Q. Do we have a team cheer?

A. We certainly do - see video below:

Q. What is a competitive swim team?

A. Rochester Swim Club (RSC) is a year-round swim team, which provides swimmers of all ages, through training and guidance, the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to become world class citizens and athletes.  RSC is a USA Swimming and AAU affiliated organization based in Rochester, Minnesota.  RSC provides an opportunity for all athletes to swim in a safe, healthy environment while pursuing the highest level of personal development, both in and out of the pool.

Q. Are there any requirements for my swimmer to join the Rochester Swim Club?

A. RSC swimmers need to know how to swim all four competitive strokes.  If new to RSC, please schedule an evaluation so we can find the best place for your swimmer or diver within RSC.

Q. What do I do to start?

A. Contact Autumn Kappes – CEO, [email protected]

Q. What is RSC’s website?


Q. Do you have a trial period?

A. Each new swimmer is given a two-week trial period.  Swimmers transitioning from Prep Squad to team are not considered new swimmers.

Q. How is the Rochester Swim Club organized?

A.  RSC is a non-profit 501c3 organization, governed by an advisory Board of Directors and administrated by our CEO Autumn Kappes.  All communication regarding club function/administration/operations should be directed at Autumn Kappes. 

RSC is affiliated with USA Swimming, Minnesota Swimming, Inc. and Amateur Athletic Union Swimming (AAU).

Q. What is USA Swimming?

A. USA Swimming is the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming.  It administers competitive swimming in accordance with the Amateur Sports Act. They also provide programs and services for members, supporters, affiliates and the interested public.  Visit for more information.

Q. What is Minnesota Swimming, Inc. (MSI)?

A. Within the United States, there are fifty-nine (59) Local Swimming Committees (LSCs). Each LSC is responsible for administering USA Swimming activities in a defined geographical area and has its own set of bylaws under which it operates.  A House of Delegates with representation of athletes, coaches, members of the Board of Directors and clubs is responsible for managing the business affairs of the LSC.  Minnesota Swimming, Inc. (MSI) is our Local Swimming Committee. MSI’s geographical area consists of the state of Minnesota.  Visit for more information.

The Rochester Swim Club employs professional coaches, pays USA, AAU, and Minnesota Swimming fees, purchases equipment for swimmers, and incurs other necessary expenses.

Q. What is the total cost per year for my child?

A. Swimmers are required to pay yearly registration fees for USA Swimming, AAU, and/or Minnesota Swimming.  Monthly dues for the season vary from group to group and are available online.

Q. What is the average cost per year for competitions for a swimmer of my child’s age and ability?

A. Meet entry fees vary from meet to meet.  Fees will always be listed in the posted meet information online.


Q. How are entry fees for swim meets collected?

A. Your online account will be billed monthly based on participation.

Q. What equipment and outfitting will my child need and how much does it cost?

A. Swimmers need suits, caps, and goggles along with other equipment set at the beginning of the season by your swimmer’s coach.  Team Suits and RSC apparel is available through the TEAM STORE line on the website.


Q. Where are swim practices held?

A. The majority of practices are held at:

Rochester Recreation Center,
21 Elton Hills Drive, Rochester, MN 55901

however, some additional facilities are utilized for practices as well:  John Marshall and Mayo High School, Willow Creek Middle School

Q. How many days a week will my child have swim practice?

A. The practice schedule varies depending on the swimmers age and ability. The practice schedule is posted on the RSC website.

Q. Who will be coaching my child? What is this coach’s background and experience?

A. Every group has a coach that is responsible for that group.  All RSC coaches are registered with USA Swimming, Minnesota Swimming and AAU.  They have also completed all required certifications, trainings and testing required by USA Swimming and Minnesota Swimming.

Q. Do I drop my child off or can I stay and watch practice?

A. Parents are welcome to watch practice.  However, parents must watch from the bleachers and not interrupt practice. If parents need to communicate with their swimmer during practice, they should inform the coach and the coach will take the swimmer out of the water.  Parents are asked to wait until after practice to talk to their swimmer or the coach.  Coaches are always willing to set up times outside of practice to meet with swimmers/parents if they have questions or concerns.

