ATAC Swim Club Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL FAQ

1.   Why does ATAC have a closed deck policy?

ATAC and all other swim clubs are required by USA Swimming to close the deck for insurance reasons. All swimmers and coaches are registered with USA swimming and covered under an insurance liability policy. Parents, grandparents, siblings, babysitters, etc. are not covered. We also find that kids are more distracted with parents present. They spend time waving to mom and dad instead of listening to their coaches. Accompanying adults may enter the deck 5 minutes before the child's class begins. They must clear the deck as practice starts and may reenter 5 minutes before class ends.  Please note:  Swimmers become the responsibility of ATAC Swim Team only after they have crossed the threshold of the pool deck.  Before and after that, they are the responsibility of the accompanying adult.

2.   How early can we drop off our child?

We ask that swimmers arrive no more than 10 minutes early. Swimmers will not be allowed on deck until a coach arrives.  At that time, ATAC Swim Team will assume responsibility for the swimmer(s).  Prior to that point, the swimmer(s) are the responsibility of the accompanying adult.

3.   What is ATAC's late pick-up policy?

Swimmers have 15 minutes following the conclusion of practice to change, clear the deck, and be picked up. Coaches will remain for those 15 minutes, and time after that will be charged to the swimmer's account at a rate of $1 per minute past the 15-minute mark. The late fee will be paid directly to the coaches to compensate them for their inconvenience.

4.   What kind of equipment does my child need?

At tryouts, swimmers receive a list of equipment needs for each group. All swimmers need fins, kickboards, caps, goggles, and a proper fitting suit. Aqua and above need pull buoys. Blue and above need water bottles, paddles, and drag suits. Swimmers should ensure that they have their equipment at every practice.  Facilities maintain limited equipment for borrowing.

5.   Is my child required to wear a swim cap?

All girls and any boys with long hair are required to wear swim caps in practice and in meets. All swimmers are required to wear the ATAC cap at swim meets. Swim caps are worn at the highest level of competition by both male and female swimmers. Caps make swimmers faster and allow coaches and officials to easily identify swimmers.  Swimmers will not be allowed to swim in a swim meet without the proper ATAC cap.

6.   What is ATAC's inclement weather policy?

ATAC is required to follow DISD and Greenhill school weather policies as well as our own. Cancellation due to ice, snow, or severe weather will be posted on the website and emailed by noon on the day in question. We never require practice attendance. If you are not comfortable getting out, please do not risk it. Parents should always check to make sure a coach is on deck before leaving their swimmer. DO NOT assume practice is canceled unless you hear it firsthand.  To help foster a sense of responsibility, Coach Chris will directly communicate with the Senior and Sr. Dev. swimmers, not with the parents. These young adults are expected to be responsible and own their sport.

7.   How do we know if there are changes in practice times or cancellations?

Throughout the swim season, there are various high school and middle school meets held at the pools where we practice. We do our best to move a group to a different pool, but sometimes practice must be canceled. A weekly email is sent out that will highlight any changes to practice.  It will also be posted on the front page of our website as well as on the calendar.  If there is a last-minute cancelation such as a broken pool, emails will be sent out ASAP and an announcement posted on the website.

8.   What is USA Swimming, and why do I need to register with them?

USA Swimming is the national governing body for competitive swimming in the United States.  As the National Governing Body for the sport, USA Swimming is responsible for the conduct and administration of swimming in the US.  This includes setting the national time standards for all swimmers and selecting swimmers who will ultimately represent the United States in world swimming competitions.  They also provide liability insurance for your swimmer while they are on the pool deck, whether at practice or in a meet.  Your swimmer must be a member of USA Swimming in good standing in order to participate in meets.

9.   Why does ATAC have a financial policy & what does it mean for me?

ATAC Swim Club is a competitive, year‐round swimming program. This means the team contractually commits to coaches’ salaries and pool rental agreements for a full twelve-month period.  Membership enrollment is therefore considered a year‐round, ongoing obligation, and the financial policies are in place to ensure that the team can meet its financial obligations. We ask all members to abide by the policies.  Please keep a current credit card on file to pay for monthly dues, meet fees, and other items.  Should you choose to pay your yearly membership in full upfront, please be advised that the team will not refund your money because of our obligations to our coaches and facilities.  Additionally, there are no refunds of monthly dues paid.  Termination of Membership requires thirty (30) days advance written notice to the Treasurer ([email protected]) and completion of an exit survey located here:  https://forms.gle/oUCG6XjGCJGohR4E6.  See the financial policy for complete details.

10.        Why does ATAC have a volunteer policy & what does it mean for me?

ATAC is a non-profit swim team and is dependent on the help of every member to assist in running the team.  Every ATAC family is required to participate in the volunteer system, even if you are new and/or your swimmer does not compete in meets. ATAC hosts two to four USA Swimming-sanctioned swim meets throughout the year, along with a number of other events, such as the Annual Intra-Squad Meet, Bi-Annual Swim-A-Thon, and various team socials. These events require a significant number of parent volunteers and swimmer participation to make them, and our team, successful.   E-mail notices will be sent out when volunteers are needed.   No job is too difficult to do/learn, but all of them are extremely important to the success of ATAC Swim Club.  To receive credit for volunteer service, please be sure to ”Sign In” with the Volunteer Coordinator at each event.   Members can check their service credits online at www.atacswim.com in the members’ portal under My Account>Invoices & Payments, Service Hours tab.

11.  I have a friend who wants to join the team.  Does ATAC have a referral program?

Yes!  ATAC will apply a $100 dues credit to a referring member’s account for every new family that joins the team based on their referral.   The new family must list the referring family’s name for the question "How did you hear about ATAC?” when they complete the online registration.  The credit will be applied to the referring family’s account after the new family has paid two months of dues and their annual registration fee.

