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Sandhills Sandsharks USA Swimming Squads 2020-2021

 

Age Group Squads

Age Group 3 (Description): This group is the first entry level group for young beginning swimmers who can swim 25 yards unassisted. Coaching focus is on teaching proper stroke technique and diving.

Requirements for Age Group 3

  • Can swim 25 yds freestyle & backstroke unassisted; learns foundational habits and strokes(Butterfly & Breaststroke) for competitive swimming.

  • Know proper practice and swim etiquette

  • Practices 2-3 X week for 1.00 hrs.

  • Attends selected meets; 3 meets/year are expected. 9 or more are available.

 

Age Group 2 (Description): Goal is to continue to focus on technique, improve starts, turns, introduce race strategies; with increased training.

Requirements for Age Group 2

  • Knowledge of all strokes and can perform 3 proficiently

  • Established basic habits like streamlines, turns, breathing

  • Clear knowledge of the strokes (may not be legal)

  • Able to continually swim 25’s without stopping

  • Knowledge of how to dive, streamline, and breathing

  • Practices 3- 5 X week for 1.25 hr

  • Attends selected meets; 5 meets/year are expected. 15 or more are available.

 

Age Group 1 (Description): Group are for advanced swimmers with previous team swimming experience. Swimmers are learning race strategies. Coaching focus is on technique and skill mastery while doing so at an accelerated training pace. Learning more advanced turn techniques particularly for IM races.

Requirements for Age Group 1

  • Can read the clock

  • Legal 50’s of all four strokes without stopping

  • Proficient Flip turns/Open turns routinely through practice

  • Proper breathing techniques

  • Practices 5 X week for 1.5 hours; attends 60 % of practices. Focus on improving technique & owning their work ethic.

  • Age Group 1 attends selected meets. 7 meets/ year are expected; 15 or more are available.


(**New Schedule starting August 17th**)

(AGE GROUP 3: If you are attending a school with a schedule that goes until 3:30pm you are allowed to stay an extra 15 min with Age Group 2)

Squad

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Total

AG 3

3:30-4:30 pm

OFF

3:30-4:30 pm

OFF

3:30-4:30 pm

OFF

3.00 (3 practices)

AG 2

4:15-5:30 pm

3:45-5:00 pm

4:15-5:30 pm

3:45-5:00 pm

4:15-5:30 pm

OFF

6.00 (5 practices)

AG 1

5:15-6:45 pm

4:45-6:15 pm

5:15-6:45 pm

4:45-6:15 pm

5:15-6:45 pm

OFF

7.50 (5 practices)

 

 

Senior Squads

Pre Senior: Pre Senior athletes are committed to developing their potential in competitive swimming with an eye toward joining the Senior squad.

  • Practices 4- 6 X week (1.5 hours each). Focus is on goal setting; refining the complexities of stroke techniques; complete challenging sets with integrity; practicing and compete regularly.

  • Attends 70% of practices & 70% of meets, competing in every event available during the season. 16 + meets available.

Senior: Senior swimmers compete at the State, Sectional & National level; may aspire to compete at the college level. Athletes are invited based on commitment to the sport, performance, & coach’s discretion. Seniors practice 6 X week (2 hrs). 16+ meets/yr. available. Athletes consistently failing to meet expectations may be asked to move to a more appropriate squad.

  • 99-100% Practice Attendance unless emailed prior or told prior (FOR GOOD REASONS)

  • Make The Sets (0 yardage missed)

  • Accountability for Hard Work/Effort at Practice

  • Conscious Effort to get Better

  • Eagerness to get better, faster, stronger (Set Goals/Strive to achieve them)

  • Participates in 90-100% of swim meets (16+ meets available)


 

(**New Schedule starting August 17th**)

Squad

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Total

Pre SR

6:00-7:30 pm

5:30-7:00 pm

6:00-7:30 pm

5:30-7:00 pm

6:00-7:30 pm

8:15-9:45 am

9.00 (6 practices)

Senior

5:30-7:30 pm

6:00-8:00am

5:30-7:30 pm

6:00-8:00am

5:30-7:30 pm

7:45-9:45 am

11.5 (6 practices)

 

 

 

Fees &  Commitments

 

Squad

AG 3

AG 2

AG 1

HS Prep     

Pre  Sr

Senior

Registration (due Aug 31)  

