm and muggy, with hard backless benches and sometimes close quarters.  Dress accordingly. Many parents bring seat cushions or stadium seats. Many meets have the school gym open for families to gather. This family area is where younger siblings can run around. Parent viewing areas are sometimes set up near the pool. Do not crowd the doorways and follow instructions from safety staff.

Athlete Privacy- IMPORTANT:

Cell phones and cameras are prohibited in locker rooms to protect athlete privacy. Adults should not enter the locker rooms unless a younger swimmer needs assistance. Do not take photos of your swimmer in the locker room. Notify the Meet Marshall or our coaches if you see adults in the locker rooms without a specific purpose, such as a sick swimmer.

Basic Swimming Rules 

The technical rules of swimming are designed for consistency and uniformity in the sport. Each swimming stroke has specific rules designed to ensure that no swimmer gets an unfair competitive advantage over another swimmer. Trained officials observe the swimmers during each event to ensure compliance with these technical rules. If a swimmer commits an infraction of the rules, a disqualification (DQ) will result. The disqualified swimmer will not receive an official time and will not be eligible for an award in that event. Disqualifications may result from actions such as not getting to the starting blocks on time, false starting, advancing themselves by walking or pushing off the bottom of the pool, pulling on the lane lines, or unsportsmanlike conduct.

For specific language on any technical rules, consult the United States Swimming Rules and Regulations book or website: We encourage all parents to become familiar with USA Swimming regulations.


Meet Officials:

Officials are volunteers. They ensure a fair competition.  Officials attend clinics, pass a written test, and observe meets before being certified.  Officials are eligible and encouraged to work other meets, not just Wave meets. All parents are encouraged to consider officiating.

You are an official if you volunteer for any of the following jobs:

1. Timers – Operate timing devices (watches or automatic timing systems) and record the time for the swimmer in their lane.
2. Turn Judges – Observe the swimmers from each end of the pool and ensure that the turns and finishes comply with the rules of each stroke.
3. Stroke Judges – Observe the swimmers from both sides of the pool, walking next to the swimmers, to ensure that the rules of each stroke are being followed. The position of Stroke Judge and Turn Judge may be combined into one position called the Stroke and Turn Judge.
4. Relay Takeoff Judges – Stand beside the starting blocks to observe the relay exchanges, ensuring that the feet of the departing swimmer do not leave the block before the incoming swimmer touches the end of the pool.
6. Starter – Assumes control of the swimmers from the Referee, directs them to “take your mark”, and sees that no swimmer is in motion prior to giving the start signal.
7. Referee – Has overall authority and control of the competition, ensuring that all the rules are followed. Assigns and instructs all officials and makes decisions regarding all questions relating to the conduct of the meet. Violations of the rules are reported to the swimmer or his coach and the swimmer will be disqualified. A DQ alerts the swimmer and coach to what portions of the swimmer’s stroke need to be corrected. Disqualifications are necessary to keep the competition fair for all swimmers. A supportive attitude on the part of the official, coach, and parent can make a positive situation out the disqualification.
8. Place Judge — The referee may place a judge on each side of the pool to verify the order of finish.  A place judge shall record a tie if a place distinction cannot be made.
9. Clerk of Course — The clerk of course shall be provided with a list of swimmers in all events.  This list includes relays with relay members listed in order of swim.
10. Computer and Colorado operators — These volunteers operate the computers that collect the swim times, run the scoreboard, and score events.
11. Meet Marshalls — Shall wear identifying attire and are responsible for maintaining order during a meet. The marshall, along with the referee, have the authority to warn or order to remove anyone behaving in an unsafe or disruptive manner.
12. Announcer — the announcer shall make any announcements requested by the referee, the clerk of course or the meet management. Announcements may include: event; number of heats; lane, name and club affiliation of competitors; and results.

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