The SPY Swim Team is a program of the YMCA, and is organized and operated by employees of the YMCA. The SPY Parent Advisory Committee of the SPY Swim Team exists to provide support through organization and volunteer support at swim meets and various other functions the swim team is involved in. The officers and committee chairs make up the Executive Committee. They meet once a month to discuss ways they can help improve the SPY program through their support. The executive board’s number one goal is communicating with the parent’s about objectives and policies of the SPY program.

Sections: Board Job Responsibilities    Officers    Committee Chairs    Home Meet Subcommittee Chairs General Communication Parents' Responsibilities Athletes' Needs    Ten Commandments Parent & Coaches Communication Board Meetings: Minutes


Each committee member is assigned a specific area of responsibility. A list of current members and their positions will be posted on the website after elections each July. Following are the board positions and their general areas of responsibility:

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Executive Committee


  1. Preside at all meetings of the parent organization.
  2. Be an ex-officio member of all committees.
  3. Appoint special task forces.
  4. Coordinate the work of the officers and committees in order that the objectives and policies of the SPY program may be promoted.
  5. Establish a means of communication and cooperative relationship between the SPY Parent Group and the YMCA.

Vice President

  1. Perform the duties of the President in the absence or inability of that officer to serve.
  2. Perform other duties as necessary and/or assigned.


  1. Keep minutes of all meetings.
  2. Notify members of any impending election or agenda items.
  3. Keep a file of all project reports.
  4. Distribute minutes.
  5. Be in charge of general correspondence not otherwise assigned.
  6. Keep attendance records

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Equipment & Apparel: Work with Head Coach and organize apparel purchases (e.g., t-shirts, polo shirts, swim caps) and work with the various vendors SPY uses for purchases. This person(s) may pick up merchandise and help distribute it to athletes, parents, and coaches.

Publicity: Work with staff (coaches, Team Administrator, webmaster) to publicize information relative to the team. This could include (but is not limited to): meet results, advertising about joining the team, special articles about significant upcoming events, etc.

Social: Work with coaching staff to structure activities, for both swimmers and families, to develop friendships and provide opportunities for the team to get together outside of competitions. This position will help organize the any Special events (Holiday Party, End of season Party/Banquet, etc.)

Sponsorship/Fundraising: Work with YMCA staff and coaching staff to develop plans and actions for raising funds to help the competitive, equipment and social aspects of the team and meet the financial needs on an annual basis.

Website Communications: Work with coaching staff to develop and maintain an informative team website that is current, reflecting important information related to practices, upcoming events, and other relevant news. 

Officials: Help develop a group of parents who are willing to become certified USA Swimming/YMCA officials and help in maintaining that certification through continuing education and training.

Meet Management: Work with coaching and YMCA staff and to secure dates for the home meets (Dual Meets, Season Opener, Snowball Invite), work with the head coach and IL Swimming to get meets sanctioned and meet information packets submitted. They will help secure meet directors for the home meets (usually meet management and meet director are the same), and secure major subcommittee chairs for the home meets.

Volunteer Coordinator: Work with Meet Management chair and meet directors for home meets to develop a roster of needs for volunteer help. Also entails contacting families to solicit help and to schedule shifts for working at all home meets. They will provide check for those meets and report any non-working families to the Head Coach after the meets.


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Meet Director(s): Work closely with Meet Management Chair to plan and organize the major home meets and the smaller half-day or dual meets. This includes making sure sanction applications to IL Swimming are submitted, securing dates with the location hosts, overseeing the operation of the meet (coordinating the various subcommittee chairs), and submitting financial reports at conclusion of meet.

Concessions: Plan and organize concession sales for home meets. This includes obtaining permit from Department of Public Health (if necessary), purchasing food to be sold, arranging with area restaurants for donations or deliveries of food, and arranging for ice. 

Hospitality: Supply food, snacks and beverages for coaches, officials and volunteers during the span of all major home meets. This is usually not necessary for the smaller duals meets etc. May need to work with Concessions Chair for ordering in some cases.

Computers/Admin: Plan and organize (with Volunteer Coordinator) a group of parents knowledgeable in the running of the computers and the computerized timing system used at meets to work the various sessions at home meets.

Awards: Coordinate with meet director to order ribbons and medals for major home meets and distribute accordingly at the meets based on results.

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Email: Email blasts will be sent to the team with pertinent information regarding meets, practices and team functions. The emails will be generated using the TeamUnify system; be sure your email information is properly entered on the website. The head coach, members of the coaching staff and parent executive committee will all utilize this function to communicate.

Website: The SPY website ( will be the primary source of communication. The SPY coaching staff and parent board encourages parents to check regularly. The SPY website is using the TeamUnify platform. Each family has one login id and password. The site will be used for online meet entry and emailing team news and information. The contact information you provide at the beginning of the season will be used to setup your account on the website. You can add additional emails and phone numbers for text messaging. Please keep your contact information current so you receive all correspondence from the coaching staff and parent board.

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Please make every effort to have your swimmers at practice on time. Realize that your child is working hard and give all the support you can. Encourage good diet and sleeping habits. They will serve you children well.

The greatest contribution you can make to your swimmer’s progress is to be a loving, supportive parent. In the following pages is a reprint of an article called The Ten Commandments for Parents of Athletic Children. It offers some very useful and sound advice on communicating with your swimmer.

On the team website you will find a copy of the Terms and Conditions for Participation (this will be published prior to the start of the season) with the SPY Swim Team that you signed when you registered with the YMCA. Please familiarize yourself with these items.

