Greater Joliet Area YMCA
Illinois Swimming
Level 2

Having supportive parents who are informed and involved is critical to the success of our team, which is why it is important for you to review the information provided below. If you have additional questions, you are encouraged to contact the Director of Competitive Aquatics to schedule a phone call or meeting to go over any additional questions you may have.

COVID Safety Policies & Procedures #

Contact Person

Dave Hedden

Dave Hedden

Director of Competitive Aquatics

If your swimmer tests positive for COVID-19, contact the team immediately for contact tracing purposes. If you have any questions or concerns about policies and safety procedures, please reach out.

COVID-19 Safety Policies & Procedures

Updates as of November 1, 2021
  • If your swimmer is sick or showing any symptoms, please keep them home and send an email to your coach to let us know
  • All individuals must wear a face mask that covers their mouth and nose while inside YMCA facilities, regardless of vaccination status, unless actively exercising or in the pool
  • All swimmers will wear a mask any time they are not in the water

Apparel & Equipment #

Equipment Requirements

Practice Group Goggles Water Bottle Fins Kickboard Mesh Bag Snorkel Pull Buoy Paddles
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(Provided)

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(Optional)

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Glider check_circle check_circle check_circle

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(Provided)

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(Optional)

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Stunt Pilot check_circle check_circle check_circle check_circle check_circle block block block
Mach 1 check_circle check_circle check_circle check_circle check_circle check_circle check_circle block
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Equipment Advice

Please write your child's name on each piece of equipment!
Goggles
Goggles
  • Stick with name brand, like Speedo, that are made specifically for competitive swimming
  • Clear or light-shaded for indoors; mirrored for outdoors
  • If buying in person, check for proper fit before purchasing
  • Large scuba-style goggles that cover the nose are not allowed
  • Bungee goggle straps are easy to adjust and don't break (sold separately)
Water Bottle
Water Bottle
  • Swimmers should have a reusable water bottle (single-use plastic bottles are discouraged)
  • Water bottles with a squeeze top allow swimmers to quickly get a sip without dealing with caps
  • Recommended bottle size depends on practice length (swimmers who are exercising intensely should drink 4-6oz every 15-20 minutes)
Fins
Fins
  • Short to medium length fins are recommended (see team store for exact type)
  • Long scuba-style fins slow down foot speed and put undue stress on the ankles
  • Fins should be snug but not uncomfortable
  • If fins are too loose, they will fall off and/or cause blisters
  • Swimmers may wear socks or special fin socks if they have trouble with blisters
  • Ask other parents about hand-me-downs, and consider donating your fins when they are outgrown
Snorkel
Snorkel
  • A side-mounting scuba-style snorkel is not allowed; a swimmer's snorkel is front-mounting
  • Cardio caps (fit on top to make hole smaller) are not recommended
  • Progression for learning how to use a snorkel (steps 1-6 can be practiced at home in the bathtub):
    1. Put snorkel on with forehead pad just above eyebrows, tighten straps as needed
    2. Keep jaw relaxed, seal lips tightly around mouthpiece but do not bite down hard with teeth
    3. With head above water, take 10 breaths inhaling only through mouth
      • Pretend you have a really stuffed up nose and cannot use it
      • If having trouble, alternate taking breaths with fingers pinching off the nose to learn the feeling and then releasing your fingers from your nose for the next breath
    4. With mouth underwater and nose above water, take 10 breaths inhaling only through mouth
    5. With mouth and nose underwater, take 10 breaths inhaling only through mouth
    6. Floating face down, take 10 breaths inhaling only through mouth
    7. With a kickboard face down, kick across the pool without needing to lift head for air
    8. Swim slowly across the pool without needing to lift head for air

