Who is a Rookie?

A Rookie on the Tidal Wave Swim Team is a swimmer generally aged 4,5,6 but can also include 7,8 who cannot yet swim the length of the pool unassisted.  A Rookie, however, is always considered a full-fledged member of the Tidal Wave team!


The goals of a Rookie

Young swimmers should enter the Tidal Wave Rookie group with the goal of being able to swim a full length (25M) of Freestyle first then Backstroke. Once a Rookie swimmer can accomplish this goal then they can graduate into the 8 & Under group (regardless of age) and compete in a B meet.  

The coaches work in the water with the Rookie group and teach them the basics of Freestyle, Backstroke, and starts (dives). However, the Rookie group is not swim lessons, our aim is to get you swimming competitively with the rest of the team.  

Many young (4,5) Rookies spend a year or two in the Rookie group while others advance quickly to the 8 & Under group and can compete in B meets. A Rookie who consistantly practices 5 times a week the entire season is often able to move up by the last B meet of the season.

A Rookie should already be comfortable in the water.  A Rookie should not wear arm floaties or life vests. 


2020 Rookie Practices

Rookies will start the 2nd  week of the season on Monday, June 1st. Rookies will practice from 5:15 pm - 5:45 pm Monday - Friday until FCPS schools end (June 1st - June 12th, 2020).

Once we switchover to morning practices, Rookies practice from 10:15 am - 10:45 am Monday - Friday. Practices are offered at 5:15 pm on Tue/Wed/Thu ONLY for Rookies in day camps or daycare.


See complete practice schedule here.


Rookie Gear and Meets

Rookies will not compete in regular season meets unless they advance to the 8 & Under group (at which time they are no longer Rookies). This means Rookies will not participate in Time Trials, B meets, A meets, or Relay meets.  

On Friday, July 17 at 9:30 am, we will hold a Rookie Fun meet. Older swimmers will be on-hand to help Rookies 'race' the length of the pool.

Swimsuit: Rookies are not required to have the team suit. They should plan to come to practice in a 1 piece suit that does not restrict the movement of their arms and legs. 

Goggles are strongly encouraged. 

Fins are not necessary as a rookie, but they will need them as soon as they advance to 8 & Under.