What are the benefits of a small club team?

A small club team allows the coaches to get to know the swimmers well and can provide an environment for more individualized attention to the swimmer. For certain children, the small club environment is more encouraging and less stressful than larger clubs. Additionally, in the small club environment, the swimmers tend to get to know each other fairly well which promotes the idea of “team” in a sport that is often more individualized in nature.

What are the fees to participate in St. Louis Tsunami Swimming?

The fee structure is detailed in the link below.  There is a 20% multi-swimmer discount for families with more than one swimmer.  The first swimmer is the regular fee; any additional swimmers from the same family in the same or lower fee groups receive a 20% discount. 

There is also a 5% discount for families that pay the entire amount upfront.  There are no refunds on the initial fees paid.  

Checks can be sent to 65 Cheyenne Court, St. Louis, MO, 63122 although we strongly encourage families to use the bill pay offered through our team website via credit card.

Are all swimmers required to participate in meets?

Swimmers are not required to participate in meets, but participation in meets is encouraged. Meets provide developing swimmers the best way to measure their progress and also promote development in their swimming performance. Often times, swimmers who were apprehensive about entering meets find their first meet to be very exhilarating and typically desire to continue competing.

How many meets are there per season? When are the meets? What are the costs of the meets?

We anticipate approximately five meets in the September to December period and five meets in the January to May period. The meets typically are Saturday and Sunday with some Friday evening sessions. Most meets will be in the St. Louis area. We also try to participate in a few small club meets with similar small club teams that are usually one day meets (Saturday or Sunday). There are two components to the costs of meets: splash fees and event fees. Typically, the combined cost is between $25 and $50 per meet depending upon how many events are entered. For three day meets where a swimmer swims the maximum number of allowable events, the fees can be higher.

Do I have to pay the fees if my swimmer does not participate in the meet?

If you to not sign up for a meet you do not pay. But, if you signe up for a meet, you have to pay for the meet! The team has to pay well before the meet for all swimmers who sign up for a meet regardless of whether or not the swimmer actually participates in the meet.  If the family does not pay the team, then the team loses this money and other families effectively end up subsidizing the families that do not pay.

How long are meets?

Meets are typically held over the weekend, both Saturday and Sunday.  On occasion, may include Friday evening.  Swimmers are grouped by age with certain groups swimming in the morning and other groups swimming in the afternoon.  Most meets begin around 7:00 AM and with the morning sessions ending between 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM.  Afternoon sessions typically begin between 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM and end between 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM. 

How do the meets work?

Since most meets are held at a high school, team families usually sit together in the gym.  Swimmers are called to a bullpen 10-15 minutes prior to events where they sit in chairs designate by swim heat and lane.  This helps keep the meet organized.  All swimmer in a particular event will move to the pool deck in unison and then the bullpen will be occupied by the next event's swimmers.  It is important for swimmers and parents to listen for the events being called so that the swimmer does not miss an event.  Parents will go to the pool to watch their swimmers compete and then return to the gym.  We always try to look out for our team families so we can sit together.  The St. Peter's Rec-Plex is an exception.  There is no gym.  Everyone sits in the bleachers and swimmers must be very attentive to listen for their events and proceed to the pool deck accordingly.

What should we bring to meets?

Since meets are long, it is recommended that swimmers bring healthy snacks, extra towels, a book to read between events, and extra dry clothes.  Additionally, an extra pair of goggles and an extra swim cap is a very good idea.  Parents should bring chairs (except at the Rec-Plex) and a good book as there are long waits between events.  At many meets, food and other swimmer equipment is sold.  A few places restrict bringing in outside food.

How do I know what other Tsunami swimmers are going to the meets?

When parents use the TeamUnify system to declare their swimmer(s) for meets, they can also see the list of swimmers that are also declared for the meet along with the events each swimmer has selected to swim.  Simply go to the Event menu option, click on the Edit Commitment selection and then at the top, there is a tab that says "Committed Athletes".  Click this tab and you can see all committed athletes including what they are swimming.

Is there a team suit?

Yes.  The team suit is available through B&B Aquatics on Manchester Road near Ballas Road.  They are aware of St. Louis Tsunami Swimming and will provide team parents with the correct suit.  The suit may change from year to year.  Additionally, suits should generally NOT be worn during practices, but only at meets as they are not as durable as everyday practice suits.  Other team apparel (e.g. towels, t-shirts, hoodies, etc.) will be brought to parents' attention when available and is usually ordered through the team's Parent Board.  

How many practices are swimmers required to attend per week?

We recognize that swimmers have competing priorities - sometimes it is other sports, sometimes homework, sometimes family obligations. Swimmers are encouraged to attend as many practices as is reasonably possible, but it is understood that many swimmers will make fewer than five practices per week.