$75/USA Swimming Membership + $250 General Registration

Family Fundraising

$300

$300

$300

$400

$400

$400

Dues:  Monthly **         

11 X YR  (Sept-July)

$105

$125

$150

$150

$200

$230

OW Volunteer

June 5

June 5

June 5

Sept & June

Sept & June

Sept & June

 

         **Credit Card processing fee of $3.95 for each transaction to be added.Returned Check processing fee is $35.00

 

  • Meet fees billed prior to each meet.
  • Travel/hotel for swimmers taking the SSS Van to meets billed separately (13/overs).
  • Family discounts (dues only): 2nd child-10%; 3rd & additional--15%.
  • Family FundraisingPer family amount based on highest squad level. Team sponsorships, fundraisers, & Swim-a-thon count toward these funds. Unpaid amount invoiced July 1. Donations are tax deductible. 
  • Open Water Meets(nonparticipation not credited toward Capital Campaign Fundraising)
    • September- Pre/Senior Squads compete & volunteer. Non-participation fee is $200.00. 
    • June Open Water- All Squads compete & volunteer. Non-participation fee is $450.00.
  • Cancellations/ChangesEnrollment can be paused by giving notification in writing by the 15thof the month to [email protected]. There is no penalty to pause/resume enrollment. Proportional amount of Family Fundraising will be billed.  After January 15, open water commitment is expected. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Sandsharks and USA Swimming

What is your philosophy? Why should my child join a USA Swim Team?

 

Developmental philosophy: We follow USA Swimming’s and the USOC’s Athlete Development Model, which encourages multi-sport participation with an emphasis on fun for 12/under athletes. We expect our younger athletes to participate in additional sports and see swimming as a healthy part of their growth and development. As they get older, both elite track and recreational options are available. Additional information about this model—and both parent & athlete expectations—is available under Team Info.

Professionalism: All coaches are members of USA Swimming and take multiple classes and certifications. Our Head and Senior coaches are full time employees of Sandsharks. We are governed by USA Swimming & our Local Swimming Committee (LSC), NC Swimming. We follow Safe Sport guidelines & developmentally appropriate coaching guidelines. We are a non-profit with an outstanding Board of committed members representing a wealth of information about the sport of swimming and youth development.

No one gets benched: One of the greatest things about competitive swimming is that all swimmers compete against those of similar abilities at meets—from the newest and youngest to the oldest and college-oriented fastest.  Events are divided into heats and heats are seeded by swimmers’ times, so each swimmer races against kids with almost the same times.

Swimming teaches commitment and long term goal setting: Kids benefit most when sticking with their commitment—whatever the level—and practicing and competing with integrity.  Consistency over time yields rewards not just in the water, but in life—grit, doing what’s hard when you don’t feel like it, failing and trying again and learning from mistakes. 

Developing a swimmer is a long-term goal and partnership with our parents—Our mission statement is to help swimmers achieve their potential as senior swimmers. Our practice schedule and expectations reflect this goal. It’s not about next week, but who your child will be in 10 years.  Parents are expected to get swimmers to practices and meets regularly to help achieve these goals.

Swimming is a team AND individual sport. Swimming lets kids develop fantastic friendships. Showing up regularly for practice cements these friendships—kids need their lane mates to push them and to have fun. And swim meets—a huge part of development—are tons of fun when friends are there! Kids drive their own development; those who want to practice more and advance faster, can. 

What’s most important is picking the commitment level that’s right for your child and supporting him/her in maintaining that level of commitment, whether it’s 2-3 X week or 6 X a week.

How do I know if my child is a good fit for swim team?

If kids are enthusiastic about swimming and can swim one length of the pool, then swim team can be a good fit. The ability to take group instruction is important. Some kindergarteners thrive; others benefit from waiting until age 6 or 7.

My child is older.  Can he/she still join the team?

Yes! Our squads have suggested ages and we are able to work with beginners of all ages.

When are practices?

After school for our youngest swimmers (3:45), later for older ones.  Age Group swimmers do not practice on Saturdays.  See practice schedule/squad descriptions for more information; some accommodations are possible.

How much does it cost and how many practices a week do kids attend?

