Team Member / Parent

Sea Lions Swim Team Handbook

Revised 2/1/2013; Updated 2017

I. Introduction and Team Philosophy
The Sea Lions Swim Team purpose is the instruction or training of individuals for the purpose of improving or developing their capabilities in swimming.  Our goal is to promote competitive swimming activities for the children of our community, under the sanction and guidance of Oregon Swimming Incorporated; under the legal limitations of a public charity.  


II. USA Swimming
USA Swimming is the National Governing Body for amateur competitive swimming in the United States. USA Swimming was conceived in 1978 with the passage of the Amateur Sports Act, which decreed that all Olympic sports would be administered independently.  Prior to this Act, USA Swimming was the Competitive Swimming Committee of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).  Today, USA Swimming headquarters are at the Olympic Training center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  USA Swimming is charged with the responsibility to formulate rules, conduct national championships, disseminate safety and sports medicine information, select competitors to represent this country in international competition, and insure the development of its’ member clubs and age groupers.  USA Swimming is the ruling body of sanctioned swimming meets in the United States.


III. Fees
Sixty-six percent of the revenues of the USA Swimming budget come from non-athletes and membership fees from clubs.  Year-round athletes, the club, officials and coaches pay annual registration fees.  The Sea Lions Swim Team is a club member of USA Swimming.  Clubs joining USA Swimming have liability insurance coverage for approved insured activities.  The following is a breakdown of our USA Swimming Registration fees (as of 10.1.2018; fees change annually).

Club Registration: $150.00/year
Coaches Registration: $  82.00/year
Swimmer Registration: $  70.00/year


Upon joining the Sea Lions Swim Team, and each OCTOBER thereafter, every swimmer must register with USA Swimming.  This enables them to swim in meets and pays for USA Swimming liability insurance for each swimmer during USA Swimming sanctioned activities (meets and practices).

Swimmers are required to pay monthly swim team dues, which are used to pay for coaching salaries.



Age Group/Senior

2-Day High School*

1st Swimmer of Family




2nd Swimmer of Family




3rd plus swimmer




In addition to the yearly and monthly fees, Eisenschmidt pool requires each swimmer to have a current pool membership.  Each swimmer is allowed to swim without a membership for the first month of their participation during swim team time ONLY.  Once a membership is purchased it can be used according to the rules of Eisenschmidt pool memberships.

Most swim meets that the Sea Lions Swim Team participates in will charge meet fees.  Each swimmer who wishes to participate in a meet needs to pay the required meet entry fees.  These fees are non-refundable once they have been sent to the team sponsoring the meet.

The following is a breakdown of fees for the various types of meets:
Dual Meet: No cost
Invitational: $3+/swimmer and $2 - $5/event
Championships: $10.00+/swimmer and $2.00-12.00/event
Any and all fees are subject to change.


Delinquent Dues:
Monthly dues are due by the 9th of each month.  

Checks should be made payable to the Sea Lions Swim Team or SLST and can be put in the yellow SLST box located in the pools front lobby or can be mailed to 
PO Box 902, St. Helens, OR  97051.  


DUES ARE DELINQUENT AFTER THE 9TH OF THE MONTH.  A LATE FEE OF $15.00 CAN BE CHARGED IF DUES ARE PAID AFTER THE 10TH.  A coach may disallow a swimmer from practice after this time.

IV. Coaching & Team Schedules
Swimmers work to improve their stroke technique, and develop endurance and greater strength using all four of the competitive strokes (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle).  They are taught the fundamentals of ‘starts’, ‘turns’, and ‘finishes’.  Good sportsmanship and respect for others is stressed.

The mechanics of a swim meet is taught as swimmers prepare for competition.  Discussions regarding nutrition, pre-meet mental preparation, and team spirit are also  taught as an important part of competitive swimming.  Dry land practices may be included as a part of the training program.
The swim team holds practice 5 (or 4 depending on training group) nights per week.  Swimmers should attend as many practices as possible.  It is recommended that parents discuss the appropriate number of practices their child should participate in with the coach, since the age and experience of the individual swimmer will vary.


  • The Age Group/SR’s practice MONDAY - FRIDAY from 5:15-6:45 pm.  
  • The Novice Group practices MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY & FRIDAY from 5:15-6:00 pm.  

Practice is occasionally canceled when the pool host’s high school meets.  Swimmers will be notified in advance of these change.


Tryouts will be offered to any swimmer that wants to tryout for the team.  Once the swimmer has participated in a tryout and they possess the necessary skills required for the team, they will be given a probationary period.  The swimmer will fill out all required paperwork and pay the USA Swimming yearly registration fee.  If after the probationary period, the swimmer decides not to join the team, the USA Swimming fee will be returned.  If the child joins the team, monthly dues will accrue from the day after the probationary period began.  The probationary period will only be offered to swimmers who have not been a member of the team in the past one and a half calendar years from the date of the tryout. Member is defined in this paragraph as a person who has paid dues to the team while participating in practice for a month.

