Family Handbook


Thanks for joining the Paradise Piranhas Swim Team! We are so excited to have such enthusiastic parents and swimmers on the team. If you are a new swim family then welcome, if you are a returning swim family, then welcome back! This handbook will help you to navigate the sometimes confusing swim-parent landscape. At times being a swim family can feel overwhelming. The Paradise Piranhas Board of Directors understands how you feel, since each of us has been in your shoes at one time or another. To help you with some of the questions that can crop up along the way, we are distributing to you the new 2017-2018 Paradise Piranhas Swim Team Handbook. We are confident that you will find your time with the team to be as rewarding an experience as we have!

 This handbook contains detailed guidelines and policies for swimmers and parents. The handbook also outlines what you can expect from the coaches including an idea of our groups and training programs. Please note that this document will continue to evolve as we evolve as a club, so when updates/revisions are made we will alert you to ensure you are always kept in the loop.

 We are confident this document will answer most of your questions as the season progresses, but please don’t hesitate to ask a board member regarding anything you don’t understand. We’re here to help you! As we like to say, the Paradise Piranhas are not just a swim team, we are a swim family! Every one of our swimmers, coaches, and parents are a vital and valued member of the family. 

Our swim family holds each other up, helps each other out, and cheers each other on! Just remember as a Piranha parent you are giving your child the greatest gift you ever could: The Gift of Your Time!

Vital Team Information:

Swim Team Eligibility- All swimmers will be evaluated on the first day of practice by the coaching staff. The coaches will determine if the swimmer meets the requirements to be placed on the team. After such determination, the coach will place the swimmer in a group appropriate for his/her skills.


QT-  All parents of swimmers must sign up on the QT. 

The QT is the “Quick Topic” message board found on the team’s website. Why sign up? Because this is how you will get up to date information about what is going on with the swim team. The QT is the primary way that swim team information will be distributed. Such information includes: meet dates and times, fundraiser information, practice cancelations, etc. Just go to, on the top tabs click on “Message Board”. This will take you to the quick topic page. On the right hand side you will see the green “get mail” button. Click on that button. You may then sign up to receive future notices via your personal email.

USA Cards-  All summer swimmers MUST have a current, seasonal USA Card.

Instructions: Go to If you are a new user, you will be prompted to register first. There are two categories of USA cards: Seasonal and Year-Round. Our team is a seasonal team because we only compete May through September.  Our club code is SN-PARA. In order to participate in meets and compete under the PARA affiliation, monthly Paradise Piranha registration dues must be current and paid in full regardless of the amount of practice days the swimmer has completed.


Payment and Meet Participation-

In order to participate in meets and compete under the PARA affiliation, monthly fees must be current and paid in full, regardless of the amount of practice days the swimmer has completed. 



There will be one mandatory fundraiser per session. All families must participate as much as possible. The money raised helps with pool fees, equipment, future home meets, etc. This is an essential element to keeping the team going. Each session will have one to two major fundraisers. These vary by session but include: volunteering at Paradise’s Chocolate Fest, a “Coaches Challenge” lap swimming pledge drive, etc. Fundraisers will be announced ahead of time to allow for optimal results!


Essentials for Swimmers-   

Swimmers must have goggles, a swim cap if hair goes past the ears, and a one piece suit for girls. Piranha’s swim caps are included with the summer registration fee.  Silicon caps are available for an additional $10.


Training for Parents- 

USA Swimming offers a free, informative training module for parent’s which explains all about competitive swimming. You can find it at: Under “Select LSC” select Sierra Nevada Swimming and our “Club Code” is PARA



Our coaches are the backbone of our team. That is why during practices they need to give all their attention to your wonderful children. We respectfully ask that you not speak to the coaches during practice unless it’s an emergency. Our coaches can make themselves available to talk about your swimmer’s progress before or after practice or via phone/email. In order for our practices to be safe and productive we need our coaches’ full attention on your kids at all times!


Board of Directors’ Code of Ethics and Bylaws can be found on the team’s website


Why Swim?      

The USA Swimming (USA) age group swimming program is America's largest program of guided fitness activity for children. Age group swimming builds a strong foundation for a lifetime of good health, by teaching healthy fitness habits.  


Physical Development

Swimming is considered the ideal activity for developing muscular and skeletal growth by many physicians and pediatricians. Why do doctors like it so much?