Q. What is Dryland training?

A. Dryland is a session during practice outside of the pool, which can include stretching, jogging, stationary exercise and other physical activities designed to provide extra strength training and cardiovascular exercise. Dryland training is also important for injury prevention.

Swimming competitions are called meets. Meets are organized so that children are competing against other children of similar ages and abilities.

USA Swimming Rule Book

Q. Are there any helpful apps I should download on my phone?

A. Meet Mobile and On-Deck are two helpful apps that will help you at swim meets.

Q. Do I chose the meets my child competes in?

A. Coaches will recommend meets for swimmers to attend.  The Meet Schedule is posted online.  Swimmers and parents are encouraged to talk to the coach about attending meets if they have questions.

Q. How do I enter my child in a meet?

A. The swim meet schedule is posted on the RSC website.  To enter the meet, login and declare whether your swimmer will participate or not in the meet.

Q. How often will my child compete in meets?

A. Generally, several meets are scheduled each month of the season.  A coach will attend all meets. Participation in at least one meet monthly is recommended.

Q. Where are the meets held?

A. RSC competes in meets held in Rochester, and other surrounding cities in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

Q. What are the differences between short course and long course seasons?

A. Short course (SC) is swimming in a pool that is 25 yards. Long course (LC) means swimming in a pool that is 50 meters (like the Olympics). There are seasons for each. SC season is September - March, and LC season is April - August.

Q. Who prepares and sends the meet entries to the host team?

A. Meet entries are prepared by the coach.

Q. Who is responsible for providing transportation to meets?

A. Parents are responsible for providing transportation for their swimmer.  There are a few team travel meets each year where swimmers will travel with the coach and other team members.

Q. What do parents do at the meets?

A. At home meets, which are held in Rochester, parents are asked to work to fill specific shifts, such as timing, working with meet management, helping with hospitality, etc.  At away meets, parents are sometimes asked to help with timing and officiating.

Q. What do we need to do to prepare for the swim meet?

A. Make sure your swimmer brings all his/her swim gear, team suit, team cap, goggles, and more than one towel.  Make sure you prepare for the weather by bringing proper clothing, parkas, sweaters, extra pants if cold. Don’t forget sunscreen for summer outdoor meets.  Also, bring water and nutritious food so your child will eat properly and stay hydrated.  Make sure your swimmer gets a good night’s sleep before each day of the meet.

Q. What do we do when we arrive at the meet?

A. Make sure you arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the beginning of warm-ups or when the coaches tell you to be there.  Check in with your coach to see when the swimmer should get ready for warm-ups.  Purchase a program to determine which events, heats and lanes your swimmer is in.  Coach will also have a program and can supply this information to you.  Encourage the swimmer to conserve energy and to not use all their energy playing around at the meet.  Save it for the race.  Sit with the team and cheer for the other RSC swimmers.

Q. What is an Event?

A. An event is a specific type of race such as "11-12 year old girls, 100 yard butterfly".  There may be many "heats" per event.

Q. What is a Heat?

A. When there are more swimmers for an event than there are lanes in the pool (for example, 16 swimmers in an 8-lane pool), the first heat includes eight swimmers. The second heat includes the next eight swimmers. The best times from all the heats for an event determine the first, second, and third place finishers for the event. A swimmer can win his or her heat and still not place overall in the event.

Q. Why do I have to be there for warm up when my child does not swim until much later?

A. Warm-up is essential because it helps the swimmers get focused on their events and accustomed to the pool that they are racing in (starts, turns, backstroke count, etc.). Swimmers are accustomed to doing a good warm up every day at practice and need to create the same experience on meet day.  Not warming up can lead to injuries in the future.  Swimmers should show up to warmup on time and be ready to get in at the START of warm-up.

