Open and Closed Practices

Jets Executive Board Positions

Team Philosophy

Roles and Expectations

General Membership Meetings

Purpose and Objectives


Grievance Procedure

Training Philosophy

Awards and Recognition

USA Swimming Membership

Practice Facilities

Planning Travel

Refund Policy


The Liverpool Jets Swim Club is a United States Swimming Member and an active participant in Niagara District Swimming. We are a team of over 120 swimmers, in ages from 7 to 20 years of age. Our swimmers also represent varying abilities, including novice swimmers just beginning competitive swimming and some of the areas top high school athletes. The JETS welcome all motivated and interested swimmers regardless of ability.                              

       Jets swimmers compete on the local, regional, and national level. The Jets also promote and encourage its members to compete on the scholastic teams as well.

   The Liverpool Jets Swim Club is a non-profit corporation which is managed by an eight member Executive Board. Club membership includes parents and guardians of the team swimmers.

Team Philosophy:

We at the Liverpool Jets Swim Club seek to train and develop competitive swimmers to be successful in the pool and in life. The Jets have the basis for a very organized and highly successful team. We are dedicated to individual development in all competitive strokes knowing that as we succeed on an individual basis our team will succeed as a whole. Our training sessions emphasize stoke technique and intensity training.                              

       We are striving to help our swimmers learn the value of hard work, dedication, sportsmanship, team spirit, and successful competition through participation in one of the finest organizations available to children: United States Swimming. Through this medium, we hope to develop self-confidence, a realistic and strong self-image and a wholesome personality within a healthy body.

Purpose and Objectives:


The Liverpool Jets Swim Club is dedicated to providing an opportunity for each swimmer to reach their maximum potential in a competitive swim program.


  1. Each swimmer will uphold the rules and regulations of United States Swimming (USS).

  2. Each swimmer will be encouraged to develop loyalty to the JETS and a sense of fair play and good sportsmanship toward fellow team members through positive actions at all team gatherings and swim meets.

  3. Each swimmer will receive instruction so that they may become technically proficient in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly, starts and turns.

  4. Each swimmer will follow the leadership and direction given by the coaching staff in accordance with the abilities of the athlete.

  5. Each swimmer will be encouraged to participate in swim meets so that they will gain experience in competitive swimming.

Training Philosophy:

The training method of the Jets is quite unique. There is an extreme focus put on the development of the most efficient stroke technique. This technique is based on the research of Bill Boomer and the teachings of Terry Laughlin. An emphasis is placed on becoming balanced in the water and using that balance to put yourself in a position to swim through the water instead of against it.                              

       The physiological training of the Liverpool Jets Swim Club is based on the latest in advanced bio-mechanical research. Coach Mekker believes to race fast you must train fast. The Jets Senior and Junior Level swimmers go through a physiological test to determine the ideal training arm rates (stroke speed) and swimming speed (velocity) for a swimmer to train at to get the most improvement out of a swimmer. Each individual swimmer receives a graph showing the relation between their stroke rates and time. Training at such high rates of speed leaves very little need for large amounts of yardage.                              

       The Liverpool Jets also incorporate a great deal of dry-land exercises which reinforce the work that is done in the water. Simply stated, a better athlete makes a better swimmer. Our dry-land circuits are designed by our own Strength and Conditioning Coach and develop and maintain the muscle groups specifically used by our swimmers in the water.

Practice Facilities:

Liverpool High School (All Groups - year round).  The Liverpool High School has a six-lane, 25 yard competition pool with non-turbulent lane lines. Full locker room and shower facilities are available for both male and female Jets swimmers. Swimmers should either bring their own locks or bring their belongings up on deck during practice to avoid theft.

Onondaga Park (Junior and Senior - summer).  Onondaga is an outdoor, "L" shaped pool that offers a six-lane, 50 meter pool.  Our upper training levels utilize this facility in the summers typically on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  Long Course training not only concides with the pools used in competition during the summer, it also provides additional challenges to be met by our athletes.      