12.  I have more questions, whom do I contact?

A swimmer’s coach is an excellent resource for all your swimming questions.  If you have questions regarding your account and/or billing, please contact our Board Treasurer at [email protected].  If you have website questions or other general questions, contact the Board President.  All contact information can be found on the Board of Directors page under the ABOUT ATAC heading.

FAQ FOR MEETS

1.   What is the meet schedule?

The meet schedule online lists all meets currently sanctioned by the North Texas Local Swim Committee that are available for entry.  The Meet Schedule can be found under Events and Competition>Team Events.  In addition to the officially sanctioned meets, ATAC participates in other fun meets the promote camaraderie among swimmers.  This includes our Annual Intra-Squad meets.  Ask your coach for more details.

2.   How do I know if my child is ready for a swim meet?

Your swimmer's coach can tell you if they are ready. If they are, coaches will provide guidance on appropriate events for your swimmer.

 

3.   Does my swimmer have to participate in swim meets?

Meet attendance is not required at lower levels but is expected if and when a swimmer wishes to move to higher groups.  Meets are highly encouraged. All the training and practice are geared toward meet participation. Meets allow swimmers to track their personal progress in swimming. No matter the age or ability meets allow swimmers a chance to build their confidence and improve their times.

 

4.   Why does ATAC host meets? Do I have to volunteer if my child is not swimming in meets?

Every swim meet is hosted by a local team from the Metroplex. Hosting meets is part of each team's responsibility to the North Texas Local Swim Committee and provides our swimmers at all levels an opportunity to compete.  However, some of the meets we host will only be for a certain level.   ATAC will host 2-3 meets over the swim year (Sept-July) which means that our team will be responsible for the setup and running of the meet. Every swim meet is completely staffed by parent volunteers.  Even though your swimmer may not be eligible to compete, you will still be needed to help ensure meets are run well and are safe and fun for all swimmers.

 

5.   How do I know which swim meet to sign up for?

Level 3 meets are the start point for most new swimmers.  Level 2 meets are for swimmers that have made a specific time standard (BB time). Level 1 meets are for elite-level swimmers that meet the criteria.  Open meets are for any level or age to attend.    When in doubt, ask your swimmer’s coach.

 

6.  Which events should my child swim?

The best thing to do is to ask your swimmer’s coach. They will know which events best fit your child. In the upper levels, the swimmers should be talking to their coaches about what to enter.

7.  Why do I need to pay to enter a swim meet?

While meets are run by volunteers, teams still have to pay to register the meet with the Local Swim Committee, for the pool facility, and for meet supplies.  These costs occur whether your swimmer swims or not and are therefore non-refundable.

8.   What should we bring to a swim meet?

ARENA brand team racing suit, team cap (Every swimmer must wear a team cap during a meet.), and a pair of meet goggles. You may want to bring several towels and backup goggles and cap in case yours break. You will need to bring water and some healthy snack foods. It is good to bring a folding chair to sit in in and something to do:  book, phone/iPad, headphones, coloring books, etc.

9.   What do we do once we are at the swim meet?

Swimmers will want to arrive a few minutes before warm-up begins. Swimmers may need to check in for EVERY race in which they have been entered. Each event will have a list of all pre-entered swimmers. Swimmers should find their name on the check-in sheet(s) and place a check mark next to their name at least 30 minutes before the meet starts.  The officials will take down the check in sheets at that time. Swimmers will then enter the deck, look for their coach, and find a place to set up for the meet.  Once swimmers are finished with their races, they are free to leave.

10.        Do we need to attend swim meet warm-ups?

Warm-ups are very important to awesome races. They allow the swimmers a chance to get a feel for the pool and get their muscles warmed up. Swimmers work just enough to get the body prepared to race but not too much to make them tired.  It also helps swimmers focus on the upcoming races and can have a calming effect on nerves. Warming up the body properly also reduces the risk of injury. During warm-ups, coaches put together relays and double-check that the swimmers in attendance have checked in for their events.  If the coaches don't see you during warm-up, they will assume you are not coming to the meet. Remember the check-in in sheets will start to come down 30 minutes prior to the start of the meet.  Therefore, skipping warm-up means you may not get checked into every race. CHECK IN!

11.        What are these B, BB, A times I keep hearing about?

A/BB/B times are all Motivational Time  Standards created by USA swimming, our governing body. Each event has its own set time standard. They are broken up by age (i.e. 10 and under11-12, 13-14, etc.) and by gender. All swimmers start as "C" level swimmers. The goal is to get "B" times in each event. For example, a 9-year-old girl swimming a 50 Freestyle in 38.17 seconds, has swum fast enough to earn a B time. From there, swimmers work on BB times, then A, then TAGS times.  BB times and A times will send swimmers to higher level meets.  Swimmers are very excited when they receive these times!

12.        What is TAGS?

TAGS is the Texas Age Groups Championship meet--a state-wide meet for 14 and under swimmers.  It is the best of the best, and you must swim faster than the qualifying times to attend.   Swimmers 15 and over who swim a qualifying time standard for the Sectional Championships will use that time as their upper-level Championship Meet for the season. Beyond the state/regional level, there are higher standards for Junior National, National, and Olympic Trials meets.

13.        I have more questions about swim meets. Whom do I ask?

Ask your swimmer’s coach.  He/she is an excellent resource for all things swimming.  Alternatively, ask another parent you have seen around the pool. Parents who have attended meets in the past can give great insight into what meets are all about.