Welcome to the LHY Swim Team Parents Guide

You will find useful information throughout these pages regarding expectations of swimmers and parents, as well as basic knowledge and terminology. 

General Comments

  • Encourage and support your teammates.
  • We warm-up as a team at meets because it is part of our philosophy that there is strength in numbers. It is more intimidating to opposing teams to see us as a large group.
  • It is important that a full, proper warm-up be completed, therefore be prompt for warm-ups.
  • Always warm-down if a warm-down pool is available.
  • The team sits together at meets. Swimmers should not sit with parents.
  • Team cheers are done as a team, with everyone participating.
  • See the coach before and immediately after your swim to receive feedback on your performance.
  • Swimmers must wear only LHY team apparel.
  • Always swim hard- no excuses.
  • Relays are subjective. In general, the four best times swim, but the coach may change when circumstances warrant a change (i.e. swimmer not having a peak performance meet may be substituted from someone who is). The choice is totally up to the coach. Everyone stays until the relays are over to offer maximum choice of athletes for the relay. Never assume you are not on a relay.


LHY competes in the YMCA North Jersey Swim League against other teams in specific divisions. There are many divisions, based on team size and ability. We have three girls’ teams and two boys’ teams, and the divisions in which they compete are determined by the previous year's dual meet record. The teams compete in four to six dual meets each of the teams in their respective divisions. The dual meets are swum on Saturdays beginning in late October and ending late December. The meet line-ups, (what each swimmer will be swimming in the meet), will be established during the week prior to the meet. However, the line-ups will not be posted until the day of the meet, so as to allow for any last minute changes. Swimmers are required to swim the events in which the coach has entered them.


  • All swimmers are expected to be at every dual meet. This is part of your team commitment to the Lakeland Hills Family YMCA Swim Team.
  • All swimmers should ride the team bus both to and from meets.
  • All swimmers must stay in their swim suits until the meet is over and we have done our team cheer.


Swimmers compete in invitational meets in order to swim events that are not offered in dual meets. There are specific USA-S meets in which LHY will compete as a team, with events scheduled over one, two or three days. Most of these invitationals require a time standard that the swimmer must be equal to or faster than in order to sign-up for the event. Swimmers are urged to swim new events that the coaches suggest. Swimmers will be expected to enter the maximum number of events for which they are qualified, and must swim all events in which they are entered. "Scratching" an event will be solely at the coaches’ discretion. Coaches select swimmers' events for all invitationals. Any request to swim events must be in writing and submitted to the coach.


Each swimmer will be able to participate in a championship meet as his/her final competition. A swimmer is finished with his/her season if he/she does not qualify for the next championship meet. Qualifying time standards will be distributed as soon as they become available.

  • 8 & under Championships (early February)
  • YMCA Bronze Championships (12/under only) (early February)
  • YMCA Silver Championships (mid-February)
  • YMCA State Championships (late February/ early March)
  • New Jersey Junior Olympics (mid March)
  • Eastern Zone Age Group Championships (late March/early April)
  • YMCA National Championship (early April)


Coaches will enter all swimmers in dual meets. Swimmers can request a desired event in a dual meet and coaches will attempt to accommodate that request. Invitational meets generally have some type of qualifying standard to participate. Invitational meet information will be posted on the team website. Swimmers will be automatically entered, if they qualify, and entry fees charged to their meet fee accounts. Swimmers who are NOT able to decline their commitment online by the registration deadline and leave a comment as to the reason.  Parents will also be required to time at the invitational if their child is attending the meet or find a replacement.


Changes in practices or meets will be communicated through email and the team's website. 


LHY will provide bus transportation to and from away dual meets that are further than 30 minutes for swimmers and coaches only. The buses will leave from and return to Lakeland Hills YMCA. The coaches require swim team members to take the bus to the meets as a part of building team unity. Written permission is needed if the swimmer is to use other transportation, including riding with parents for the return trip. If a child is to ride home with parents other than his/her own, written permission is needed from that child's parent. Bus forms are available on the website under "Documents" and would be needed for each meet as applicable.