•    Swimming develops high quality aerobic endurance, the most important key to physical fitness. In other sports an hour of practice may yield as little as 10 minutes of meaningful exercise. Age group swimming teams use every precious minute of practice time developing fitness and teaching skills.

•    Swimming does a better job in proportional muscular development by using all the body's major muscle groups. No other sport does this as well.

•    Swimming enhances children's natural flexibility (at a time when they ordinarily begin to lose it) by exercising all of their major joints through a full range of motion.

•    Swimming helps develop superior coordination because it requires combinations of complex movements of all parts of the body, enhancing harmonious muscle function, grace, and fluidity of movement.

•    Swimming is the most injury-free of all children's sports.

•    Swimming is a sport that will bring kids fitness and enjoyment for life.  Participants in Master's Swimming programs are still training and racing well into their 80's.


Intellectual Competence

In addition to physical development, children can develop greater intellectual competence by participating in a guided program of physical activity. Learning and using swimming skills engages the thinking processes. As they learn new techniques, children must develop and plan movement sequences. They improve by exploring new ideas. They learn that greater progress results from using their creative talents. Self-expression can be just as much physical as intellectual. Finally their accomplishments in learning and using new skills contribute to a stronger self-image.


Who are the Piranhas?

Mission Statement

“The Paradise Piranha’s mission is to provide a competitive swim program that supports athletic and personal development.  Our team provides an enjoyable environment to build sportsmanship, character, skills, friendships and health.  It is our goal to develop mentally strong and confident kids who can carry the tools of the sport into all areas of their lives.”


Our Coaching Staff

Coaches Responsibilities    

The coaches' job is to supervise the entire competitive swim program. The Piranhas coaching staff is dedicated to providing a program for children that will enable them to learn the value of striving to improve oneself--"to be the best you can be." Therefore, the coaches must be in total control in matters affecting training and competition.


1.   The coaches are responsible for placing children in practice groups. This is based on the age and ability level of each individual. When it is in the best interest of a swimmer, he/she will be placed in a more challenging training group by the coach.


2.   Sole responsibility for stroke instruction and the training regimen rests with the Piranhas coaching staff. Each groups’ practices are based on sound scientific principles and are geared to the specific goals of that group.


3.   The coaching staff will make the final decision concerning which meets Piranhas swimmers may attend if behavior or practice participation is poor.


4. At meets, the coaching staff will conduct and supervise warm-up procedures for the team. After each race, the coaches will offer constructive criticism regarding the swimmers performance. (It is the parent's job to offer love and understanding regardless of their child's performance)


5.   The building of a relay team is the sole responsibility of the coaching staff.


The coaching staff is constantly updating and improving the Piranhas program. It is the swimmer's and parents' responsibility to make the most out of the excellent opportunity this program provides for success in swimming.


Our Group Descriptions 


Group 1:  Introduction to Competitive Swimming  

Description:  This program is designed to be an instructional and exercise program that develops health, fitness and swimming skills (for children.)  Instruction consists of the fundamentals of swimming, and introduction to the competitive swim strokes.  Students will increase endurance and strength in an enjoyable and confidence building environment.


To participate in this group, swimmers should be able to complete the following:

    · 25 yds of forward locomotion, unassisted 

    · float on their stomach, unassisted, with face in the water for at least 5 seconds

    · float on their back, unassisted, preferably kicking for 12.5-25 yards

    · enter shallow water (up to their chin) unassisted

    · exit shallow water unassisted

    · feel comfortable underwater

    · feel comfortable exploring deep water (over their head) with assistance 


Group 2:  Stroke Development/ Pre-Competitive

Description:  This program is designed to concentrate on developing the skills necessary to participate in competitive swimming, while improving endurance and stamina.  Participants will compete with other area programs in swim meets including duals and selected invitational swim meets.  This group is recommended for swimmers who have been involved in a swim team program before, or have completed at least two summers of formal swim instruction, (A.R.C. swim lessons).


To participate in this group, swimmers should be able to complete the following:

    · 25-50 yds of freestyle 

    · 25-50 yds of backstroke 

    · enter deep water (over their head) unassisted

    · exit deep water unassisted

    · Attendance at dual meets is recommended and strongly encouraged 

    · Attendance at weekend team meets is encouraged, but not required 


Group 3:  Competitive

Description:  This program is designed to introduce athletes and their families to competitive swimming as a sport. This program continues to develop the skills necessary for competitive swimming, including training in all four competitive strokes, starts, turns and finishes.  Development of good training practices will be introduced, focusing on: understanding the set, clock management, lane etiquette, and cooperative training.