Swimwear Requirements #

Practice Swimwear
  • Girls shall wear a one-piece swimsuit.
  • Boys shall wear briefs or jammers. Swim trunks are not recommended because they add a lot of drag.
  • Unless there is a medical or religious reason for wearing one, swim shirts are not recommended since they restrict range of movement and add drag.
  • To preserve their quality, team suits should be reserved for competition and not worn at practices.
  • All girls and boys with hair long enough to cover their eyes or ears shall wear a JETS swim cap at practices. Wacky Cap Weekends: On practices held on Saturdays and Sundays, swimmers may wear any style swim cap.
  • Clear or light-colored goggles are strongly encouraged for indoor practices; mirrored or dark-colored goggles are strongly encouraged for outdoor practices.
Competition Swimwear
  • Because we are a Speedo sponsored team, all swimsuits worn at swim meets, including tech suits, must be Speedo brand.
  • A team swimsuit is encouraged but not required during the first year a swimmer is on the team. After the first year, swimmers are required to wear a team suit to competitions except in circumstances approved by a coach.
  • In a case where a team suit cannot be worn, it is preferred that swimmers wear a solid black suit.
  • Your competition suit should fit tightly. When trying on a female team suit for purchase, a general guideline is that if you can pull the straps to your earlobes, the suit is too loose. For boys, USA Swimming rules prohibit suits from extending past the knee, so if a suit is so long or loose that it covers any part of their knee, it must be replaced.
  • All USA Swimming rules regarding swimsuits will be strictly followed:
    • Swimwear shall include only a swimsuit, cap, and goggles. It is not permissible to wear more than two (2) caps. Armbands or leg bands shall not be regarded as parts of the swimsuit and are not allowed.
    • In swimming competitions, the swimmer must wear only one swimsuit. For men, the swimsuit shall not extend above the navel nor below the knees, and for women, shall not cover the neck, extend past the shoulder, nor extend below the knee.
    • Only swimsuits complying with FINA swimsuit specifications may be worn in any USA Swimming sanctioned or approved competition.
    • Swimsuits worn for competition must be non-transparent and conform to the current concept of the appropriate.
    • Therapeutic elastic tape is prohibited. Any other kind of tape on the body is not permitted unless approved by the Referee.
    • No Technical Suits shall be worn by any 12 & Under USA Swimming athlete member in competition at any sanctioned, approved or observed meet.
    • Refer to USA Swimming rulebook for full rules.
  • To preserve their quality, team suits should be reserved for competition and not worn at practices.
  • All girls and boys with hair long enough to cover their eyes or ears shall wear a JETS swim cap at competitions.
  • Clear or light-colored goggles are strongly encouraged for indoor competitions; mirrored or dark-colored goggles are strongly encouraged for outdoor competitions.
  • Please read our Tech Suit policy below for more information about competition swimwear.
Tech Suit Policy #

Technical suits (or "tech suits"), are expensive, high quality swimsuits that generally have taped or bonded seams, are woven rather than knitted so they can add more compression, and are made of hydrophobic materials to help reduce drag. Starting in 2020, tech suits are banned for swimmers ages 12 & under. Specifically, 12 & Under swimmers may not wear any swimsuit that has taped or bonded seams, and any suit with woven fabric extending past the hips is not allowed, regardless of seams.

It is the philosophy of the coaching staff that, like other principles of training and competition, a progression should be observed when it comes to championship quality swimsuits. Young swimmers should not be concerned about which swimsuit they are wearing when things such as stroke technique, attendance and practice habits have a much greater impact on their development. Furthermore, families should not be burdened with the cost of higher quality swimsuits until the level of their athlete’s commitment and performance has reached a point where a tech suit is warranted to remain competitive. With this philosophy in mind, in addition to the USA Swimming ban on tech suits for 12 & Unders, the following policies with be enforced:

  • Swimmers ages 12 & Under shall not wear a tech suit, as defined by USA Swimming.
  • Swimmers ages 13 & Over who have qualified for a state championship meet (YMCA State, Age Group Champs, Senior Champs) or higher level meet may choose to wear a tech suit, although it is not required.
  • In all cases, consult with the coach before purchasing a tech suit for advice. We are contracted with Speedo so it must be Speedo brand.
  • A tech suit should be reserved for the peak meets of each season. In all cases, swimmers who have purchased a tech suit under the above guidelines shall consult their coach to plan out which meets they will wear their tech suit.
Care for Suits and Caps
  • Rinse your suit in fresh water after each practice.
  • Hang your suit up to air dry or use the swimsuit spinners located in the YMCA locker rooms. Do not place it in a clothes dryer and do not leave your wet swimsuit or towel enclosed in your swim bag.
  • Latex caps should be dried after use (sprinkling baby powder inside the cap will prevent it from sticking together and tearing). Silicon caps generally have a longer life and require less care than latex caps.

Apparel Requirements #

Swim Meet Dress Code

In order to present a uniform appearance at swim meets, the following dress guidelines should be followed:

  • JETS team warm-up jacket and/or JETS t-shirt or sweatshirt.
  • A gold or white team t-shirt should be worn to Saturday meets; a black or gray team t-shirt should be worn to Sunday meets; Fridays will be choice color of team t-shirt if not notified otherwise.
  • Black or gray shorts/pants
  • Footwear is required. Swimmers at the championship level will be required to wear gym shoes at meets, as opposed to sandals or crocs, for extra traction, foot support, warmth and energy preservation.
Awards Podium Dress Code #

When a swimmer places at a championship swim meet and gets the opportunity to receive an award on the awards podium, the following dress guidelines shall be adhered to, ranked in order of preference, depending on how long a swimmer has before going to the podium and what apparel is on hand:

  • 1st preference: JETS team warm-up (warm-up jacket with black pants or black shorts)
  • 2nd preference: JETS team t-shirt or sweatshirt with black pants or black shorts
  • 3rd preference: Swimsuit only
  • No head gear (swim caps, hats, etc) shall be a worn. Swim caps can be worn in the case where awards are presented at the blocks immediately following each final.
  • No additional items (towel, goggles, cell phone, previous medals, etc.) shall be taken onto the podium.

