Ohio Swimming
Level 3


Just a few Frequently Asked Questions that you may find useful.

You will find that the team operates as one big family, and we’re so excited to have you with us! There are a lot of exciting events and activities on the horizon, including swim practices, meets, and social events. Along the way, your child will have an opportunity to refine his or her swimming skills, experience the thrill of competition, make friends and simply have a lot of fun! We expect that the rest of your family – parents, and siblings – will enjoy the experience, too. Welcome!

To help you feel more at home, we’ve put together a Question and Answer packet – hopefully, it will help you learn the ins and outs of our club.


Where are practices held?

Our "home base" is the Sylvania Natatorium at Northview High School.


How many months will my child swim?

Tsunami a yearlong program. The “short course” seasons, Fall & Winter, (swimmers compete in a 25-yard/25-meter pool) generally runs from September until mid-March. The “long course” seasons, Spring & Summer (swimmers compete in a 50-meter pool) runs from April until mid-July.


Where can I find information about the team?

Our team website, www.sylvania-tsunami.com, has a wealth of information. You will be given a username and password to access member-only information. This includes practice schedules, a searchable team directory, meet information, and billing information/invoices. You will also find a Team Handbook at the website under “Links.” This is a wonderful resource check it out!


I’m having trouble logging into the team website. What is my username and/or password?

Our system uses the email address you provided in your registration paperwork – this is your username. The system then generates a random password and sends it to the email address associated with your account. Your email address must match the address provided on your registration paperwork. You can link more than one email address to your account for receiving emails, but you must still use your primary email address to access the website and your personal account information.


How does billing work?

Registration and pool fees are paid in ….. In addition, meet entry fees are billed monthly. These fees require payment within 30 days of invoicing. You will be able to check your account each month, so it’s very easy to keep tabs on your account. If you have any questions, contact Tsunami Business Manager – Carrie Coate at [email protected]


Where can I buy a team suit?

We encourage your child to purchase a team suit for use at meets. They are for sale along with spirit wear and swim gear at the beginning of Fall/Winter and Spring/ Summer seasons.  Additional Swim Caps and car decals are available at the pool from a Coach.


What should my child wear to practice?

Girls wear a one-piece competitive suit and boys wear jammers or swim briefs. Your child can wear his/her team suit or another practice suit.


What are my responsibilities as a swim parent?

Tsunami is a parent-run organization that requires time and effort from all swim parents to continue its success. Your main responsibility, aside from getting your child to practice and meets on a regular and timely basis from drop off to pick up, and to volunteer for Tsunami hosted swim meets.

Tsunami sponsors one, possibly two swim meets, per year, and you are asked to volunteer 2 sessions at each of these meets. Each session runs three-five hours, and there are a variety of jobs to choose from. (Our Team Handbook and Website provides a great description of the jobs that are available.) These meets give our swimmers an opportunity to compete close to home and help our club raise necessary funds. They also help offset the registrations costs and enables you to be near or even WITH your kids on deck with some Volunteer opportunities... There is a $100 fee per session to be paid if you do not Volunteer, But we WANT you to Volunteer, as we cannot do this alone, all you help and hard work is very appreciated.

We are always looking for volunteers to help with Committee groups. This is very easy and would not take much of your time at all.

Our Vice President of Membership would love to explain any Committees you are interested in; Communication, Team Events, Spirit Wear or Membership.


What is the best way to communicate with my child's coach?

Email is typically the best way to contact the coaches. We prefer that if you email a group coach to please copy Coach Larry. All the coaches emails are available on the website under coaches. 


Does my swimmer have to attend every practice?

Tsunami is different than other local clubs, we don’t have mandatory practice expectations. While attendance is not mandatory, we strongly encourage regular attendance for your swimmer to get the most out of their individual level. Our practice schedule is designed to give each swimmer the appropriate training and instructions they need. Also if your swimmer is interested in swimming relays, they need to attend at a minimum 75% practices.


Can I watch my child practice?

Daily practices are closed to parents and spectators except for Friday’s. This is specifically designed to allow the coaches to coach without interference or distractions. You will notice on Friday evening’s it is very loud in the pool, and excess noise from parents chatting in the stands or siblings moving around interferes with the coaching and distracts our swimmers. We welcome all parents to come to watch your swimmers progress on Friday’s, ask coaches questions if needed and meet with board members.


What about meets? How do I know which meets to sign up for?

When you click on the “Events” area on our Website, you will see a list of upcoming events. In most instances, there is a note about which training groups can/should participate. If you’re not sure, ask your child’s coach.


How do I sign up for a meet?

Log into the team website and click on “Events.” You will see an “Attend this Event” button under each event. When you click that, you will then see a list of eligible swimmers in your family. Click each child’s name and select the days he/she will participate. Coaches will select events for the swimmer based on your availability and the meet regulations that can be located in each meet packet.


Which day(s) of a meet should my child attend?

This question has no absolute answer. Generally the coaching staff at Tsunami hopes that you participate in as much of the meet as possible; however, there are always other variables to consider.

One variable is, of course, your own schedule. If you are willing and able to attend any or all three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), we find that most experienced swimmers sign-up for all three days of a meet. Friday evening sessions are usually the longer events for a given age-group – (normally older children), while Saturday and Sunday are a mix of the sprint and middle distance events. No event is offered twice at any meet; different days just have different distances of the four competitive strokes. If you can’t swim a certain day, come to as many days as possible – but you must tell the Coach in the notes section of the sign up in Team Unify.! If you do not - coaches will assume that you would like to swim for the whole weekend and you will be billed for it.


What can I expect at a meet?

