Mesa Aquatics Club is a proud supporter of USA Swimming's Safe Sport program


Safe Sports for Athletes

Code of Conduct for Parents, Athletes and Coaches

Parent Contract

Coach Contract

 

Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy

 

To deal with a Safe Sport concern, contact USA Swimming at (719) 866-4578

Contact the U.S. Center for Safe Sport to make a report. Call (720) 524-5640 or use the

online reporting form or find more information at http://www.uscenterforsafesport.org/

 


 

Mesa Aquatics Club

Policy Regarding Bullying

Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at Mesa Aquatics Club (MAC) (the “Club”) and will not be tolerated. Bullying is counterproductive to team spirit and can be devastating to a victim. The Club is committed to providing a safe, positive and friendly environment for all of its members. Anyone who knows that bullying is happening during or in connection with any Club activity is expected to report it so it can be addressed. If bullying between or among Club members is witnessed or reported, all athletes and parents should know that incidents will be dealt with promptly.

What is Bullying?

Generally speaking, bullying is the use of physical or verbal aggression, whether intentional or not, in a way that causes physical or emotional pain to another person.  

Bullying is prohibited by the USA Swimming Code of Conduct, which defines bullying as follows in Section 304.3.7:

For the purposes of the Code of Conduct, the term “bullying” shall mean, regardless of when or where it may occur, the severe or repeated use by one or more USA Swimming members (“Members”) of an oral, written, electronic or other technological expression, image, sound, data or intelligence of any nature (regardless of the method of transmission), or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at any other Member, that to a reasonably objective person has the effect of: (i) causing physical or emotional harm to the other Member or damage to the other Member’s property; (ii) placing the other Member in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property; (iii) creating a hostile environment for the other Member at any USA Swimming activity; (iv) infringing on the rights of the other Member at any USA Swimming activity; or (v) materially and substantially disrupting the training process or the orderly operation of any USA Swimming activity (which for the purposes of this section shall include, without limitation, practices, workouts and other events of a member club or LSC).

Examples of bullying can include behaviors such as:

  • Repeatedly and excessively verbally attacking an athlete personally (e.g., calling them worthless, fat or disgusting, or using vulgar or derogatory names or terms) in person or through other means, such as social media postings;
  • Severe or repeated punching, pinching, slapping or other physical conduct, especially when the person being touched has made it clear that the conduct is unwelcome or hurtful;
  • Using physical or verbal aggression to insist on leading a lane;
  • Repeatedly and excessively yelling at participants in a manner that serves no productive training or motivational purpose;
  • Throwing objects such as sports equipment, water bottles, or chairs at participants in a practice or other Club activity;
  • Intentionally ignoring an athlete or teammate for extended periods of time during practices or other Club activities, in a way that is intended to ostracize, belittle or hurt the person;
  • Routinely or arbitrarily excluding certain participants from practice.

Not all disagreements constitute bullying; sometimes, there is simply a personality conflict or personal dislike between two people. Bullying also does not include professionally accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, teambuilding, motivation, or discipline, or the giving of constructive criticism about an athlete’s performance in practice or a meet.

How Does the Club Handle Bullying?

An athlete who feels that he or she has been bullied should let someone know so that the situation can be addressed. That can mean talking to your parents, to your coach, or to Paul Smith. The athlete or parent may also send a letter or email to one of these people.

There is no express time limit for making a complaint or report, but every effort should be made to bring the situation to the attention of the appropriate Club leaders as soon as possible to make sure that memories are fresh and behavior can be accurately recalled and any bullying behavior can be stopped as soon as possible.

If inappropriate conduct (whether bullying or not) is occurring during Club activities and is witnessed by a coach or other responsible person, it will be stopped on the spot.

If a report of bullying is made after an incident or incidents has/have occurred, we will investigate promptly. We will do our best to collect all available information from those involved to find out what happened. We will then determine whether the situation involves bullying, taking into account the USA Swimming definition of bullying and other factors such as the history between those involved, any provocation that may have occurred, and any perceived or actual power imbalance.

