GILLS - Frequently Asked Questions


GILLS – Great Illinois Swimmers
Revised 6/8/2021
1.  Does my child need to know how to swim to join our team?
A swimmer should be able to attempt to swim freestyle one full length of a 25 yard pool without fear, and without walking or hanging on the lane lines. There is no set age for this, it is based on ability.
2.  Is there a trial period before joining the team?
Yes, we offer a 2 week trial period to anyone NEW to GILLS. There is a non-refundable $83.00 membership fee that our club is required to pay to Illinois Swimming.
3.  As a new swimmer, how do I know if my child made the team or not? 
Your child makes the team unless you are approached by a coach or a board member.  Plan on attending the next practice, please see the calendar on the web site for times and dates. 
4.  What are the seasons, fees and practice times?
Current fees can be found on our web site under registration. 
Winter season runs from September to middle of February.  Summer season run from April through July. The practice times are based on swimmers ability.  Groups and times are to be announced each season and are subject to change.  As swimmers improve and build endurance throughout the season they will move up to next level.  
5.  How do I know what practice my swimmer should attend? 
Your swimmer will be assessed and placed in a practice group. Look for that practice group schedule on our calendar. If your child changes practice groups, they will be told by a coach. 
6. What equipment or uniform is required? 
Each swimmer will need a practice swimsuit (no two piece suits for girls), a swim cap, and at least one pair of goggles. All swimmers should bring a water bottle to practice in order to stay hydrated and a swim bag to carry their equipment in.  All swimmers should bring fins, and kick board to every practice. Some groups may need additional equipment and will be advised by a coach.
All swimmers should wear their team suit to all meets and should bring two pairs of goggles, two towels, and a swim cap (mandatory for girls). Team suits can be purchased through our Gear Store.  
7.  What is the Drop off and Pick up process for my swimmer?
All swimmers and their families are to enter and exit the pool through the main entrance (South Doors).  It is expected that your swimmer is on the deck and ready to swim by the time stated on the calendar, otherwise they are considered tardy. It should take your swimmer no longer than 10 minutes to change into their clothes when practice is over. Please see the handbook for our policy. 
8.  Are parents required to watch during practice?
Parents are encouraged but not required to stay and watch their child’s practice from the HS stands.  However, due to USA swimming (USA SWIM) and Illinois swimming (IL SWIM) ISI insurance regulations:   NON-SWIMMERS ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THE POOL DECK during practice. 
9.  What are the different types of swim meets?
Dual Meet  - ALL Swimmers from our team compete against swimmers from another team. There are home meets (Andrew HS) and away meets at other area high schools.  Warm ups begin at 5:45pm meets start at 6:30pm and are usually over by 9: 15pm . No fees apply.
ISI Meet – During the season, GILLS will participate in weekend meets that are hosted by registered IL & IN Swimming clubs. You may choose which events your child would like to swim.  There are additional fees for these meets and these are longer and more competitive.   The coaches determine which ones our club will participate in and they are not required.
Regional/State - Swimmers with qualifying times may compete in season end regional and state championship meets. See Time Standards Tab for qualifying times. 
10.  What is the volunteer commitment for parents?
GILLS cannot function without the help of family volunteers.  This is a fun way to get involved with the club and your swimmer.  Each family is required to volunteer for 3 home meets during the season. Other volunteer opportunities will be available throughout the season. Check the events Tab for updates.  Families that do not meet their volunteer commitment will be assessed $100.00 fee at the end of the season. We do not want your money, we need your help!
11.  Why does GILLS have a closed deck policy?
GILLS and all other swim clubs are required by United States Swimming to close the deck due to insurance reasons. Every swimmer and coach is registered with USA swimming and is covered under a liability policy.  Parents, Grandparents, siblings, babysitters, etc are not covered.  We also find that kids are more distracted with parents present. They spend time waving to mom and dad instead of listening to their coaches. Parents may enter the deck 5 minutes before the practice begins. They must clear the deck as soon as practice starts. At Andrew, parents may sit up in the stands. During Meets only parents assigned to volunteer that event are allowed on deck. 
12. Who should I contact if I have other questions?
For swimming questions contact  Michael Lynch (Head Coach) [email protected]  
For any other questions contact Aimee Schatz (President) [email protected]