To participate in this group, swimmers should be able to complete the following:

    · up to 100 yds of freestyle, 

    · 50 yds back and breast 

    · 25-50 yds of butterfly 

    · perform a forward start (dive) from the edge of pool into deep water

    · Regular practice attendance is recommended

    · Attendance at scheduled team swim meets is expected (see meet schedule)


Group 4:  Advanced Competitive

Description:  This program is designed to help those athletes, and their families, who choose to make the necessary commitment to reach their full potential and personal goals.  This program includes year round athletes, as well as summer athletes, who are willing to demonstrate individual commitment to the competitive program, as well as development of the team as a whole.


Swimmers will be expected to swim the following distances and participate in meets:

    · 100-1000yds of freestyle 

    · 100-200yds of backstroke and breaststroke

    · 50-100yds of butterfly

    · 100-400yds of I.M. 

Training guidelines: 

  • Regular practice attendance is expected (5 sessions per week)
  • Swimmers should be able to accurately demonstrate understanding of set descriptions, intervals, and time standards
  • Attendance at scheduled team swim meets is expected. (see meet schedule)


The group that your child is assigned to is carefully decided by our coaching staff. If you have questions as to why your swimmer is placed in a group or how you can help them excel, please schedule a time to talk to a coach. Please remember our coaches are not available to speak with you during practice unless there is an emergency situation, but they would be happy to set up a time before or after to talk to you

2018 Meet Schedule: 

Please see the calendar on the team website

Team Dual Meet and Inter-squad Schedule:
(Member(s) of coaching staff will be present)

                    Wednesday nights, TBA 


Piranhas home meet - Firecracker - JULY 6-8, 2018



1.    The meet schedule has been established with the expectation that swimmers will try to attend every meet available at their classification level. We do not schedule a meet unless we feel it is important to participate. However, it is not mandatory to attend meets. One can also choose to enter only one day of a two or three day meet.


2.    On an average, we would like all Group 1 & 2 swimmers to compete once every two to four weeks during summer session and Group 3 & 4 should attend as many meets as possible. The meet schedule is established with this philosophy in mind. 


3.    The coaching staff reserves the right to make the final decision concerning meets Piranha swimmers may attend based on practice attendance and behavior.



The swim team can only function through the efforts of parent volunteers.  All parents must volunteer in some capacity for their children to participate on the team.  There is a relatively large volunteer commitment for swimming that some parents find overwhelming. The board and other parents are available for support to ensure each family’s success! The swim team Volunteer Policy requires that each family will support the team during the season for any of the volunteer activities listed below. It is the parent’s responsibility to perform the duty or arrange for a substitute. 




This is not an exhaustive list of volunteer positions but gives a good idea as to the types of activities parents will be expected to help with. Our home swim meet is where many parents will pick up a large majority of hours toward their expected volunteer commitment. Parents will sign up for home meet committee positions at registration. For more information about how a home swim meet is run, USA Swimming has a handbook with great information. You can find it at:


In addition to the above positions, parents may also be needed to coordinate the following activities:

  • Team party – plan each end of season party
  • Team pictures – coordinate with photographer on team picture day to set up team shot, distribute pictures to families


Swim Meet Officials

Officials are present at all competitions to enforce the technical rules of swimming that ensure the competition is fair and equitable.  


Stroke and Turn Judges (Officials)

At meets, once a swim race has started, the Stroke and Turn Judges are responsible for observing the swimmers performing their strokes and turns to ensure that all swimmers obey all the rules for the stroke that they are swimming.   If a Stroke and Turn Judge observes a violation of the rules, the official raises his/her hand to signify that an infraction has occurred and that the swimmer is disqualified.   A disqualification is recorded on a DQ slip stating what he/she saw that was illegal, which is forwarded to the Table workers. 


We MUST have officials to compete at meets and ribbon. The team requires a minimum of 4 Officials in order to function fairly and successfully. The team pays for all fees to become an Official once training is completed. A back-ground check is required for this position. Information about officiating can be found on the USA Swimming website:



The Starter is responsible for beginning the race and ensuring that all swimmers are given a fair and equitable start.  The Referee is the final judge on all decisions on the pool deck. (These are experienced positions that require prior time as a Stroke and Turn Judge.)