Communication Methods #

Meeting In Person

Often, the best way to address questions and concerns is to meet with your coach in person. To speak with your coach before or after practice, please send an email or call their office phone in advance and request a time to meet. You will find contact information for each of our coaches on the Coaching Staff page.

Please be advised that parents are not allowed on deck during practice, with the only exception being an emergency situation. It is important to avoid situations where coaches are confronted with questions or concerns on deck during times they are at work with athletes. Additionally, at any practice or swim meet locations where there is an open viewing area, please refrain from calling out to your child or signaling to them. We want our athletes to become independent and to build trusting relationships with their coaches. Interference and reliance on parents can be detrimental to that learning process.

Text Alerts #

Periodically, the team will send out text messages (SMS) to alert members about last minute practice changes, deadlines or other important information. You must opt in to be able to receive text messages by verifying your cell phone number in the Team Unify system. You can watch a video tutorial or follow the steps below:

Using the Team Unify OnDeck mobile app:
  1. Login to OnDeck.
  2. Tap the menu icon then Membership > My Account.
  3. Tap UPDATE PROFILE at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Fill in SMS 1 or SMS 2 with the cell number and select your cell Carrier.
  5. Tap SAVE and it will send a verification text to that number.
  6. Check your cell phone for a "Verify your SMS" text from notifications+mrcs and open it. Note that some cell carriers can take a while to deliver the message.
  7. Once you open the message it will usually verify your number, but tap the link just to make sure.
  8. If you have any trouble getting it to verify, try doing it through the website instead (see instructions below).
Using the JETS website:
  1. Sign In to the JETS website (www.jetsyswimteam.org).
  2. In the side menu click My Account > Account Info.
  3. To add an SMS number for one of the athletes in the account, click the Members tab and then click their name; otherwise stay on the current screen.
  4. Enter an SMS cell number and select its Carrier.
  5. Click Save in the upper right and it will send that number a verification text.
  6. Check your cell phone for a "Verify your SMS" text from notifications+mrcs and open it. Note that some cell carriers can take a while to deliver the message.
  7. Open the message and tap the link to verify your SMS number.
  8. If you never receive the verification message, try these steps:
    1. Delete the number.
    2. Set the Carrier to None.
    3. Click Save.
    4. Repeat steps 4-6 again.
    5. If you still never receive it, please contact Support to let them know. Please include your number and cell carrier.

Emails

Email Notifications

The team will regularly send out email notifications with updates, reminders and other important information. A weekly email with the subject of "JETS updates - MM.DD.YY" will included upcoming practice changes, upcoming events and upcoming deadlines, in addition to any other important news for the week. Please review this thoroughly each week. All email addresses stored on file with your account will receive emails from the team. You can log in and add, change or delete the email addresses on your account at any time (see instructions below).

Adding or Changing E-mail Addresses

If you would like to receive notifications to additional email accounts, it is easy to add them to your account, or to change the current ones. Follow these steps:

  1. Sign In to the JETS website and go to My Account > Account Info.
  2. You can add up to three additional email addresses beyond the Login Email. You may also add an email address for each swimmer on your account by clicking on the Members tab.
  3. Fill in or change email addresses in the email fields.
  4. Click Save. It will automatically send a verification email to that new address.
  5. Check the email account of the address you added and click on the link to verify your email.
Issue Receiving Team Emails

To ensure that you receive team emails and they do not go to your junk folder, please add the following address to your contacts: [email protected]

If you find that you are not receiving team emails, please contact the Director of Competitive Aquatics to help resolve the issue.

Social Media

Follow us in various ways! If you have pictures or content to share, contact the Director of Competitive Aquatics.

Registration & Billing #

Registration

The JETS is a year-round program that accepts registration at any point of the year, as long as spots remain open. All new swimmers to the team must be evaluated for placement before registration. All information regarding evaluations and registration can be found on our Join the JETS page.

Types of Fees #

YMCA Membership Fees

All JETS swimmers must maintain a Facility Membership to the Greater Joliet Area YMCA. Membership fees vary, depending on age and type of membership. You may view membership fees online at www.jolietymca.org or call the YMCA at 815-729-9622. Membership fees may be paid either in full for the year or by monthly bank draft. Membership fees are non-refundable.

