KCSA Frequently Asked Questions
For those of you new-ish to the sport or new to the team, this sheet can be helpful in answering some frequently asked questions. As always, you are more than welcome to email a coach to ask a question, but this sheet will contain much of the information you will need!
What is KCSA?
Team Swim Academy is a year-round competitive swim team that has sites in Blue Springs, MO and St. Joseph, MO. We also have a branch of our team that practices in Kansas! If that is closer to where you live, please see their website at kcswimacademy.org
What is required to join the team?
We ask that all swimmers be able to swim the length of the pool unassisted. We have several practice groups that are catered to swimmers of every level, and we welcome swimmers of all ability/experience. You can find a detailed description of all our practice groups on our webpage under the GROUPS tab. Please talk to the site coach if you have a question about what group is appropriate for your swimmer.
How do I register?
Registration is done completely online. Please visit our webpage and click on the ONLINE REGISTRATION tab on the homepage.
How long is the season?
Technically, the season is all year long. It is divided into two parts. Short Course season runs from September-March usually, and it is when meets are held in a 25-yard pool (normally). Long Course season runs March-August and competitions are held in a 50-meter pool. We practice all year long with two breaks: one in March after short course season and one in August after long course season.
When does each group practice?
The practice times vary depending on site and practice group. Please visit each group’s page to get more information.
Where does each group practice?
All St. Joseph groups practice at Missouri Western State University, Looney Complex. Blue Springs Novice and Age Group practice at the Blue Springs YMCA. Blue Springs Advanced Age Group and Senior practice at Blue Springs School District Aquatic Center (formerly Centennial Pool Plex/The Blue).
Can my swimmer switch practice groups mid-season?
With coach’s permission, absolutely. Please talk to your coach about moving up practice groups, and he/she will talk to you about that process!
What equipment is needed?
While each practice group has specific training equipment they require (please read the group’s page on the website), all members of the team are required to have a practice suit (no bikinis/two pieces for girls and no swim trunks for boys), racing goggles, and a water bottle each practice. We have a TEAM STORE on the webpage where you can purchase our team suit and some of the practice equipment required.
Check out the MEETS section of the FAQ for required/recommended meet equipment.
Do I have to come to every single practice?
No, there is no consequence for missing practices. We understand and fully support that sometimes our swimmers do other sports/after school activities. However, we do want to stress that the more you come to practice, the faster you will see improvement!
How is information communicated to me?
Email is our primary method of communication. Please make sure to provide a working, often checked email address when you register. You are able to put more than one email address down, so please put down anyone who will need to receive information.
Do I have to sign up at the beginning of the season?
No! We have swimmers join us periodically through the season! You can register to join us at any time.
Do you offer a trial period?
Yes, we have a one-week free trial period where you can come to practices and see if this is the right fit for you and your swimmer.
Please note that all financial information is given in detail on the website.
What is the contract?
We do require signing a year-long contract to join our team. More information about the contract can be found on our webpage. Novice, Age Group, and Advanced Age Group can cancel the contract with 30 days written notice and payment of 15% of the remaining contract balance, fundraising balance, and any outstanding fees such as but not limited to swim meet fees. Final day you can terminate contracts is May 1. Senior group cannot terminate contracts.
Are there any exceptions to terminating the contract without penalty?
In a few select cases, yes. If you move to a location where it is no longer feasible to be a member of the team or if your athlete is injured and can no longer practice (a doctor’s notice is required) are two of the most common reasons a contract can be terminated without paying the 15% remaining fee. If your athlete is in the Senior Group and swimming a high school program, you may write to us and let us know that your swimmer will be participating exclusively in the high school program and fees for 2 full months of the contract will be suspended (September and October for Boys and December and January for Girls). This does NOT apply to other high school sports besides swimming.
How much does it cost?
Cost depends on which practice group your swimmer is in. Contract pricing can be found on our webpage. Please note this is an overall contract price that we charge by default once a month. You may choose to pay in different increments, but the price quoted is for the entire year. In addition to the contract price, you will have an annual USA registration fee, an administrative fee, and a fundraiser fee that you are responsible for. Please see the website for amounts/more information.
How do I pay?
Everything is done online. Once you submit your credit card/bank information during registration, payments are withdrawn automatically.
What about meet fees?
Meet fees will also be drawn out automatically on the next month’s bill. You will not be able to attend meets if you have an outstanding balance on your bill.