Before a swim meet – it is recommended that you print off the MEET Information – found under forms and documents in the events page on Team Unify. This tells you the times – the address, everything you should know – once you get familiar with how meets work – you will not need this. Visit our Swim Meet 101 section for more information.

This really does help.

As a new swim family, swim meets can be a bit intimidating. At first glance, the swim meet environment can seem a bit chaotic, but there is a method to the madness! If you are not sure what is going on, just ask! If you would like someone to help you at your first, second or third meet – this can be arranged too, just ask.


What time does a swim meet typically start and how long do they last?

Depending on the meet, the morning session usually starts between 8 and 9 a.m. Warm-ups generally start one hour before the start of the meet, and swimmers are expected to arrive 15- 20 minutes before warm-ups begin. Afternoon sessions generally start around 1 p.m., but the start time can vary depending on when the morning session wraps up. Always verify arrival times with your child’s coach. Swim meets typically end between 5 and 6 p.m.


Where are the meets held?

Most area meets are held at BGSU or Fremont but we do travel to other venues throughout the year. The facilities are typically warm and humid, even in the winter, so dress appropriately! You may find that folding stadium seats or cushions will make you more comfortable (the natatorium has concrete bleachers.) Also, depending on the size of the meet, seating – and parking – can be at a premium, so it’s a good idea to arrive early!

Tip: Bring a good book or a laptop computer! There are some outlets available to you at the most loations should you need them for your electronic devices. Also, because of the length of a meet, you will want to bring toys or distractions for young children with you.


What about food?

This policy changes based on location but you may want to pack a few snacks (granola bars, fresh fruit, etc.). EVERY TEAM has a concession stand at the pool, this is a MAJOR part of team fundraising at a meet, typically 40% of annual fundraising. We highly recommend supporting our local teams.


How many events will my child swim?

Your child will generally swim between three and five events per session, and one of these events may be a relay. Before a meet, you can go to the team website (click on Events and then Edit Commitment) and look to see which events your child is swimming. Many swimmers find it helpful to write their event information on their arms with a Sharpie marker – this helps them keep track of events/heats during the meet. Simply make a list with the following information:

event -- event number – heat – lane

It might look something like this:

50 free – 11 – 2 – 3

25 fly – 38 – 4 – 5

There will normally be a clerk of course for swimmers 10 and under to help them make sure they do not miss an event, but older swimmers are expected to get to their own events on time! No one will track them down.


What is the difference between a psych and heat sheet?

A psych sheet can be purchased upon entering the meet (prices vary, but they are generally only a few dollars). This lists all swimmers by seed time (previous best time to date) in order of events. A heat sheet may be sold separately from this and will list the actual heat and lane a swimmer will complete info for his/her events. Girls and younger swimmers swim their events first. Swimmers are organized in heats from slowest (including those with no time – NT) to fastest.


Am I allowed to be on deck with my child?

For safety reasons, NO. No one except swimmers, coaches, officials, pool staff, and volunteers are allowed in the locker rooms and on the pool deck. Our team can be fined by the officials if this policy is violated. You can communicate with your child from the spectator section, keeping in mind not to bother others around you. Also, your child may be able to leave the pool deck to join you in the stands in between his/her events, as long as the coach says it is okay, and they have shoes on.


Can my child hear me cheering in the stands?

No, your child will not be able to hear you. Your child will probably hear only his/her coach and maybe other swimmers cheering form the pool deck. This is why you will hear us whistle, use commands or arm motions to them while they’re in the pool. Nevertheless, we can’t help it! Feel free to root for your child and show your Tsunami spirit by encouraging all the swimmers. That’s what makes it fun. We also recommend to our parents to encourage your swimmers to go to the opposite end of the pool as the timers to cheer on their friends and teammates.


Am I allowed to photograph or videotape my child’s swim?

Videotaping and photography is allowed. However, be mindful of others around you and do not impede their vision. Please be careful not to use flash photography, particularly at the start of a race, because it could interfere with the start. If you are at a meet near the blocks you not be permitted to have your phone or camera out. This is a USA swimming regulation.


How is my child’s event time recorded?

There are timers in each lane manually timing each swimmer. In addition, times are recorded electronically when swimmers touch the touch-pad at each turn and finish. The electronically- recorded times are displayed on a scoreboard. The official times are printed out and displayed on a wall behind the spectators. These lists are divided by age group and gender.

We also recommend you download the app Meet Mobile. This will allow you and your swimmer to receive result notifications in minutes after a completed event.

Official times will also be logged into your account post every meet. You can access these times via logging into the website or installing the On Deck App (Teamunify's phone version).


What is a Prelim/Final Meet?

Some invitationals, and almost all regionals and championship meets, run in a prelim/final format. In this format, swimmers compete in their usual lineup of events, with as many as 60 swimmers or more competing in that particular age group. Results are tabulated, and later in the day, the top swimmers (there can be anywhere between 8 and 24, depending on the type of meet and host) return to swim again later that evening for the final placing.

Swimmers who qualify for the final round of competition then compete against each other. A swimmer who originally placed 8th, for example, can finish first in the finals – and vice versa! Ohio Swimming Championship meets are run in this general format.


When is my child free to leave?

Once your child has completed all of his/her events, you may leave, once the coach has said it is ok. To be safe, though, it’s a good idea to check in with coaches to make sure your child isn’t swimming in a relay event.


We hope this information has been helpful, but we’re sure you’ll still have questions along the way. Feel free to ask! The following swim team parents invite you to call or email with any questions you may have!

Our Vice President of Membership is always available via email at [email protected] or by phone listed on the contact page. Our board members also sit in the lobby the first Friday of the month to meet with members.