YMCA Program Fees

In addition to membership fees, program fees must also be paid in order to participate on the JETS. Program fees vary, depending on practice group and other factors as outlined in the Registration Packet. Program fees may be paid in full for the season or by monthly bank draft. Program fees are non-refundable. Review the Registration Packet on our Join the JETS page for current program fees.

USA Swimming Registration Fee

Each swimmer who participates on the JETS must register with USA Swimming. This is an annual fee covers swimmers under the USA Swimming insurance plan and enables swimmers to compete at USA Swimming and Illinois Swimming sanctioned swim meets. If you qualify for YMCA financial assistance, you also qualify for a discounted USA Swimming Outreach Membership. The USA Swimming registration fee is non-refundable. Review the Registration Packet on our Join the JETS page for current USA Swimming athlete registration fee.

Meet Entry Fees

Swimmers who participate in swim meets are responsible for all meet entry fees and surcharges. Some meets do not have any fees (i.e. certain YMCA dual meets) while most others charge a fee per event and/or a surcharge per swimmer. These fees are charged to your team account after each swim meet. Refer to the meet packet for each meet to view the entry fees. After the meet entry deadline, once entries are finalized and sent to the meet host, teams must pay for entries in advance and they are non-refundable. After that point, families are liable for their entry fees, regardless if their swimmer competed or not.

Fundraising

It is the responsibility of JPAC to raise funds to help support the Joliet Y Jets Swim Team. JPAC does this primarily through hosting swim meets, but also through various smaller fundraisers throughout the year. Specific details regarding fundraising methods and amounts, swim meets being hosted and worker requirements are listed in the Registration Packet and other documents supplied at registration each season. If you have any questions, suggestions, or ideas for future fundraisers, please contact the JPAC Chairperson.

Billing Policies & Procedures #

Financial Assistance

At the YMCA, no one is turned away for the inability to pay. The YMCA does an Annual Giving Campaign to raise funds to provide scholarships to kids and families who otherwise would not be able to afford to participate in YMCA programs. For more information or to apply for a YMCA scholarship, talk to the front desk staff or membership staff at your YMCA branch or call the YMCA at 815-729-9622.

Failed Payments and Unpaid Balances

If your payment on the billing date is declined for any reason, you will receive an automated email from our billing system alerting you about the issue. If this happens, you will need to log into your account to update your payment method on file and make an on-demand payment to pay off your balance.

Swimmers will not be allowed to practice or enter swim meets if they are unregistered or if there is an unpaid balance on their account after the billing date.

To update the payment method you have on file, log into your account and go to My Account > Set Up AutoPay on the left-hand side menu.

To make an on-demand payment, log into your account, go to My Account > Invoices & Payments on the left-hand side menu, then click on the Make Payment tab.

Payment Methods

For JETS program fees, the only payment option available at registration is credit card or debit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover). American Express is not accepted by this system.

If you prefer bank draft payments, you will not have that option for registration, however you will be able to set that up after registration to handle all subsequent charges. To update the payment method you have on file, log into your account and go to My Account > Set Up AutoPay on the left-hand side menu.

If the credit card you have on your account is close to expiring, you will receive an automated email from our billing system reminding you to update your payment method on file.

Viewing Your Invoice

To check your invoice at any time, log into your account and go to My Account > Invoices & Payments on the left-hand side menu.

Around the 25th of every month, all accounts will receive an automated billing summary email. This email is a courtesy reminder showing you what you can expect to pay on the upcoming billing date, however it is not your final bill for that month. If any incidental charges (such as swim meet entries or swim cap fees) are added to your account after the billing summary email is sent, you will still pay for those charges on the billing date. You may log into your account at any time to view your most up-to-date invoice.

Maintaining Your Account

It is the responsibility of the account holder to ensure that all contact information and payment methods are up-to-date. You can log into your account to update this information at any time.

Contact For Account & Billing Inquiries

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your account or with billing, please contact the Director of Competitive Aquatics.

Swim Meets #

Meet Orientation #

Don't Panic! The whole swim meet experience will seem overwhelming at first. Being new to the sport, you have a lot of questions and, at the same time, you're probably not sure what questions to ask. Once you get your first meet under your belt, the whole process becomes a breeze, and you will find that swim meets are great opportunities for bonding with teammates, reinforcing skills, measuring progress, learning from mistakes and increasing motivation. To help you get started, please review the orientation document linked below. If you still have questions after reviewing the orientation, you will find that other experienced parents you meet at swim practice will be immensely helpful and are very willing to share tips and advice, and of course you can always contact your coach for help.