If it is determined that bullying has occurred, we will work with the appropriate parties (the kids involved, their parents, and/or their coach(es), as applicable) to resolve the situation. Our goal is to achieve a resolution that addresses and corrects the unacceptable behavior, supports and protects the athlete(s) who were bullied, and ensures that everyone understands that we take bullying seriously. These same steps also may be followed if it is determined that the conduct complained of does not rise to the level of bullying but is nevertheless inappropriate in our Club environment. Depending on the situation and, if necessary, the Club reserves the right to make appropriate reports to the LSC/Zone and/or National Boards of Review who may have jurisdiction to evaluate the reported conduct under USA Swimming Rules and make appropriate determinations

 


Best Practice Guidelines

 PARENT GUIDELINES AND POOL DECK POLICY

 

Swimmers should arrive early and be out on deck, after practice swimmers should wait for their pick up inside the pool lobby.  We do not want swimmers outside of any of the facilities at any time during a practice unless they are under the direct supervision of a coach at that time. Swimmers who arrive early to practice should sit quietly on the deck, talk with teammates, do their homework, or read a book until practice begins.

 

We all do a great deal for our kids. We create the environment in which they grow and mature. Our children are products of our values and beliefs. Human nature, however, is such that we sometimes lose our ability to remain detached and objective in matters concerning our children. The following guidelines will help all of us keep our child’s development in the proper perspective.

 

  1. Every individual learns at a different rate and responds differently to the various methods of parenting skills.

  2. It takes a great deal of the swimmer’s attention to master the skills of proper stroke technique. These new sets of habits are the basis for later improvement.

  3. Plateaus will occur at one time or another in every swimmer’s career. Plateaus can be both in competition and in training. A plateau signifies the swimmer has mastered lower-order skills, but they are not yet sufficiently automatic to leave their attention free to attack newer, higher-order skills.

  4. Swimmers under 10 are the most inconsistent. This can be frustrating for the parent, coach, and swimmer alike! We must be patient and permit these younger swimmers to learn to love the sport.

  5. It is the coach’s job to offer constructive criticism of a swimmer’s performance. It is a parent’s job to supply the unconditional love, recognition and encouragement necessary to help the young athlete feel good about themselves. 

 

Our coaches spend a considerable amount of time planning weekly training

sessions for each of their practice groups. Each training set or instructional drill has a purpose and one practice and/or practice set often builds on another throughout the week and/or season. If you have not attended all practice sessions, you may not understand the purpose of what the swimmers are doing on any given day.
 

We certainly support your presence on the pool deck, but we ask you not to interact with your swimmer or the swimmer’s coach during the workout (if you need to speak with the coach, do it before or after workout). It is best to be a distant observer during workouts. Our children need to develop a bond of trust and confidence with the coaches. This is difficult if not impossible to do if we (the parents) are close by.
 

With that in mind:

 

Skyline: Please do not sit on the bleachers on the North End of either pool. The South end of the pool is the opposite side from where the locker rooms are located, we recommend sitting on those bleachers at the big pool. We also recommend sitting at the picnic/shaded area on the South side for the little 6 lane pool.

This will give our coaches the space they need to interact with your swimmer without having to compete for their attention. Parents are expected to remain in the designated area throughout the practice session.
 

If you have any questions about your child’s training or tram policies, contact the coach. Please refrain from criticizing the coach in front of the swimmers as this undermines the coach’s authority and breaks the swimmer-coach support necessary for maximum success. It is for this reason that we ask parents not to actively participate in coaching their child.

 

Remember, particularly in the case of younger swimmers, the attitude and behavior of the parents in regard to their outlook on the sport has an important effect on the child. In swimming, as in life, nobody can “win” or succeed all the time—there will always be some disappointment. The important thing is to keep on striving to do better the next time. 

Building on that idea, we all know that it is important as a parent to provide healthy encouragement for a child’s interest, with recognition that a child’s interests might change. If your child expresses a desire not to participate in the sport of swimming anymore, open a discussion with your child about why they might be feeling that way. Given all the positives that this sport can teach such as, time management, perseverance, discipline, and confidence, there could be dynamics (e.g. a new coach, an interaction with a teammate) that might just seem too stressful, but will change in time. 

Self-motivation is the stimulus of all truly successful swimmers, but there are times when such motivation may lag and parental support is crucial for persistence.

 

MAC Photography Policy

MAC Electronic Communication Policy


 Meet Etiquette

We have a lot of new families that have recently joined MAC as well as those families that are seasoned veterans of this super, terrific sport called competitive swimming.  With this in mind, we feel it is a great time to educate and also remind swimmers and their family members about the behaviors we would love to see from everyone.

