Bend Swim Club

Member Handbook



“Building Champions In And Out Of The Water”


Table Of Contents

Why Swimming?

Competitive swimming is a beautiful sport where anyone can engage at any commitment level they choose and reap the benefits of fitness and connection with the water.  Swimmers can show individual improvement that rewards their consistent engagement in a team environment that provides support and comradery.  It also heavily rewards character traits like work ethic and discipline over genetic traits inherent in body type.  Successful swimmers come in all shapes and sizes but are often good at time management, performing under pressure, being good teammates and working productively towards long term goals.  In short, swimming produces “Gritty” people, those who can persist and persevere through setbacks and  disappointments over a long term process.  Swimmers learn that “failure” is just a part of the journey, and for those who love swimming, the journey is ultimately its  own reward.  We love the sport of swimming and we’re excited to share it with you!

Why Bend Swim Club?

The Bend Swim Club is a curriculum based, challenging, and positive team environment.  By being a part of our competitive swimming program, your swimmers will have the opportunity to learn and grow as athletes and leaders.  We believe that engagement, curiosity, and purposeful vulnerability are the keys to a successful swimming career, whether the athlete spends 6 months or 16 years in the sport and no matter what level they compete at.

  • Engagement means the swimmer is physically, mentally and emotionally present at practices and actively “in conversation” with the coach.  Being in conversation with the coach means that the athlete is responding to the direction and teaching being offered with concerted effort.
  • Curiosity is the desire to creatively solve the questions that come up on the path to success, no matter what that outcome looks like.  This makes learning fun and creates a long term vision for participation that each individual can pursue and own for themselves.
  • Vulnerability requires the courage to show up fully in the face of uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.  We compete to experience being brave and encourage our athletes to strive valiantly and wholeheartedly.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

This excerpt is from the “Citizenship in a Republic” speech, popularly known as “The Man in the Arena,” delivered on April 23rd, 1910 at the Sorbonne in Paris.


What is the Bend Swim Club

Bend Swim Club, Inc., an Oregon non-profit corporation, first incorporated with the State of Oregon in 1963.  Bend Swim Club’s purpose is to promote and provide a competitive swimming experience for all age groups and levels and to provide an opportunity to engage in a lifesaving, lifetime sport.  Bend Swim Club is a non-profit, 501 (c) 3. Bend Swim Club is funded through: (a) Dues, (b) Swim Meets, and (c) Fundraising. If you are interested in supporting our non-profit organization by making a gift, our Federal Tax Identification Number is: 93-0778462.



We strive to engage, teach, and motivate our athletes to empower them in passionate pursuit of their goals in the sport of swimming. 



The Bend Swim Club provides opportunities that encourage each member to meaningfully participate in the sport of swimming.  We deliver a progressive curriculum of technique and training in a safe, healthy, positive and passionate environment grounded in responsibility and accountability.


Core Objectives

The Bend Swim Club will:

  • Provide a positive environment to encourage, educate, and engage our athlete members.
  • Provide a challenging environment to promote mental, physical, and emotional growth.
  • Provide a respectful environment to foster sportsmanship, self-control, and humility.

In this environment, we will try to swim faster than we have before and faster than anyone else.


Who We Are

The coaching staff at Bend Swim Club are professionals who are passionate about swimming.  They have represented the United States as coaches, managers, and athletes and have a rich history of involvement in the governance of the sport at the local, regional, and national level.  All coaches hold certifications in safety training including athlete protection, CPR & First Aid, and hold American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA) education certifications.  Our head coach, Megan Oesting, has written many of the chapters in the ASCA curriculum and is featured in USA Swimming’s Foundations of Coaching curriculum.  Overall, our coaches are intelligent, kind, driven and friendly, and love working with your kids.


Our Coaching Philosophy

Our coaches want to empower athletes by modeling authenticity and a relentless passion for wholehearted engagement.  We have a collaborative and creative culture where coaches and athletes inspire each other towards success.  The support and momentum we gain from each other lifts our performance high above what we could do alone.  We are more than the sum of our parts and everyone’s contributions matter.  We respect genuine effort aimed at getting better.

Our training philosophy is centered on technique and focused engagement.  We focus on teaching stroke mechanics, both the biomechanics and the hydrodynamics, as a strong technical foundation in the water allows swimmers to fully launch their physiological training towards elite levels.  We emphasize feel, balance, and presence to facilitate understanding and patterning within the brain so that when it’s time for the swimmer to launch the system in a race, everything is lined up for success. 