Depending on commitment and squad level, from $105-230/month and 2-7 practices a week.  A registration fee covers the USA Swimming annual membership, and a portion of admin costs, plus caps and t-shirts. Practices start at 1.00 hr and go to 2 hrs for senior swimmers.

How often and where do you compete?

We attend meets at least once a month; families pick the meets/days (many meets are Sat/Sun, but you decide which day/days you attend). Most meets are 1 to 1.5 hours away; times vary, but each session of a meet can only last 4 hours.  Sometimes swimmers are divided into 12/under and 13/over sessions within a meet. Other times, all ages compete in the same session. We attend meets at the Triangle Aquatic Center (Cary), UNC-CH, the Greensboro Aquatic Center, UNC-W, ECU, NC State, and Y’s in Winston-Salem, High Point, and Kernersville.  Occasionally we go to meets in SC or VA. Occasionally we can offer informal meets at our own pool.

The pool is outdoors. Where do you go in the wintertime?

We stay! In 2018, Sandsharks bought a dome to cover the pool and a pool heater to heat the water.  We also installed bathroom heaters, commercial showers, and hot water lines. The pool heater is turned on as soon as the water temperature warrants it (early October) and the dome will go up by late October/early November.  It comes down early April. A heating system keeps the air warm and the pool heater is set to 82 degrees, so our youngest are comfortable.

What is Family Fundraising?

The cost of running our swim team and maintaining the facility is partially subsidized by our aquatics and the Open Water swim meets we host in June and Sept. Dues do not cover the full cost of swim team participation (as is the case for almost all swim teams).  Family Fundraising is a standard way of bringing in funds to pay for the dome, heaters, equipment, and pool renovations costs (lane lines, blocks, pool blankets, electrical, plumbing). Many families find it easy to raise the funds through fundraisers, our annual Swim -A-Thon, and Open Water and team sponsorships. Swim a thon and other donations are tax deductible. Others choose to make a straight donation.

What is Open Water? Why do I need to help?

The Sandhills Sandsharks hosts NC Swimming’s Carolina Cup Open Water Invitational in September as part of NC Swimming and SC Swimming Open Water Select Camp, held at Lake Echo in Seven Lakes North. We host a much larger meet, NC Swimming’s Open Water State Champs, in June. These two races bring in significant revenue to support our competitive program.  We need every family to provide a volunteer to make the race successful and safe—we had over 700 splashes in our last June race throughout the day. Most teams require multiple days of volunteering at meets they host to raise revenues; we run 2 open water meets a year instead.

What else do I need to pay for?

Equipment Suits, goggles, equipment listed on the squad information page.  Good deals can be found through All American Swim (our sponsor) and through additional websites, such as Swim Outlet.  Going with brands such as Speedo, Nike, TYR, Finis, is a good bet for decent quality. “Grab bag” suits are a great way to get inexpensive suits at any online swim store, once you know your child’s size. Expensive suits and gear don’t make kids successful—consistency, meet attendance, and work ethic do. 

Swim meetsare billed through the website; costs are listed on the meet info document on the meets page under Team Events.  Meets require a facility fee, which goes to the facility owner, then entry fees for each event, which go to the host team.  Total fees range from $30/day to $60+/2-3 days.  Families select the sessions (days) swimmer will attend and coaches pick the events. Once entries are sent in for a meet, typically 10 days before the meet, teams are responsible for all submitted entries, per NC Swimming rules. There are limits to the number of swimmers in a meet so meets can keep to an approved timeline. Late entries often require double entry fees, too.  Even if you can’t make the meet, you’ll still be billed if you committed to it.

Travel/Hotel feesare for older swimmers who opt to take the team van to swim meets with the coaches. We provide travel when parents can’t. Usually, team travel is available just for 13/over, but sometimes for 11/12’s as well—it depends on the meet set up, as the senior coach follows the 13/over meet schedule.  Travel fees range from $15-30 for 1-3 days; hotel fees are based on total cost of swimmers’ rooms/ total number of swimmers on a nightly basis (so kids 3 to room do not pay more than kids 4 to a room).

How does my child get to be on a faster squad?

Coaches move swimmers up when it is developmentally appropriate and both a want and a need of the swimmer. Being the fastest in a group is not the primary reason for advancement—age, maturity, commitment, technique, drive, and the ability to handle the sets (reading the clock, understanding workouts) matter more.