Swim Team Handbook
“ONCE A Dolphin, ALWAYS a Dolphin”
The sport of swimming has many benefits. The camaraderie among swimmers is unique, and many swimmers become lifelong friends. One of the greatest benefits your child will gain from participating in an organized swim program is the life skills they will develop. These skills include time management, self-discipline, and sportsmanship. Your child will reap the benefits of swimming long after their competitive participation ends.
Our mission is to be actively involved with individual swim team members and show concern for them by encouraging them to excel in their academics. Swimmers are also to be positive role models in their communities. We prepare swimmers to be scholarly swimmers through skill development, hard work, top-level exposure, tutoring, and mentoring.
This handbook has been prepared to help you and your child navigate to success in this program. Supporting your child in swimming can be a very rewarding experience. The more involved you are, the greater the benefits will be. You may soon find yourself cheering at competitions, timing during meets or becoming a USA Swimming official. Whatever your role, your child’s experience has much to do with your positive support. Please ask questions of your coaches and fellow parents. We are all working towards the same goal: to provide your child with the best possible experience in swimming.
Our mission is to assist children. Through the participation in an organized swim team, children learn solid work habits which prepare them for the challenges of life. They learn how to adjust to success and failure, pressure and stress, as well as learning lifetime safety, nutrition and fitness skills. Their progression from the learning and application of new techniques in guided programs of practice and competition provide the cognitive, physical and emotional training that helps to develop the courage, perseverance, and the positive attitude they will need as an adult.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Greenview Swim Team is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization directed by:
President: Pamela Alford
Vice President: Patricia Sinclair
Treasurer: Priscilla Buckson
Secretary: Delores Gilliard
Board Member: Shawna Martin-Lyde
Our dedicated coaching staff is committed to working with your child to develop him or her to excel in the sport of swimming. Greenview coaching staff has a Head Coach whose job is to supervise the entire competitive swim program and at least one Assistant Coach whose job is to assist the Head Coach in training all age group swimmers. Each coach on the Greenview Dolphins Swim Team staff is dedicated to providing a program for all age group swimmers under the guidelines of USA Swimming. Therefore, the coaches must be in control of matters affecting training and competition.
Head Coach - Stanley McIntosh Assistant Coach - Jerry Young
Cell: 803-261-2663 Cell: 803-530-4134
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com
It is the hard work and dedication of our coaches and parents that support our club. It is very expensive to put a swimmer through a swim program, which includes pool rental, pool equipment, team activities just to name a few. We ask parents to commit to these activities at the registration of their child or at any time during the swim season.
Club Fees: Registration fees and monthly fees are set at the beginning of the swim season by the Board of Directors. Parents will be responsible for registering their child for the swim program through our club’s website – www.greenviewdolphins.com.
Fundraising: Our club will organize at least one fundraising event. Parents and swimmers are expected to participate. Fundraising events will be announced.
This is our entry-level group. A swimmer may not be able to swim a full lap. Swimmers must be willing to learn how to swim in water over five (5) feet in depth. This group provides the swimmer with an introduction to competitive swimming and the swimmer is introduced to all four competitive strokes and turns. Practices are one (1) hour, four (4) times per week. Meet attendance is not required but encouraged. All swimmers joining the entry level are “Guppy” swimmers.
Swimmers in this group focus on learning the four legal competitive strokes turns, starts, and finishes. Swimmers are exposed to a new level of swim practice training to increase both distant and faster intervals. Practices are one (1) hour, four (4) days per week. Swimmers in Group III will begin swimming in competitive swim meets.
Group II swimmers are exposed to a higher level of training with a higher level of commitment to competitive swimming.
Senior Group & Group I
Senior Group (ages 15 - over) & Group I swimmers are at the highest level of training and commitment to competitive swimming. Practices are two (2) hours, five (5) times per week with extra practice times scheduled at the discretion of the Head Coach. Dry-land instructions are incorporated into these practice times.
Guppy vs. Dolphin
Each swimmer who joins the team will be considered a “guppy”. In order to achieve “dolphin” status, swimmers (8 & under) must swim a 200 Freestyle (8 laps) with flip turns. Swimmers (9 & over) must swim a 500 Free (20 laps) with flip turns.
As a member of the Greenview Swim Team, there are certain things that are expected of you as a swimmer:
- Respect: Swimmers are expected to respect themselves, the coaches, the parents, their swim team members, and others’ property.