Swimmers should arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the start of warm-up.  This gives them time to find a place to put their chairs and bags and still be able to get in the water at the start of warm-up.  Please understand that when a swimmer arrives to the edge of the pool 10-15 minutes late, the team has already completed their first portion of warm-up.  This is very disruptive for the flow of warm-up (especially with 10 kids in a lane). Sometimes you will see that we ask the late swimmers to wait until we can free up some space so that everyone can get the proper warm-up.  Other times you will see us ask them to go to another part of the pool to warm-up because we know we won’t be able to free up space where we are located.  This can all be avoided by being on time!  Parents – we truly appreciate your help with this!

Swimmers should come to their assigned coach before and after their race.  Parents- please do not accompany your swimmer to the coaches’ table before or after their races.  There is very little space at the coaches table and we really need to give the swimmers their last minute instructions/encouragement with few distractions before their event.  Directly following their race, swimmers should warm-down first (after a quick “high five” from their parents) before coming to see their coach for a breakdown of their race.  Parents- feel free to ask your child what the coach said when your swimmer comes back to the team seating area.  This will allow the swimmer to repeat the critique/praise and we all know if a swimmer hears (coach’s words), sees (swimmers

splits) and speaks (repeats what coach said) something, that swimmer will have a better chance of remembering it!  

Parents – you will see that the above paragraph says “assigned coach”.  Some kids are coached by 2 different coaches, so the coaches will let them know a few days before the meet which swimmer should go to which coach during each session.  Other times, multiple coaches are unable to attend a session, so the kids are assigned a coach from another group for that session.  Even though all MAC coaches do not have the same personality, we all share the same swimming philosophy and the same desire to help swimmers improve.  The same would hold true for warm-up.  We have tried to be very consistent with what we give the kids for warm-up, so that any coach can warm-up any swimmer and the swimmer will feel comfortable. 

All MAC swimmers and family members should always respect the volunteer officials.  Please do not approach an official with anything.  Please allow the coach to submit all inquiries or complaints.  Also, let’s just show respect to all humans on deck!  Be kind, smile, and show AZ swimming that we are a different breed of people at MAC. :0)  We hope this helps all our MAC families understand how the coaches try to give the swimmers a routine to follow at meets.  Remember: Racing is mental, not so much physical.  If we can get the kids committed to a routine at the meet, then they can just focus on the excitement and fun of racing!  Thanks for taking the time to read.  Have a great day!


MAC Team Travel Policies 

Section 1 - USA Swimming Required Policies 

A) Club travel policies must be signed and agreed to by all athletes, parents, coaches and other adults traveling with the club. (305.5.D)

B) Team managers and chaperones must be members of USA Swimming and have successfully passed a USA Swimming-administered criminal background check. (305.5.B)

C) Regardless of gender, a coach shall not share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangement with an athlete (unless the coach is the parent, guardian, sibling, or spouse of that particular athlete). (305.5.A)

D) When only one athlete and one coach travel to a competition, the athlete must have his/her parents’ (or legal guardian’s) written permission in advance to travel alone with the coach. (305.5C)

Section 2 – MAC Policies

A) During team travel, when doing room checks, attending team meetings and/or other activities, two-deep leadership and open and observable environments should be maintained.

B) Athletes should not ride in a coach’s vehicle without another adult present who is the same gender as the athlete, unless prior parental permission is obtained. 

C) During overnight team travel, if athletes are paired with other athletes they shall be of the same gender and should be a similar age. Where athletes are age 13 & Over, chaperones and/or team managers would ideally stay in nearby rooms. When athletes are age 12 & Under, chaperones and/or team managers may stay with athletes. Where chaperones/team managers are staying in a room with athletes, they should be the same gender as the athlete and written consent should be given by athlete’s parents (or legal guardian).

D) When only one athlete and one coach travel to a competition, at the competition the coach and athlete should attempt to establish a “buddy” club to associate with during the competition and when away from the venue.

E) To ensure the propriety of the athletes and to protect the staff, there will be no male athletes in female athlete’s rooms and no female athletes in male athlete’s rooms (unless the other athlete is a sibling or spouse of that particular athlete).

F) A copy of the Club Code of Conduct must be signed by the athlete and his/her parent or legal guardian.

G) Team or LSC officials should obtain a signed Liability Release and/or Indemnification Form for each athlete. 

H) Team or LSC officials should carry a signed Medical Consent or Authorization to Treat Form for each athlete.

I) Curfews shall be established by the team or LSC staff each day of the trip.

J) Team members and staff traveling with the team will attend all team functions including meetings, practices, meals, meet sessions, etc. unless otherwise excused or instructed by the head coach or his/her designee.