Meet Entry Process #

Meet Schedule

The current meet schedule can be found on the Meets & Events page. Meets are generally scheduled once or twice per month. They most often occur on the weekends at venues around the Chicagoland area, usually within a 45 minute radius of Joliet. Some may be farther, some may be hosted at our own YMCA, and some may be overnight travel meets.

Which Meets to Attend

All swimmers are encouraged to attend at least one meet per month, although there are no strict participation requirements. Each family can choose which meets they will attend by signing up online. If a meet is multiple days, families have the option to sign up for one or more of the days.

With a vast selection of meets on the schedule, it may be difficult to determine which meet is appropriate for your child. By clicking on the meet and viewing the meet page, you will find all the details about that meet, including which practice groups are invited. On that page, you will also find the location, dates, and session times for each age group to help you determine if you can attend. All meets are not organized in the same way, so it is important to view all the information to determine when you will need to be there.

One of our team goals is to have 100% participation at YMCA District Championships each February. In order to be eligible, swimmers must compete in at least three YMCA meets throughout the season. This eligibiity requirement applies to YMCA State and YMCA Nationals as well. Therefore, when choosing meets to attend, it is important for each family to sign up for at least three YMCA meets. The description on the meet page will note if it is a YMCA meet.

If your child is qualified for a championship meet, it is expected that they will attend unless instructed otherwise by their coach. If you anticipate having a conflict with a championship meet that your child is qualified for or close to qualifying for, please reach out to your coach with as much notice as possible to work through it. See Vacation Considerations on this page for more guidance about best times to take a trip.

How to Enter Meets

If a meet is open for entry, you will see a red "Attend/Decline" button next to the meet name, either on the front page of the website or on the Meets & Events page. Once you declare yes or no to a meet, this button will change to a red "Edit Commitment" button. You can also use the OnDeck app to enter swim meets. If you do not see that button, it means the meet is not yet open, and once it opens you will receive an email notification.

When you click that button, you will see a list of your swimmers. Click on your swimmer's name and select either Yes or No. Your swimmer will only be entered in a meet if you select Yes. If you select No, or if you don't make any declaration at all, your swimmer will not be entered.

When you select Yes, you will see a screen with all the sessions that swimmer is eligible to attend. Families choose which days they want to attend, and later the coaches will enter the swimmers in appropriate events. Swimmers may only enter one session each day. If there are multiple sessions showing for the day you would like to attend, click on the "Show Events" button to see which session is offering events for your child's age group. Open events are generally for 13&Over swimmers. If you mistakenly choose a session that is not appropriate for your child, a coach will reach out to you and correct it. You can use the Comments box to write a note to the coach.

Meet Deadlines #

Each meet has a registration deadline. After this deadline, parents will no longer be able to sign up, coaches will begin choosing events for each swimmer, and about a week after the deadline the entries will be sent to the host team and the team will be responsible for payment for those entries.

If you miss a deadline, reach out to your coach immediately, but after that deadline there is no guarantee that swimmers can be added, and no guarantee that swimmers can be removed without being responsible for meet fees.

How to View Meet Entries

After the registration deadline for the meet, coaches wil begin to choose events for each swimmer, and about a week after the deadline entries will be finalized. At that point, you can view entries for your swimmer in one of three ways:

  • Open the OnDeck app and tap Events & Meet Entries
  • Go to the team website, click the "Edit Commitment" button for the meet (same page you went to register for the meet) and entries will now be shown
  • Go to the team website, click on the meet name to open the meet page and a PDF report of the entries will be linked there

If you discover any mistakes in the entries (e.g. your swimmer is not listed or is signed up for the wrong day), contact your coach as soon as possible.

How the Meet Schedule Is Planned

When the coaching staff puts together the meet schedule, we consider the timing, location, and format of the meet, in addition to our past experience and, to a lesser extent, which team is hosting it. We try to attend one meet every three to four weeks that will offer good competition, and then fill in the rest of the schedule with smaller dual or triangular meets, so that swimmers are offered about two competitions per month. Some months (February, March, July) get pretty hectic when there are multiple championship meets in a row. We try to mix in a variety of competition, so that we offer some meets with challenging competition for our more advanced swimmers, along with some lower pressure meets for our beginners.

How Coaches Choose Events for Swimmers

All swim meets have a limitation on the number of events a swimmer can compete in on a given day. Therefore, even if a swimmer is physically capable of swimming every event that is offered, some choices must be made as to which they will actually compete in. The coaching staff will choose appropriate events for swimmers based on a number of factors.

Most importantly, we will only enter swimmers in an event if we are confident that they will (1) have a reasonable chance to complete the event legally and (2) be physically strong enough to complete the entire distance. When swimmers first join the team, they will most often swim only freestyle and backstroke events until they are competent enough in the breaststroke or butterfly to begin competing in those strokes.