Swimmer’s Responsibilities

  1. Attend assigned practices on a regular basis.
  2. Arrive at all practice sessions and meets on time.
  3. At each meet record your event numbers from the heat sheets that are posted.
  4. Practice and support good sportsmanship and teamwork.
  5. Respect other swimmers, parents, coaches and meet officials. Shake hands with your competitors after each race.
  6. Be a team player.  Cheer for your teammates, compliment others on their achievements, encourage others who are down, support the newer or younger swimmers.
  7. Swim your personal best.  Set goals and strive to achieve them.
  8. HAVE FUN!


What is Competitive Swimming?

Swimming on a swim team is not like swim lessons. Upon joining the team the swimmer is expected to be comfortable in the water, be able to have 25 yards of forward locomotion unassisted, and at least 12.5 yards of backstroke, mostly unassisted. Our children in all Group levels are expected to either be learning or know the 4 competitive swim strokes. 


COMPETITIVE STROKES: The four competitive strokes are (1) freestyle, (2) backstroke, (3) breaststroke, and (4) butterfly. Events are held in all of the competitive strokes at varying distances depending on the age-group of the swimmer. In addition, there is a combination of the strokes swum by one swimmer called the individual medley. Other swimming events include relays, which are a group of four swimmers who either all swim freestyle (freestyle relay) or each swim one of the competitive strokes in the order of backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle (medley relay).



Freestyle-  The freestyle is the simplest stroke in terms of technique. A swimmer       can swim in any style for this race, except when swimming it in a medley. The traditional approach is arms pulling the swimmer forward with a “flutter kick”. Swimmer must touch the wall with at least one hand and push off with feet. Feet can never touch the bottom of the pool and swimmer cannot hang on to the lane lines.

Backstroke- Swimmers have to be on their back while swimming this stroke and when they touch the wall. After he/she touches, he/she can then turn around, but he/she must push off on their back. At the finish a swimmer must finish on his/her back. A swimmer may not     roll over and grab the wall until they have first touched it.

Breaststroke- Breaststroke consists of a head in and out of the water technique, arms pulling under water, and “frog” kick. Swimmers have to touch the wall with both hands at the same time for this stroke. Hands may not pull down past the swimmers hip. A swimmer may not freestyle kick in breaststroke.

Butterfly- Fly technique is similar to breaststroke but when swimming butterfly, both arms must be brought out of the water at the same time and stay level with each other. The kick is a “dolphin” style kick where the body moves in an arching motion while keeping feet level with each other. Swimmer must touch the wall with both hands in this stroke as well.



There are seven different age group classifications recognized by USA Swimming (the governing body of the sport): 8-Under, 10-Under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18, and Senior. The Senior classification includes any age registered swimmer who has achieved the prescribed qualifying time for the event. Not all age group classifications are offered at every swim meet. The swimmers age on the first day of a meet will govern the swimmers age for the entire meet.


Within each age-group there are different nationally recognized levels of achievement based on times. All swimmers begin as "C" swimmers. As they improve, they advance from "C", to "B", "BB", "A", "AA", "AAA", and ultimately "AAAA". The times required for each ability level are published each year by USA Swimming. This permits fair, yet challenging, competition on all levels. 


In some cases, a swimmer may be in a different class in each stroke. An example: a "C" breaststroke time, a "B" freestyle time, and an "AA" backstroke time.


Some swim meets set certain qualification standards. In order to swim in a certain classification, a swimmer must have achieved the qualifying time for that particular classification.



The Paradise Piranhas Swim Team engages in a multi-level competition program with USA Swimming that, like our training program, attempts to provide challenging, yet success-oriented competitive situations for swimmers of all ages and abilities. The following policies outline our philosophy:


1.    We emphasize competition with oneself. Winning ribbons, medals, or trophies is not our main goal. Even if the swimmer finishes first, but has swum poorly in comparison to his/her own past performances, he/she is encouraged to do better. The individual's improvement is our primary objective.