Open and Closed Practices:

Closed Practices

       The Liverpool Jets Swim Club carries a closed practice policy. Closed practice sessions are held Monday through Saturday unless otherwise specified. All closed practice sessions are open to athletes, coaches, and special guests only. This policy ensures that our coaches can pay full attention to the swimmers in the pool. If a parent/guardian needs to speak to a coach, please feel free to do so before or after practice.                                    

Open Practices

       Because we know you enjoy seeing your young athletes as much as we do, a specific day (e.g. Monday) will be selected as the practice session that will be open to all for the month. But please refrain from contacting our coaches during the practice session.

Swimmer’s Equipment:

  1. Practice Suit - Nylon fabric holds up the best for practice. The suit should be racing style for best performance.

  2. Competition Suit - Lycra fabric provides the best fit. Suits should fit snuggly to prevent drag in the water that reduces speed. Swimmers are expected to purchase and wear the designated Jets team suit. Swimmers are not permitted to wear their team suits in practice! (The chlorine just eats them right up.)

  3. Goggles - Goggles should be worn at practice to help reduce eye irritation caused by chlorine.

  4. Swim Caps - Wearing swim caps during practice helps reduce the negative effects of chlorine to the hair. They also keep longer hair from affecting the swimmer's performance. During meets caps reduce drag and wearing the Jets team cap helps to distinguish our swimmers.                

  5. Optional gear includes large towels, team warm-ups, and a sports bag for carrying all of this equipment to and from practices and meets.

    Information regarding the ordering of Jets team apparel will be distributed through the family folders.

Roles and Expectations:

The Liverpool Jets Swim Club has adopted and endorses USA Swimming's Anti-Bullying Policies for all coaches, athletes, and parents.  Details regarding these policies can be found in the links below:



In order for a swimmer to reach their highest potential, three entities must come together: Parents, Swimmers, and Coaches. Each part has their unique responsibilities and they must trust that the others shall fulfill theirs. Below we have put together lists of these responsibilities 


  1. First and foremost, the coaches must provide for a safe training environment.

  2. Coaches are to provide a training regimen involving advanced biomechanics to promote the success of each individual swimmer.

  3. The coaches must periodically evaluate the swimmers and judge their ability and desire to advance. Consequently, it is the coach's responsibility to advise the swimmer and parents/guardians of their recommendations.

  4. Coaches will respect the decision of a swimmer to remain at a certain training level.

  5. Coaches are expected to instruct swimmers through positive reinforcement. Should a coach be faced with the situation where a swimmer is disruptive or unwilling to follow instructions, the coach has authority to ask the swimmer to leave the swimming pool, but that swimmer MUST remain on deck until the end of practice.

  6. It will be left to the discretion of the coaches to notify the parents of a swimmer if disciplinary actions toward a swimmer have been taken.

  7. Coaches are not to instruct swimmers that are delinquent in membership fees during normal team practice sessions.

  8. Coaches are to explain the selection criteria used for relay team assignments. Coaches may assign swimmers to a relay at their discretion. Selections may or may not be based upon a swimmer's best time for the stroke required for that relay.

  9. The Head Coach is responsible for insuring that every member of the team has a current USS card. In the event that a swimmer does not have a current card, then that swimmer will not be allowed in the pool area.

  10. Coaches are expected to set a positive example for the swimmers by exhibiting good sportsmanship at all times.

Parents and Guardians

  1. Parents/Guardians are to provide unconditional emotional support of their swimmer(s) at all times.

  2. In order to meet expenses of the Jets, membership fees are required of each swimmer/family. Swimmers/families who are delinquent with their payments will not be allowed to practice with the team. Please see the current donation schedule found in the section entitled CLUB DUES for details.

  3. Parents/Guardians are expected to help with the many activities of the Jets. You are encouraged to volunteer as timers and officials at swim meets. It is expected that all parents are to volunteer at the Liverpool Jets Swim Club Home Swim Meets.

  4. All parents/guardians are welcome to attend all general membership meetings. If there are any items you may want to discuss at the meeting, they should be presented to the President in writing at least one week prior to the meeting.

  5. Parents/Guardians that have concerns or complaints involving any aspect of the Jets program are encouraged to utilize the JETS GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE as a means of voicing those concerns.