Q. What does it mean to be “DQ”ed? 

A. It means that the swimmer is disqualified for that race. When a swimmer is disqualified or “DQ”ed it means that there is something that they did that is illegal under the swimming rules.  A DQ can be for something like a one-handed touch in breaststroke, false starting, or a stroke violation like flutter kick on the fly. A DQ is no big deal and although it may cause some tears, it is best to keep it in perspective.  Every swimmer has received or will receive a DQ at some point in his or her swimming career.  (USA Swimming Definition)


Q. What is a False Start? 

A. When a swimmer leaves the starting block before the start horn sounds.  (USA Swimming Definition)

Q. What strokes do the swimmers use in competition?

A. Freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly.

Q. What is Freestyle? 

A. Freestyle is usually the front crawl with the flutter kick, but any stroke or combination of strokes is legal as long as the swimmer does not walk on the bottom of the pool or use the lane line to gain momentum and touches the walls on turns.  (USA Swimming Definition)

Q. What is Backstroke? 

A. Backstroke is done on the swimmer’s back.  A flutter kick is used while the arms alternate (one then the other).  Swimmers cannot roll past 90 degrees from their back as they stroke and cannot roll onto their sides or stomach when approaching the finish wall. (Many younger swimmers tend to do this to see how close they are to the wall; they will need to learn to count the number of strokes they need to take after they pass under the flags.)  (USA Swimming Definition)

Q. What is Breaststroke? 

A. The breaststroke uses the whip kick (or frog kick is acceptable), while arms pull underwater simultaneously.  The two hands must touch the wall simultaneously on the turn and finish.  (USA Swimming Definition)

Q. What is Butterfly? 

A. In the butterfly, the feet and knees are together on the kick (dolphin kick), while arms move simultaneously.  The two hands must touch the wall simultaneously on the turn and finish.  (USA Swimming Definition)

Q. What is an Individual Medley?

A. An event where the swimmer swims each stroke in a specific order: fly, back, breast, and free.

Q. What are Relays?

A. Relays are a combination of four swimmers.  The Freestyle Relay consists of four individual freestyle swims and the medley relay consists of four individual strokes--backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle. The coaches will determine who swims on the relays.

Q. How long is each race?

A. Different age groups swim different race lengths.  SC distances for 8&Under swimmers are generally 25, 50 or 100 yards and their LC distances are 50, 100 or 200 meters.  9 - 12-year old swimmers swim SC distances of 50, 100, 200 or 500 yards and LC distances of 50, 100, 200 and 400 meters. Swimmers, age 13 and older, swim SC distances of 100, 200, 500, 1000 and 1650 yards and LC distances of 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1500 meters.

Most teams depend heavily on meet workers to perform a variety of tasks.

Q. How can I contribute to my child’s team if I know very little about swimming?

A. You can contribute by helping with meets, fundraisers and team activities. Your biggest contribution will be your unconditional love and support for your swimmer.

Q. How should parents behave at meets?

A. Parent’s behavior at swim meets is vital to the success of their swimmer, it is also important for the success of the team.

1) Don’t Coach. Leave the coaching to the coaches. This includes pre-race strategy, “psyching up”, and motivating. This also includes post-race critiquing and setting goals.      - Let the coaches coach!

2) Be Your Swimmer’s Best Fan. Support your child unconditionally. Do not get upset or withdrawn if your child performs poorly. Your child should not have to perform well to win your approval and support.

          3) Support and cheer for all swimmers on the team.

4) Take your concerns directly to the coach in an appropriate manner. Do not go to other parents to discuss concerns.

Q. What is expected or required of parents?

A. Parents are expected to be a meet worker at home meets and team activities and to participate in team fundraisers.

Q. Who can I ask when I have questions?

A. The coach is the best place to start if you have questions directly related to your swimmer.  Chain of command when an issue/question/concern arises:

  • Contact your lead coach
    Still a concern, contact the head coach
    Still a concern, contact the CEO
    Lastly, still a concern, contact all members of the Board of Directors