Below you will find a small collection of questions that the board and coaches hear fairly often
Video courtesy of Jamo Forst (used with permission he is the brother-in-law of a team family)
Why should my child be at WARMUPS and be their early? - warmups are critical for a number of reasons
Every pool is different and swimmers need time to adust to the backstroke flags to know where the wall is when they are not looking
Every set of blocks are different, they can be different heights, angles and even have more or less 'wobble' in them. It is helpful for every swimmer to get a feel for them before they step up on them for the race.
Swimming is a sport that is a mix of power and flexibility, taking the time for a proper warm up really does make a substantial difference for older swimmers and younger swimmers need the time as well if only as a mental readiness and to build good habits.
When should my swimmer check in with the coaches? Generally speaking your swimmer should check in with a coach before and AFTER every race. This is a good time for the coaches to give the swimmer things to think about for the race as well as after to hear quickly what they can improve as in and additionally what they did well.
We want to maximize the time that swimmers have for warmups so make sure they are there ready to get in the water when the coaches say the warmup time is.
Who will get my swimmers to the blocks in time for their race? - Ultimately this is your swimmers responsibility as well as yours. The coaches have a lot of kids to keep track of in the water and may not be able to personally get your child to the blocks. We as a team do try to have 'wranglers' for the 8 and under age group, but you all know that is like wrangling cats, make sure the wranglers know your kids but offer to help as well. As kids get older they should be able to get themselves to their race on time we hope ;)
How late do meets run? - really good question, it really depends on a lot of factors: how large the other teams are, how many lanes does their pool have, how efficient is their Starter and even how the meet is structured. Timelines are generally available in the meet programs.
Are meets good for novice swimmers? - absolutely! swimming is a sport against the clock and one of the best ways for all swimmers to measure their progress is in meets, novice swimmers will see the greatest gains in their early meets and it can really motivate them. Plus there are lots of ribbons and fun to be had. These kids work their hearts out, give them a chance to show you the result of all that hard work, they will really amaze you.
There are multiple levels of championships, starting with Regionals, and moving through Age Group States, Senior States, Senior Sectionals, and above. Swimmers are encouraged to participate in the championships in which they qualify, as a reward for hard work, to contribute to team goals, and to participate in an environment that will help them to go even faster.
Who can swim in Championships - All qualified swimmers can participate in championships. Make sure to review the QT's (qualifying times) for each meet, to help swimmers set goals.
Are there options to swim non-competitive? (not swim in meets) - The TJCC Stingrays are a competitive swim team. We understand that some swimmers may not feel comfortable swimming in meets, but the swimmers practice hard and the meets are a lot of fun and and are excellent milestones to mark progress. There are lots of rewards for swimmers of all levels, ranging from steady improvements in their best times, to racing with friends in relays.
How are swim groups organized? - Groups are loosely organized by age, but mostly by skill level. The minimum requirement for all swimmers on the swim team is that they MUST be able to swim one full lap unassisted for the coaches. As swimmers progress, there are additional requirements for the higher level groups. The J Rays Swim School provides lessons for those that struggle to meet the minimum requirements.
How many practices does my swimmer have to go to? - honestly as many as possible ;) Swimming is a sport that is built on a large base of practice and training, even a couple of days off can be felt by the swimmers when they return to the pool. Also for new swimmers they want to evolve their strokes as much as they can and that takes time and practice. We understand that lives are complicated so do what you can.
Why are practices not fun? - that is a good question, the coaches do make an effort but time is limited and they are trying to make your swimmer the best they can be. We strive to have a healthy balance of work and play.
What about private lessons? - Coaches are available for additional stroke refinement, in addition there are private lessons offered through our J Rays Swim School