Because our coaching staff strives to develop complete swimmers, we also choose events with the intent of placing swimmers in a variety of events, making sure that each swimmer is given opportunities to compete in every event they are capable of completing, at least one per season and ideally two or more so they have a chance to see improvement. Even if swimmers feel they are weak in a certain event, they will still be encouraged to improve every aspect of their swimming and to perform in that event to the best of their ability.

For championship meets, swimmers have more involvement in the decision of which events they will compete in. In most cases, it is simply a matter of entering every event the swimmer is qualified for. However, when choices must be made, the swimmer and coach will work closely together so that both are happy and confident that the decisions made will produce the best possible outcome at the meet.

Meet Results #

What to Focus On

Swimming is a competitive sport, and kids cannot ignore the fact that they are racing with other swimmers. It is natural for kids to focus on what place they got in their race, for some more than others. Especially at championship meets when kids are racing to earn a spot in finals, to win a medal or a place on the podium, and to score team points, what place they get is an important motivational factor. That being said, there are better ways to measure their progress and performance. The coaches try to steer swimmers towards keeping their focus on themselves, and not comparing themselves to other swimmers. If a swimmer goes their fastest time ever but is unhappy because they didn't win, that's not a healthy perspective. Additionally, talking to a swimmer about how they compared against other people can be detrimental to their self-esteem, because they immediately feel inferior, and can also cause anxiety because they have no control over who else is in their heat. All things considered, when talking about results, approach it in a way that lifts the swimmer up and makes them feel motivated, and try to keep their perspective on metrics they have more direct control over.

The most valuable metrics the coaches talk about with swimmers have to do with how they compared against their own results in the past. Did they improve their time? Did they correct a mistake they've made in the past, such as a disqualification? Have they made improvements to their stroke technique, their starts and turns, their streamlining, their race strategy, etc? This keeps the focus on themselves and what changes are within their control to improve next time.

As a parent, avoid giving advice about technique or race strategy, which may conflict with the coach's instructions. When an athlete is confused about whether to listen to their parent's advice or their coach's advice, it can lead to distrust and poor results. Alternatively, parents can reinforce learning by asking things like, "What have you been working on in practice?" or "What was your coach's advice about this?" or "What do you think you need to do to be even better next time?"

Viewing Live Results During a Meet

For most meets, you can access live results via the Meet Mobile app. Often, you can also access heat sheets either for free or for a fee through the app, depending on if the meet host is utilizing this feature.

Please note that results shown in the app are unofficial. These results are pulled from the meet software right after a heat finishes, but before an Admin Official has verified the results or input disqualifications. Sometimes, there is a malfunction with the timing system, or there is a big enough discrepancy (greater than 0.3 seconds) between the timer's button and the touchpad time that it gets flagged for review, and the Admin Official will follow procedures to correct the results. Official results are uploaded to our database and posted online after the meet (see info below), and sometimes they are printed and posted on the wall throughout the meet.

Viewing Official Results After a Meet

There are various ways to access results after a meet, and to view your swimmer's results history:

Disqualifications #

If your child is disqualified, the results will show a DQ instead of their time. This means that an official observed a rule infraction during their race, so their results are invalid. Everyone from the beginner level all the way up through the Olympic level makes mistakes and gets disqualified from time to time. Swimmers who are less experienced get DQ's more frequently, but this is part of the learning process. The coaches work on proper stroke technique at practices and teach the stroke rules, but there is a lot to absorb and the learning process is never straight-forward. In general, the coaches try to avoid entering swimmers into events if they know in advance they will get disqualified, as this may lead to discouragement. However, when a DQ happens, the coaches use it as a teachable moment to stimulate change.

When an official observes an infraction, they raise their hand and report it to the deck referee for verification. A DQ slip is filled out and a copy of this gets handed to the coach later on. The coach will talk with the swimmer about what happened and what they need to do differently. If the coach didn't happen to notice it, and the DQ slips have not been handed out, sometimes a swimmer may not be notified about their DQ until they see it on their results. If your child is unsure about why they were disqualified, have them talk with their coach or send an email to your coach to ask about it so your swimmer can gain understanding. When available, a DQ report is shared with all the coaches after each meet so they can address and work on those mistakes at practice.

As a parent, if you feel your child was wrongly disqualified, have your swimmer approach their coach with their questions. Do not approach any official about a disqualification. Allow the coach to go through the proper channels to question the call. Video evidence cannot be used.