2.    Sportsmanlike behavior is of equal importance as improved performance. All the coaches teach swimmers how to behave like a champion when the swimmer have both a "good" and a "bad" swim. Respect for officials, congratulations to other competitors, encouragement to teammates, determined effort, and mature attitudes are examples of behaviors praised and rewarded by the Piranha’s coaching staff.


3.    A swimmer is praised for improving his/her stroke or time. It is the coach's job to offer constructive criticism of a swimmer's performance. It is the parent's responsibility to provide love and encouragement that bolster the swimmer's confidence along the way.


Swimmers are taught to set realistic, yet challenging, goals for meets and to relate those goals to practice to direct their training efforts.


Swimmers are prepared and encouraged to compete in all swimming events, distances, and strokes. This policy promotes versatility and encourages the swimmer to explore his potential in the wide range of events offered in competitive swimming. Oftentimes, a swimmers "best" stroke changes as they mature and his/her body goes through physical changes.

Weekly Practices     

Practices are the most important aspect of competitive swimming.  Consistent training is needed to progress through the classes of swimmers.  Training schedules are designed to provide only slightly more time than is required for a swimmer to accomplish this.  Therefore it is important that each swimmer attends as many practices as possible in order to derive the full benefits of the program. Pool availability is our most limiting factor.  Don't waste it.



    The following guidelines are to inform parents and swimmers of the coaches’ policies regarding practice.  These policies have been developed over many years and are designed to provide the best possible practice environment for all.

1.    Each training group has specific attendance requirements appropriate for the objectives of that group. As a general rule, the least possible interruption in the training schedule will produce the greatest amount of success. The team does, however, encourage younger swimmers to participate in other activities in addition to swimming. The coaches’ expectation level of a swimmers practice attendance increases as they move into higher groups. 

2.    For the swimmers protection, they should be dropped off no earlier than 15 minutes prior to practice and picked up no later than 15 minutes after their practice is over. Swimmers should be ready to swim five minutes prior to the start of their practice. 

3.    Try to avoid tardiness.

4.    Plan to stay the entire practice. The last part of practice is very often the most important. Usually, there are also announcements made at the end of each practice. In the event that your child needs to be dismissed early from practice, a note from the parent or prior notice to the coaches is expected. 

5.    Occasionally, incidents happen where practice must be canceled, in which case you will be notified of a practice change or cancelation via the QT.

6.    During Fall/Spring sessions our practice facility is Beyond Fitness athletic club. Swimmers are to be respectful of the facility at all times.  A non-member swimmer found in any other part of the building could damage our relationship with Beyond Fitness. We are there to swim. Any other activity may only be done by club members with the supervision of a parent. 

7.    While at practice, the swimmers are the responsibility of the coaching staff:  

    A.    During practice sessions, swimmers are never to leave the pool area without     coach's permission.

    B. Running, horseplay, teasing, etc. will not be tolerated by coaches. 

8.    The team has an obligation to act as guests while at Beyond Fitness and PRPD (both swimmers and parents). Every member of the team needs to do everything possible to respect this privilege. Any damages to property may result in financial liability of the swimmers parents. Any damage may also result in the swimmer being asked to leave the team permanently.

9.    Parents are not allowed on the pool deck during practice unless it is an emergency. We recognize that at Beyond Fitness there is limited space, but please respect the coaches’ area directly around the pool.

10.    Do not try to communicate with any swimmer from the observation areas.  This is not only distracting to the swimmer, but can also be distracting to the entire team as well as the coach.

11.    In the summer, parents may observe practice from outside the caged area of the PRPD pool.

12.    In order to participate in meets and compete under the PARA affiliation, monthly fees must be current and paid in full, regardless of the amount of practice days the swimmer has completed.




What to Expect at Meets

Many parents have found that meets are one of the highlights of having a Piranha Swimmer. Meets are a great way to build confidence in swimmers and friendships among parents. We recommend you participate in as many meets as you can, jump in with both feet, and ask questions! “Senior” swim parents are a great resource for information about all things meets!


How to Sign Up

1. Go to: This is the online meet entry website that we use to register for all away meets (not used for Dual or Inter-squad meets).


2. If you have never used the system before you need to register. This is easy and quick. Click on “Registration is Free. Sign up now!” or on the “Registration” tab.


3. Fill out the registration form. Under the “Convenience” box it says “Show Meets For” click on the drop down arrow and select “Sierra Nevada Swimming”. You can also choose to be notified of new meets when they’re posted. It is recommended that you choose “yes”. Click “Save” at the bottom. 


