How do I know if my child is ready for swim team?

We want everyone to have a positive experience.  Swim team is not a substitute for swim lessons. If you are comfortable with your child jumping in while your back is turned then they may be ready.  The minimum expectation is that your child can jump in on their own (without being coached) and progress down the pool and take breaths on their own. Stopping on the side or holding on to the lane line is exceptable.

I want to be on swim team but am at summer camp a lot this summer, can I still join?

Absolutely, talk with the coaches.  Don’t let being away for part of the season deter your participation.


How are Nashville swim teams organized?

Any swim club can participate in the Nashville Swim League program (currently there are 19).  The clubs are divided into divisions based on the size of the club and location of the club.  Due to the size of our club and our success in the past, Sequoia is part of the top division of the swim team clubs in the Nashville Swim League, the AAAA division, and competes against local clubs who are at a high caliber of competitiveness and size, including:  Hillwood, Cottonwood, Richland, and Seven Hills. For more information go to

Was I crazy to sign up for swim team?

Absolutely not.  Our goal for the Sequoia Cyclones swim team members and their families is to have a fun and successful summer swim.  Because the Nashville Swim League (NSL) is a recreational league, we are open to all swimmers, both new and returning, to participate to the best of their abilities in our program.


How many practices should my child attend?

We do not require your swimmer to make a certain number of practices; however, the more your swimmer is at practice, the better the chances are that your swimmer will improve.  We encourage your swimmer to swim in as many meets as possible.  Additionally, we require that your swimmer compete in at least two meets (the mock meet does not count) in order to participate in the City Meet and to be awarded a trophy at the end of the season awards banquet.

What do I need to take to a swim meet?

If you only remember four things every swim meet you should be fine:

  1. Bring a “sharpie” pen.  You’ll write the event and heat assignments on your swimmers arm with this pen.  You’ll find the event/heat assignments in the clerk of course area taped to the fence.  Most swim parents will use some type of shorthand like “E1 H4 L3 Free” to mean your child is swimming in Event 1, Heat 4, Lane 3 which is a freestyle race.  This system is helpful to your child, the Clerk of course, and you!  Please know that at times, we may NOT have the lane information on the Heat Sheet—just events entered.
  2. Bring a cooler.  Swim meets can be very, very hot.  A cooler of cold drinks and snacks is nice to have.  Of course, sunscreen is important and some swimmers like to play cards, read, or trade sports cards in the time between their races.
  3. Be on time!!!  Your child will swim in either the morning session (ages 10 &Under) or the afternoon session(ages 11& up) depending on his/her age.    Read the newsletters and calendar to be sure of your swimmer’s warm up time.  “Warm ups” is a term that tells you what time you (if you are volunteering during the meet) and your child is to be at the meet.  Allow yourself a few extra minutes to get settled, write on  your swimmers arm, etc.
  4. Don’t forget your suit, team shirt, towel, cap, goggles…maybe even a blanket for your swimmer to sit!



What strokes can/will my child swim at the meet?

Each swimmer will compete in whatever events he/she has mastered in each meet (this is the coaches’ decision).  While coaches are not hired to give “swim lessons,” the coaches work diligently to have your swimmer taught the proper way to do a stroke.  Your swimmer must practice these strokes in order to perfect them.

Your swimmer will most likely swim in two individual events, possibly individual medley (IM), and also possibly a relay team.  (NSL rules limit the number of events to two plus an IM and/or a relay).  If your swimmer is 6 and under he/she is eligible to compete in a freestyle event, and/or a backstroke event, a relay and also an IM (freestyle and backstroke—two laps).  Swimmers who are 7 and up are eligible to compete in a freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke and/or IM (plus a relay at the coaches’ discretion).

How do I know what my child will swim at the meet and what his/her time or result was? 

The night before the meet we will email you a heat sheet for you to print.  Also an event sheet will be posted in the SEQ team area at swim meets.


How are relays organized?

Relays are the most exciting events at the meets.  Sequoia may have as many as 3 or more relays in each relay event.  Relay events are "freestyle and medley".  During a freestyle relay each swimmer swims one leg of the relay using a freestyle stroke.  During a medley relay each swimmer swims one leg of the relay using a different stroke (backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle).  It is important for parents to know that every effort will be made to put your swimmer on a relay.  Sometimes there may be a limitation of how many heats of a relay can be swum, so that may prevent your swimmer from participating.  Obviously, in the medley relay your swimmer must be able to swim a particular stroke.  A placement on a relay depends on your swimmer’s times in that particular event.  For the City Meet, swimmers are placed on relays based on the four fastest times (for the age group).