K) The directions & decisions of coaches/chaperones are final.

L) Swimmers are expected to remain with the team at all times during the trip. Swimmers are not to leave the competition venue, the hotel, a restaurant, or any other place at which the team has gathered without the permission/knowledge of the coach or chaperone.

M) When visiting public places such as shopping malls, movie theatres, etc. swimmers will stay in groups of no less than three persons. 12 & Under athletes will be accompanied by a chaperone. 

N) The Head Coach or his/her designee shall make a written report of travel policy or code of conduct violations to the appropriate club (LSC) leadership and the parent or legal guardian of any affected minor athlete.


2018 USA SWIMMING CODE OF CONDUCT

ARTICLE 304
CODE OF CONDUCT

304.1 The mission of USA Swimming is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of swimming. USA Swimming grants the privilege of membership to individuals and organizations committed to that mission. The privilege of membership may, therefore, be withdrawn or denied by USA Swimming at any time where USA Swimming determines that a member or prospective member's conduct is inconsistent with the mission of the organization or the best interest of the sport and those who participate in it.

In order to assist all members to better serve the interests of those who participate in swimming,

USA Swimming has adopted this Code of Conduct.

304.2 Any member, former member, or prospective member of USA Swimming is subject to the jurisdiction of the Board of Review. Any member, former member, or prospective member of

USA Swimming may be denied membership, censured, placed on probation, suspended for a definite or indefinite period of time with or without terms of probation, fined or expelled from USA

Swimming for life if such person violates the provisions of the USA Swimming Code of Conduct, set forth in 304.3, or aids, abets or encourages another person to violate any of the provisions of the USA Swimming Code of Conduct. USA Swimming shall initiate an investigation of any former member of USA Swimming when a report required under 306.1 is received.

304.3 The following shall be considered violations of the USA Swimming Code of Conduct:

.1 Violation of the right to compete provisions set forth in Article 301.

.2 Violation of the anti-doping provisions set forth in 303.3.

.3 Discrimination in violation of the Amateur Sports Act which requires that USA Swimming must provide an equal opportunity to athletes, coaches, trainers, managers, administrators, and officials to participate in the sport of swimming. Athletes must be allowed to participate and compete to the fullest extent allowed by the Rules and Regulations. Discrimination against any member or participant on the basis of age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, genetics, mental or physical disability, or any other status protected by federal, state or local law, where applicable, is prohibited.

.4 Violation of any of the Athlete Protection Policies set forth in Article 305.

.5 Violation of any of the Sexual Misconduct Reporting Requirements set forth in Article 306 or the Prohibitions Against Retaliation for Good Faith Reporting of Abuse set forth in Article 307.

.6 Conviction of, imposition of a deferred sentence for, or any plea of guilty or no contest at any time, past or present, or the existence of any pending charges, for (i) any felony, (ii) any offense involving use, possession, distribution or intent to distribute illegal drugs or substances, (iii) any crime involving sexual misconduct, or (iv) any criminal offense against a minor.

.7 The use of illegal drugs in the presence of an athlete, by a coach, official, trainer, or a person who, in the context of swimming, is in a position of authority over, that athlete.

.8 The providing of alcohol to an athlete by a coach, official, trainer, manager or any other person where the athlete is under the legal age allowed to consume or purchase alcohol in the state where the alcohol is provided.

.9 The abuse of alcohol in the presence of an athlete under the age of eighteen (18), by a coach, official, trainer, or a person who, in the context of swimming, is in a position of authority over that athlete.

.10 For any USA Swimming member club or coach to knowingly: A allow any person who has been sanctioned with a membership suspension by the Center for SafeSport or USA Swimming to coach or instruct any of its athlete members, B aid or abet coaching or instruction of athletes by any person who has been sanctioned with a membership suspension by the Center for SafeSport or USA Swimming or C allow any person who has been sanctioned with a membership suspension by the Center for SafeSport or USA Swimming to have an ownership interest in such USA Swimming club or its related entities. Measures to be adjudicated by the USA Swimming Zone Boards of Review

.11 Any act of fraud, deception or dishonesty in connection with any USA Swimming-related activity.

.12 Any non-consensual physical contact, obscene language or gesture, or other threatening language or conduct directed towards any meet official and which is related to any decision made by such official in connection with a USA Swimming sanctioned competition.