- Attitude: Swimming competitively at all levels takes a lot of dedication and hard work. Swimmers must show a healthy attitude at practices. This includes a positive attitude towards workouts, other swimmers and coaches.
- Punctuality: Swimmers should be in the deck with equipment ready at the time designated for the beginning of practice. Being late is disruptive to practices and the other swimmers.
- Equipment: Swimmers must bring proper training equipment to each session. This means that swim practice requires a swimsuit, goggles, towel and water bottle at a minimum. Dryland sessions require athletic pants (no jeans), t-shirt and clean shoes.
- Academic Requirements – Swimmers are required to maintain at least a 2.5 GPA. Report cards are expected to be submitted to the coach at the end of each school quarter.
A successful swimming program involves understanding and cooperation among parents, swimmers, and coaches. The working relationship between these three groups will have a large impact on the progress of your child as a swimmer. You, as a parent, have created a nurturing environment for the development of your child. You have worked hard to impart your values, provide the right training experiences, and model appropriate behavior. Most of us as parents have hopes, aspirations, and expectations for our children, and at times we may not be objective in matters concerning the abilities of our children. We hope the guidelines below will help you keep your child’s development in a proper perspective:
- Let the coaches do the coaching. Swimmers and coaches need to develop a trusting relationship as soon as possible regarding swimming matters. Our coaches are trained to use strategies, drills, and workouts to improve skills and help the swimmers confidence in their abilities. If a parent interferes with his or her own ideas or opinions, then he or she may confuse the swimmer or undermine the coach/swimmer relationship. Parents have enough on their plates when it comes to childrearing. Let the coaches shoulder this one responsibility.
- The best swimming parent is the one who offers love, support, recognition, and encouragement as needed to work hard in practice. These efforts will pay off in terms of confidence to perform well in a competition. Remember to encourage your swimmers to do better by striving to improve their times. The swimmer “wins” when he or she improves, not only when they win their particular heat or race.
- Keep in mind that the pace of development is often uneven and varies from child to child. Everyone learns at his/her own pace and responds differently to different teaching styles. Some kids may “get worse” before they get better. As they acquire new skills, sometimes swimmers are unlearning poor habits and additional stress may be placed on muscles. They will gradually strengthen and improve.
- Twelve and under swimmers can be notorious for inconsistency in terms of performance. This can be frustrating for everyone. Be patient and permit the swimmers to learn to enjoy the sport.
- Plateaus are inevitable in swimming. They are normal occurrences in every swimmer’s career, even the Olympic swimmers. Be supportive when your child does not seem to be making progress from meet to meet. Over the course of the year, swimmers will gradually work through these delays.
- Show your enthusiasm by being involved with Greenview Swim Club. Be enthusiastic about meets or taking your child to practices. Stay and watch parts or all of practice. Be enthusiastic about club involvement such as your volunteer work with Greenview and your efforts at fundraising activities. When you go to meets, wear your Greenview apparel. Show your spirit!!!
Special Note: Parents, please report if your child has any medical condition(s) that would restrict them from participating with the swim program.
Coaches are responsible for supervising the entire competitive program and for helping your child learn the value of striving to improve him or herself. As a result, the coaches must be in total control in the following matters relating to training and competition:
- The coaches are responsible for placing swimmers into practice groups. Placement is based on the level of skill and ability, and age of the swimmer. The coaches will place the swimmer in a more challenging practice group when it is in the swimmer’s best interest.
- The Greenview Swim Club coaching staff is solely responsible for stroke instruction and the training regimen. Each group’s practices are based on techniques and principles geared toward the ability levels and goals for that training level.
- The coaching staff will make the final decision concerning which meets Greenview will swim. Additionally, the Greenview coaching staff makes the final decision as to which events a swimmer enters.
- The coaching staff will conduct and supervise warm-up procedures for the team at swim meets. Before and after each race, the coaches will provide guidance and constructive feedback to each swimmer regarding his or her performance.
- The coaches will communicate to the swimmers what events, heats and lanes they will compete in, and do all they can to make sure the swimmer is at the right place at the right time. Ultimately, however, it is the responsibility of the swimmer to be at the right place at the right time.