Mistakes in Meet Results #

If you notice a mistake in the results during the meet, please have your swimmer ask their coach to review it. Do not approach the coach on deck (parents are not allowed on deck) and do not approach an official or the computer table. Have your swimmer notify their coach and allow the coach to handle it appropriately.

If you notice a mistake in the results after the meet is over, please contact the Director of Competitive Aquatics as soon as possible. Do not email the meet host directly. It is possible for results to be corrected after the meet is over if the data shows a correction is warranted. Allow your coach to reach out through the appropriate channels and request a review.

Meet Billing #

Swimmers who participate in swim meets are responsible for all meet entry fees and surcharges. Some meets do not have any fees (i.e. certain YMCA dual meets) while most others charge a fee per event and/or a surcharge per swimmer. These fees are charged to your team account after each swim meet. Refer to the meet packet for each meet to view the entry fees. After the meet entry deadline, once entries are finalized and sent to the meet host, teams must pay for entries in advance and they are non-refundable. After that point, families are liable for their entry fees, regardless if their swimmer competed or not.

Swim Seasons #

Short Course Season (Fall/Winter)

This season runs from September through April of each year. It is called the Short Course Season because competition is mainly held in 25-yard pools (SCY), including end-of-season championship meets.

Long Course Season (Spring/Summer)

This season runs from April through August of each year. It is called the Long Course Season because competition is mainly held in 50-meter pools (LCM).

Offseason

The JETS usually take a 1-2 week break in March/April, after the last short course championship meet and before the start of long course season. We also take a 3-4 week break in August after the last long course championship meet and before the start of short course season.

Vacation Considerations #

The most ideal time to vacation is in April and/or August when the team is on break and not offering practices. Swimmers who are qualified or have a goal to qualify for championship meets should try to avoid taking time off during the 6 to 8 week period before their championship meet. This allows them to practice consistently, maximize training adaptations and stay focused. Generally speaking, a weekend trip is less detrimental to training than a full 1 to 2 weeks of practices missed. Refer to the published meet schedule for important dates throughout the season, and talk with your coach if you have questions or need guidance.

Types of Meets #

The Joliet Y Jets Swim Team is both a YMCA and USA Swimming club, which means our swimmers get the opportunity to compete in a wide variety of meets.

USA Swimming

USA Swimming is the national governing body for swimming in the United States, which provides support and services for clubs, hosts national level championship meets and selects teams for international competitions such as the Olympic team. There are approximately 3,100 registered clubs with USA Swimming, which can range from YMCA's, health clubs, park districts, school districts, parent boards and coach-owned teams. USA Swimming is divided into 59 local swim committees (LSC's), which are grouped into four zones. The JETS are part of Illinois Swimming, which is located in the Central Zone. Illinois Swimming regulates competition within our state, including state level championship meets such as Age Group Champs and Senior Champs. The Central Zone regulates competitions such as Sectionals, Age Group Zones and the IMX Games.

YMCA Swimming

YMCA Swimming follows the same technical rules as USA Swimming (i.e. strokes are judged the same). The major difference is that only YMCA teams are allowed to compete in YMCA swim meets. By rule, swimmers must be full members of their YMCA in order to participate in YMCA meets. Swimmers can compete in YMCA meets up until age 21, provided that they remain amateur status and have not competed for a college team. The National YMCA Swim Committee hosts the YMCA National Championship meets in April (short course) and July (long course) each year. The Illinois YMCA State Committee hosts the YMCA State Championships in March (short course) and July (long course) each year. Illinois YMCA Swimming is split into four Districts, each of which hosts a District Championship meet each winter. The JETS are part of the Town & Country District along with six other YMCA teams (BR Ryall, Elgin, Fox Valley, Kanakakee, Naperville and West Cook). The Town & Country YMCA District Championships are held at the end of February each year.

Being a YMCA team, the JETS put our primary focus on the YMCA championship meets. Our team performance goals for YMCA championship meets year after year are the following:

  • YMCA Districts: Have 100% team participation and demonstrate the best team spirit at the meet.
    • There are no minimum time standards to compete at YMCA Districts.
    • The only requirement to participate is to compete in at least three YMCA meets during the course of the season.
  • YMCA State: Have at least 33% of the team qualified and pack the podium with as many Top 8 and State Champions as possible.
    • Refer to the Time Standards page to view qualifying times and the Times Needed To Place chart.
    • Refer to the Hall of Champions page to see previous State Champions since 2000.
  • YMCA Nationals: Have at least 10 swimmers on the National Team, get as many Finals swims as possible and add to our list of National Champions.
    • Refer to the Time Standards page to view qualifying times and the Times Needed To Place chart.
    • Refer to the Hall of Champions page to see previous National Champions.