If I join the team later in the season, do I still pay the entire contract fee?
No, the contract will be pro-rated depending on the month you join the team. You are not charged for the months you do not swim.
What about the fundraising fee?
Unfortunately, our registration fees and contract fees cannot cover all the expenses of running a swim team. To try to keep our prices as low as possible, we supplement the contract fees with fundraising. All fundraising funds go towards pool rental/necessary team equipment expenses like new lane lines when they need to be purchased.
The fundraising fee is PER FAMILY, not per swimmer. We offer at least two fundraising opportunities for you to meet the fundraising fee that way. Otherwise, you can pay the fee outright.
How much do meets cost?
Meet costs can vary depending on the fees the host team set. Usually, you pay one over-all coaching fee, one pool fee that is set by the host team, and then you pay per event (usually about $4.50 per event).
Where are meets?
Most of our meets are in the general Kansas City area, Platte City, Topeka, Lawrence, Fort Leavenworth, Columbia, and occasionally Wichita. Every once in awhile, we will travel to a meet further away. Each meet is in a different location, which is available on our website under the MEET SCHEDULE tab and will be very visible on each meet’s event.
Do I have to attend every swim meet?
No, you do not have to attend every swim meet offered. However, swim meets are a ton of fun and we encourage attendance at as many as possible. Swim meets are the best way for coaches and swimmers to evaluate their progress throughout the season.
Do I have to attend every single day of the swim meet?
No, you do not. You can attend as many days as you wish. You can also choose how many events your swimmer would like to compete in each day.
Do I get to choose my swimmer’s events?
For the most part, yes. However, coaches have final decision and reserve the right to move/add events based on your swimmers current practice goals/what events they need to swim. If a coach adds/moves events they will always send communication first, and they will not add an event on a day for which you do not sign up.
How do I sign up for swim meets?
Before each swim meet, an email will be sent out for each meet. In that email will be detailed instructions for how to sign up for each meet. Please make sure to pay attention to the registration deadline that will be included in that email. Make sure you register your swimmer before the deadline.
What should I bring to swim meets?
The basics: competition team suit, two pairs of goggles, swim caps, towel.
Highly recommended: A second or third towel. A jacket/parka/long sleeved shirt (even in the summer, sometimes where swimmers sit while waiting for their events can get really cold). Activities swimmers can do while waiting for their events (card/board games, books, coloring books, etc). We highly encourage swimmers to stay off of their phones and cheer on/interact with their teammates. Clothes to change into after the meet + pants/shirt to wear during the meet. Blanket/chairs to sit on. Snacks and drinks that are appropriate for swim meets. Granola bars, bagels, fruit, crackers, sandwiches, peanut butter are all good ideas. Powerade/Gatorade and water are recommended to drink.
What do I do when I get to the meet?
Find a place to sit! Look for a familiar face and sit with other members of our team! Have your swimmer check-in with the coach. The arrival time will be sent out with the meet information. Make sure to check emails before meets to find out exact times!
What is my role at meets (and after practices)?
Be supportive! Your swimmer already has a coach, and they have already been told everything they need to work on/what they did well. Your swimmer needs you to be unfailingly supportive. Please remember that your swimmer might not cut time every meet, and that is okay! Sometimes, races are used to practice different strategies/different techniques that the coach and swimmer have talked about and been working on in practice.
What are qualifying meets?
Some meets require a qualifying time to attend. They are always specially marked on the website under the Meet Schedule tab. If a meet is a qualifying meet, your swimmer will need to swim a specific time or faster in each event before they automatically qualify to go. The list of qualifying times can be found on the Missouri Valley Website here. The most common qualifying meets are:
Midwest Winter Classic
Short Course/Long Course Champs
Region VIII Sectionals
Your swimmer does not have to swim the qualifying times every year before they go. Times carry over from season to season, so once they are qualified, they get to go every year until they age up into a different age group category.
How do I know what my swimmer’s times are to see if they qualify?
You can always find your swimmer’s times on our website. Please sign-in to the website, and under ‘My Account’ you will see a link for ‘My Meet Results’. You can find your swimmer’s times there. You can also look on OnDeck, which is the mobile app that ties to our team webpage. USA Swimming has their own online app that tracks times; it is DeckPass. And finally, some meets are posted in real time on the MeetMobile app, where you can find results and times for a specific meet.