Illinois Swimming


•    How often do swimmers practice?

The more you practice the better swimmer you become! A swimmer does not need to be at all practices to be on the team however each swimmer is encouraged to practice as often as they can. The price is the same regardless of the number of sessions you attend.

*    Hey, do you understand how busy kids are today?

EST and its coaches all know kids are busy, but we also know that swimming is one of the best lifetime fitness activities and that it builds character and individual and team-member confidence. Our swimmers are dedicated and trends over 25 years show that those involved in swimming have performed better at school and in extracurricular events. EST hopes that all kids will attend three practices a week, but we all know that those who go the extra mile will see better results. 

•   Does my child need to wear a swim cap? 

           The answer is NO.  That is up to the swimmer but is encouraged for those with long hair or those that want to keep their hair out of their eyes while in the water.

•   Does my child need a team suit or team swim cap? 

    Team swim suits are NOT MANDATORY.   But if you are not wearing a team suit at an away meet, the coaches prefer that you AT LEAST wear an EST team swim cap (so they can ID  swimmers easier as swimmers look the same with goggles on)                                              

•   How do I get a EST team cap?

You can purchase a team cap from concessions, from coach on the pool deck at any practice or contact the apparel chairperson to make different arrangements at [email protected].   EST caps are $5 for latex (thin caps) or $12 for silicone (thick caps -limited quantities)           

*   How do I know what size swim suit to order?

Ask coach or the team has a fitting night the first week of the fall/winter season - see calendar for dates.  Or contact the apparel chairperson to make different arrangements at [email protected]

•   How do I order a team suit?

Suits can be ordered via the website - just click on the team gear tab on the home page next to the pictures.

•   If you had to ID one part of the website to bookmark, what would it be?

Since we rely on the York Aquatics Center and mother nature in many cases, PLEASE check the website calendar frequently.

•   What should families and swimmers expect during the year?

EST's program runs roughly from the first week of October through early March and from mid-April through late July. A summary of regular events is available under the Meet/Event tab - A year in swimming.

•   What should swimmers bring to a meet?

Beyond energy and enthusiasm, swimmers are most comfortable when they have a swim bag that contains a towel or two, appropriate deck footware, a snack and a non-carbonated or non-dairy drink. EST requires swimmers to wear the team swimsuit and a team swim cap. This is not a maybe. Beyond the matter of team building, coaches, parents and officials all need a way to better identify swimmers, and those swimmers who ignore this policy will find that they get less deck instruction during a meet and that they are less available for identification when needed. Goggles are required of all swimmers, and outdoor summer meets call for UV-protected, polarized goggles.

•   How will swimmers know when to swim at a meet?

Parents and swimmers should communicate when the parent registers the swimmer for a meet. Please record the events you register a swimmer for. EST will do its best to remind families in advance of a meet. Coming into a meet, swimmers will usually only know their event and event number. Every swimmer will be shown how to read a heat sheet which lists the events, heat, and lane a swimmer is assigned. There will be a posting of events on the pool deck at every EST meet. The "Flipper Meet" is a meet designed for new swimmers to learn. 

•   How do I know when my child will swim?

Parents generally register their child(ren) for events. You should know the event and event numbers prior to any meet session (through signup or through email). There will be heat sheets for sale at admissions or concessions on the day of the meet. Additionally, EST has a meet announcer at each meet--as do the teams that host meets that we attend.

•   How do coaches decide which events my child will swim in a meet?

Coaches decide based on observations made at practices. A swimmer may request a specific  event but it is ultimately the decision of coach if it will be a good fit.

•   What are the conference meets?

EST swimmers may register for the conference meet at the end of the Fall/Winter Season (February meet) and at the end of the Summer Season (mid-July meet). Swimmers and coaches determine the events in which swimmers compete--with the parents responsible for registration.

•   Who should compete in the away meets?

Although not required, all swimmers are encouraged to swim at ISI and away meets. Away meets provide a good opportunity for exposure to more competition. At away meets and at conference, swimmers need to positive check-in by highlighting their name or checking in with their coach who will do it for them--most meets require the swimmer or parent of a swimmer to positively check in, and a parent or swimmer who forgets to do so will find that the swimmer is scratched from the meet. Do not positively check in for a swimmer that you have not observed present at the meet session. Away meets can be single day events or 2, 3 or 4 day events and they offer swimmers and families a great chance for short daytime competition trips or full-weekend competition trips. Sometimes our youngest swimmers most enjoy the regional, college or world-class pools we will visit on the longer trips.

•   Why is volunteering mandatory?

We cannot run meets and events without your help, so if your child is swimming at the meet we would ask that you volunteer some of your time.  Frankly, at least one parent is there in any event and--even with a sibling in tow--the parent will find that volunteering is easy. There is a list of the jobs on the website under the “parents and documents” tab.  Parents will have opportunities to sign up for volunteer positions at a few points during the Fall/Winter Season and during the Summer Season. Being on deck is the best way to watch your child swim and is a great way to get to know the sport of swimming.  Timers and officials have the best vantage points. 

For its first 24 years, EST has thrived with volunteer help at all meets. In year 25, EST became one of the last teams in the area to mandate a family commitment to volunteering and tie this requirement to a family volunteer commitment fee. The new policies are designed to allow all parents to enjoy meets while spreading the work more evenly than before. Additionally, the policies are designed to avoid meet delays that impact not only the swimmers and volunteers present for the meet, but also affect EST's expenses that arise from the incremental increased cost of pool time whenever there is a delay. In our experience while studying this issue the past several years, we do not expect families to have major issues with the new policies because they already contribute and enjoy being on deck or helping in other ways.

•   Will there be concessions at meets?

Concessions at meets vary substantially from one team to the next. With the exception of the Flipper Meet and summer dual meets,  EST will sell concessions. During the Fall/Winter Season, concessions will often include a mix of pizza, subs or other items with fruits, veggies and other snacks.  We also sell Gatorade, pop and water.