V. Swimmers Responsibilities
As a swimmer’s level of swimming ability increases so does his/her responsibility.  The program is designed to encourage all swimmers to improve their technique.  As swimmers improve and advance, their commitment requires greater effort.  A swimmer has responsibilities to the team, the coach, his/her parents, and most importantly to themselves.  Swimmers need to prepare themselves for a 100% effort each time they come to practice.


Injury and Illness
If your swimmer will be out of the water over a long period of time with an injury or illness, please notify the coach or a swim team board member.  Dues are expected to be paid if your child participates in one practice during the billing month. 


Code of Conduct
1. Never interfere with the progress of another swimmer, during practice or otherwise.

2. At all club functions, whether practice, meets, or social gatherings, each swimmer is expected to behave in such a way that their actions reflect positively on the team.
3. All members of the club, whether parents or swimmers, are expected to uphold the reputation of the club in a positive manner.

If a swimmer is asked by the coach to leave practice or sit on the bleachers three times for disciplinary reasons, they will be suspended for one month.  “Disciplinary Reasons” are defined as: disrespect to coaches, disrupting practice, disrespect to teammates, disrespect to pool staff or parents, swearing, and destruction of pool property.  After one month the swimmer may re-apply to the coaching staff in writing.


Swimmer Behavior
Sea Lions Swim Team swimmers use the facilities of Eisenschmidt Pool.  Our swimmers have an obligation to be considerate of the staff, the facilities, and other patrons using the pool.  All current rules and regulations governing the public shall apply to SLST during use of the pool.  Appropriate conduct is expected in the pool, on deck, in the locker rooms, the lobby areas, and surrounding grounds.  If damage to the pool or disruptive behavior occurs, disciplinary action will be initiated.  Parents will be responsible (financially or otherwise) for any damage caused by their swimmer.


VI. Parent Responsibilities
The greatest contribution you can make to your swimmers progress is to be a loving, supportive parent.   The coach’s job is to motivate and constructively help the swimmer achieve his/her goals in swimming.  It is the parent’s job to supply the love, recognition, and encouragement necessary to make the child work harder in practice, which in turn gives him/her the confidence to perform well in competition.  

A minimum of 10 hours per family of volunteer time is required per year, October - September.  Ways to volunteer include:  Timing at away swim meets, working at our only home meet - the Artman Invitational Swim meet,  serving on the board, serving as the Meet Director, coordinating our annual Swim-A-Thon, or becoming a Stroke and Turn official through USA Swimming.  Families that don't meet the required volunteer hours are billed at $10 per volunteer hour.

If there is any matter that needs the coach’s attention, please communicate with the coach directly.  Do NOT attempt to talk DURING a practice, as the coach needs to put their energy and focus towards the kids.  You may speak with either coach after a practice, or if it is necessary, make an appointment. 


Getting involved
Behind every successful swim team is a group of individuals who raise money, organize fundraisers, fill out forms, punch stopwatches, keep records, officiate meets, etc.  This is accomplished through swim team parent volunteers.  Your interest and commitment are important to the success of the Sea Lions Swim Team.

To enable the Sea Lions Swim Team to purchase equipment needed for competition, each family is responsible for participating in the fundraising activities. The club participates annually in the USA Swimming Swim-A-Thon, held the 3rd Tuesday in May.  Each swimmer is required to fundraise a minimum of $200 per year as a participant on the Sea Lions Swim Team.

Parent / Board Meetings
We have an annual parent meeting after the start of short course season, usually in September/October, after our try-outs.  This is a mandatory meeting for all parents to attend and will include nominations of our board members.  We hold monthly board meetings on the first Monday of every month and all parents are invited to attend.  In order to vote, you must be a member in "good standing", as defined by the By-Laws.


VII. Meets
Our coach determines what meets will be selected for our team to attend.  Each swimmer will be informed of all scheduled meets.

There are several different kinds of meets that the team participates in.  Swimmers times are ranked by the USA swimming standards and are categorized as C, B, A, sectional and zone times.  ‘C’ time is slower than a ‘B’ time which is slower than an ‘A’ time and so on.  The standard times for these categories may change each year, for each age group.  Swimmers work toward establishing their own ‘personal best times’.  Any time established at any USA Swimming meet establishes the individual swimmers time as an A time, B time, etc.


  • Dual Meets are open to all swimmers, and are low-key meets that are especially good for new swimmers.  These meets are usually free.
  • A/B/C invitational meets are open to all swimmers.  There are entry fees for A/B/C meets.
  • A/B invitational meets are for swimmers with an ‘A’ or ‘B’ time.  There are entry fees for A/B meets.
  • State championship meets are for swimmers with ‘A’ times.  There are entry fees for these meets. 
  • Sectional and Zone meets are for swimmers with Sectional or Zone times (faster than‘A’ times).  There are fees for these meets plus usually travel expenses.