The coaching staff and Parents Committee will attempt to communicate information in a variety of ways, including the team website, emails, and posts on the bulletin boards.  If you have any additional ideas for increasing communication, please let us know.


The LHY philosophy is that swimming for one's high school and the YMCA can be compatible. and is important for each high school age athlete. However, an athlete must recognize the level of commitment necessary to achieve the goals he/she has set.

An LHY athlete should make every effort to attend all LHY practices, even on days of HS meets. 80% attendance at all practices is mandatory. Too many meets and not enough training will result in a poor season, especially at championships. Both these factors could jeopardize the athlete’s position on the LHY team the following season.

An LHY athlete should be aware of balancing/maintaining school grades, training with LHY during the HS season, and competing for his/her HS swim team. Too many late nights spent doing homework could create a downward spiral of health as well as performance, which could affect grades, training and ultimately season-end meets/goals. 

No LHY athlete is to do any weight lifting or dry land program outside of LHY’s practices.  The coaching staff feels strongly that weight lifting not be incorporated until the collegiate level, when a program is typically designed and supervised specifically by a trainer for college-aged swimmers.  (The reasoning behind this is kids are still growing and developing through high school and run a high risk of injury at this age).

Tech suits and shaving at any other time except for LHY Championship meets are not permitted. To shave and wear the tech suits multiple times within a short period of time diminishes the effect of these two crucial components of a taper meet.

Swimmers competing in high school meets should always try their hardest not only to get the best place for the high school team, but also to better their previous times. They should use the designated warm-up/loosen times to do a complete warm-up/warm down when available, which will help to avoid injury and prepare them to race as well as recover properly.

Times achieved at high school meets will not be accepted unless unless it's an approved meet through USA Swimming. A printed report from the timing system computer with the meet referee’s signature should be given to the Head Coach for acceptance. High School times will not be entered into the team computer, but may be used for meet entries.


The highest level of YMCA-sponsored swimming competition is the YMCA National Championships, held each year in April and July/August. This is one of the largest competitive swimming meet in the world, with over 1,300 athletes participating. Swimmers from YMCA's throughout the USA travel to this meet to compete against each other. Each year college coaches from across the country come to view prospective student athletes. To be eligible for the National Swim Team, a swimmer must achieve a qualifying time and then meet the following criteria:

  • Must be 12 years of age.
  • Must be in good membership standing with the Y
  • Must participate in the fund raising efforts at LHY to offset the trip costs.
  • Must have completed 8 hours of service to LHY by March 1st, 2 hrs of which are with the younger swimmers on the team.
  • Must possess a positive attitude toward training, competition, and teammates.
  • Must attend 80% of practices.

The cost of sending the swimmers and coaches to Y Nationals is quite high, estimated at $1200 to $1500 per person. Y-Nat parents spend a great deal of time and effort in running an ongoing fund-raising campaign to defray the costs that each swimmer's family would otherwise have to bear. Depending upon the success of our efforts and the number of National Team Swimmers, the fund raising could reduce the cost to each swimmer by about $400 to $800.

It will be up to the coaching staff to select the National Team Members based upon completion of the criteria above. All swimmers will be held to the same set of rules. This specific information will be provided to all swimmers age 12+ as the season begins. Also note that the YMCA National Committee requires National participants to swim in the Y State Championships.


In addition to YMCA swimming, the LHY swim team also competes in USA Swimming (USA-S) meets.  These meets bring together a large number of participants; are organized by age groups; and are usually held at the large pools at either Princeton University or Rutgers University (but not always). The USA-S meets offer our swimmers the chance to swim events and distances not swum in dual meets, and to swim many strokes and events over the two or three days of the meet. The advantages of the USA-S meets are that the swimmers have the opportunity to compete in more races during the season (after all, that's what they're practicing for!), and to swim against state-wide competition. All swimmers are encouraged to participate in these meets and to swim in as many events as possible. All registrations will be done early in the season. The membership runs December through December. All swimmers are required to register as per insurance requirements. Membership includes an informative monthly newsletter produced by USA Swimming. Membership is included in your swim team fee. You will only need to fill out a form if you are a new member or if you have changes (address etc.).