FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
 
      1.      Tell me more about your club?  See About FAST.
 
      2.      Where does FAST swim?  Our primary pool is at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in south
                Fort Worth. Our team does make use of other pools when WGAC is not available and for
                summer morning practices.  We have Directions and Maps on the About Fast page.

                Most of the meets are in the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex. A few meets will be a little farther.
                As the swimmers progress and qualify for state meets and beyond, there will be additional
                travel to provide quality competition.
 
      3.      How often are the meets?  FAST selects meets for our swimmers to attend so they are
                competing about once every 3-6 weeks during the main part of the season. Meets are
                generally "classified" for swimmers of a particular ability level, with novice swimmers
                beginning as "C" swimmers and progressing to "B", "BB", and "A" classifications as they
                achieve time standards. The meets FAST will attend are listed on our Calendar webpage
                throughout the year.

                Our Masters swimmers may compete as often as they desire, based on meet availability. FAST
                Masters who choose to compete typically attend 4-7 meets a year as a team with a coach
                present.
 
      4.      What is the tryout for?  The coach will determine which of our practice groups will provide the
                best environment to develop your swimmer based primarily on their demonstrated proficiency,
                but also on their endurance and size. On tryout days we have a "pool parent" volunteer
                available to assist with the tryout, answer questions, and help you complete paperwork or
                register online if you decide to join the team.

                Some swimmers will need additional instruction before they will be ready to join our practices.

                 For our Masters, there is no requirement for an in-water skills assessment; but Masters
                 swimmers must join or return to the team on tryout evenings when a parent volunteer is
                 available to assist with paperwork and to collect fees.  Once Masters have spoken with a
                 parent volunteer, they can complete the online registration.
 
      5.      What days and times are practice?  Each of our practice groups meet at different days and
                times as appropriate for their level. As a guideline, most groups will swim sometime between
                5 and 7:30 pm on weeknights. Schedules for the individual practice groups are shown on our
                Calendar page. Please note that these schedules are subject to change.
 
      6.      How much do the swimmers practice?  FAST has several different practice groups based on
                the swimmer's age, maturity, skills, conditioning and goals. Our philosophy is to allow for an
                organized progression that allows younger swimmers to be successful and learn skills while
                still allowing participation in other activities and "being a kid". As they grow and become more
                committed to the sport, their practice duration, frequency and intensity gradually increase
                over the years for continual improvement. Our goal is to produce swimmers prepared for
                competition in college or beyond when they have physically matured. There are no 8-year-old
                swimmers at the Olympics, but all Olympians were once eight years old and were learning
                fundamental skills and having fun in swimming. Most Olympians also developed their aerobic
                capacity while 10-14 years old.
 
      7.      How much does it cost and why?  All of our age group swim team members must register
                with USA Swimming each year. Our adult swimmers register with US Masters Swimming. There
                is a one-time fee to join FAST to cover our administrative costs, a team T-shirt, bumper sticker,
                handbook, etc. Each month we bill the family for training fees. The training fees will depend on
                which practice group a swimmer is assigned to, ranging from $55 to $135. Please see
                the How To Join page for more information about specific group training fees.

                Training fees cover our pool rent, coach salaries, and other operating expenses. The FAST
                Board of Directors sets an annual budget and calculates training fees and plans fundraising
                accordingly. We are a year-round program, so training fees are a 12-month average of annual
                costs. Fundraisers are used to balance the budget and some are mandatory participation
                while others are optional.

                If you have been a member of a different USA Swimming Team in North Texas, you will need
                to have been in good financial standing (no outstanding bills) on your former team. Swimmers
                returning to FAST must bring their accounts to good standing.

                Swimmers pay their own expenses for most swim meets. This includes meet entry fees, any
                travel to competitions, meals, and lodging. Most meet entry fees are "splash fees" and are
                about $3.25 for every event a swimmer enters at a meet. Meet hosts charge a $3.00
                surcharge per swimmer and FAST charges a $5.00 surcharge per swimmer to help cover
                Coach expenses and other related fees for the meet.  You will need to look at the meet
                information sheets for each meet for exact fees.
 
      8.      What do I need to buy?  Your swimmer is required to wear a FAST competition suit to
                participate in meets. Younger swimmers can also use their team suit for daily training.
                Goggles are pretty much a necessity. Your swimmer may choose to wear a swim cap. We
                require a FAST swim cap to be worn at meets IF the swimmer wears a cap. These items are
                all available from our Swim Store at the pool each Wednesday night.

                Additionally, some practice groups may use fins, hand-paddles, or other gear in training. Your
                swimmer's coach will advise you which equipment to purchase from our Swim Store.

                Swimmers in our more advanced groups [Gold; Seniors and Elite; Masters] who train at pools
                other than Wilkerson-Greines may need to purchase a kickboard and pull-buoy as the other
                pools do not have equipment.

                We strongly encourage [but do not require] purchase of a team warm-up suit, parka, swim
                bags, and other gear. These items are available as special orders for those swimmers who
                want them.
 
      9.      Is my swimmer “good enough” to be on a swim team?  FAST has programs for children of all
                ability levels.  Our Marlins and Barracudas fundamentals groups prepare pre-competitive
                swimmers who can swim but not in all competitive strokes. Our coaches determine which kids
                are ready to compete and will advise them to enter the meets accordingly.

                Our adult Masters swimmers should be able to swim 25 yards freestyle comfortably. 
 
    10.    My child has some special concerns; can my child still join?  If your child has a medical
              condition, such as asthma or diabetes, please make sure you let us know. Our coaches do
              have experience working with swimmers with these conditions. The swimmer's safety is our
              first priority although we may require a doctor's release to participate in swimming activities.

              If your child is extraordinarily talented, we will recognize this and provide appropriate
              challenges to develop them.

              Other issues should be discussed with us.
 
    11.    How do I contact FAST?  Please use the Contact Us page.
 
    12.    What other teams are in the area?  Check out the North Texas Swimming website and view
              their "Teams" page for a list of other USA Swimming teams in this area. We do hope you will
              join FAST but also want you to find the team that is the best "match" for you. 
 
              Likewise, Masters swimmers should check the North Texas Masters Swimming website.
 
 
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