We have a systematic, team-wide foundation of proper technical endurance. Maintaining the technical integrity of the stroke allows the highest ceiling for ultimate speed, so setting and reinforcing this technical foundation is paramount across the base and throughout the program as a whole.  We apply a progressive curriculum that ensures both cohesiveness across the team as well as the opportunity for each coach to meet the individual needs of the athletes in their unique training groups.   

We are creative, thoughtful, and innovative in our teaching and training using cutting edge technology for communication and data analysis that helps us connect and educate our athletes.  We remain intellectually curious as lifelong learners and collaborate to find the best approach for each unique situation that presents itself.   We strive to out-coach other organizations by thinking faster and farther ahead to implement innovative solutions that yield leverage for success.  Our  primary values as a staff are wholeheartedness and persistence and we believe that success is larger than the results our athletes post in the pool.  Fundamentally, we are striving together so we can experience our best selves and bring out the best in others while we do it.

Our Program

Training Groups

There are seven training groups within Bend Swim Club that the swimmers are divided into according to school grade, desired participation level, and swimming ability. The coaching staff assigns swimmers to the various training groups and potentially reassigns swimmers during the season as needed. 



This group is for entry level for elementary school swimmers.  Emphasis is on teaching and encouraging the development of all four strokes, starts and turns. Swim meets will be encouraged when the child is ready. Swimmers are offered practices twice a week and encouraged to attend both practices.  We ask that the Red group swimmers:

  • Attentively listen and follow directions
  • Find balance in the water and work to maintain control through the breathing cycles on each stroke
  • Learn Freestyle breath timing and Backstroke posture and body position



This group is for intermediate level elementary school swimmers. These swimmers are advancing their understanding of the skills necessary for competitive swimming and are learning how to engage in a practice environment that introduces the concepts of “sets” with a technique driven focus. Swimmers are offered practices three times a week and encouraged to attend 2-3 of those practices.  We ask that Blue group swimmers:

  • Continue to develop their strokes striving for legal and competent Butterfly breathing, Breaststroke timing, Flipturns, Openturns, and underwater skills for each stroke
  • Learn about the pace clock and how it helps them measure their success


This group is for advanced elementary school swimmers.  These swimmers are competing at the highest levels of state and regional competitions while enjoying and embracing the age appropriate challenges of practice and competing.  We encourage these swimmers to dream and get excited about the sport of swimming, connect socially with their teammates, and learn to support their teammates at practice and at meets.  Swimmers are offered practices five times a week and are encouraged to attend 3-5 of those practices.  We ask that Bronze group swimmers:

  • Develop a consistent practice attendance schedule, arriving on time and holding their technique under more challenging circumstances.
  • Exhibit curiosity and eagerness to engage in the sport 
  • Achieve a seasonal IMX/R score and set goals for State level participation


This group is for intermediate middle school swimmers.  These swimmers are developing technical proficiency while increasing their Swim IQ through drills and sets designed to increase their capacity as swimmers and deepen their involvement in the sport.  Swimmers are offered practices four times a week and encouraged to attend 3-4 of those practices.  We ask that the Junior group swimmers:

  • Develop a consistent practice attendance schedule, arriving on time and engaging in the instruction given
  • Continue to develop technical proficiency in all four strokes while celebrating performance improvement through both times and PowerPoints
  • Deepen their understanding of the sport and progress through a goal setting process that links the cause and effect of their consistent actions over the course of a season



This group is for advanced middle school swimmers.  These swimmers are looking to advance their training and set aggressive goals for themselves and for their training group as a whole.  The Silver group adds a strength training program that introduces them to fundamental movements and body awareness to keep them healthy and strong during this quickly evolving time in their growth.  Swimmers are offered practices five times a week and strength training twice a week.  We ask that they attend 6-7 of these opportunities and:

  • Become coachable and engaged athletes who are excited about achieving their goals in swimming
  • Mature in their athletic mindset including attention to detail and work ethic over a long term process
  • Contribute the base for team Virtual Club Championship points



This group is for intermediate level high school swimmers.  These swimmers should be proficient in all competition strokes and skills and capable of executing those abilities within interval driven sets.  Swimmers are expected to set competition goals for their performance and grow in leadership skills for their group and on the team.  Swimmers are offered five practices a week and encouraged to attend 4-5 of those practices.  We ask that the Senior group swimmers:

  • Develop a consistent practice attendance schedule, arriving on time and engaging in the instruction given
  • Seek out challenges that support improvement in technical abilities, strength, and endurance
  • Develop optimal practice habits to raise the standard for the group and enhance learning opportunities for all


This is the highest level training group in Bend Swim Club. These swimmers are highly competitive on the national level and highly invested in their progress as athletes and leaders.  These athletes are encouraged to model the highest degree of coachability, maturity, swim IQ, and leadership pushing the performance standards for the whole team.  They leverage their strength training program for athletic gains and directly apply them to their swimming performance over a long term cohesive process that relies heavily on a growth mindset and personal grit.  Swimmers attend practice on their assigned schedule and:

