Central Iowa Aquatics

Frequently Asked Questions


Who are the coaches on deck?

You can read the bios for each coach on the CIA coaching staff on our website. We have a staff of professional, experienced coaches who love what they do. They are all certified through USA Swimming and are required to maintain up-to-date CCPR, Coaches Safety, First Aid, and other certifications.


I am a brand new parent to the sport of swimming.  Where can I get some "Swimming 101?" 

USA Swimming has numerous resources on it's website, USASwimming.org.  For a novice swimming parent, Swimming 101 is a great place to start.  And ask questions of other parents on the team - before you know it, you'll be a swim parent pro!

How many meets should my swimmer attend?  Which ones? 

It is typically recommended for swimmers to attend 1-2 meets per month; attending more than that will make it hard for the swimmer to show improvement.  Each season, a listing of recommended meets is generated and posted as a sub-menu under the Events button.   These meets will be listed on the CIA website and open for sign-ups as meet information becomes available.  If a swimmer wants to attend a meet that is not listed on the CIA meet schedule, they should contract the Meet Entry Manager for their entry to that meet.   Not all meets in Iowa are recommended and therefore not automatically listed for sign-ups until a swimmer requests attending the meet.

How do I sign up for meets?

1. Check the Meet Events page on our team website. 

2. Determine which sessions you can/want to attend and "Commit" to the event.

3. Your child's Lead Group Coach will select the proper and appropriate events for that meet. Event selection is an important part of proper development, injury prevention, confidence building, and success. We ask CIA parents to trust the professional coaching staff to select events, though we are always happy to discuss additional events, edits, or to explain why specific events were chosen. Coaches will always be able to explain the 'why' behind a decision.

4. Double check the entries and selected sessions before the final day commitments are due (listed on the website). Once the commitment period ends, coaches will send out final entry lists for each group. It is vital you let us know if there are concerns or adjustments. Once swimmers are entered, refunds will not be made for individual meet entries. 

5. Check the website in the weeks and days leading up to the meet for detailed team information (arrival times, t-shirt colors, psych sheets, etc). 

6. Arrive at the racing site according to the posted team itinerary and check in with a coach.

7. Sit back and enjoy the racing!

 Oh no, I missed the registration deadline for the meet I want to enter!  Now what?

Contact the Meet Entry Manager ASAP.  It is possible that there may be availability to enter the meet.  However, due to the missed deadline, late fees may be charged and relays won’t be reestablished (relays are always subject to change at the discretion of the coach attending the meet).

What if I need to scratch from a meet?

Contact the Meet Entry Manager as soon as you know.  Once the entry has been sent in and accepted by the host club, the swimmer is expected to pay for those fees regardless of attendance at the meet.  This holds true even if it is before the entry deadline (either on the CIA website or in the meet invitation). 

Should my child only swim in meets on the CIA calendar?

We prefer it, yes. Occasionally a swimmer or swimmers may travel great distances to a specific national level meet that only applies to a small group of athletes. Otherwise, we aim to compete together as often as possible. Our coaches are professionaly certified and highly invested in the physical, mental, and emotional development of your children. As such, we want to be there on deck to help guide your children, answer questions they may have, and give them feedback related to their performances at meets. When swimmers attend meets alone, the sport can be daunting and parents are left to fend for themselves. 

Our coaches aim to provide a meet schedule and structure that promotes healthy growth, builds confidence, and allows for optimal coaching & feedback. If we can add a meet to our schedule that provides a benefit to the team, please reach out to us so we can discuss the merits of the event. 

What is my child is involved in more than one sport?  Is swimming still an option?

We actively encourage multi-sport athletes, especially at a younger age. The exposure to multiple sports allows for growth, physical development, exposure to multiple coaching styles, and well-rounded student-athletes. As swimmers grow to embrace the CIA team culture, we hope they develop a greater sense of intrinsic motivation related to swimming. That intrinsic motivation to succeed, paired with physical development in high school, often lead our competitive swimmers to dedicate their time more exclusively to swimming. However, we offer tracks and groups for student-athletes with a variety of competitive goals and schedules. Communication with CIA coaches is important as you navigate which sports to participate in and when.