4. Once you register there will be a new tab on the home screen that says “My Swimmers”. This is where you enter your swimmers information. You click “Add Swimmer” and enter your swimmers unique USA swimming ID# which is in this format: Month, Day, Year of birth, First 3 letters of first name, middle initial, and last 4 letters of last name. Ex. 102203JOHDSMIT would be for John David Smith born 10/22/03. If you have not received your USA swim card yet you can use this formula to enter your child’s USA swimming ID#. Upon entering this, your swimmer should come up in the system. Just select your swimmer by checking the box. It will say “Your swimmer added successfully!”


5. Once your swimmer is added you can enter a meet! Click on the “Enter Meet” tab and choose the meet you wish to enter. The next screen will have an orange box that says “Online Meet Entry”. Click the box. 


6. This screen will bring up all swimmers you have registered under your account. Click the “Enter” button to the right of your swimmers name. 


7. At this point it will bring up the events for which you can enter your swimmer. If you are unsure of your swimmer’s ability, or which events to enter them in it is best to consult the coaching staff to get their opinion. To select an event you can click the “Best” button or enter “NT” into the white box. If your swimmer has never swum the event for which you are entering them you put the “NT” in the box to signify no time. Click “Save” at the bottom when you have selected all events you wish to sign up for.


8. The next screen will show all events you selected and inform you that you have not entered completely because you have not yet paid. Click the box that says “Go to Payment Page”. 


9. The payment page will give you a break-down and total that you owe for the events entered and the splash fee. Enter in your credit or debit card information and click “Submit Payment” at the bottom of the screen. You will get a confirmation page showing your child’s events. You’re done!


If at any time you need help with the meet entry process you can  post your question to the QT or call any board member and we will assist you! 



Before the Meet Starts

1.    Arrive at the pool at least 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time begins. This time will be listed in the meet information sheet on Swim Connection.


2.    Upon arrival, find a place to put your swimmer's blankets, swim bags and/or sleeping bags. The team usually sits in one place together, so look for some familiar faces!


3.    Find the check-in place and either you or your swimmer will need to check themselves in.

        A.  This is usually around the area marked "Check-In".

        B.  Check for special posted instructions in the area. Usually one will need to circle the swimmer's name or "#" before each swimmer's name, in each event they are swimming, that day. If this is not done, the swimmer will not be allowed to swim that event.

        C.  This is done so that the people running the meet know who is actually at the meet.

        D.  A member of our coaching staff can check your swimmer in for you if you notify them ahead of time. If you have any trouble come find a Piranha coach or parent for assistance!


4.    Once "checked in", write each event-number on your swimmer's hand or arm in sharpie. This helps him/her remember what events he/she is swimming and what event number to listen for.


5.    Your swimmer now gets his/her cap and goggles and reports to the pool and/or coach for warm-up instructions. It is very important for all swimmers to warm-up with the team. Swimmer's bodies are just like cars on a cold day-he/she needs to get the engine going and warmed-up before he/she can go all out.


6.    After warm-up, your swimmer will go back to the area where his/her towels are and sit there until the next event is called. This is a good time to make sure he/she goes to the bathroom if necessary, gets a drink, or just gets settled in.


7.    The meet will usually start about 10-15 minutes after warm-ups are over.


8.    According to USA rules (because of insurance purposes), parents are not allowed on deck unless they are serving in an official capacity or briefly cheering on their swimmer. Similarly, all questions concerning meet results, an officiating call, or the conduct of a meet, should be referred to the coaching staff. They, in turn, will pursue the matter through the proper channels.


9.    Heat Sheets. A heat sheet is usually available for sale in the lobby or concession area of the pool. Heat sheets generally sell for one to two dollars per day. It lists all swimmers in each event in order of "seed time". When the team entry is sent in, each swimmer and his/her previous best time in that event is listed. If the swimmer is swimming an event for the first time, he/she will be entered as a "no-time" or "NT". A "no-time" swimmer will most likely swim in one of the first heats of the event.


Meet Starts

1.    It is important for all swimmers to know what event numbers he/she is swimming (again, why they should have the numbers on their hand/arm). He/she may swim right away after warm-up or they may have to wait awhile.


