Welcome Parents ( USA Swimming website)
Education for Parents (USA Swimming website)
The practice schedule can be seen here.
Changes to the regular schedule (Late starts/vacation schedules etc.) are always posted on the calendar. The calendar can be seen here.
Swimmers should try to arrive for practice 15 minutes prior to their scheduled start time so that they are actually entering the pool when practice begins. Each group gets a limited amount of pool time so it's important to make the most of it.
Swimmers should come prepared to practice with swim caps, goggles and a water bottle! Even though they will be in the water it's very important to HYDRATE! Optionally, swimmers may want to wear drag suits or tights. These are used during training to put an additional "load" on the swimmer, sort of how a baseball player might swing two bats to warm up.
Late starts are because of varsity swim meets. Please note the start times and be dressed and ready in your suits so you will not need the locker room on those days at the beginning of practice!
All swimmers with the exception of the clinic level are expected to compete in meets. The clinic level may compete in the 8 and Under Championships and the Snow Ball Mini Meet.
While you are welcome to choose which meets your swimmer competes in, if your swimmer qualifies for the Relay Carnival or Counties participation is mandatory.
You can view a tutorial about signing your child up for meets via the website here.
The following article was published by The American Swimming Coaches Association
5101 NW 21 Ave., Suite 200
Fort Lauderdale FL 3330
Swim Meet Basics For Parents.
Ideas to help you and your child be better prepared and “happier” at Swim Meets
By John Leonard, ASCA Director
1. Be on time. On time means 15 minutes before warmup begins.
2. Know the seating arrangements. Bring folding chairs to most outdoor pools. Bring drinks and snacks as appropriate. Sit with your child if that’s the team “thing.” Sit in the stands if that’s the way the team does it. Let the swimmers be with the swimmers. They don’t want to be with you in most cases. They want to be with their friends.
3. Encourage your child to get immediately to the coach for warmup. (See following article about warmup.)
4. Be a parent. Help them keep track of heats, events, etc. But remember that the main idea is to teach them to handle the environment of a swim meet themselves. This helps them “grow up.” It’s never too early....
5. Cheer for other people’s children on the team. Don’t embarrass your own by standing behind their blocks screaming. Let other parents scream for your child.
6. Let the coach coach. So you can parent.
7. Sometimes a child will “miss an event”. This happens, it’s a learning experience. Don’t freak out. Don’t handhold them to the next event. Expect responsibility. If they can’t handle it, maybe they are too young to be there. Let them rely on teammates for help.
8. Sometimes a swimmer will false start and DQ a relay. Similarly, it’s a learning experience. Don’t freak out. The appropriate response by the swimmer to their teammates? “Sorry guys.” Everyone does it. Everyone needs to forgive. See, “Everyone Does It.” Reread that. Twice.
9. Sometimes a swimmer DQ’s for swimming an event incorrectly. Do not address the official. Ask the coach what they did wrong. Make sure the swimmer understands how to do it correctly. End of story. It IS NOT a big deal. Learn from it.
10. The child should have a goal for every swim. Sometimes a time, sometimes a technique. Ask what their goal is. Don’t help set it. That’s for the coach and swimmer.
11. The coach will likely speak to your child before and after the event. The “before” is to remind them of their goals and needs, and the “after” is to review the successes and weak spots of the swim. Great feedback is great coaching.
12. Make sure they drink in hot weather. Drink in all weather. Water, Gatorade, etc. NO SUGAR. NO CANDY. NO SUGAR, NO CANDY.
13. If you have questions, ask the Coach. Try to do it when the Coach is not doing 12 other things. Get real answers. Asking another parent may not get you the right answer.
14. When the meet is over, the meet is over. Forget it on the way home. Help the swimmer remember the lessons for the next time, but don’t dwell on the meet. Meet over....move on...next!
15. Most coaches will say “it’s not about winning, it’s about improvement.” Know what is being improved, and measure it and help your child focus on the process and not “just” the result. What does it take to go faster?
16. Keep it light. Have a sense of humor. An age group swim meet, taken at face value, is a pretty fun thing.....don’t overplay the “importance” of it ...it’s just an opportunity to test what you’ve been learning in practice. We repeat experiences that are enjoyable and avoid experiences that are not.
There are thousands of other ideas to add to this list. This is “just the basics”. Add to your own list.
And now, to the concept of WARMUP.
What is Warmup?
Warmup is what happens before a competition. Its purpose is several:
1. Literally warm and lubricate the muscles for “action”.
2. Increase the heart rate in preparation for race action.
3. Getting in touch with your feel for the water and ability to swim the strokes correctly.
1. Get into focus. We’re at a swim meet to compete.
2. Get rid of distractions.
3. Focus on process and good technical swimming.
4. Prepare to Race.
Most warmups at most meets are crowded and appear chaotic.
Typically the coach will put all swimmers in one or two lanes, together.
The swimmers will do an easy swim. (“easy 500 free”)
Then some gentle kicking. (“10 x 25 free kick on 30 seconds”)
Then some drills....(“200 IM Drill”)
Then a “start your heart” set...(“8 x 50 free, descend 1-4, 5-8”)
Then some pace work relating to the specific event....
And a little more easy swimming.
Warmups can vary from Senior Swimmers who take an hour or more, to eight and unders, who can warmup in 20 minutes in some cases. In every case, it’s important to be ON TIME. Typically an hour before the meet. This allows time for the physical and the mental work to be done. The coach will commonly hold a short meeting to make sure all swimmers are accounted for, organized, know their events, and get last minute reminders.
Being LATE to warmup means your child will be inadequately prepared for their competition. Not a good thing. You ask them and the coach asks them, to work hard to learn in practice every day. Then the day of the meet, you do things incorrectly. What does that teach the child?
Be On Time, Do Things Correctly. Have a Great Meet!