What We Expect from You

The following is an outline of what the coaches collectively expect from you as an MYM Dolphins team member. Please take the time to read and understand our expectations as they will help you understand where the coaches are coming from. Athletes who do not meet our expectations will be asked to re-try out and risk their spot on the team.

Improvement – We expect that you want to improve. Realize that in order for improvement to occur you must increase the frequency and intensity of your workouts. In short you have to come to practice more frequently than you did last year and work harder than you did yesterday to make that happen.  

Focus at Practice​ - It is expected that swimmers will pay attention and listen carefully to directions during practices. The coaches are your teachers and should be treated with respect. 

Practice Attendance - All training groups have a set number of required practices determined by the coaches – you are expected to show up. Swimmers are expected to check in with a coach when arriving for and before leaving each practice. You must come to practice on time and stay for the duration of the practice. Warming-up and Warming-down are crucial to avoiding injury and recovery from practice/competition. Get your schedule in order so you can attend the entire practice.  Swimmers are expected to stay in the pool area during the entire practice and are not permitted to visit with parents during practice. If you need to come late or leave early to practice, your deck coach needs to know and approve this at least 24 hours in advance in order for that practice to count towards your requirement.

Meet Attendance - You are expected to attend all Auto-Entry meets for which you qualify (including Dual Meets) and fully participate in all events in which you have been entered, including but not limited to bonus, consolation and final heats of events at meets with a prelim/final format, unless you have been excused by the Head Coach. Contact Paulo if you cannot attend any part of the meet as far in advance as possible and at the very latest the Wednesday prior to the meet. After that, only in the case of emergency is it acceptable to miss a meet. If you fail to show up to a meet you are entered in and failed to let us know well ahead of time, you may receive a two meet suspension, regardless of the importance of the next two meets. Swimmers who "blow us off" have already made the decision that they will not be in the next two meets. Encourage one another to attend every meet for which you qualify.

Tardiness - You should be early to practices and meets to allow for stretching/preparation before warm-ups begin.  Swimmers on a specific stretching regimen need to allow enough time prior to the start of warm-ups to complete their prescribed stretches. It is critical for all swimmers to participate in a warm-up session before commencing a strenuous workout. Tardiness means missed warm-ups. Missed warm-ups mean injuries. Be Early - So You Can Be on Time. Anyone who is late to meet warm-ups will be scratched. Lateness and chronic lateness will be dealt with in a variety of ways including but not limited to having to sit out for a period of time, or the whole practice, parental calls and/or meetings.

Attitude/Will/ Determination - Dolphins must have the willingness to work hard, do well, try new things, break old habits, have fun, work with others, and be leaders. Simply, Dolphins must have the will to succeed and be part of a team. Swimmers and parents are expected to have a positive attitude all season long.

Respect - Dolphins are expected to have respect for many things including yourself, each other, the coaches, the YMCA, Montclair Beach Club, other YMCAs... etc.  Dolphins are expected to respect other people's belongings, the buildings we visit as a team and the actions and activities we engage in while wearing team apparel or representing the team.

Good Behavior - It is imperative that Dolphins behave in a manner worthy of respect. You will not do anything that could bother, hurt, dishonor or disrespect anyone, or damage the facilities we are privileged to use. No physical or verbal abuse or profanity directed at anyone will be tolerated.  Use your judgment and before you act, ask yourself if this action could get my team or myself in trouble.  Behavioral violations at the Y, during practice or at meets may result in suspension or expulsion from the team.

Goal Setting - All swimmers will be required to submit goals within the first two months of the season. Goals will be worked on all season long

Equipment/Swimmer - It is expected that all swimmers bring healthy, well-rested, well-nourished bodies to practice along with a good attitude. You are also expected to bring goggles, a cap, fins, hand paddles, a bathing suit, towels, a water bottle, etc. Swim equipment should be on the pool deck during practice and not in the locker room.

Communication - We expect that you will communicate with the coaching staff regarding anything that will affect your swimming – illness, injury, academics, swim camp, high school swimming, summer league swimming, private lessons etc. . .

Time Management – We expect that all athletes will learn to manage their time to be able to fulfill the expectations of the coaches and the program that are outlined here. While we encourage other activities outside of swimming please remember that balancing your time is perhaps the most crucial element that can be developed from competitive athletics. We expect that if you are struggling with time management, you help us to help you by scheduling meetings with the coaching staff to make it all work before it becomes a problem.

Vacation and Absences – We expect that families will plan their vacations and individuals will plan their absences (intensive courses such as SAT Prep, lifeguard courses etc....) at appropriate times of the year as to not affect the goals that a swimmer may have. Whenever possible, plan for April and August after the competitive season is over when the team is on break.

Continuity - It is expected that swimmers over the age of 10 will swim with us year-round. Younger swimmers will be afforded an opportunity to swim in spring meets and long course meets with the team and are strongly encouraged to participate year round. Swimmers who have made qualifying times for LC Championship Meets will be allowed two weeks off in the spring – if not, you should maintain your regular practice schedule. Swimmers who have already made qualifying times for LC USA meets will be required to train with the team in the spring and summer in order to compete as an MYM Dolphin in LC meets.  Those who do not train with the team will be required to swim as “Unattached” if they swim in those LC meets at all.

Separation - If you decide to leave the team during, after or before a new season, you are expected to let us know that you are leaving. We also request that you let us know why as well.  If you do not wish to do this in person, please write an e-mail or a letter. It is important both for the Dolphins Swim Team and for you that you articulate the reasons why you are choosing to leave the team. We won’t hold it against you, but we have had many swimmers who are looking for greener grass, then come to find out that it is not greener there and wish to return to the team. It is very hard for us to allow a swimmer to return to the team after leaving for another team if they did not discuss it with us before they left.

Rules of Swimming -
It’s expected that you will familiarize yourself with the technical rules of the sport. Many athletes have been cited for violations of rules and held accountable even when they were unaware of the rule. Changing on the deck, spitting, swearing, throwing goggles, and unsportsmanlike conduct have caused swimmers to be removed from competition yet the swimmer is often unaware of the rule until it happens.

At swim meets the team cap and either the team or a plain black suit is required. FINA-approved technical suits are permitted for important invitational and championship meets.  If you are or have been on our national team you can wear a white national team cap, but if not, you must wear a RED TEAM CAP.

Safety and Hygiene – a few more expectations pertaining to safety & hygiene:

  • Swim Caps must be worn in the pool by all swimmers.
  • Showers must be taken before entering the pool, according to New Jersey State Code. The shower should be brief and the swimmer must remember to turn off the shower.
  • Swimmers should use the bathroom before and after practice to avoid disruption during practice. There should be no fooling around or yelling in the locker rooms.
  • Use of audio or visual recording, including the use of a cell phone camera, is not allowed in changing areas, rest rooms or locker rooms.
  • The YMCA is not responsible for personal belongings. It is recommended that valuables be left at home or with a parent; however, valuables may be checked at the front desk or locked in a locker. Please do not give valuables to the coaches. Swimmers are encouraged to bring a lock for their locker each day or to bring their swim bags out onto the deck while swimming.
  • No gum or food is allowed in the pool area during practice. Swimmers are encouraged to bring water bottles to practice labeled with their name. For health purposes, please do not share water bottles! Athletes are asked to keep pool area clean – discard empty containers, etc.
  • No swimmer is to enter the water unless both a coach and a lifeguard are in attendance. Never jump in the water when there is any danger to you or to another swimmer. Feet-first entry at all times is enforced except when instructed otherwise.