The Springfield Y is opening a new competition pool this fall. It is our goal to host three meets per season, two invitational meets and either the District or Area YMCA championship meet. Each family should provide one worker per session at these meets. These meets are the majority of our fundraising efforts and it is the reason each family needs to volunteer at any hosted meet.

The following is a transportation policy that is in effect for all functions related to the club: Coaches employed by the Springfield YCMA are not permitted to transport swimmers in their personal vehicles due to liability and insurance concerns.

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To have a successful program there must be understanding and cooperation among parents, swimmers, and coaches. The progress your swimmer makes depends to a great extent on this triangular relationship. It is with this in mind that we ask you to consider this section as you join or rejoin the SPY Swim Team.

You have done a great deal to raise your child. You create the environment in which they are growing up. Your child is a product of your values, the structure you have provided, and the model you have been. Human nature, however, is such that a parent loses some of his/her ability to remain detached and objective in matters concerning his/her children’s athletics. The following guidelines will help you keep your child’s development in the proper perspective and help your child reach his/her full potential as an athlete.

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Adapted by Rose Snyder

  1. Thou shalt not impose ambitions on thy child. Remember that swimming is the child's activity. The child will progress at his own speed. Nothing is worse than a parent forcing a child to do something he does not want to do.  This nice thing about swimming is each person can strive to do his or her personal best.  It doesn't matter whether they come in first or last, they can all improve themselves.
  2. Thou shalt be supportive no matter what. There is only one question to ask the child "Did you have fun"?  If meets and practices aren't fun, the child should not be forced to participate.
  3. Thou shalt not coach your child. You have taken your child to a professional coach; do not undermine that coach by trying to coach your child on the side. Your job is to support, love and hug your child no matter what. The coach is responsible for the technical part of the job. You should not offer advice on technique or race strategy. That is not your area. This will only serve to confuse your child and prevent that swimmer/coach bond from forming.
  4. Thou shalt only have positive things to say at a swimming meet. If you are going to show up at swimming meet, you should cheer and applaud, but never criticize your child or the coach.
  5. Thou shalt acknowledge thy child's fears. It is totally appropriate for a child to be scared to death at his first swimming meet, or her first 500 free, or 200 IM. Don't yell or belittle, just assure your child that the coach would not have put her in that event if she did not feel she were ready.
  6. Thou shalt not criticize the officials. If you do not have the time or the desire to volunteer as an official, don't criticize those who are doing the best they can.
  7. Honor thy child's coach. The bond between coach and swimmer is a special one, and one that contributes to your child's success as well as fun.  Do not criticize the coach in the presence of your child; it will only serve to hurt your child's swimming.
  8. Thou shalt not jump from team to team. The water is always bluer at the other team's pool. This is not necessarily true. Every team has its own internal problems, even teams that build champions. Children who switch from team to team are often ostracized by the teammates they leave behind for a long, long time. Often swimmers who do switch teams never do better than they did before they sought the bluer water.
  9. Thou shalt have goals besides winning. Encourage your child to do her best. Giving an honest effort no matter what the outcome is much more important than winning. One Olympian said, "My goal was to set a World Record. Well, I did that, but someone else did it too, just a little faster than I did. I achieved my goal and I lost. This does not make me a failure, in fact, I was very proud of that swim."
  10. Thou shalt not expect thy child to become an Olympian. There are 225,000 athletes in United States Swimming. There are only 52 spots available for the Olympic Team every four years. Your child's odds of becoming an Olympian are 1 in about 4,300. Swimming is much more than just the Olympics. Ask your coach why he coaches, chances are, he was not an Olympian, but still got enough out of swimming that he wants to pass that love for the sport on to others.  Swimming teaches self-discipline and sportsmanship; it builds self-esteem and fitness; it provides lifelong friendships and much more.  Most Olympians will tell you that these intangibles far outweigh any medal they may have won.  Swimming just builds good people and you should be happy your child wants to participate.

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If any concerns regarding coaching arise, please know that parents are welcome to voice their concerns to the coach directly, via phone, email, or face-to-face. It is often a good idea to set up a scheduled time to meet to ensure you have the coach’s full attention.

Open and direct communication between parents and coaches is critical to the ongoing success and development of the program and to your swimmers progress.  Listed below are some helpful guidelines for a parent who wants to address their concern with a coach:

  1. Try to keep foremost in your mind that you and the coach have the best interests of your child at heart. If you trust that the coach’s goals match yours, even though his/her approach may be different, you are more likely to enjoy a good rapport and a constructive dialogue.
  2. Keep in mind that the coach must balance your perspective of what is best for your child with the needs of the team or a training group that can range in size from 20-150 members. On occasion, an individual child’s interest may need to be subordinate to the interests of the group, but in the long run the benefits of membership in the group compensate for occasional short term inconvenience.
  3. If your child swims for an assistant coach, always discuss the matter first with that coach, following the same guidelines and preconceptions noted above. If the assistant coach cannot satisfactorily resolve your concern, then ask that the head coach join the dialogue as a third party.
  4. If another parent uses you as a sounding board for complaints about the coach’s performance or policies, listen empathetically, but encourage the other parent to speak directly to the coach. He/she is the only person who can resolve the problem.
  5. If concerns about the program are taken directly to the Branch Director, he/she will ask if you have involved the coach in the conversation first. If you have and you do not like the answer the coach has given, going to the Branch Director does not mean that he/she will change the decision, after all the Y is proud to hire the best people and professionals for the positions available and they are in charge of the program having full responsibility and accountability for the success of the program.

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