Joining the Team
How do we join the team?
Call us and let us know you are interested. We can be reached at 952.953.2922 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Once we know more about the swimmer, we can guide your next steps. The swimmer will either need an individual assessment or level assignment from a coach. If your child is new to competitive swimming we will ask if he/she knows all four strokes, flip turns and can dive off the side or starting blocks. If your swimmer has swam competitively before, we will ask for his/her best times.
What is the registration process?
Riptide offers online registration. Go to our homepage www.riptideswimteam.org and click “start registration” in the menu on the left. It should take about 15 minutes to complete the process. It will help to have your medical insurance card and credit cards handy. The Riptide policies are outlined in detail during the registration process so please read carefully.
How do I know which team level is right for my swimmer?
All new swimmers are evaluated on an individual basis. A Riptide coach assigns the team level. Younger and newer swimmers are provided a one-on-one assessment with a Riptide coach. Middle school and high school swimmers are evaluated on a case by case basis depending on experience. Contact us at 952.953.2922 or email@example.com to schedule an assessment.
Can you help me understand your summer PM declaration?
Riptide shifts practice times for the summer to am AM practice schedule. We recognize that this does not work for a number of families, so Riptide modifies a PM practice schedule to accommodate families that need the PM practice times from June-July. In the modified schedule Riptide DOES NOT offer Friday PM practices.
What is your cancelation policy?
1. A 15 day notice is required for all cancelations. Send an email to Billing@riptideswimteam.org with the following information:
- Swimmer's name
- Swimmer's group level (i.e. Bronze, Silver, Junior, etc)
- Reason for cancelation.
- Is the swimmer expected to turn to Riptide? If so, when?
- Any other feedback we should know? Your comments and suggestions are helpful in improving our team.
2. Once an account has been canceled, Riptide cannot guarantee that a roster spot will be available if/when the swimmer wishes to return.
3. The account owner remains responsible for any fees incurred by the swimmer prior to their last practice date (i.e. meet fees, swim cap, purchases, USA Swimming registration fees)
4. Any unpaid balances will be collected if/when the swimmer wishes to return to the club. Riptide reserves the right to send any unpaid balances to a collections agency if not resolved in a reasonable amount of time.
New to Competitive Swimming
How do I know what equipment my swimmer needs and where do I buy it?
There is a basic list that all swimmers need for training. Please see your group under the Training Group Tab.
What is a time standard?
Competitive swimming is broken into time standards in order to appropriately group swimmers and provides achievement milestones. For the latest Minnesota time standards, please see the following link:
Minnesota Swimming Time Standards
What are Short Course and Long Course Seasons?
Riptide operates in two seasons (which makes us a year round team) in accordance with USA Swimming. Short course vs long course refers to the length of the pool, not the length of the season.
Short Course season:
- runs Sept-March
- all training and competitions are run in a 25 yard pool (like at BWAC)
- practices start in September
- meets generally start in October and run through the end of March
- swimmers build on their training to peak at the end of the season at C Finals, Minnesota Regional Championships (MRC), State Meet or further depending on the swimmer
Long Course Season:
- runs April-July
- a long course pool is a 50 meter pool (picture what you see the Olympic swimmers compete in)
- Riptide still does the majority of the training in our 25 yard pool. Some of the older teams train in a 50 meter pool during the summer months. 50 meter pool space is scarce in Minnesota, there are very few options and all the teams in the state want to rent space. We have secured lanes in Bloomington, the U of MN and in Northfield.
- Competitions will utilize both 25 yard pools and 50 meter pools. However, Regionals and State championships are swam in a 50 meter pool.
- There are different time standards for short vs. long course.
The practice schedule stays the same until June when the kids are out of school. At that time we have traditionally offered two options for practices:
- very similar to current evening practice schedule
- a morning option--by morning we mean, before noon
The coaches love to have the kids train in the mornings, especially the younger swimmers who compete in the morning session. However, we know this isn't feasible for all families, so the evening practices are still offered. Each swimmer chooses the option that best works for them.
The monthly fees are the same for short and long course seasons.
Policies and Procedures
How do we know if practice is canceled due to weather?
