Welcome to the Lucas Valley Lightning Swim Team! The next few months will be some of the most rewarding and active months of your kids’ lives. Whether you are new to the team or a returning member, it’s always useful to have a guide with everything you need to know about the team. So we have developed this “Insider’s Guide” to help you understand the inner workings of the “LVST experience” and make the most of it. Welcome aboard!


  • Afternoon practice sessions are offered five days per week, starting in late February.  Please check the calendar for the exact schedule this season. Swimmers may attend practice every day, or as many days as they can. Coaches do encourage swimmers to practice three days per week at a minimum to continue skill development and to maintain conditioning. 
  • Once the Miller Creek School District is out for summer break, practices are held on weekday mornings.
  • Swimmers wanting additional instruction can take one-on-one lessons with our coaches. These are offered for a separate fee and are held before practice.
  • Sign Up Genius for Private Lessons available just before the start of the season.


Practice Supervision

  • The team coaches are responsible for your child’s safety in the water during practice.  Swimmers are not allowed to remain in the pool area or lawn to play before or after their age group’s practice time without parental supervision.
  • Click here to access the Practice Calendar.

What To Wear

What to wear at practice:

  • Swimsuit - All swimmers need to have at least one, preferably two practice suits to be worn during practice. Please, no board shorts or beach swim trunks. These suits dramatically hamper learning and applying good technique. You may wear old suits or loose-fitting nylon Speedo style suits. We strongly recommend that you do not wear your LVST competition suit to practice and save them for the swim meets. 

  • Swim Cap - All swimmers with shoulder length hair are required to wear a swim cap at practice. Long hair with no cap reduces the efficiency of an individual to concentrate on proper technique and drills. Please feel free to wear any swim cap with any logo at practice.

  • Goggles – It is strongly recommended that all swimmers use swim goggles at swim practice. This may take some getting used to for some but will help in the swimmer’s performance and enjoyment of swimming competitively. The goggles need to be adjusted before practice and tightened appropriately.

  • Towel and Cover-up – it is recommended that each swimmer bring a towel to dry themselves after practice. A cover-up or parka is also handy and will keep swimmers warm and comfortable before and after practice, especially during the cold months.

  • Comfortable Shoes and Clothing - On occasion we will do some group stretching and light dry land work. Please always come prepared.

  • Extra Equipment - Kick boards, pull buoys, swim stretch bands used during the course of the season at practice will be supplied by LVST. Fins will be used at times during practice. The coaches recommend that swimmers bring their own fins starting late March. An email from the coach will provide more details on the type of fins and where to buy.


What to wear at the meets:

  • Swimsuit – All swimmers need to have at least one, preferably two LVST competition suits to be worn during the meets. These suits can be purchased from T&B Sports. More information will be provided about how and when to purchase early on in the season and before the start of the meet. No high school logo team suits or USA swimming suits will be allowed at swim meets. However, you can wear these suits at practice.

  • Swim Cap - The same rule applies to swim caps. All swimmers with shoulder length hair are required to wear a swim cap at meets. LVST caps should be worn at swim meets. Again, no high school or USA logo swimming caps are allowed at any MSL swim meets. 

  • Goggles – It is strongly recommended that all swimmers use swim goggles at swim meets. The goggles need to be adjusted and tightened appropriately before the meet.

  • Towel and Cover-up – it is recommended that each swimmer bring a towel to dry 

themselves after their event. A cover-up or parka is also recommended and will keep swimmers warm and comfortable before and after their event at the meets.

Team Communications

  • Email – Most communications from the team, including but not limited to reminders about upcoming events, coaches’ updates and meet information, are delivered via email. It is very important that you provide an email address at registration and do not opt out of the LVST group email list. Providing multiple email addresses for a family is encouraged. The email list is completely private and confidential. No one has access to them other than moderators from the LVST Board and the coaches. We try very hard to keep the number of emails low so when you do see one, please read them—they are full of good information!
  • Website - The Lucas Valley Lightning website, www.lvst.org, is your source of all team information. The website includes meet schedules, calendar of events, heat sheets, relays, results, team news and more.

Family Volunteer Commitment

  • The swim team would not exist without the help of parents, especially during the meets. There are hundreds of jobs that must be performed throughout the season that make our team run smoothly and contribute to the success and enjoyment of all the swimmers. Parents are required to volunteer a certain number of jobs. This requirement is the same across all teams in the MSL. 
  • There are work assignments for every interest and time frame, ranging from setting up a swim meet to working in the snack bar, to assisting at our Social Events. Click here for more info about our volunteering.
  • Sign up for volunteer jobs available once the season starts. The deadline to sign up for your volunteer jobs is March 18. After this date, families that have not signed up will be assigned their required number of jobs. 

Swim Meets

  • Starting in mid-April, our swimmers will be ready to compete in the swim meets. Each meet follows pretty much the exact same format, so once you attend the first one you will know what to expect for the rest of the season.
  • A week prior to the first dual meet is Time Trials. The purpose of Time Trials is for swimmers to get a time in each stroke, which the coaches will use to “seed” the swimmers for the dual meets. Time Trials is also a “practice meet” – it is run just like a regular swim meet (but without the opposing team) and helps new swimmers and parents understand how a meet runs before the actual dual meet happens.
  • Swimmers new to the team and younger swimmers (and parents) may find the swim meet setting chaotic. Don’t be alarmed. Just read the email reminders sent to you prior to the meet and arrive at the meets with enough time for your swimmer to get comfortable and for you to set up “camp” before the start of warm-ups. Parents are responsible for keeping track of your swimmer’s event and getting your swimmer to line up on time.  New swimmers feel more confident swimming if they are not rushed before their events.  Parent Volunteers help line up the 8 & Under and escort them to the starting area.  The starting area is crowded with swimmers, timers and coaches. Unless your child needs you, it’s best if you can wish him/her luck at the line up area and watch the race from the side. You can have a warm towel and a hug ready for your child at the end of the pool.
  • Click here for more details about Swim Meets.

Social Events

Social Activities

  • Throughout the season LVST organizes a wide range of social activities in which you and your child may participate, ranging from a Season Kick-off, to Team Rallies and Family Beach Day. These activities are a great way for your child to build new friendships and enjoy being part of the team. Each activity is designed for the whole family, so those younger siblings will surely find other future swimmers to become friends!
  • Click here for the Event Calendar


Awards Night

  • Awards Night is a terrific end-of-the-season event. Your child will receive his/her participant trophy and any other awards. Each age group has special awards. One is called High Point and is given to the girl and boy swimmer in each age group who accumulated the most points for the team. There are also High Point runner-up and Most Improved awards. For this year, team awards include the Most Valuable Swimmer (one girl or boy). The coaches’ contributions are recognized. Parent volunteer contributions that have gone above and beyond the mandatory jobs are also recognized. After the awards, the team traditionally enjoys a dessert and everyone is treated to a (historically awesome) slideshow of pictures taken throughout the swim season. A great finale, for a great season.


Marin Swim League (MSL)

  • The Lucas Valley Lightning team is a member of the Marin Swim League (MSL). Our team participates in dual meets with other MSL teams. There are 10 teams in the MSL. There are 7 meets, beginning in May and running through June with the MSL Championship meet culminating the season for all ten teams in the league.
  • Please visit the MSL website for more information.