Whenever possible, the coach should be informed in advance of an illness or injury. Regardless of how serious or trivial it may be, it will almost always be possible to find a physician (or parent) who will recommend abstaining from training and one who will recommend a modified approach. For this reason, the coach must be the one to determine if the absence is excusable (especially for the advanced swimmers). It is helpful to find a family physician who appreciates the importance of participation and who understands the repercussions associated with missed meets and training sessions. In the case of an injury, the coaching staff should be able to come up with an alternative training schedule to help heal the injury and still maintain fitness levels. Therefore, it is extremely important to discuss the course of action with the coach.