The staff will determine any practice cancelations by 2 pm. If practice is canceled it will be communicated via email. We leave all final decisions to the parents on attending practice due to poor weather conditions. Riptide Swim Team does not provide refunds for canceled practice.
My child wants to leave the team to do other sports or activities. What should I do?
At Riptide we understand and encourage children to pursue their interests. That is why we do not require a seasonal commitment instead our billing is done on a monthly basis. We request that you discuss your plans with the lead coach so that they are aware of your needs and can help determine how to best support your child’s interests and re-entry into our program. We do require a 30 day notice for withdrawals from the program for billing purposes and we are unable to hold roster spots.
What is the best way to drop off and pick up my swimmer?
To encourage a safer traffic flow in the parking lot, please use the traffic entrance closest to the pool and exit near Elsmore. This simulates a one-way street traffic pattern. We know the evening is a very busy time at Bluewater and the parking lot can get crowded. Please follow the traffic flow which allows swimmers to exit the vehicle on the same side as the building; therefore they do not need to dart in between cars. When parents are waiting for your swimmer to exit the building, please choose a parking spot, then pull up to the doors when you see your swimmer leave the building. Click here for a diagram.
Team Unify or Website
What is Team Unify?
Team Unify (TU) is the name of our website/team management/billing software. If you ever hear, “it is listed in Team Unify” or “check Team Unify” it is synonymous with the website.
I need to update my credit card information in Team Unify.
- Log into your TU account,
- Click “My Account” in the menu on the left
- Click “set up Auto Pay”
- Click “edit” to view your information
- Be sure to hit “Save” at the bottom or your changes will not be saved
How do I see my invoice line items?
- Log in to your Team Unify account
- Click “My Account” on the left
- Click “$My Invoice/Payment”
- Then click the grey arrows to expand the section to see individual line items
I don’t know what meets my swimmer should attend. Does my swimmer qualify for finals?
Contact your lead coach for guidance on which meets are a good fit for your swimmer. Usually, there is a description of the level of swimmer who should attend a particular competition within each meet listed on our meet schedule.
How do I accept a meet in Team Unify?
- Log in to your TU account
- Click on the meet
- Click on the swimmer’s name
- Use the drop down menu to choose “yes” or “no”
- Use the notes section to tell the coaches any special information. For example, if your swimmer can only participate in one day of a two day meet.
- DO NOT choose any events—the coaches will do that
- Scroll past the events (if they pop up) and hit the SAVE button. Your information will not be saved if you don’t hit this button.
How do I know which events my swimmer should enter in a meet?
The good news is that you don’t have to worry about this. The coaching staff has a training and meet plan for each swimmer and will choose those events.
Where do I get information/pricing on each swim meet?
Meet information is posted on the website as it becomes available. If it isn’t posted on our website then we are still waiting on it and will post as soon as possible. The fees for each meet at listed in the meet document as well. The fees are charged to your account/credit card on file the week after the meet.
Why is there an entry deadline for swim meets and why do I have to pay the fees if my swimmer can’t attend if they were entered?
Swim meets involve hundreds of swimmers and takes a large amount of data manipulation to make run as efficiently as possible. Meet entries and fees are due to the host club weeks before the meet. Once the entries are submitted, the swimmer’s spot is secured and Riptide has guaranteed payment to the host team and USA Swimming. Changes cannot be made after the deadline.
Why do we host swim meets?
Riptide Swim Team hosts a variety of different meets to serve the needs of our own swimmers and the local swimming community. This is an opportunity for the families to meet and work together to support the swimmers and the team. Each meet that Riptide hosts provides a high quality competition experience for the swimmers. Riptide also gains financially by hosting meets, through meet entry fees, concession sales, etc. the team uses this money to keep monthly fees affordable.
Why do Sr. Elite swimmers do individual fund raising events?
Sr. Elite swimmers are dedicated athletes who spend 18.5-22 hours in the water each week on average throughout the year. They generally swim year round, have chosen swimming as their primary sport and are over 13 years of age. In order to create advanced training opportunities they travel to other venues. During the summer, a 10-12 day extended training trip to a 50 meter pool is offered. During this longer trip, they generally train twice daily. In the past they have traveled to Florida and Colorado Springs. Swimmers who do not attend the training trip will still have a practice opportunities with another coach. We cannot guarantee that the alternate practice will be at their regularly scheduled time.
