FAQs for Parents


1.  How do we sign up for swim team?
      A. Register at the front desk for swim team. Your child must be registered and paid the $50.00 PAC fee October 1.
          C. A parental permission form is also to be signed and returned to coaches before the first meet.

N.B. If you need scholarship information or special payment arrangements, please speak to Aquatics Director, Maureen Smeltz as soon as possible.

2.  What is PAC ?
PAC is our "Parents Aquatic Club", which is the booster club for the swim team. All of our parents are encouraged to participate in this group since it is the backbone of our operations. PAC meetings are held once a month at the YMCA.

3.  Where do we find information about the swim team?
There are five sources where information about our team can be found.

  1. The team website payswim.org is an interactive site and database that contains almost everything you need to know.
  2. Our Bulletin Board is located in the hallway near the entrance to the pool. This will display information about upcoming meets, USS swimming, team events, etc. Please check it periodically.
  3. The Swim Team Booklet is given out to all swim team families and covers our philosophies, practice schedules, and much more. Please take the time to read it over.
  4. The Swim Team Mail Box with family names for information to take home.
  5. E-Mail – You will receive notices from coaches and team reps about important events via the teams email system.

4.  How can we contact a coach?
A written note  or email (paycoach@fvymca.org) is preferred for sending and receiving information. If you wish to speak to a coach, a note about the topic can be sent in and the coach will call you. You may also call the Aquatic office at extension 5764 or 5845 to make an appointment to see a coach. Coaches are not available for long conversations during practice. See List of contacts included in this packet.

5.  What is the difference between `practice groups" and "teams"?
"Practice groups" are usually designated by color - blue, bronze, silver, silver plus, gold and gold plus. The swimmers are divided by age and ability for practices so that we can better meet the needs of each individual. With a whole practice group swimming at about the same level, the coaches can design a program specific for the group. Practice groups will usually contain swimmers from each of the "teams". The "teams" are the groups that compete together during the dual meet season.

6.  How do we know what practice group and team our child is on?
You should have received a blue card alerting you to your swimmer’s practice group. It will also be noted in their swimmer profile on the web site.

7.  How often do we practice?
Each practice group has different requirements for the number of practices to be attended to meet their fullest potential. Check the Swim Team web site or bulletin board for the practice schedule.

8.  Can we watch practices?
Yes. Please remember to let the coaches do the coaching. Your support and encouragement are all that your children need.

9.  What are `Team Practices"?
These are meetings of each "Team". They are usually held instead of regular practice time and are "FUN" nights. The coach has the opportunity to meet with the team as a whole and give out specific information. The dates and times for these practices will be announced.

10.  Do all swimmers need caps and goggles?
Yes, two pairs of goggles are needed by all swimmers to protect their eyes. Caps are needed if your child's hair is long. Both are available at a local sporting goods store or at Toad Hollow (online or in person) our preferred vendor. Please put your child's name on all caps and goggles and keep them in working order. Teach­ing your child how to adjust them would be helpful. If your child wears a cap, please have it on and ready when practice starts.

11.  What other things should we know about practices?
A. Be sure to have your child use the bathroom before practice starts.
B. Bring a written note if your child needs to leave practice early.
C. No clowning around, misbehaving, or rudeness will be tolerated.

12.  What are the times listed on the meet schedule?
These are "warm-up" times. This is when the swimmers will go into the water. Therefore, you will need to have the swimmers at the pool at least 15 minutes before the stated time on the meet schedule. Each coach will specify when he/she wants the team there. Please allow time for travel, parking, changing into suits, etc. When swimmers are late, coaches get worried. Being on time is important. The meets will generally start half an hour after the stated warm-up time.

13.  Where do we get directions for the "away" meets?
Our bulletin board in the hallway will have a folder with copies of the directions for each away meet as it comes up in the schedule. Maps will also be found in your individual folder in the family box. Often the VP's will have copies to hand out to the parents after practices. Please ask if you don't have directions - don't wait until Saturday morning.

14. What do we do if our child can't make a meet?
A. Previous Commitment
We ask that all swimmers commit to meets (either way) via our online event management system by Wednesday of the week of the meet. This will allow the coaches to prepare the lineup for the meet.

B. Illness
If your child is sick any time during the week and there is a possibility that he/she may not be able to swim in the meet, PLEASE let the coach know. It is easier to adjust the line-up when the coach knows that your child may not be attending the meet or is not feeling well. Knowing that your child is not feeling 100% may change the events that the coach might enter him/her in. On Saturday morning you can contact the coach again to give the final decision.