.13 Action, other than through general advertising, by a coach, owner, officer, volunteer, representative, or employee of a swim club, or a USA Swimming or LSC employee, either through direct contact with an athlete or the encouragement of others, to recruit or otherwise encourage an athlete who is already a member of a USA Swimming member swim club to leave that club, unless the acting party receives prior written approval to recruit or encourage the athlete to change affiliation from the designated club representative of the athlete's existing USA Swimming-member swim club or contact is initiated by the athlete, the athlete's parent or authorized representative. General advertising includes any information that is: A Distributed to an identifiable general population where there is a reasonable expectation that the majority of that population are not current members of USA Swimming, or B Placed in or on any item that is sold. In the event of a violation of this section, a sanction may be imposed against any coach, owner, officer, volunteer, representative or employee of a swim club, or against any such club, or any combination thereof, as appropriate.

.14 Violation of any team misconduct rule as established by the USOC, USA Swimming, any Zone or LSC team authority.

.15 Any other material and intentional act, conduct or omission not provided for above, which is detrimental to the image or reputation of USA Swimming, a LSC or the sport of swimming. Measure to be adjudicated by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency

.16 Violation of the anti-doping provisions set forth in 303.3. Measure to be adjudicated by the U.S. Center for SafeSport

.17 Violation of the SafeSport Code.

 

 

 



PRE-EMPLOYMENT SCREENING

Article 502.6.8 which requires clubs to comply with USA Swimming’s Pre-Employment Screening program.

Clubs are responsible for hiring and supervising their own coaches and staff, and managing their own volunteers. USA Swimming does not hire, supervise, or manage a club’s employment relationship with its coaches, staff, or volunteers, as that is an independent responsibility of the club. Responsible and thorough hiring practices are critical to maintaining a safe and healthy training environment for our members. 

The pre-employment screening program requires clubs to certify to USA Swimming that they have conducted three required screens prior to offering employment to any potential employee.

The three screens are: 

(1) past employment reference checks 

(2) verify the highest held level of education 

(3) acquire a state motor vehicle report

Clubs are also encouraged to complete two option screens: 

(1) social network search

(2) Google media search

PURPOSE

Clubs are responsible for hiring and supervising their own coaches and staff, and managing their own volunteers.  USA Swimming does not hire, supervise, or manage a club’s employment relationship with its coaches, staff, or volunteers, as that is an independent responsibility of the club.  The pre-employment screening program requires clubs to certify to USA Swimming that they have conducted certain pre-employments screenings for covered individuals.

Note that USA Swimming’s Background Check Program is a criminal record search and is not a substitute for a club conducting appropriate pre-employment inquiries. Clubs should carefully check references and previous employers and verify information provided by the applicant using available screening resources.

REQUIREMENT AND REQUIRED PROCEDURES

ARTICLE 502.6.8

Under Article 502.6.8 of the USA Swimming rulebook, all clubs are required to comply with the USA Swimming Pre-Employment Screening Procedures for New Employees for all new employees who are required to be USA Swimming members under Article 305.4 and 502.6.3.

REQUIRED PRE-EMPLOYMENT SCREENING PROCEDURES

As a condition of membership in USA Swimming, member clubs are required to conduct the following pre-employment screens on their new employees who are required to be USA Swimming members by USA Swimming rules. 

1)    Past Employment Reference Checks or Verifications. Where there have been multiple employers, minimum of the three most recent employers.
2)    Education Verification (highest held)
3)    State Motor Vehicle Report Examination

The club should carefully review and evaluate the information gathered as part of making a final decision to offer employment to a candidate. The screening process should be completed before the employee is officially hired and begins employment.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED PRE-EMPLOYMENT SCREENING PROCEDURES

USA Swimming also recommends that local member clubs conduct the following internal research into new employees who are required to be members by USA Swimming rules:

4) Social Network Search; 
5) Google Media Search

If the club chooses to complete the recommended screens listed above, it should carefully review and evaluate the information gathered as a part of making a final decision to offer employment to a candidate. 

If you have additional questions or need more information after reviewing the FAQ document, please contact preemploymentscreening@usaswimming.org

RECOMMENDED PROVIDERS

USA Swimming has identified nationally-recognized companies that can assist clubs with fulfilling the required and recommended components of the Pre-Employment Screening program. These companies are accredited consumer reporting agencies that have agreed to provide the required services at preferred pricing for USA Swimming clubs. In addition to providing the required services, these companies are able to assist clubs with fulfilling mandated employer obligations related to the screening process. 


MAC Safesport Coordinator: Maggie Dana, 480-501-0663, coachmaggie7@gmail.com