Swim Practices #

Practice Schedule & Calendar

The current practice schedule can always be viewed on the JETS website, linked in the top menu. There are times when practices are either altered or canceled due to holidays, swim meets or other conflicts. Any pre-planned changes and cancellations are noted in advance on our Google Calendar, which is also linked in the top menu. Parents are strongly encouraged to review the calendar on a regular basis and to thoroughly review the weekly update emails, which are used to remind parents about upcoming practice changes, among other things. In the event that there is an unplanned practice change or cancellation, such as weather, an email and text alert will be sent out and the Google Calendar will be updated.

Lightning Policy

The YMCA follows guidelines by the National Lightning Safety Institute and other aquatic safety organizations. At any sign of lightning or thunder, swimmers will exit the pool and remain out for 30 minutes since the last sign of lightning or thunder. In these circumstances, coaches will make the determination to either wait out the storm, have the kids do dryland instead or cancel practice, depending on how much practice time is left and what the radar looks like. In the event that practice is canceled, an email and text alert will be sent out and the Google Calendar will be updated. All swimmers will be supervised until they are picked up.

Attendance Guidelines #

With the exception of the Moon Lander and Mach 3 groups, there are no mandatory practice requirements. Each family can decide what amount of time they are able and willing to put into swimming while balancing other priorities for the best health of the swimmer. When kids are young, they should be given opportunities to explore their interests; as they grow older, they should be encouraged to set goals and discuss with their coach what level of commitment is needed to reach those goals. Obviously, the more kids practice the more they will improve, and as they become more advanced, more practice time is necessary to continue that improvement and remain competitive. The swimmer must be the one to decide what goals they have, and then communicate them with their parents and coaches.

Swimmers in the Mach 3 group must maintain a minimum attendance requirement of 75% to continue to practice with that group. Failure to maintain that requirement will result in the athlete being placed in a different training group.

Swimmers wishing to represent the team at any competition beyond the state level (YMCA Nationals, Speedo Sectionals, USA Nationals, Olympic Trials, etc) must maintain an 85% attendance record once the cut has been achieved. If the coaches and the team are putting their time, money and resources into these high level meets, it is important that the athletes are serious about performing at their best. Practices missed due to participation with the swimmer's high school swim team will be excused. All other absences can be made up to receive attendance credit. Any absences must be communicated on record with the coach via note, e-mail or phone call.

Practice attendance is tracked throughout the season and, at the end of the season, the swimmer with the highest attendance is rewarded with a special gift.

Volunteering #

Volunteer Requirements

The JETS host 3 to 4 meets every year as a way to fundraise and to give back to the swimming community. We take pride in running smooth meets that offer great hospitality and a fun, positive experience for all. In order to make that happen, running meets requires lots of help from parent volunteers. For this reason, to ensure we have enough volunteers to run our meets successfully and up to our standard of quality, the team sets volunteer requirements for each season.

Please view the current volunteer requirements in the Registration Packet on our Join the JETS page.

Becoming an Official #

Being an official is one of the most impactful things you can do to help not only the team but the sport in general. Swim meets do not happen without the parents who volunteer their time to officiate.

Because of this importance, it is our team goal to have at least 10 certified officials on our team at all times.

Who can be an official?

Anyone 18 and over can become certified to be an official. If you are brand new to the sport, it is probably best to get a season under your belt before jumping into officiating, just so you see some swim meets and learn some basics first. All of the swimming rules will be taught and covered in the courses you take.

What is involved with being an official? What would I do?

There are a few different types of officials:

  • One entry level role is being a Stroke & Turn Judge. These officials either walk along the side of the pool or stand at the end and are watching swimmers for any stroke infractions, in which case they would follow procedures to report a disqualification. All of the stroke and turn rules are taught in the courses required to become an official, so no pre-requisite knowledge is required. Furthermore, the Meet Referee goes over reminders in an officials meeting before each session.
  • Another entry level role is being an Administrative Official. If you're good with computers and working with software, this may be a good role for you. These officials work at the computer table and use software to oversee results as they come in. If there is a failure or discrepancy in the timing system, these officials inspect the results and make corrections, per rules and guidelines they are taught.
  • With a little experience, you can train to become a Starter. These officials oversee the start of each race and operate the starting unit.
  • The most experienced officials become Meet Referees. The Referee has full authority and control over the competition, directs all officials and ensures enforcement of rules.
How do I get certified?

Getting certified as an official involves taking some online courses and completing a certain number of sessions shadowing another official. Any fees associated with becoming an official will be reimbursed by the JETS. Please contact the Director of Competitive Aquatics for assistance.

If you are interested, please contact the Director of Competitive Aquatics, who can put you in touch with other JETS officials who can answer your questions, then use the button below to take the first steps!