If your child gets sick the night before a meet (or in the morning) please call the coach as soon as possible. The coaches are available for phone calls the night before a meet until 11:00 PM, and again Saturday morning after 8:00 AM. Changing a line-up is not usually a simple thing. Finding out at the meet that a child is not going to be there is unacceptable. Please call the coach.

15.  Can we leave a meet when our child is finished swimming?
We require that all the swimmers stay until the end of the meet. They will not be permitted to shower and change before the end of the meet. This encourages team unity and team spirit as well as good sportsmanship. If your schedule dictates an early departure from a meet, please try to arrange for some other parent to take your child home from the meet.

16.  What do we pack in the swim bag for the meets?
First- LABEL everything! Coaches can return lost and found items that have names on them.
Here are some suggestions for the bag:

  • Towels (several) - Keep one dry for the end of the meet
  • Sweat pants and shirt to wear during the meet
  • Dry clothes for after the meet (Put in ziploc bag)
  • Cap and two (2) pair of goggles
  • Team swim suit (younger ones may want to wear suit to meet)
  • Drink in plastic container

Please do not pack the following items: balls, electronic games, small toys

17.  Do parents need to help at swim meets?
There are many jobs that need to be done at every swim meet. "Home" meets require more helpers than "away" meets. Jobs vary widely, and there are many ways to help even if you don't know much about swimming. We can teach you how to time, keep score, or run the computer timing system. You can help with snacks or ticket sales. It's easy and fun, and you'll meet a lot of other great parents. Check with your team VP to volunteer or you can sign up online at the same time you commit your swimmer for the meet.

18.  Can our child sit with us during the meet?
We require that our teams sit together at the meets. Your child will be allowed to visit with you when they need to. They must return to the team so that the coaches know where to find them.

19.  What are the Post-Season meets?
These are all the championship meets held after our last dual meet on the schedule. In the Division Championship Meet all swimmers are encouraged to participate. Beginning with the next meet -the Winter Swim Festival, the swimmers must "qualify" in the top three of the championship meet. The front section of this book explains these meets in detail. Your child will continue to practice until he/she does not "qualify" for the next level.

20. What are "Invitational" meets?

These are big meets where many teams are invited to participate. There will be many "heats" of each race, with the places being determined by the swimmer's times. These are optional meets; you must sign-up and pay for each event by the date specified. All invitational meets are posted on the bulletin board. Some invitational meets are for USS sanctioned swimmers only. It is your responsibility to get to the meet on time. Coaches may or may not be present.

21.  What Is USS Swimming?
United States Swimming (USS) is the organization that governs amateur swimming in the USA. This organization holds many swim meets across the country for swimmers of all abilities. Membership is required for these meets. The front of this book has more details. Membership information can be obtained from the USS Representative. Meet information is posted on the bulletin board. USS swimming is option for our swimmers.

22.  How do we sign up for Invitational meets?
First, check the bulletin board for meet information. Write the meet name and date along with your child's name, event names, and numbers on a piece of paper. Enclose this with the necessary amount of money in an envelope. This envelope is deposited in the "MEET" box in the aquatic office. Please be sure to get this in by the date on the bulletin board. No late entries will be accepted. Please do not feel that you have to enter all of the invitationals. If you have questions about these, ask a coach or parent who has attended them.

23.  What snacks are good to have during a swim meet?
Your child only needs a snack if the meet is going to be a long one. (Championships and Invitational s) Regular dual meets do not require a snack if your child has had a good meal before the meet. If a snack is necessary, keep it simple, not messy, and small in amount! No chocolate or heavy foods should be eaten. Some good ideas for snacks are:

  • Dry Cereal                    
  • Fruit drinks or juice
  • Veggies
  • Fruit       
  • Granola bars                
  • Dry Muffns 
  • Crackers Plain Bagels

24.  What should the swimmer eat before the meet?
The main meal to be concerned about is the dinner before the meet. A small amount of protein (meat, chicken, milk, eggs, fish) is fine, but concentrate on starchy foods like pasta, bread, rice, etc (complex carbohydrates). The meals on the day of the competition will be determined by the time of the meet. Morning meets will mean getting your swimmer up at least two hours before getting in the water, to eat a good breakfast. Concentrate on those carbohydrates-pancakes, french toast, cereal (light on the milk), fruit, juice, etc. Afternoon meets require a good breakfast and a light lunch (small amount of protein OK for breakfast; carbohydrates for lunch). Evening meets require a good breakfast and lunch (lots of carbohydrates) and alight supper. Always save the big meal for after the meet.

The things to remember are:
- eat the last meal before competition about two hours before warm-up - choose foods easily digested (starchy foods, fruits)

- avoid fats and fatty foods (chocolate, cakes, burgers, etc) - eat only until comfortable - not stuffed

- be sure to eat well - you can't swim without fuel