2.  Generally, girl’s events are odd-numbered and boy’s events are even-numbered. Example:  "Event #26, 10-Under Boys, 50 yard freestyle."


3.    You or your swimmer should routinely check the Heat Sheets that are posted to obtain your swimmers heat and lane for each event they are swimming. Generally heat and lane assignment will be posted 4 events ahead of the current event. 


Ex. If they are on event #12, there should be events 13, 14, 15, and 16 posted for heat and lane. If a swimmer swims event 14, find the sheet saying “Event 14”, find the swimmers name, next to it will be “Heat 2, Lane 1”. This means they swim in the second group of swimmers in the event (heat) in the first lane.


Your swimmer should tell the coaching staff their event, heat, and lane when they know it. Our coaches need to speak with your swimmer prior to them swimming their race. 


4.    Your swimmer should be behind the blocks no later than 1 event ahead of their event. Next, the swimmer swims their race.


5.    After each swim:

  • He/she is to ask the timers (people behind the blocks at each lane) his/her time.
  • He/she should go immediately to their coach. The coach will ask him/her their time and discuss the swim with each swimmer.
  • Generally, the coach follows these guidelines when discussing swims:
  • Positive comments or praise
  • Suggestions for improvement
  • Positive comments, High fives!!


Things you, as a parent, can do after each swim:


  • Tell him/her how great they did! The coaching staff will be sure to discuss stroke technique with them. You need to tell him/her how proud you are and what a great job he/she did.
  • Take him/her back to the towel area and relax.
  • This is another good time to check out the bathrooms, get a drink or something light to eat.


6.    When a swimmer has completed all of his/her events he/she and their parents get to go home. Make sure, you, as a parent, check with the coach before leaving to make sure your swimmer is not included on a relay. Also check that you have completed your timing assignment for the day. It is not fair to other swimmers who may have stayed to swim on a relay where your swimmer is expected to be a member and he/she is not there or for other parents to have to time in your place because you left early. (The coaches and other parents speak from experience on this issue).


What Happens If Your Child has a Disappointing Swim    

If your child has a poor race and comes out of it feeling bad, talk about the good things. The first thing you can do is acknowledge that they’re feeling down but reassure them of how proud they made you. Then you can go on and talk about the good things the child did. You never talk about the negative things.

If your child comes up to you and says, "That was a bad race, don't tell me it wasn't," there is nothing wrong with a swimmer negatively evaluating a race. The important thing is for the child not to dwell on it. You should move the swimmer on to something good. "All right, you have had a bad race. How do you think you can do better next time?" Immediately start talking about the positive things.


What To Take To The Meet

1.    Most important: Swim Suit and Piranha Cap--and goggles. 


2.    Shade: EZ-Ups or similar shade structures are a great asset for summer swim families! The team generally tries to have 3-6 EZ-Ups at summer away meets.


3.    Sunscreen and Towels-Realize your swimmer will be there awhile, so packing two towels may be advisable.


4.    Something to sit on. Example: sleeping bag, old blanket, or anything that will be comfortable to sit on. The swimmers will be spending a lot of time on it.


5.    Sweat suits (for fall/winter/spring meets): bring one, it may get cold. Each swimmer may want to bring two because they can get wet and soggy.


6.    Team T-shirts: Parents and swimmers are encouraged to show Piranha pride!


7.    Games: travel games, coloring books, books, anything to pass the time.


8.    Food: Each swimmer is allowed to bring a cooler. They usually have snack bars at the meet, but the lines are sometimes long and some of them may be expensive. 


Suggestions for food items to bring

Drinks: Capri-Sun, Fruit juice, Gatorade, Water

Snacks: Granola bars, Fun fruits, yogurt, cereal, jello cubes, sandwiches


Once you have attended one or two meets this will all become very routine. Please do not hesitate to ask any other Piranha parents for help or information!


These meets are a lot of fun for the swimmers! He/she gets to visit with his/her friends, play games, and meet kids from other teams. He/she also gets to "race" and see how much he/she has improved from all the hard work he/she has put in at practice.


Special Parent's Note: 

The pool area is usually very warm in summer. Therefore, you need to make sure you dress appropriately. Nothing is worse than being hot at a swim meet. It makes the time pass very slowly! The most important thing to remember is to please ask questions of your fellow swim parents! No one will be bothered by your questions…we want all our swim parents to feel informed and be enthusiastic!