Do I need to let anyone know my child swims all year round with a US Swimming Club (i.e., NAC or EXCEL?)

Yes, we need to know this and include best times, whether you have BB times and are open or novice.

What are open or novice events?

Your swimmer will be entered in either a “novice” or “open” event.  There are several categories of “open” swimmers and each category is related to how your swimmer performed in the previous year’s City Swim Meet or if they are a USS swimmer with BB times or better.

  1. Your swimmer must swim open if he/she placed 1-4th in the prior year City Swim Meet as a 6 and under.  All 6 and under events are open.
  2. Your swimmer must swim open if he/she placed 1-4th in the novice category or 1-8th in the open category in the prior year City Meet as a 7 and 8-year old or 9-10 year old.  [For the 11 and ups, placing 1-8 in an Open or Novice category puts him/her in Open.]
  3. Swimmers must swim open if they placed 1-8th in an event in the prior year City Meet, [swim for a high school team] or have BB time in a year round swim program.  A novice swimmer is one who does NOT fall into the previous categories (most of our swimmers).  However, know that the coaches may enter your novice swimmer in an “open” event because they know there may only be 1 heat of an event in the open category and your swimmer may have a chance for a 1st-6th place ribbon in that one open event, but may not be in contention for a ribbon or score points for the team in the same novice event.  Or, a swimmer might swim open if we have too many swimmers for the novice event and in order for your child to swim that stroke, he/she may be shifted to the open event.  NOTE:  Any swimmer can swim “open,” but the reverse is not true.


Do I have to swim “open” since I swam on my middle school or high school team?

Only if you have a BB time or greater. Please refer to the NSL’s winter swimming link to see if you have BB times, which would make you an “open” division swimmer.



What are ribbons/heat ribbons? What is  DQ slip?

If your child wins his/her heat, many clubs (including Sequoia) will give out “heat winner ribbons.”  This does not mean that your swimmer has won the event, but it does mean he/she came in first in that heat.  The swimmer who touches the wall first in the fastest heat of swimmers usually wins the first place ribbon – but not always!

Points for the team are won by our swimmers placing 1st, 2nd, 3rd in an event.  Ribbons are presented to our swimmers at Wednesday morning/afternoon practices each week.  They should be in your family files at the pool.  Each swimmer who competes in a meet will receive cards with his/her name, events and finish times recorded by a timer.

Sometimes even the most experienced swimmer will lose focus in a race and swim a stroke incorrectly.  This results in a swimmer being disqualified from the event.  If this happens, a white “DQ” slip may be stapled to your swimmer’s card on that particular Wednesday.  Read over what the infraction was, and encourage your swimmer to come to practice and try again.  If there are any questions about a DQ, please see the coach.


What is Clerk or Course?

Before every event (either at Sequoia or another club) you will be directed to the “Clerk of Course” area.  This is a fancy term for the area where the swimmers gather before they swim.  Each swimmer will be responsible for staying in the Clerk of Course area.  Please talk to your swimmer about how important it is to stay in this area and listen for their name to be called by “Head of Clerk of Course” in charge.  Final heat and lane assignments will occur in the clerk of course.  (Note:  If you have  younger non-swimming children, it may be best to have a sitter watch them while you and your swimmer navigate the first few meets).


What are heats/events?

Some events will have many swimmers competing (strokes such as freestyle and backstroke, for example, since they are easier to master).  Each pool has only 6 lanes and therefore, only 6 swimmers can compete at the same time.  This group of 6 is called a heat.  Often, events will have as many as 5 heats if we have a large group of swimmers that day.


What are swim clinics?

Swim clinics are group sessions, led by our Coaches, aimed at specific stroke technique skill building for a nominal fee.


Can I arrange for private stroke lessons with the coaches?

Yes, check out the coaches tab for contact information.

How do I ask a swim coach or swim mom a question?

Open communication is welcome.  Please see the contact information on the website or ask a coach after practice.


What are my volunteer options as a parent?

We really need parents to work a minimum of 3 meets and a City Meet shift.  Summer swimming is one sport that requires every parent to volunteer to work.  We do expect parents to help work the swim meets.  It takes 64 Sequoia parents to run a home swim meet.  Away meets also need parents to work, but not quite as many.  You may sign up for any job that suits your schedule.  Look for more volunteer information and volunteer sign up sheets on the volunteer section of the website.  Please ask one of the Swim Moms if you have any questions.  (Note:  swim meets can be long and HOT and it really is nice to have a job to do.  The session will pass quickly if you’re busy!)