The following guidelines are to inform parents and swimmers of the coaches’ policies regarding practice. These policies are designed to provide the best possible practice environment for all:
- Swimmers are expected to arrive for practice as scheduled.
- Swimmers are to report to the pool deck and be ready to practice 5 minutes before their scheduled practice time.
- Swimmers are expected to have all appropriate equipment necessary for practice (see equipment list below).
- While on the pool deck, swimmers are the responsibility of the coaching staff. During practices, swimmers are never to leave the pool area without the coach’s permission and must have an adult with them when they do.
- Parents are not allowed on the pool deck during practices.
- Because our coaches need to focus on our swimmers, please limit your conversations with coaches during practices. If you need to speak with any of our coaches about your swimmer, please feel free to do so before or after any scheduled practice or you can call, text or email us at any other time. If it is more convenient for you and your family, we are also available for individual appointments.
Senior-Group / Group I & II and Group III & IV
: practice swimsuit(s) practice swimsuit swim caps swim cap(s
- goggles goggles
- fins fins
- mesh bag mesh bag
- hand paddles PULL BUOY
- PULL BUOY
Swim Meet Equipment Checklist (All groups, All Swim Meets
team competition suit, 2 towels, 2 pairs of goggles, team swim cap, deck shoes, t-shirt/sweatshirt, shorts or sweatpants, FOLDING DECK CHAIR, water and/or Gatorade, nutritional snacks (no soda, junk food, candy), books, games, cards, do not bring any jewelry or anything you don’t want to lose, do bring your energy, enthusiasm, positive attitude and team spirit!!!
SWIM MEET LOGISTICS
Each swimmer will be required to register as a USA member in order to participate with the Greenview Dolphins Swim Team. Registration can be completed on the USA website: www.usaswimming.org
The USA swim year is divided into two seasons. The winter, or “short course”, the season runs from September to March. The meets are held in a 25-yard/meter pool. The summer, or “long course”, the season runs from April to August. Meets are held in 50-meter pools.
Swimmers compete in groups that are divided by gender and age: 8 and under; 9-10; 11-12; 13-14; 15 and over. Some meets will include “open age group” events (18 & under).
Both South Carolina Swimming (State Times) and USA Swimming (National Times) have established time standards by gender and age. This allows children to compare themselves with their age group competitors across the country. Parents and swimmers are encouraged to keep a record of times achieved as a means of tracking progress. Please check the appropriate websites for additional information: South Carolina, www.sc-swimming.org and USA, www.usaswimming.org
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 strokes swum by one swimmer called the Individual Medley (IM). Other swimming events include relays, which are a group of four swimmers who either all swim freestyle called a Freestyle Relay or each swims one of the competitive strokes in the order of back, breast, fly and free called the Medley Relay.
Meet Schedule: A schedule of swim meets will be made available on the team’s website. Coaches will also send out email notifications about upcoming meets as a reminder to confirm your intent to participate. Swimmers will be placed in events at the discretion of the coaches.
At the Swim Meets:
Swimmers should report to the coaches 30 minutes before warm-ups. We warm-up as a team. Warm-up programs are to be followed by all swimmers.
- Swimmers need to talk to coaches before and immediately after each swim
- All swimmers are to wear competitive team suits and goggles.
- Swimmers will stay within the same seating area assigned them during the meet. Anytime a swimmer leaves the immediate assigned area, they need to notify the coach where they are going and when they will return (i.e. visiting parents, in the restroom, etc.).
- Swimmers who are not able to participate in an event or swim meet should notify the coach as soon as possible.
- Swimmers are to accept without question the decision of the meet official. Any protest must originate from the coach.
- Swimmers should not leave the pool during a meet without informing the coach. You may still have an event to swim.
- Show your team spirit! Cheer on fellow teammates in all swims and have FUN!
- You will need to purchase a swim meet heat sheet when you arrive at the meet. The heat sheet will list each event and the swimmers who are signed up to swim that event. Locate your child’s name and what events he/she will be swimming.
- Once the meet begins, your swimmer should stay with the team. Swim meets are crowded and it gets very frustrating for spectators when children are climbing back and forth through the stands. Parents are not allowed on the deck for insurance reasons. Meet with your child outside of the pool area if necessary.
- Swim meets to provide food and drinks for very modest fees. You will usually find swimsuits and goggles for sale as well. Give your child a few dollars prior to the meet so they can purchase food and drink without having to search for you.
