Find some of the most common questions and answers that we receive each year!  If you still need help answering your question, reach out to your swimmer's coach or Head Coach Patti.  The Parent Liaisons are also very helpful!


General Information

  • What age does my child have to be to try out for the team and what are the minimum requirements? 
    • Swimmers must be age 6 to join the swim team. Minimum requirements are: 25 yards non-stop free, 25 yards float or kick on back, 50 yards kick with kickboard (no touching the bottom), 1 minute treading water in deep end
    • 10-minute tryouts are scheduled online at steamboatswimteam.com prior to the start of the specific swim season or can be arranged by contacting Head Coach Patti Worsley at coachpatti@steamboatswimteam.com.
  • I am visiting Steamboat can I swim with your team? Is there a fee?
  • Are you a year-round team?
    • Yes! We are a USA Swimming year-round team!  We run 4-5 separate seasons for the swimmers.  Currently, about one-third of our swimmers participate in the year-round program, while others choose to swim 1-3 seasons per year.
  • What is the difference between swim lessons and swim team?
    • Swim lessons focus on establishing safety and comfort in the water as well as the fundamentals of the strokes and skills in the water.  Swim team, however, is focused on refining the technique and speed of the strokes and starts required for racing.  There is an expectation that on the swim team, your swimmer will compete in swim meets (generally, higher levels are expected to attend more meets than the newer and younger levels).
  • How do I sign up for the team?
    • First, arrange for a tryout (details on requirements and expectations can be found in the handbook-- click here).  Typically, we run two or three days of tryouts prior to the start of each season.  Email Head Coach Patti Worsley at coachpatti@steamboatswimteam.com for more information!
  • How does communication occur on the team?
    • The primary source of communication is via email.  Team calendars and other important information are also updated regularly and can be found on our website: www.steamboatswimteam.com.  Open communication between coaches, parents, and swimmers is always encouraged!
  • Do you have a lost and found for the swim team?
    • Yes, in our swim team locker on deck. The locker will be open during swim team practices. There is also a lost and found at the front desk of OTHS.
  • What strokes do swimmers use in competition?
    • USA Swimming meets include the four main strokes: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle.
  • What team suit does my swimmer need at practice and at a meet?
    • Swimmers can wear one-piece suits (no Jolyn or tie-back suits) at practice.  At meets, they are expected to wear a solid black one-piece suit (again, no Jolyn or tie-back suits).  Swimmers in Gold, Senior, and Double Black groups may wear a tech suit of their choice, with the approval of the head coach.
  • What other events do the team host/participate in throughout the year?
    • Sometimes we will have a dual meet with a visiting team from Colorado. You will be informed about our involvement when co-hosting meets. We also host periodic “Mini Meets” throughout the summer and fall (see “meets” section of FAQ).  We also like to encourage team bonding via team barbecues or potlucks.  The older team groups may attend “group meals” together with their coach.  We often organize various team activities such as our Winter Holiday Gift Exchange, T-shirt Decorating, and more.  



  • Where do I find my swimmer's group and training times?
    • Click here  to find our schedules for each training group, separated by season.  You can also use our Calendar to find the day-to-day scheduling of each of the groups and their training times/events.  Clicking “General Calendar” from the drop-down menu on this page will display meets and team events.  Clicking on your swimmer’s specific group from this drop-down menu will display specific training times for your swimmer’s group.  Please always assume that your swimmer’s practice will be held as scheduled.  Exceptions to this rule can be found in the Team Handbook under “Weather and Cold Air Policy”.
  • Do you have attendance requirements?
    • Attendance requirements vary slightly for each training group.  This information is listed on the individual Schedules CHANGE LINK for each season.  In general, swimmers should be able to commit to all practices offered, unless there is an emergency or doctor’s note, or unless the swimmer has discussed an exception with their coach ahead of time.  We understand that many swimmers are also participating in other sports, clubs, or activities that may conflict with practices.  If this is the case for you, please discuss your scheduling conflicts with the coach ahead of time to work out a schedule that works for the team, coach, and your swimmer.
  • What do I do if my swimmer is sick and cannot attend practice?
    • The preferred method of contact is email.  Please have your swimmer contact their coach (if possible) to inform him or her about the absence. 
  • My child is going to be late or needs to leave early from practice
    • If possible, contact the coach ahead of time by email or in person.  If it is a last minute, unavoidable situation, inform your coach as soon as possible.  Please know that continued tardiness or leaving early will not be acceptable.
  • What equipment does my swimmer need?
    • Equipment requirements vary depending on the training group.  A list of required equipment can be found here.  Swimmers are responsible for bringing all required equipment (in working order) to each and every day of practice.
  • Does my swimmer swim in the rain and snow?
    • You betcha!  We swim rain or shine!  The only exceptions to this are if there is lightning in the valley or if the outside temperature reads -10 degrees Fahrenheit or below.  More specific information about how this is determined can be found in our Team Handbook.




