Valley Aquatics
Frequently Asked Questions
Please let me know of additional questions/topics that need to appear….
1)     How do I enter swim meets?
To enter meets, log on to your account on the website, go to the events tab, click edit commitment and select "Yes". If you do not wish to attend you can select "No", but this is not necessary. In the notes field, enter days your child can attend and if there are any other special requests for events. Please note that you can select events on your own, but the coach may change them based on what they would like to see your swimmer compete in. You must enter the event by the deadline which is posted under the event itself. Most meets needed to be entered at least 3 weeks in advance.
2)     What does my child need to bring to meets?
Your swimmer should bring their racing suit, VAST cap, goggles, towels, and some things to keep them warm, including flip flops/tennis shoes. They should also bring snacks and a water bottle. 
3)     Why do I have to be there for warm up when my child does not swim until two hours later?
Warm-up is essential because it helps the swimmer get focused on their events and use to the pool that they are racing in (starts, turns, backstroke count, etc.) They also are used to doing a good warm up everyday at practice and need to create the same experience on meet day. Not warming up can lead to injuries in the future. Swimmers should show up to warm-up on time and be ready to get in at the START of warm-up. Additionally, in order to be considered for relays, swimmers must be there on time.
4)     What events are my swimmer swimming at the meet?
Once the entries are processed, they will be posted on the website on each individual event page as well as under news and announcements. There will typically be a preliminary list of entries posted and in the weekly newsletter, I will let you know when I need to know changes, additions, deletions, etc. It is your responsibility to look over those entries and let me know of any changes. Once entries are finalized, they will be reposted.
5)     Will my swimmer be swimming relays?
In order to swim relays, there must be 4 swimmers in a particular age group present at the meet. Typically, the four fastest swimmers present in the particular age group will swim the age group. However, at coaches discretion, others may be selected. Swimmers need to be to warm up on time to be considered to swim relays
6)     What is positive check-in?
Positive check in events require a swimmer to sign in to get a heat and lane assignment for the race. Usually, positive check in is for swimmers 13 and over in more distance type events (500 free, 400 IM, etc) but can be required for other meets. Swimmers should check with a coach at the meet to see if they need to check in for any events.
7)     What is my role during the meet?
Your role is to be positive and supportive! Your swimmer is constantly developing and is really trying to do their best! Please resist the temptation to try and coach your swimmer.   Even the best intentions, can send mixed messages to your swimmer as they are working on specific aspects of their stroke.   Swimming is a complicated sport and it takes a lot of thinking. At different times of the season, the goals may be a little different (technique, speed, race strategy, etc). If you want to play an active role with your swimmer in this regard, ask them what their coach wants them to work on reinforce the same things! For more information, see your swimmers individual coach.
8)     What does it mean to have a gold or silver time?
Gold and silver time standards are used to measured a swimmers progress. They are great goal setters for your swimmer and the standards can be found on our website under meets.  The time standards are listed for the championship meets as well.

                What is long course versus short course?

Long course is in a 50 meter course while short course is in a 25 yard pool. Long course season is typically May-August and short course is September-April.
9)     What does it mean to be DQed?
It means there are aspects of the stroke that we still need to work on! When a swimmer is DQed it means that there is something that they did that is illegal under the swimming rules. A DQ can be for something like a one handed touch in breaststroke, false starting, or a stroke violation like flutter kick on the fly. A DQ is no big deal and although it may cause some tears, it is best to keep it in perspective. It really is no big deal.
10)   What are meets that require time standards?
Time standard meets require a swimmer to achieve a certain time standard to enter. For example the Q meet, has silver time standards, some meets require a Gold standard, and some meets have completely separate standards. The association hold two championships meets during the year. The time standards for those meets are posted on our website under meets.
11)   What is the “flow of achievement”?
 Silver time standards
-  Gold Time standards
-  PNS champs time standards
-  Age Group Regionals (time standard by age)
-  Western Zones

-  Senior Sectionals

-  Futures

-  Junior National (Top 2% in the nation, 18 & under)
-  Short Course Nationals (top 2% in the nation, open standards)
-  Senior Nationals (top 1% in the nation, open standards)
-  Olympic Trials  (top .5% in the nation, open standards)
1)     How often should my swimmer be attending practice?
As often as their group is scheduled! Practice attendance is vital to improvement as each practice there are different goals of focus (a specific stroke, starts, turns, endurance training, race strategies, etc) If for some reason, your child has to miss practice, it is best to let your coach know a head of time. 
2)     What equipment should my swimmer have?
Depending on the group your swimmer may need to bring things to practice everyday.
Blue: Suit, goggles, and a cap if they want it. The pool will provide kick boards and pull buoys.
Bronze: Same as above.
Silver: At this point it is recommended for swimmers to get their own gear bag that includes fins, kick board, pull buoy and small hand paddles.
Silver Elite: Same as silver plus a snorkel.
Gold and Gold elite: Same as above, but larger hand paddles.
3)     How is a typical practice run?
For silver and below, practice usually starts with a warm-up, then specific stroke work, a set focusing on a specific goal, and then endurance and/or sprint training. Coaches will vary the focus of each days practice in order to give your swimmer well rounded training.
For Gold and above, training is broken down by seasons and will be set up that way. For specific questions, see your coach.
4)     Should I be at the pool during practice?
Our practice are not closed and you are welcome to watch but please save any interruption to emergenencies only. It is also helpful if you keep your childs personality in mind. If your child is one that constantly looks to you for approval, it may be best for you to not be there on a regular basis so that your swimmer can focus on their coach. If you do need to speak with your child during practice, let the coach know first. Otherwise, parents should be in the bleachers during practice time.   Additionally, if you need to speak with a coach, please keep it quick so that there focus can be on the kids in the water. Any lengthy conversations should take place after practice.