- Remember that the way you comport yourself at meets reflects on our team. Long, hot mornings and afternoons in a crowded pool area can be frustrating, so dress in lightweight clothing, bring something to do in between your child’s swims or cheer on their teammates and get to know other Greenview parents. Have FUN!
- VOLUNTEER AREAS AND DESCRIPTIONS
Parent volunteers are vital to our swim team and during swim meets. There are several opportunities available for our parents to assist in the success of our swimmers:
(Swim Team – Coordinator/Committees)
- Publicity – responsible for obtaining coverage of team and swimmer achievements in the media (newspaper, television, social media).
- Hospitality/Special Events – responsible for the organization of social events and other special events. We would like to have a get together at least once every two to three months just to socialize as a team.
- Travel Coordinator – responsible for finding and booking hotel rooms for out of town swim meets.
- Fundraising – responsible for organizing and administering selected programs designed to generate income or contributions to the team. Each family is expected to help share in supporting the achievement of such program goals so that high-quality services can be continued at expected levels.
- Apparel – responsible for choosing/ordering clothing for the Greenview team. This includes caps, shirts, sweats, parkas, etc.
(Swim Meets - Positions)
- Lane Timers – lane timers are needed at every swim meet to help time the swimmers in individual lanes. Two timers per lane are needed at every meet. The more timers are available, the less time each timer has to work.
- Head Timer – The Head Timer is responsible for maintaining extra timers (during hosted meets) in the event that one of the lane timers malfunctions as well as recruiting lane timers. The Head Timer will also be responsible for providing instructions to the lane timers.
- Awards – responsible for putting labels on the appropriate ribbon at swim meets.
- Concessions – responsible for organizing and supervising the concessions stand. This includes, but not limited to the recruitment of volunteers, purchase of food and drinks, and ensuring there is enough change for each day of the meet.
- Stroke and Turn Judge* (requires training) – A stroke and Turn judge goes through training and looks at how swimmers are performing their strokes and turns during a swim. This judge is responsible for disqualifying swimmers on the basis of incorrect stroke or turn.
VOCABULARY FOR THE NEW-TO-SWIMMING PARENT
As a new swim parent, it is important to understand some of the “lingo” of the swimming world. Here is a list (not all inclusive) of some of the most common terms you will hear as you participate with the swim team and meets:
- Age Group: Division of swimmers according to their age. The National Age Group divisions are: 10 & under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-15, 17-18 and Seniors. Some LSCs have divided the swimmers into more convenient divisions specific to their situations. For example: 8-under, 12-under, 13-over, 15-over, Senior and Open (18 & under).
- Best Time: A time is achieved when a swimmer exceeds their own previous “best time” in an event – it shows that a swimmer has improved over their own time, regardless of how other swimmers finish.
- Blocks: The same principle as starting blocks in a race. Swimmers use these as a small platform from which to launch themselves into the water at the start of the race.
- Caps: A latex, lycra or silicon cap used during a race or workout to protect a swimmer’s hair from the effects of chlorine in the water as well as help cut down the water resistance from the swimmer’s hair.
- Cut: A qualifying time or better that is needed in order to compete in certain competitions.
- DQ (DISQUALIFIED): You can be “DQ” for any number of things while participating in a meet. Usually, swimmers are disqualified for stroke infractions or incorrect turns and starts.
- Deck: The area around the swimming pool reserved for swimmers, officials, and coaches during competition and during practice. No one but an “authorized” member may be on deck during meets or practices.
- Distance: How far a swimmer swims. Distances for short course are 25 yards (1 length), 50 yards (2 lengths), 100 yards (4 lengths), 200 yards (8 lengths), 400 yards (16 lengths), 500 yards (20 lengths), 1000 yards (40 lengths), 1650 yards (66 lengths).
- Dry Land Training: Training done out of the water that aids and enhances swimming performance. Typically includes stretching, calisthenics and/or weight training.
- Entry Fee: The amount per event a swimmer or relay is charged to compete in a swim meet. This varies depending on the type of swim meet.
- Event: A division of individual races dividing swimmers by age groups, female/male, and distance swim.
- False Start: Occurs when a swimmer leaves the starting block or is moving on the block before the starter official starts a race. In US Swimming, one false start will result in an automatic disqualification from the race.
- Finish: The final phase of the race as well as the touch at the end of the race.
