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Parents

This section is mainly designed for families that are new to swimming or new to the team, but seasoned veterans should also give it a read through because it has some new info from the coaching staff and some new guidelines and information about volunteering for meets. In general, we’ll try to let you know a little bit about how the team runs and the best ways to help your swimmer(s) get the most out of swimming.

Parents Expectations

  • Show respect to coaches, authorized personnel and fellow swim team parents at all times.

  • Help maintain discipline. The coach is responsible for discipline within the pool area; parents are responsible for behavior outside the pool area (this includes locker rooms).

  • Ensure swimmers understand accountability. The coach is responsible for swimmers during swim team practice. If the swimmer is ill or chooses not to swim, he/she must remain in the pool area until released to a parent/guardian.h

  • Volunteer. Parents are integral to the team and are expected to assist in various activities, work at swim meets, fund raisers etc. A list of volunteer activities, with a brief description, is included in this handbook. Some positions may require a training course or YMCA certification, but most do not. For those interested in becoming certified, the enclosed Calendar of Events has the training class schedule. If you are assigned or volunteer for a position and find you cannot work, you are expected to help find someone to fill in for you.

  • Communicate. Somebody is always not going to get the word but it won't be for lack of our trying. We have the filebox, monthly newsletter, web site, word of mouth, bulletin board and, of course, other team members. The number one reason for stressing communication is that the coaches need to know in advance who is swimming at a meet and who is not. It takes a lot of effort to make up the swim roster/rotation and this information must get to the meet host ahead of time. Also, we as a team plan a number of events that require your knowledge and support. The bottom line is please, get involved and check the FILEBOX regularly, keep the coaches informed of any absences, and keep the team board members informed of any problems, suggestions or issues.

  • Pay Swim Team & Parents' Club dues on time.

Team Communication
There are a number of ways you can stay informed. The swim team has a website, each family has a folder in the swim team mailbox, the coaches are a good source of information (when asked at the proper time) and there are literally 100+ other parents that you can ask for information. If you’re not sure, just ask, we’ll all be happy to help you get situated. There’s a lot of activity, especially at swim meets, and all of us have needed help figuring it out at one time or another.

Swim Team Website
The Swim Team’s website is at www.tcaytidalwaves.com Its email address is info@tcaytidalwaves. The TCAY Tidalwaves homepage is the portal for accessing Team information about practices, meets and other events. It is also the primary means for swimmers check their meet swim record/times information and get special information from the coaches. Families will use the homepage to access announcements/confirmations of late minute (hour) changes in schedules or activities because of inclement weather or some other factor. Swimmers and parents should check our website regularly because this will be one of our primary means of communication.

Swim Team Mailbox (“The Box”)

All swim team paper handouts, medals, awards and other information/stuff that cannot be placed online or in a Bulletin Board notice will be placed in the Coaches and/or swimmer’s file in the Swim Team Mailbox. This box should be checked regularly. Any information including completed invitation entry forms, maps, notices of non-participation in a dual meet, sign up sheets/money for social events, etc. may be returned by you to the appropriate file folder in the box.

How To Help the Coaches Make Your Swimmer Better (or, the Coaches Wish List For Parental Behavior)

Don't try to talk to the coaches while they are conducting a workout. Consider the pool deck a classroom. Would you interrupt a classroom teacher while he/she was in the middle of a lecture? If a coach is not talking to the swimmers, he is thinking, watching and analyzing. If you need to ask questions about meet entries, workouts, fund raisers, etc., please leave a note in the coach's folder and the coach will call you.

"The Coach is the Coach." We want your child to relate to his/her coach as soon as possible concerning swimming competition, technique and training. This relationship and bonding between coach and swimmer produces the best results. When parents interfere with opinions as to how the child should swim it causes considerable confusion as to who the swimmer should listen to.

Watching Workouts. If you choose to watch the teaching and training sessions, you may do so from a distance. Parents are asked to keep your distance from the swimmers. Never talk, signal, wave or admonish your child while he is in workouts. If you notice a problem, talk to the coach about it by phone or appointment. Never time your child during workouts. The repeat times are something for his/her coach and the child to discuss. If your swimmer has a poor workout, offer encouragement for him/her to swim better at the next one.

Anything worthwhile usually means sacrifice and hard work. Never complain about the number of hours of practice your child logs each week. Make your swimmer realize that you will support him in every way possible.

Above all; communicate. If you question any aspect of the swim program, please make an appointment and discuss it with the coach.

How You Can Make Your Swimmer Better

Be positive. Help your child look beyond today and toward his or her goals.

Be patient. Swimmers develop at different paces, but all swimmers need time. No matter how your child seems to be doing in comparison to other swimmers, don't push. When he or she is ready, the big improvement will come.

Please make sure that your swimmer arrives to all workouts, and meets on time. If your child is late, he or she will not benefit from a proper warm-up and/or perhaps not receive an important message from the coaches.

Although swimming has a strong individual element, your child is, most of all, part of a team. We encourage families to stay until the meet is over to show team spirit and pride (and help clean up!).

The single most important thing that you can do for your child is to help him/her develop a strong sense of sportsmanship and a positive self-image. With your help, this will be swimming's best benefit to your child.

