Parent Resources


 

Frequently Asked Questions


I have a question but I am not sure who to ask. How do I know who I should contact?

  • For group level and practice-related questions, contact your child's group coach first.
  • If he or she is not available or not able to answer your group or practice question or concern fully, contact Coach Robert at headcoach@gatorswimclub.com.
  • For all registration, billing, account-related, or other administrative questions, contact admin@gatorswimclub.com.


Why do I have to re-register with Gator Swim Club every year?

We require all families to register each fall because this provides an important opportunity to review team policies, fees, and other critical team information provided as part of the registration process, as these items are updated as needed each year. Registration is also intended as a chance for you to review and update all account and member information, including payment setup. It is a chance for our system to “reset” at the start of our new swim year and know that account and member information is current. The entry point for registration is the Team Registration button on the GSC website home page.

As part of registration or after the registration process, something to make sure you complete is the SMS field in your account contact information (text-capable phone number) and carrier (AT&T, Verizon, etc.). This will allow coaches to communicate any urgent messages to you via text (weather, schedule changes, etc.). Text messaging is kept to a minimum.


What equipment does my swimmer need for practice?

The equipment needed for each group is listed on the GSC website on the Practice Schedules under the Training Groups tab. Items can be purchased online from sites like Amazon, or from GSC via the Team Store.


Is my swimmer required to attend meets?

Meet attendance is not required except for members of the elite-track groups (Gold, Sectional, National) and White and Green group members who are required to attend our fall and spring intrasquad meets. However, attending meets is an important part of the sport of swimming. Meet competition allows swimmers and parents to see the results of the time and effort put into going to practice! As professionals in the sport, our coaches know that statistically speaking children are more likely to stay with competitive swimming if they attend meets because meets are part of the reward system that drives them to continue to train and improve over time. Meets are also great opportunities for swimmers and swim parents to socialize and build friendships. GSC attends meets each season that are appropriate for all of our swimmers, from novice to elite levels.


Does my swimmer need to wear a GSC team suit?

We do not require team suits for practices, but we do require them for swim meets. Along with the GSC swim cap, a team suit is part of your child's "uniform." That said, we know that team suits can be an expense that some families might not be able to work with, and we do not want swimmers to miss meet competition because of a suit! If not wearing a team suit, we request that swimmers wear blue or black suits.


How do I purchase a team suit?

Team suits and other GSC gear can be purchased from our vendor partner, Total Team Wares. TTW comes to the O'Connell Center during practice a few times per year to do on-site sizing and to take orders, but you can order from them at any time.


How do group move-ups work?

Three times each year, GSC coaches evaluate their swimmers to determine who might be ready to move up to the next level (August, December, and April). Move-ups between these times are avoided except for swimmers new to the club who may change groups after their initial placement.

We have objective standards for each group posted to our website under the “Training Groups” tab, but the final determination on a move-up is always at the discretion of the group coaches. Swimmers are not moved up because their friends move up, or to accommodate practice schedule requests.

GSC offers two “tracks” when it comes to training over time: a general track and an elite track. The groups in the elite track require a significant commitment on the part of the swimmer and the family; moving into that track is always a voluntary decision made when moving up from the Orange or Silver group.


Can I take photos or videos of my swimmer at practice and at meets?

Swimmers and parents are not allowed to take pictures or videos during GSC practices without head coach approval.

At meets, still photography and video photography of a race or a competitor in a race may be taken only in what the host team will have designated as acceptable “Camera Zones." Per Florida Swimming and USA Swimming rules, under NO circumstances can still photographs or videos be taken in the area immediately behind the starting blocks at either end of a racing course while they are in use during competition and warm-ups, locker rooms, restrooms, or any other dressing area.


Why does GSC require volunteering from member families?

Meets are a vital source of revenue for the club, and income from meets allows us to keep everyone's fees as low as possible. Gator Swim Club hosts at least five meets each year (fall intrasquad, Holiday Classic, Gator Distance Meet, spring intrasquad, and Summer Sectional Championships), and we need parent volunteers to sign up for positions required to run those meets successfully. In addition, volunteering allows you to be even more involved in your child's sport, and it offers you the most exciting vantage point at the event! We hold volunteer meetings prior to our big home meets, and will train you for your position on-site.

GSC requires three volunteer shifts per family per swim year (September through August). On February 1, $120 will be charged to the accounts of families that have not completed any of the required shifts at the first three of our hosted meets (Masters and Pre-competitive groups are exempted); when the three shifts are completed, the $120 fee will be credited back to the account. Families that have completed one or two of the required shifts by January 31 will be charged $40 per remaining shift on their February 1 invoices; this charged amount will be credited back to the account once the remaining shift(s) is/are completed. Families that join after February 1 will be charged the $120 fee at the start of their third month of membership unless otherwise adjusted by the club. Families that join GSC after the Summer Sectional Championships meet in July will be exempt from the current year's volunteer requirement or fee. Families that volunteer for more than three shifts over the course of the swim year receive an account credit of $20 per additional shift.

 

Another great way to be part of the competitive swimming community is to become a stroke and turn official. You might think that these meet officials come from USA Swimming, but they are all current or former swim parents who volunteer their time at these events. Any GSC parent who is interested has the opportunity to train to fulfill this important role, and as a club we encourage you to consider it!


What is the hospitality fee and why do I need to pay it if my child is not attending the meet?

At every swim meet, there is a "hospitality" area provided by the host team. Hospitality is a space for coaches, officials, and volunteers to take a break from the meet and where food and drinks are provided. For each meet GSC hosts, we charge a hospitality fee to all accounts to help cover the cost of food and drinks. Because meets we host are important sources of revenue that supports the whole club, we charge all families the hospitality fee, regardless of participation in the competition itself.


When is practice cancelled because of weather?

Living in Florida, we all know the weather can be challenging to plan around. We do have outdoor practices for some groups, and at times severe weather can delay or cancel practice. Unless it is an extreme situation such as a hurricane, practice will not be cancelled ahead of time due to the weather forecast so you should plan to come to the pool. If there is lightning and thunder, swimmers will get out of the water and move indoors if at the O'Dome or to shelter at the outdoor pools. Coaches will wait 30 minutes for the weather to clear before practice will be cancelled at the outdoor locations.


My family needs to take a break from swimming with GSC. What do I need to do?

If you plan to suspend your club membership, you must notify the team in writing by sending a message to admin@gatorswimclub.com BEFORE the break is to start. A swimmer is not considered suspended or withdrawn from the program until written notice is received by the club. It is not sufficient to inform a coach of your intent to suspend membership or withdraw from the club. Suspensions can only be for full months; GSC does not prorate dues. You will also need to e-mail admin@gatorswimclub.com prior to your swimmer's return to practice so that your account can be reactivated.


I want to change from monthly to seasonal billing. What do I need to do?

If you wish to change from monthly billing to seasonal, or from seasonal to monthly, please e-mail admin@gatorswimclub.com BEFORE the start of the next billing season. Billing seasons start on September 1, January 1, and May 1.