  6. Parents/Guardians are responsible for the actions of their children at all swim meets and practice sessions.

  7. Parents/Guardians should understand that the main purpose of a swim meet is to track the progress of their child or children in relationship to their previous outings. They should not be compared to any other member of the team.

  8. Parents/Guardians should check their Jets family folder, e-mail, and the Newsline at least once a week to find out about upcoming events and information about the team.

  9. Parents/Guardians are invited to observe practice on specially designated days. All other practice sessions are open only to athletes, the coaching staff and special guests.

  10. Parents/Guardians are responsible for getting their swimmer(s) to practice.

  11. Parents/Guardians are responsible for registering their swimmer for meets, as well as for arranging transportation, food and lodging, when necessary.

  12. It is necessary for all Parents/Guardians to take part in the JETS phone tree.


  1. Swimmers are expected to arrive at practice early enough to be on deck, ready to swim with the necessary equipment at the scheduled start of practice.

  2. Swimmers to be aware of the aquatic environment around them and should act in a responsible manner as to insure the safety of themselves and their team members.

  3. Swimmers are to practice and compete to the best of their abilities at all times.

  4. At swim meets, it is the responsibility of the swimmer to get to the clerk of course or starting blocks, depending on the format of the meet, at the time their event is called.

  5. Swimmers are to follow the directions and recommendations of the coaching staff.

  6. It is expected that all members purchase and wear the JETS designated competition suit and swim cap.

  7. Swimmers are to provide support for and promote the success of their fellow teammates.

  8. Set long and short-term goals and determine the steps necessary to reach them.

  9. Swimmers are responsible to balance their academic schedule and understand that school comes before sport.

  10. It is expected that all swimmers of the JETS will at all times make sure the property of others is respected. For example, always turn off showers when you are finished and turn in found articles to the lost and found.

        Note: Responsibility increases with the age of the swimmer.


Communication is a necessity for any club to be successful. The Liverpool Jets Swim Club has several avenues for communication between the members and the club:

Family Folders - Each family will have a folder in the Family Folder box kept at the pool. This is our main avenue for communicating club information. All monthly schedules, swim meet information packets, and all other notices will be sent home via the Family Folders. Extra copies of all schedules and flyers will be in the folders as well.

Text Alerts - The new website allows families to input cell phone numbers to receive text alerts on late breaking news such as practice cancellations.  Simply log in and head to "My Account" to register a cell phone number. 

Website - 

E-Mail - All communications will be duplicated along the lines of e-mail.

Awards and Recognition:

Achievements of individual swimmers are recognized by the following:

  1. Awards and ribbons are earned at meets according to meet guidelines set by the host club. These are explained in the meet information sheets.

  2. The 'Swimmer of the Year' award, selected by the coaching staff for each level, recognizes the achiever who has exhibited good practice habits, attendance, personal improvement and a positive influence for teammates and coaches.

  3. The 'Most Improved Swimmer' award, selected by the coaching staff for each level, recognize the achiever who has exhibited marked improvement in his or her swimming abilities over the past year.

  4. The 'PILOT' award, selected by the coaching staff, recognize one male and one female athlete for their leadership qualities.

Planning Travel:      

Athletes attending long distance invitationals or LSC championship meets will be in charge of their own arrangements.  The parent board will secure blocks of rooms at a reduced rate and arrange and fund a team dinner at the team hotel for championship meets.  For all regional and national level swim meets, travel will be arranged by the head coach and paid for through grants from the LSC and from the club. 

Jets Executive Board Positions:   

      The Executive Board consists of five (5) annually elected officers, the Head Coach, and two (2) appointed representatives.  The Executive Board sets the direction of the Liverpool Jets Swim Club and is responsible for its routine functions.  The Executive Board meets approximately once a month.  As a requirement of the club’s 501c(3) Not-for-Profit status, members that serve on the Executive Board do not receive any benefits including reduced membership dues or preferential treatment by the coaching staff.  Their service is completely voluntary and is done so with the best intentions of the club’s success in mind.

President (Zac Mekker) – The President is responsible for establishing agenda for all meetings and chairs all Board and Membership meetings.  He/She shall serve as an ex-officio of all committees and is the primary contact between the club and the Liverpool Central School District.