Swimmer Nutrition

Nutrition plays a significant role in swimmers achieving their potential. Simply stated, the foods we eat provide “fuel” for training and competition, which means nutrition is as important, or more so, than training. All too often, swimmer’s diets contain too few calories or are lacking in certain essential nutrients, which explains why they become chronically fatigued and are susceptible to poor swim performances.
The following information is a brief outline of some areas that swimmers, parents and coaches can start to work on for better nutritional choices and habits.

Making wise food choices can provide muscles with the proper fuel and allow swimmers to train harder and recover quicker. Remember these points when making food choices:

  • To achieve peak performance, a well-balanced diet high in carbohydrates is essential during all phases of training.

  • To reduce the risk of dehydration and maintain endurance, drink fluids before, during and after practices and competition.

  • Limit high-fat foods.

  • Limit foods high in refined sugar.

GOOD NUTRITION FOR SWIMMING

Carbohydrate is the most important, and least abundant, nutrient for working muscles. Adequate amounts of carbohydrate are essential for swimming performance. Carbohydrate is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. Carbohydrate’s principle functions are to:

  • Provide primary energy source for working muscles.

  • Ensure energy for the brain and nervous system.

  • Help use fat efficiently.

Two hours of exercise, or even eight hours of sleep, may deplete liver glycogen levels. Swimmers must consume adequate carbohydrates if they are to perform at their best and minimize the threat of chronic exhaustion associated with the depletion of muscle glycogen.

To ensure a carbohydrate-rich diet, swimmers should try to eat at least 500 grams of carbohydrate per day, or 4-5 grams of carbohydrate/pound of body weight. Swimmers may find this difficult to do during the school day, however high-carbohydrate supplement drinks may help to alleviate those needs. Those products are not meant to replace carbohydrate-rich foods, but to supply extra calories and carbohydrates as needed.

Protein is needed to build and repair body tissues including muscles, ligaments and tendons. Contrary to popular belief, protein is not a primary source of energy, except when athletes are not eating enough food, especially carbohydrates. Research suggests swimmers need about .4-.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight every day. Some guidelines to determine the amount of protein in your diet:

  • 8 grams of protein per cup of 2% milk, or low-fat yogurt.

  • 8 grams of protein per ounce of low-fat cheese.

  • 7 grams of protein per ounce of lean meat (beef, chicken, fish).

  • 2 grams of protein per serving of bread or grains (1 slice of bread, ½ cup of rice, ½ cup of pasta).

Fats should take up no more than 30% of the total daily calories. Although, fat is an energy source, a high-fat diet decreases the intake of carbohydrates, making for a less efficient means of fueling the body. Some key points to know about fats:

  • Fats exit the stomach slowly and can reduce the speed in which nutrients and water enter the body.

  • Consuming a high-fat diet compromises carbohydrate intake which may lead to chronic fatigue.

  • Contrary to popular belief, no fat is not a good thing. Fat is needed for the body to function effectively.

Fluids are important at ALL times. Performance may suffer when a swimmer loses as little as 2% of body weight due to dehydration. Thirst is not a good indicator of how much fluid a swimmer needs. To prevent dehydration, swimmers need to drink fluids, both while working out and during the day. To minimize poor performance due to dehydration, swimmers should follow these guidelines:

  • Drink 1 to 2 cups of fluids (8-16 oz) prior to working out or competing.

  • Drink 4-10 oz of fluids every 15-20 minutes of training.

  • Avoid carbonated drinks, which can cause gastrointestinal distress and may decrease the volume of fluids consumed.

  • Avoid caffeine which can contribute to fluid loss.

NUTRITION DURING MEETS

The types of foods swimmers eat prior to competition influences how well they perform in the water. The best pre-event meal should contain primarily carbohydrates. Carbohydrate-rich foods like pasta, cereals, bagels, fruits and vegetables are easily digested and absorbed. The general rule of thumb is for swimmers to consume .5-2.0 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight one to four hours prior to exercise.

Fatty foods such potato chips, donuts, french fries and pastries, take longer to digest and provide little energy during racing. Also, eating foods high in fat and protein and low in carbohydrate can actually diminish swimming performance. For that reason it is recommended to eat high-carbohydrate foods and drink lots of fluids.

Since swimming meets can last all day, try to use the following as a guide to help performance:

  • When there is less than 1 hour between events, swimmers should consume high-carbohydrate foods like fruit juices, bananas; crackers, plain toast or sports drinks like Gatorade.

  • When there are 2-4 hours between events, swimmers should add more high-carbohydrate foods like bagels, hot cereal such as oatmeal, along with the above foods and drinks.

  • When there are 4 hours or more between events, athletes can add small amounts of protein with other foods. Low-fat yogurt or a light spread of peanut butter on a bagel with fruit juice, or a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with low-fat milk, fruit juice or Gatorade, are all appropriate.

 

POST COMPETITION
It is important to eat carbohydrates after practice and competition, and the sooner the better. This will help rebuild glycogen stores as quickly as possible in preparation for the next day’s events or practice. Swimmers should consume at least 70 grams of carbohydrate within 30 minutes after exercise, followed by an additional 75-100 grams every 2-4 hours thereafter. (1 bagel with peanut butter = 100 grams).
It is important to eat a balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.