Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):
Where do we compete?
We will attend competitions in Lubbock, Midland, and more. State level competitions are usually held in Dallas, Houston, and Austin.
Are we required to obtain a membership for the Amarillo Town Club?
Yes, if the swimmers needs to access the pool at ATC, a membership is required for the Club. This is not an AST rule, however it is a rule for the ATC. It ensures the people using that clubs facilities are covered by the liability insurance for the Club. This is a non-negotiable requirement. We must stay positive and not "attempt to change their minds" - we are guests in their private club, and a membership is required.
Timeliness - While we as coaches understand emergency situations that may arise from time to time, it is important that athletes are ready to participate in practice on time. THere may be special instructions for the day, or explanations of how certain parts of practice are to be swum. Non-punctuality cannot produce the results that are expected in a competitive sport.
What is the overall cost? (Are there any "hidden" fees)?
Some parents have expressed concerns of "hidden fees" that they have not expected when joining the team. There are no "hidden fees", but there may be misunderstandings on what fees are charged, and the reason for those fees. Besides the yearly registration fee for USA Swimming, and the monthly dues for Amarillo Swim
Team, parents should anticipate the following costs -
Membership at the Amarillo Town Club
Swim Meet entry fees (each meet is different, and that information is in the meet info packet that is posted online)
Equipment Cost - See below
Higher average food bills (Swimmers are notorious for eating their weight in food)
Hotel rooms for multiple day meets
Fuel for travel to out of town meets
USA Swimming Membership
2 AST Fundraisers/year (Swim-A-Thon, and United Way). For UW, you can designate funds directly to the team, and all donations are tax deductible.
What equipment is required for my swimmer? The equipment requirements are different for each team:
Red - Goggles, Kickboard, Fins
Blue - Goggles, Kickboard, Fins
Black - Goggles, Kickboard, Fins, Hand paddles, Pull buoy
Junior and Senior - Goggles, Kickboard, Fins, Handpaddles, Pull buoy, Snorkel
ALL - AST Cap, and Black Suit for Competition, multiple practice suits for practice, Mesh Bag to carry equipment.
What about other sports?
Research shows that swimming is the best overall exercise for any age group. This non-impact sport builds overall strength and endurance, which aids the child in other sports. AST coaches encourage members to continue swimming during soccer, football, basketball, baseball, and volleyball seasons. Another great thing about swimming is there are no bench warmers! Everybody has a place on the team.
What about fun?
Yes, there is work involved, but, there is also a lot of fun. You make new friends and share many new experiences with them. We participate as a team in extra activities outside of swimming
What about school work?
Not only does swimming develop the body; it also develops self-discipline, goal setting, and good work habits. The lessons you learn in swimming are life lessons you carry with you, even when you are done swimming. Many of our children represent Honor Rolls and Gifted Programs from all school districts. A child learns to organize their time and use it wisely.
What other costs are involved with swimming?
Swimmers will need a practice swimsuit and goggles for practice. You should be able to find these items year round at several local sporting good stores which carry these items seasonally. Swimmers will be required to purchase a Team Suit (Boys $50, Girls $70) and Team Cap ($5 -$15) before participating in any competition.
One time yearly: USA Registration Dues $66.00 per swimmer (required to be eligible to compete in swimming meets, be covered by the team liability insurance, and continuing membership on AST) There is a registration process for new swimmers as they register for AST, and for current members between September 1st, and December 15th each year. Those that do not complete the registration process during that window will be automatically re-registered and the fee will appear on the January invoice.
Does my child have to compete to participate?
Yes. Every week we have try-outs and considering the team is at capacity, we have been placing some swimmers on a waiting list, and turning others away, and both these groups have athletes that want to compete. We are a competitive swim team, and should not have to turn away swimmers that have a desire to compete while we are filling a spot with kids that merely want to exercise. The following competition requirements are based on which level the swimmer is assigned to:
Red Team: One meet per year
Blue Team: Two meets per year. One Short Course, and One Long Course
Black, Junior, and Senior Teams: Three plus meets per year.
When will swimmers advance to the next team?
Swimmers are advanced to the next team when their coach, in consultation with the other coaches, believes that it is necessary for their further development as a quality swimmer. Please note - every swimmer is unique. Swimmers will advance at different paces
To advance from each of the age group teams to the next level, there are some time standards that must be met. The coaches involved in both levels (the one the swimmer is currently on, and the one to which the swimmer is desiring to advance to) will discuss their views on the advancement of the swimmer, and refer to the following standards.
The accepting team will have final say in all advancements
Junior and Senior Teams are FULL at this time!
Junior Level Standard: 8x100 IM on 2:00 without a break, or 16x50 Freestyle on :50 without a break.
Senior Level Standard: 8x100 IM on 1:25 without a break, or 16x50 Freestyle on :40 without a break.
What if a decision is made to stop swimming? What is the cancellation policy?
To cancel a membership with AST, the member MUST contact both the coach of the team the swimmer(s) are on, and the Administrative Coach in writing or by email, indicating this desire. Any fees collected within 5 days of receipt of that email will be refunded to the member.