  • Can my swimmer attend a meet that our team does not have on the schedule?
    • Swimmers may only attend meets attended by SSST coaches. We select WSL meets and other meets that we feel will best promote success for all our swimmers and our team. No individual goal supersedes the importance of the team and its growth, we participate in meets where the team runs an efficient and competitive meet. The only exception to this is if a swimmer qualifies for a select Colorado Team such as AG Zones or All Stars.
  • Does my swimmer have to attend swim meets? How much do they cost?
    • All groups on the team are expected to attend swim meets.  As your swimmer progresses through the groups, they will be expected to attend more meets (i.e. groups such as Gold and Senior will be expected to attend more meets than Bronze or Silver).  Lightning team is expected to attend the Mini Meets and the Craig meet in the summer.  Costs of meets may vary from $20-$50, depending on the location and number of events that the swimmers are participating in.
  • What is a Mini Meet?
    • Mini Meets are team events held at our own pool, just for swimmers on our team. They are intended to introduce younger swimmers and their families to the competitive atmosphere and rules of a swim meet. Lightning and Bronze swimmers are expected to attend and swim at all of these meets. Younger swimmers may be paired up with older swimmers so that they can learn how to write events on their arm, get to the heating area on time, be behind their blocks before their event starts, etc. These are an awesome way for the swimmers to be introduced to the meet atmosphere.
  • Where are the swim meets?
    • Most swim meets are on the Western Slope, in Aspen, Craig, Glenwood Springs, and Grand Junction.  We also travel to Denver to participate in higher level meets.  Refer to the Events tab for more specific information on this season’s meets.
  • What does on time mean?
    • Swimmers are expected to be dressed and ready with all of their equipment 5 minutes before every practice.  At meets, swimmers must be dressed and ready to get in the pool for warm-up 15 minutes prior to the start of their designated warm-up time.  If swimmers are not on time to the meet, they may be taken out of a relay.
  • How long does a meet last?
    • Meets typically consist of a 45-minute warm-up and a 4-hour session of racing.  Meets may run for one-three days.
  • Where do I find directions to the meet we are attending?
    • Meet information and addresses are located in the meet program (found via the Events tab).  Directions for how to get there can be found using your phone, GPS, or something of the like.
  •  Do we stay together as a team at away meets?
    • Generally, families book their own hotels depending on their own budget.  If we find a discount group booking opportunity, we will pass the information along via email.
  • How can I help my swimmer prepare for a meet?
  • How do coaches select relays?
    • At championship meets the coaches will select the relay that they feel will produce the fastest result. Work ethic, attendance, punctuality and team leadership are also factors that are considered when selecting relays. At other meets, we select relays based on who attend the meet and the above factors.
    • The coaches may adjust relays the day of the meet.
  • How do I commit or decline a meet?
    • Please click here for in-depth information about committing and declining your swimmer’s attendance at a meet.


Coaches, Parents, Swimmers

  • If I want a private lesson who do I contact?
    • Always contact the swimmer’s group coach first.  They will help direct you to the best option for private lessons for your swimmer.
  • I have read the Team Handbook but I still have questions am new to the swim team. Are there parents who can contact to ask questions?
    • Yes!  Please contact the team liaison (found here) that is designated to your swimmer’s group for more information and assistance.  If you still have questions, feel free to contact your swimmer’s specific group coach or Head Coach Patti.
  • Move ups?
    • Our team’s philosophy and protocol for move-ups can be found in our Team Handbook.  Ultimately, move-ups are determined by the coaches and are based on effort, attendance, attitude, age, and ability.
  • How can my child get faster?
    • Attend practices—generally, the more practices your swimmer attends, the more they will improve.
    • Perfect practice makes perfect- focus on technique and skills during practice and meets.
    • Work harder – listen to and apply coaches advice and skills and aspire to the next level of effort
    • Be patient—improvement doesn’t happen overnight, especially in swimming.  Introducing and applying new techniques will take an adjustment period but will pay off in the long run.
  • I want to watch my child swim at practice, can I?
    • USA Swimming does not allow parents on the pool deck during swim practice.  If you want to watch workout you can sit on the side of the shallow pool that is closer to the hot pools.  If you are unsure of which locations are appropriate, please ask us!
  • We are traveling out of town on vacations and my swimmer would like to swim with a team in the area we are visiting, what do we do?
    • Have Head Coach Patti contact the head coach of the team to which you are traveling.  Please provide her with the dates of when you are looking to train with the other team, as well as contact information for the head coach.
  • How can I volunteer for the team?
    • Help coordinate social activities for the team.  Sign up to bring potluck items. Set up or clean up at functions.  Volunteer to help out at a swim meet or with other swim team duties. It's an “all hands on deck” effort and there is always something more that can be done.  Consider becoming a timer, stroke & turn judge, starter, or referee. If you are able, becoming an official is extremely appreciated and beneficial to the team. The officiating is all on a volunteer basis and it always helps to have more people trained to step in when others have scheduling conflicts for a meet. You may also enjoy the meet more when you know the rules well.


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