- Flags: Backstroke flags are placed 5-meters from the end of the pool. They enable backstrokers to execute a backstroke turn more efficiently by counting their strokes without having to look for the wall.
- Goggles: Eyewear worn by swimmers in the pool to protect the swimmer’s eyes from the effects of chlorine in the water.
- Heat: A division of an event when there are too many swimmers to compete at the same time. The results are compiled by swimmers finish times after all heats of the event are completed.
- Heat Sheet: The program at a meet which shows the races that are competed in that session. It also further shows the events, heats, and lanes the swimmers are to compete in.
- Individual Medley (IM): Race in which a different stroke has swum for each one-fourth of the race.
- Kickboard: Floatation device used to support the upper body while working the legs only. Used on a “kick-set”.
- Lane: The pool is arranged into lanes by floating lane dividers so that the swimmers will not interfere with each other during a race. Swimmers are assigned to a particular lane within the heat that he/she will compete.
- Lap: Two lengths of the pool (in general, down and back)
- Long Course: A pool configured for swimming with a 50-meter racing course. The main US swimming long course is during the summer months.
- LSC: Local Swim Committee. The local level administrative division of USA Swimming.
- Meet Competition designed to be a learning experience. By implementing what has been learned in practice, the swimmer tests himself/herself against the clock to see improvements.
- Meet results: Swimmers swim results are generally posted during a swimmer’s swim session.
- Official: A judge on the deck of the pool. Various judges watch the swimmer’s strokes, turns and finishes during competition.
- Pace Clock: Large clock with large second hand used to check pace, maintain intervals and check pulse during practice.
- Paddles: Worn on hands. These increase the surface area of the hands adding more resistance when pulling.
- Prelims—Finals: Type of swim meet with two sessions. The preliminary (prelim) heats are usually held in the morning session. The fastest 1-16 swimmers return in the evening to compete in the Finals.
- Pre-Seeded: A meet conducted in which the swimmer knows what heat and lane he/she will be competing in by looking at the Heat Sheet.
- Psych Sheet – a ranking of swimmers by event and time.
- Pull Buoy: A small float that has been specifically designed to fit comfortably between the legs making the swimmers use their arms only.
- Qualifying Time: Published times necessary to enter certain meets.
- Relay: A swimming event in which four swimmers participate as a relay team with each swimmer swimming an equal distance of the race. There are two types of relay: Medley Relay – one swimmer swims backstroke, the next swim breaststroke, the next swimmer swims butterfly, and the final swimmer swims freestyle. The Free Relay – all four swimmers swim freestyle.
- Scratch: To withdraw from an event in the competition.
- Short Course: A pool configuration in a 25-yard or 25-meter lengths. Short course swimming is held in the winter months.
- Split: A swimmer’s intermediate time in a race.
- Starting Block: A raised platform that swimmers dive from during competition.
- State: A meet held twice a year (short course in the winter and long course in the summer). Qualification times are necessary.
- Streamline The position used to gain maximum distance during a start and/or push off from the wall in which the swimmer’s body is as tight as it can be.
- Taper: The resting process in training for swimming competition. As the major competition draws near, the swimmer will “taper” off the distances swum each day. A perfectly designed taper will enable the swimmer to compete at their peak capability and is one of the most difficult aspects of coaching swimming.
- Time Trials – events that are offered during a regular competition to allow swimmers a chance of achieving official qualifying times
- Touchpad: The area at the end of each lane in the pool where the swimmer’s time is registered and sent electronically to the timing system.
- Warm-up: Used by the swimmer before the race to get their muscles loose and ready to race.
- Warm-down: Used by the swimmer to rid the body of excess lactic acid generated during a race.
- Zones: The country is divided into four major zones: Eastern, Southern, Central and Western. At the end of the long course season, the Zone Administration sponsors a championship age group meet.
Below is a list of websites, apps and other resources (not all-inclusive) that can help you and your swimmer to navigate through the swim program and build their knowledge of the sport of swimming through swim news, swimming videos, as well as information on college swimming and Olympic swimming – everything for swimmers and parents!
- Meet Mobile (App) – this app can be found in your app store. The Meet Mobile app displays meet results in real time as data is received during meets from the timer (one heat at a time). This app has the ability to display heat sheets, psych sheets, records, team scores, and time standards.