These trips are not covered by monthly dues and are only feasible if swimmers pay for them out of pocket. Riptide would like to make these trips as affordable as possible so a maximum number of swimmers can attend. Therefore, the Sr. Elite swimmers and parents engage in extra fundraising activities to reduce to cost of the trips per swimmer.
An example of these extra activities are: swim clinics for the younger swimmers, bagging groceries at Cub, pancake breakfasts, etc. Sr. Elite swimmers and parents do this in addition to the all team fundraisers.
Problems or concerns
What do I do if my swimmer has an issue with a team mate?
First commend your child for confiding in you, then encourage them to speak directly with their coach to let them know about the “issue”. The coach will then work with the swimmers to help them find a resolution. However, understand that some situations and social dynamics cannot be controlled by the coach.
In the case of younger swimmers, parents are encouraged to contact their child’s lead coach if the child does not have the confidence to approach the coach on their own. Don’t wait and let a situation grow worse! The best way to reach your child’s coach in confidence is to email them.
I don’t think my child is improving.
If you have concerns of any kind, it is vital that you communicate your thoughts to your child’s coach. Developing a trusting relationship between the swimmer, coach and parent is one of the keys to success. The best way to reach our coaches is through our team email system. If you are not sure how to reach your child’s coach, please click here for their contact information from our website.
There are many factors involved in a child’s swim time progression. Our coaching staff works hard to get to know each of their swimmer’s individual stage of progression and growth in the sport. Swimmers improve at different rates, which are determined by numerous factors. Your child’s coach will have unique insight into their training habits, which are related to their meet performances.
I think practices are too hard or too easy.
In terms of practices being too hard or too easy, there are particular times in the season when practices will be focused more on skill and technique development (easier) and when practices will be more challenging (harder). As a staff, the coaches always want their swimmers to be challenged when the training sets are designed to be harder. If the coach cannot consistently challenge a swimmer, the coach may recommend a group change. The key here is to communicate any concern directly to the coach so that they have the opportunity to give their insight and build a trust relationship with you and your swimmer.
My child is having an issue with a coach.
At Riptide, we believe it is vital that swimmer-coach-parent work together to help the swimmer have a positive experience. If your swimmer is having an issue with the coach, we recommend that you email the coach and express your specific concern and then request a time to meet in person with all involved (swimmer, coach, parents). Communication is the KEY to resolving any issue!
My child doesn’t have any friends on the team/isn’t making friends.
Usually, our coaching staff will notice if a child is having difficulty making friends. However, we encourage parents to reach out to their child’s lead coach to let them know of their concern. Our coaching staff will always do their best to help create opportunities for swimmers to build friendships. It is obviously more difficult to help create friendships with shy children, but our staff is acutely aware of the importance of friendships in the sport of swimming. That being said, they cannot control all social dynamics, especially away from the pool area.
My child isn’t having fun.
As stated in several other FAQ’s, the key is to contact your child’s lead coach. There can be several reasons as to why a child is not “having fun”. Your child’s coach is likely eager to gain knowledge from you as to what makes your child “tick” and what may be bothering them. Our staff at Riptide wants all of our swimmers to have a POSITIVE and FUN experience. The coaches are at the pool not only to coach your child and all of our other Riptide swimmers, but also to help them have a “home away from home”. Our coaches have years of experience working with swimmers and parents – be sure to use them as a resource!
When do I know when my child is ready to move to the next swim level?
Each season the coaching staff evaluates swimmers to determine when they are ready to move to the next level. Coaches will communicate this information to the swimmer and parents. Click here for more detailed information about how these determinations are assessed.
Why are teams broken down by age not ability level?
The general descriptions for each level is just that: general. Each team has a general description, however based on the current demographic of the team the training groups may fluctuate as needed. The coaching staff is constantly working together to insure that the swimmers are getting the training they need based on the swimmers development.