  • Use their ultimate goal in the sport to maintain intensity and work ethic in practice
  • Manage their time to keep their lives in balance and their training protected
  • Honor their position as role models and the impact of their public behaviors
  • Employ supreme concentration and situation awareness in peak states
  • Are steadfastly optimistic about their own and their teammate’s potential and ability to get better in all desired areas

Changes In Groups

Swimmers move from one group to the next when they show an elevation in skills and mindset that match the next group in their age level, or at the end of the school year when they go from elementary to middle school or middle school to high school.  Group criteria is currently evolving but will be added here when solidified for the season.  


If a swimmer is transitioning between two groups, they will attend practices on an assigned schedule that gradually adds their new training group practices and drops their current training group practices on a progressive basis.


When a swimmer is moved up or down, the coach will notify that swimmer, their parents, and the dues chairman. Your dues will be adjusted at the beginning of the next month.

Joining Us

We hold tryouts every month and by appointment and welcome new members onto the team.  Please fill out this tryout form to connect with our staff so we can evaluate the best place for your swimmer to get started.


Check Out the team Website

Coaches The website offers a wealth of information on logistics, education, and philosophy, we will post policies and processes on the website as well as group level information including schedules and updates for the season.

Check your email

Coaches, staff and board members will send out emails to announce meet signups, social events, volunteer opportunities and all sorts of team information.  Be sure to maintain your current email address in your Bend Swim Club Team Unify account and feel free to connect with us.  


Megan Oesting: Head Coach                         [email protected]

Kerry Carleton: Team Manager/Assoc. Head Coach   [email protected]

Heather Thomas: Age Group Lead/Meet Director   [email protected]

Brandon Powers: Assistant Coach                          [email protected]

Elizabeth Meskill: Assistant Coach                           [email protected]

Jordan Opdyke: Assistant Coach                                  [email protected]

Board of Directors                                                                    [email protected]



Bulletin Board

The team bulletin board is located in the North Lobby at Juniper Swim & Fitness Center on the left as you enter the hallway.  We’ll post information and celebrate our swimmers there.

Family File

Each active family will have a file folder located in the cabinet in the North Lobby at Juniper Swim & Fitness Center next to the Bend Swim Club bulletin board. Awards, flyers, and other important communications will be placed in your file. Swimmers and/or parents will be responsible for checking the files regularly. 


BAND, our Group Communication App

Bend Swim Club uses a communication app that both athletes and parents can join that delivers announcements and updates that help keep everyone informed and encouraged.  Please join both the team feed and your training group feed:

Gold        Senior     Silver        Junior    Bronze     Blue        Red


Social Media

Follow us at:  

Instagram:  @bendswimclub

Facebook:  Bend Swim Club

Twitter:  @bendswimclub


Mailing Address, Email, Website

Bend Swim Club

PO BOX 7136

Bend, OR 97708

Email:  [email protected]


Contact Us


Swim Practice

Swimmers should arrive at the pool about 10 minutes prior to their workout time, use the north locker rooms to change, and head to the pool deck.  Please have your swimmer picked up no later than 10 minutes after their practice is over.  Swimmers should be ready to swim 5 minutes prior to the start of their practice.


While on the pool deck, swimmers are the responsibility of the coaching staff. During practices swimmers are not to leave the pool area without coach permission. BSC has an obligation to comply with all rules and regulations of Juniper Swim & Fitness Center and USA Swimming. 


We care about your swimmer’s wellness and their performance; maintaining communication is very important.  Please share any news about your swimmer’s health that could impact their performance or cause them to miss swim practice.


Swim Meets 

Meets are awesome! This is your swimmer's chance to “show off” all their hard work they’ve put in during practice. Initially, some kids tend to feel a touch intimidated by competition but believe it or not, meets are the time when your swimmer will have the most fun. Friendships are formed, there is tons of camaraderie and hands down most swimmers love these times! So enjoy!  Please see the Swim Meet Survival Kit to help you and your swimmer have a successful meet experience.

Parent Responsibilities

BSC is a family organization- when your swimmer joined BSC, so did you! Parent volunteers are what keep our team running. Parent volunteers serve on the board, run committees, work at swim meets, help fundraise, and get their swimmers to practice on time. You are needed to keep our team healthy and functioning in an orderly, positive way. A swimmer's goals can be achieved with a smooth relationship between parents, coaches, and club officers.


Please see the Parent Code of Conduct for guidelines, expectations and responsibilities for parent conduct within our organization.