You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.

- Zig Ziglar

We know that competitive swimming may be a new and confusing world to some new swim parents. We’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions (and more importantly, answers) that can help you get acclimated to EPAC and the sport of swimming. It’s not quite as simple as dropping your kid off at soccer, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not that difficult. 

What is EPAC?

The Elite Performance Aquatic Club is a year round competitive swim team offering high quality professional coaching and technique instruction for children ages 5 and up. The goal of our team is to provide every member an opportunity to improve swimming skills and achieve success at his or her level of ability, from novice to international competitor.

All of our coaches have access to the most comprehensive training and certification programs for youth coaches of any sport in the United States. They provide assurances that the time children spend in swimming will be quality time.

EPAC participates in the Central Penn Aquatic League (CPAL - winter league), the Capital Area Swim League (CASL - summer league) and year-round in USA Swimming’s Middle Atlantic Region. EPAC swimmers have the opportunity to compete against over 20 mid-state teams as well as those across the Middle Atlantic States.

EPAC conducts their practices at the Central Penn Fitness Center located at 450 Powers Ave # 103, Harrisburg, PA 17109 

How much does it cost to join?

See the Fee Structure page for current fee information.

What does my child need to know (or be able to do) to join? What will they learn?
Children interested in joining EPAC are not expected to be accomplished swimmers. We ask only that they are comfortable in the water and willing to learn.

Who are the coaches?
EPAC has a paid staff of experienced swim coaches. Find out more about these coaches on the Coaches page.

How much does it cost to join?
See the Fee Structure page for current fee information.

Is fundraising required?
We do not have a fundraising requirement per family, but you are encouraged to fundraise as a percentage of money earned is credited back to your account.

What equipment is required? Where do I get it?
Swimmers may practice in any swim suit they have. Team suits are fitted and ordered each winter prior to the first meet. Each EPAC swimmer is given their first team swim cap, additional caps may be purchased from the club. Goggles may be purchased at Dick’s Sporting Goods or other retail locations. EPAC also keeps a limited supply of goggles for purchase at the pool. See a coach or board member to purchase items from the team store. Swimmers will also be asked to purchase a pair of practice fins. These fins will be purchased by the club and distributed to the swimmers – cost to each swimmer will be determined by the bulk discount the club receives.

Other items you may be interested in, or directed to by a coach, may be found online at resources like Metro Swim Shop or Swim Outlet.

I’ve seen swimmers and their families’ wearing EPAC gear. Where do I purchase these items?
Each winter season a clothing sale is held where items like EPAC hoodies, t-shirts, pants and other items may be purchased. Orders are traditionally taken in late October for delivery prior to the first meet.

If I want to join, what do I do next?
Registration for EPAC is taken online on this website. Swimmers will need to register before attending their first practice. In order to register, swimmers will need to know their assigned practice level. Levels for current EPAC swimmers will be available prior to each season. If you have participated in EPAC and have not received your NEW level assignments, please contact the coach at: coaches@epac.org

NEW swimmers interested in joining EPAC will need to attend one of the scheduled evaluation dates. During this time coaches will review the skills of your child and assign them a practice level (needed to complete registration).

After I join, how do I stay informed?
EPAC uses a few different tools to keep its members in the loop. The website is updated regularly, always check there for the most recent information. Weekly emails are sent from our team secretary – these contain timely information regarding schedule, practices, meets and other events. “Like” EPAC on Facebook for regular updates.

When are meets? How many are there? Where are the held?
Except for rare occasions, meets are help on Saturday mornings. Away league meets are normally located within 40 minutes of Enola.

Traditionally, there are 5 dual meets per season culminating in one Divisional meet. Swimmers may qualify for additional meets based on times from the divisional meet. The All-Star meet is held in both the winter and summer. The Mid-Cap Championship meet is the culminating summer event.

When is practice?
Each practice group has its own set times and schedule. The schedule is posted online on the Calendar page of the website and in the About Tab (Practice Schedule). 

How are practice levels and sessions assigned?
Coaches are responsible for assigning swimmers to levels based on a number of criteria, including, but not limited to: ability, attendance and dedication to the sport. Questions about levels, why your swimmers was assigned to a specific level or what they need to do in order to progress to the next level should be forwarded to: coaches@epac.org

What is the EPAC code of conduct policy?
EPAC swimmers and their families must sign-off on this policy, which governs the behavior of our swimmers at practice and meets. A copy is included with your registration materials.

What policies are in place surrounding practice and the locker rooms?
Cell phones and cameras are prohibited in locker rooms. Swimmers who bring these items to the pool must leave them outside during practice.

EPAC is not the only organization with access to the locker rooms and cannot monitor behavior inside the locker room during practice. EPAC is not responsible for lost or stolen articles. Swimmers are encouraged to leave their swim bags in the pool area during practice.

What happens if practice is cancelled? How will I know?
 In these instances, an email or text will be sent to the team as soon as possible. The closure will also be posted on our Facebook page.