Do the boys have to wear "Speedos" (briefs)?

No. Older male swimmers typically wear briefs, but some opt for the longer, knee length tight shorts called Jammers. It is largely a comfort preference, some believe performance. We encourage a suit with the team logo, whether Jammers or briefs.

What is an LSC?

LSC's, or Local Swimming Committees, are the 59 local governing bodies, responsible for organizing, supporting and governing USA Swimming's 2,800-plus swim clubs in their individual regions.  We are in the Iowa LSC which is governed by Iowa Swimming Inc (ISI) and includes roughly the eastern 2/3 of the state.

What is a “Q” time?

A “Q” time is a qualifying time to swim in the ISI championships.  These times are established by ISI.

What is a “Q minus” meet?

A “Q minus” meet is a meet where the entrants are swimming events in which they do not have a Q time. 

I have times from the YMCA/high school.  Can I use those times as seed times?

It depends.  If the meet has qualifying times, Q times or other standards as defined in the meet invitation, then only those times achieved in a USA swimming sanctioned swim meet may be used for a seed time.  (Times from the high school state meets, the boys' district meets and girls' regional meets may be used).  However, with regard to the ISI championships, these times can be provided as proof of achievement, although the seed time is required to be at the slowest possible time to enter the event.  If the meet does not have qualifying times defined in the meet invitation, than times from the Y/high school meets, can be used as seed times.  These times should be provided to the Meet Entry Manager as defined in “How to Enter Meets” item #6 and should be on-hand to show as proof in the event the swimmer is asked to provide proof of the seed time.

Where can I find meet results?

A couple of places.  On the CIA website, hover over the Events button.  On the list that appears, you will see an option for Results.  Or, click the Events button.  On that page, you will see 2 tabs toward the top of the page:  “Current & Upcoming” and “Past & Archived.”  Click on the “Past & Archived” tab.  Select the date range for the meet and click the Search button.  A listing of meets in the selected date range will appear.  Click on the name of the desired meet.  There will be a link on this page labeled “Results.”  Another option for results is the Iowa Swimming Inc. (ISI) website:  www.isiswim.org.  This website also has the Events button with the “Past & Archived” tab – so the same procedure as the CIA website is followed.

Where can I find my swimmer’s times?

Probably the best place for this is the USA Swimming database – which anyone can access.  Go to www.usaswimming.org.  On their home page, under the Times heading, select Times Search.  This page will give you 3 options:  Individual Times Search, Individual Event Rank Search and Event Rank.  If you just want your swimmer’s times, select Individual Times Search and fill in the required fields.  If you’re curious how your swimmer stacks up against those in Iowa or even the entire country, select Event Rank and complete the required fields. 

Also, the ISI website, www.isiswim.org, frequently updates the top 20 times in each event for each age group and gender.  This can be found under the “Records & Rank” button.

Can I use an on-line time converter to generate a long course meter (LCM) seed time from my short course yard (SCY) time (or vice versa)?

No.  Converted times are never allowed as seed times unless specifically stated in the meet invitation.

What swimming apps are available?

There are some good ones!  Meet Mobile is great for on-line psych sheets and live results.  OnDeck (Parent) is a handy resource for accessing your swimmer’s times and meet results.  Both of these apps are free.  USA Swimming also offers Deck Pass Plus ($1.99) which has search options, similar to their website, along with a place to enter goals, see live results and easy access to time standards.

Other available apps are:  GoSwim,  Swim Speeds, Swimulator, Swim Time Standards, Time Converter and Splash Magazine.

How connected is CIA?

Very!  Our primary form of communication is email, but we do have a page on Facebook and Instagram as well as a Twitter account @CIA_swimming.