Vice President of Communications (Tracie Griffin) – The VP of Communications is in charge of establishing all club communications including the team website, e-mail listserv and press releases.  He/She is also our contact to outside vendors including hotels (travel meets), restaurants (team dinners, banquet).    

Vice President of Operations (Deb Champagne) – The Vice President of Operations shall assume all duties of the President in the absence of the President.   The Vice President of Operations is in charge of tracking registrations of the membership and the facilitation of registration night.  He/She also heads up our home meet committee and plays a vital role in organizing the swim meets hosted by the Liverpool Jets Swim Club.  He/She also serves as the chairperson of the grievance committee. 

Treasurer (Kim Hunter) – The Treasurer shall be responsible for the collection of dues and will disburse funds as required, budget for all expenses, and prepare all financial statements needed for the functioning of the association during the fiscal year (September 1st to August 31st). 

Secretary (Sandi Thorne) – The Secretary is responsible for recording and distributing the minutes of all meetings.  He/She is responsible for the annual Registration Orientation Night and keeping a current club registry.  They are also responsible for updating the family folders on deck and for facilitating elections for the Executive Board.

Head Coach (Zac Mekker) – The responsibilities of the Head Coach on the Executive Board involve updating the Board Members on the condition of the club, provide insight, and to appoint the parent representatives.  The Head Coach also hires all members of the coaching staff, sets wages, and makes sure all coaches are current in their certifications.  

Parent Representatives (Bob Nicita, Heather Alexander, Tim Krueger) – The parent representatives are non-voting members appointed by the Head Coach.  Their main function is to offer insight and to increase communication between the club membership and the Executive Board.  They also help new families assimilate into the Liverpool Jets.

To get acquainted with the current Jets Executive Board members, click on the "coaches" tab on the very top left of the website.  Board Members are listed on the bottom.

General Membership Meetings

        The Executive Board will be holding General Membership Meetings twice a year:  Registration Night (2 weeks after Labor Day) and as part of the JETS annual spring banquet.  All members of the club, including parents/guardians and swimmers, are encouraged to attend these meetings.

Grievance Procedure

 A grievance is a circumstance that is thought to be unjust. It is grounds for complaint. Below is a procedure to follow if you feel a grievance has occurred.

  1. Swimmers and parents should be sure to get the facts.

  2. Direct your concerns verbally to the appropriate person(s). For example: President, Coach, or Committee Chairperson.

  3. If a grievance remains unresolved, put it in writing giving all the details of the steps you have taken and present the grievance to the President or Vice President (be sure to retain a copy).

  4. The parent(s)/guardian(s) of the swimmer and the swimmer have the right to be present when the grievance is presented to the Executive Board. When appropriate, the parent(s)/guardian(s) of a swimmer may request to have their grievance heard without the person(s) at which the complaint is directed in the meeting room.

  5. When necessary, the Executive Board would present this problem to the person(s) at which the complaint was directed and listen to their statement (excluding the parent(s)/guardian(s), or swimmer if desired).

  6. The Executive Board would then determine the resolution, and take action to resolve the grievance. This plan would be presented in written form.

  7. The decision of the Executive Board is final.

USA Swimming Membership:    

    In addition to these membership fees, swimmers must also pay an annual fee to register with United States Swimming. A membership in United States Swimming, Inc. provides insurance coverage at all Liverpool Jets Swim Club practices and meets. This also guarantees the athlete's membership in one of the most highly organized and successful amateur athletics organization in the country. The application and payment must be received before a swimmer can enter the water.

Refund Policy:        

All new swimmers entering into the Developmental Level are given a two-day trial period.  THose new swimmers entering one of our year-round levels (Age Group, Junior, and Senior) are given a two-week trial period. These trial periods allow the swimmer to see if the Liverpool Jets Swim Club is right for them and for the coaches to see if the swimmer is right for the club. In light of this trial option, the Jets do not offer refunds unless there is a documented medical excuse.

Contact Information:       

 For more information on the Liverpool Jets Swim Club, please feel free to contact Coach Zac Mekker at 569-5387 or by emailing webmaster. He will be happy to answer any of your questions or concerns.