What is the strength training program about? Is it required?
EPAC offers dry-land conditioning programs (age-appropriate strength and conditioning drills designed for swimmers to supplement the in-the-water practices) to some practice levels. Check the practice schedule for sessions and times. The strength training program is not mandatory, but highly recommended for all or our serious swimmers. Any specific questions about the program can be directed to: coaches@epac.org

How do I sign-up for a meet?
Sign-ups for meets will be done online. Links to sign-ups will be sent prior to meets. Please watch the web and your emails as meet dates approach.

Coaches determine the events that swimmers will participate in during all regular-season meets. Swimmers will choose their own events for the divisional meet at the end of the season.

What happens at a meet? How do they work? How do I prepare?
See the Day of the Meet page.

What do I do if my child is sick the day of the meet?
If you have confirmed that your swimmer will be at a meet, but cannot make it to the event for any reason, please contact Coach Guy or Coach Kirsten as soon as possible to let them know. Adjustments to the meet line-up need to be made in those cases and the sooner the coaches are aware, the smoother the meet planning and set-up will go.

What are heats? How are swimmers assigned?
When more swimmers are scheduled for and event that we have lanes to accommodate, the event is divided into heats, organized by the seed time of the swimmers. All of the swimmers times are included in the results, but only the top seeded swimmers will qualify to place in the event.

How are swimmers assigned to relays?
When coaches assemble a relay (freestyle or medley), they use the seed times of the fastest available swimmers in an age group to build the team. Multiple relay teams may be assembled in a single age group if enough swimmers are available. In these cases, the 4 fastest are in the “A” relay, the second 4 fastest in the “B” relay, and so on.

What is a DQ?
A disqualification (DQ) occurs when a swimmer incorrectly completes a dive (false start), stroke or turn. When a swimmer DQ’s in an event, their official time is not recorded and they do not earn points for the team.

What awards are given at meets? When will I get them?
Place ribbons are awarded for 1st – 6th place or 1st – 8th place depending on the pool. All other swimmers usually receive participatory ribbons depending on the host swim club. Medals are often awarded for invitationals, divisionals and All-Stars. Awards will be distributed at the awards banquet at the end of the season.

How are meets scored? How do I know who wins?
Points are awarded to the team when its swimmers place in an event. The cumulative points for the team determine the winner. Some meet venues post overall points during the meet. Often final scores are not know until the final results have been tallied after a meet is completed. When meet results are posted, team results are also given.

What are Divisionals?
Divisionals is a qualifier meet for All-Stars. This meet takes place after all regular swim meets have taken place. All of the teams from one division will come together for one large swim meet. In this meet the goal for a swimmer is a fast time. The sixteen fastest times from all of the divisions in the league will qualify for the All-Star meet. Divisionals occurs in both the summer and winter seasons.

What are All-Stars?
All-Stars is a championship meet for a league. Sixteen fastest times in each event from all of the Divisionals meets in the league compete. Medals are awarded for top finishers.

What are Mid-Caps?
Mid-Cap Championship Meet (also known as Super-Stars) is a summer meet where the top swimmers from the Mid-Penn League and Capital Area League race. The top 6 or 8 finishers in All-Stars from each league are invited to compete this swim meet.

What are invitationals?
Invitationals are special voluntary swim meets used as fund raisers for the host team. EPAC is invited to swim in a few Invitationals during both the summer and winter seasons. These meets often offer special events or age groups that are not offered during a regular swim meet. Swimmers must pay a small fee for each event in which he or she chooses to swim. This money usually goes to the teams hosting or sponsoring the event. Times for these meets are registered with the league and can be used for ranking in other meets.

What is USA Swimming?
USA Swimming would be best described as “travel swimming.” It is an opportunity for individual swimmers to gain more experience and compete at a higher level. USA Swimming is the same organization that hosts events for Michael Phelps and Dana Torres and every other professional United States swimmer. EPAC swimmers have an opportunity to swim in this league and compete in regional meets in State College and New Jersey. EPAC coaches recommend USA swimming for serious swimmers ages 9 and up.

See the USA Swimming page for more information.

What is Mini-Team?
Mini-Team is EPAC’s swim lesson program for youth aged 5-10. The program gives new swimmers individual instruction in the basics of swimming and their first look at the exciting world of competitive swimming.

See the  Mini Team page for more information.

What is the volunteer policy?

EPAC is an organization run by volunteers.  We cannot run our meets without your help.  During the season, we need over 300 volunteer slots filled; from the executive board to the back-up timers at meets, so we ask that parents get involved.  EPAC’s volunteer policy is that each family is required to fill 4 sessions time slots during the year. If we have open slots before the meet and your family has not volunteered or met their 4 session requirements, you may be contacted to fill a slot.  Volunteering for meets and events will be organized online via the Team Unify website. Positions for meets will be available for sign-up online through the Event page for the meet. Check your team emails and our website for information on where to go and how you can help.  At time of registration there will be a $50 Volunteer fee.  This $50 will be refunded back on your account the following month after the 4 session obligation has been met.  See you on deck.

If you are interested in getting involved at any level and have questions, please email admin@epac.org.  We’ll help you find your way, get you trained and get you involved.

Where do I sign-up to volunteer?

Volunteering for meets and events will be organized online. Positions for meets will be available for sign-up online through the Event page for the meet. Check your team emails and the web for information on where to go and how you can help