Fort Myer Swim Team (FMST)

Who can join the Swim Team?

Participation on the Fort Myer Swim Team is a benefit for families who are members of Patton Hall (formally Fort Myer Officers’ Club).  In years past, the majority of swim team families had to be affiliated with the military or work for the government. We have now modified are agreement with the base to allow any member of the swim team to be eligible for a Patton Hall membership. In return, EVERY swimmer must have an active Patton Hall pool membership which is purchased on an annual basis (those fees are separate from the team and outside of our control). We can no longer allow any exemptions to this policy. To swim on the team, you must have a Patton Hall membership. Pool membership information and forms can be found here.  


How do I know if my child is ready for swim team?

Every swimmer NEW to the team, 12 and under, must attend a mandatory swim evaluation which will be held the Saturday prior to the Memorial Day weekend. All swimmers must be able to swim a 25 meter length of the pool (any stroke) unassisted and without stopping. Time and place for the evaluation will be provided after registration. Older swimmers should have a baseline of all four strokes, but it's not a requirement. Due to the size of the team, individualized instruction is not possible, but the coaching staff makes every effort to work with all the swimmers to improve their strokes. 


What happens if one of my children is registered for one age group, but my other child is wait-listed for another age group?

We try to accomodate as many swimmers as possibIe as long as we stay within our cap of 175. We can not guarantee that we will be able to accept all swimmers from the wait list.  


What are the swim team fees?

The fee is $230 for the 1st swimmer in a family;  $410 for 2 swimmers in a family; and $565 for 3 or more swimmers from a family.  We have been able to hold costs steady over the years, but due to rising operational costs, we've had to increase the registration by $5/swimmer this year.


Does my child need to attend every practice?

If your child joins the team, the expectation is that they will attend a majority of the practices. That said, we understand conflicts arise, including summer camps and vacations.  The coaches would like to see your child at practice least 2-3 out of the 5 practice days per week. Please communicate any absences  (if your child will miss more than 2 practices in a row) with the coaches so they can plan accordingly. The more your child practices, the more they will improve over the course of the season! 


What is the purpose of Time Trials?

Time Trials enable coaches to place your child properly in relation to other swimmers in his/her age group. Being placed properly will allow your child to compete against swimmers of comparable ability/speed. Also, this will allow coaches to get times in every stroke for all swimmers for placement in upcoming meets. It also allows kids to get a feel for how a meet works.


How will I know if my child will Swim a Saturday Dual Meet?

Every Thursday a team email will be distributed to announce the line-up on a Saturday Dual Meet.


What if my child is scheduled to swim on a Saturday Dual meet and they are unable to swim?

It is absolutely essential that the Head Coach be notified no later than the prior Tuesday if a swimmer cannot participate in a Saturday Dual meet. If your child wakes up sick on Saturday morning, text or call the head coach as soon as possible. This is extremely important so that we can make a substitution for your swimmer.


Will a meet be canceled?

Meets are sometimes delayed or canceled because of inclement weather. We will make notifications to the team as soon as we can, should a cancellation occur.  You and sign up for text alerts via Rained Out (go here for instructions)


When should I arrive at a Saturday Dual or Wednesday night B meet

Swimmers should plan to arrive 1 hour before the start of the meet to set up and participate in warm ups. Specific arrival times will be provided by the coach in the weekly meet email.


How long will the Saturday Dual meet last?

Saturday meets start at 8:00am and end around 11:00am. 


How long will the Wednesday night meets last?

Wednesday night B meets start at 5:00pm and end around 8:00pm or until it gets too dark to swim.


How do I know if my child is swimming on a Wednesday night B meet?

Wednesday night meets are open to everyone. Swimmers who have placed 1-3 in an event on the prior Saturday A-Meet may not swim that event on a B-Meet. An email will be sent to parents (usually on the Sunday prior to a B-Meet with information on how to sign-up your swimmer for events for the upcoming meet.


Can my child train with an older sibling?

As a general rule, no. Swimmers receive the most effective age group-specific training when they practice within their respective age groups. In addition, ensuring that swimmers are at their appropriate practices means that all those participating get the attention and coaching instruction that they need. When a younger swimmer practices with the older swimmers, it usually results in one coach needing to be with the younger swimmer – that is not fair to the rest of those at practice.  The exception is when your younger child has been assigned to one of the developmental practice groups that swim during the older swimmers practice time.


How will I know if a DQ occurred?

Unlike in other sports, there will not be a whistle to announce a rule violation. When a swimmer has disqualified during a race either by start, stroke, turn or finish violations the judges fill out a slip that then goes to the Referee who verifies a violation did occur. That slip is then given to the team rep to make its way to the coach and in turn the swimmer at a later date.  Every official on deck will always give the benefit of the doubt to the swimmer.  When the swimmer's times are posted, there will be a "DQ" instead of a time. The coaches will address the DQ during practice and will work to correct the problem.


Can I get a base pass so that I don't have to do a car inspection every time?

Yes, you will need to submit the paperwork for a temporary base pass.  Go here for more information.