Does the fee change if my swimmer attends fewer than five practices?

No.  We rent pool time on a per hour and per lane basis. Consequently, our pool rental costs are fixed. This requires all swimmers to pay the same rate, per level, to support the cost of our pool time. The same is true for the salaries we pay our coaches.

Does the team conduct practices on meet weekends?

On most, but not all, meet weekends, we will not hold practices. There are some exceptions such as certain higher level meets where a small percentage of swimmers will be swimming. The coaches and/or the Board will communicate if there is a practice to be held on a meet weekend.

What are the ages for most swimmers?

Our team has a diverse group of swimmers by age. In a typical season, at least half of our swimmers are 10 years of age or younger. Typically, multi-sport athletes stop swimming with us when they enter high school (about age 14) because non-swimming high school sports require too much time after school to allow for practices with Tsunami Swimming. And, of course, they are not allowed to swim with us during their high school swimming season. Our youngest swimmers have historically been 5 year olds.

My swimmer is new to swimming. How challenging is St. Louis Tsunami Swimming?

It is challenging, especially for summer only swimmers who lack skill in all four strokes and/or lack the physical endurance to complete a full practice for their group. We welcome all swimmers, but want to ensure that they are ready for year-around swimming.

Does my swimmer have to try out to make the team?

While we do not have formal tryouts to "make" the team, for younger swimmers or any swimmer new to year-around-swimming, we require the swimmer to attend a practice and be evaluated by our staff. For swimmers who are not yet at a level where they can keep up with other swimmers in the St. Louis Tsunami Swimming program, we can recommend another team. We do not want swimmers to have a bad experience because their abilities are not yet at the level necessary to complete all practices.

What is expected of parents?

We are a parent run team. First and foremost, we ask that parents be supportive of their children in their activities with the team. Secondly, we ask that parents be receptive to helping out at meets (timing, recording times, etc.). Thirdly, we ask that parents look for other opportunities to get involved with the Parent Board or committees that help out the team. We recognize that everyone is busy and that levels of involvement will vary, but without the efforts of parents, our team would not exist.

How will I know what level to enroll my swimmer in?

If you have not been swimming with the team, during the first few practices, the coaches will evaluate new swimmers to ensure that they are enrolled in the correct level. If the level your swimmer is enrolled in needs to change, any fees will be adjusted accordingly.

When does the season begin?

The indoor (also called short-course) season begins in September and runs through the end of May. Our summer outdoor (also called long-course) season begins in June and runs through July. These are separate seasons and are billed separately. The indoor season is at the Webster University Pool while the outdoor season is at the Maplewood Family Aquatic Center.

Why do I need to buy AAU Insurance and register with USA Swimming?  How do I do both?

As of 2016 USA Swimming insurance is all you need. Swimmers are not allowed in the pool without USA insurance.  USA Swimming is administered locally by Ozark Swimming our Local Swimming Committee or LSC.  Ozark and USA Swimming require every swimmer participating in a meet to be registered with USA Swimming through the LSC which is Ozark Swimming for us.   Registering with Ozark and USA Swimming is done by printing a form via link on our website, filling out the form, and mailing the form with a check to the address on the form.  Ozark/USA Swimming registration is $56.

What are the details for the summer session?

The long course summer practice schedule will be Friday, Sunday and Mondays from 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM and Saturday mornings from 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM.  Practices are at the Maplewood Family Aquatic Center 7550 Lohmeyer, Maplewood, MO 63143.  The pool is located just north of Manchester Road between Big Bend and Hanley.  The cost for 2014 was $145 per swimmer but changes year to year. 

What else should I know?

A few things to note:

  • Parking at Webster University can be very tight, especially around 5:00 PM.  There is an parking garage on Garden Avenue just northeast of the pool.  It is about 300 yards from the pool.
  • If there is lightning in the area, practice may be delayed or canceled.  Even though we are indoors, for safety reason, the University will require all swimmers to be out of the water for at least 20 minutes after lightning is sighted.
  • St. Louis Tsunami Swimming is a NOT FOR PROFIT team.  No one makes any money from the team.  As a matter of fact, certain parents have supported the team above the swim fees paid.  The team is structured financially to just break even.  For this reason, it is VERY important that everyone pays their swim and meet fees.  If not, other parents have to step up to cover the short fall and fee increase need to be instituted.
  • The team website is the best place to get information on the team.  Please take some time to explore it.  Virtually any question you have can be answered with information on the website.
  • You can sign up for meets using the website.  Follow the prompts under the "Events" menu item once Coach Broshears indicates that a meet is open for sign up.