Swim and Diving Team FAQ
This section is intended to give general guidelines for attending practices, meets, parent volunteers, etc. These are not specific rules that apply to all situations and age groups, so please ask the coaches or swim committee chairs specific questions related to your child and situation.
Q: My child has never swum on a team before – can he/she try it out before we commit for the summer?Q: My child is just learning to swim (6 and under) – can he/she be on the swim team?Q: What equipment is required for swim team?Q: When is the best time for me to talk to the coaches? I don’t want to interrupt practice, but I’m not sure when else to ask questions.Q: What is expected of the parents?
Q: Does my child need to attend preseason to be on the team?
Q: How many practices is my child expected to attend?Q: I can’t get my child to practice on time, should we still come?Q: What if we go on vacation or my swimmer goes to camp?
Q: How many swim meets is my child expected to attend?Q: What are the Wednesday meets?Q: What is All-Stars?Q: What is Championships, and is my child required to attend if he/she is on the swim team?Q: Is my child expected to stay until the end of meets?Q: How long are the swim meets?Q: What should I bring to the meet?Q: Is there food at the meets?Q: Does my child need to be at the meet for warm-ups?Q: Why do I need to sign up for a meet?Q: What if we have a change of plans?Q: What am I required to do at meets?
Q: What is the difference between the diving team and diving lessons?Q: When are the diving meets?Q: Can my child be on the swim team and the diving team?
Q: Does the team have any other activities besides practice and meets?Q: What is the Team Banquet and Pep Rally?
Q: My child has never swum on a team before – can he/she try it out before we commit for the summer?
A: Yes! Please sign up, and give the coaches feedback. There are a lot of kids who are nervous about the swim meets and the coaches can help. If plans change or it is not a good fit, please let us know so we can take you off the distribution list.
Q: My child is just learning to swim (6 and under) – can he/she be on the swim team?
A: Six and unders are required to swim ½ a length of the pool, so as long as your child can make it half way down the pool please sign him/her up! If your child is not quite up to swimming ½ length of the pool, we strongly encourage you to put him/her in swim lessons. The swim instructors coordinate with the swim coaches as the season progresses regarding those kids who are progressing to a swim team level.
Q: What equipment is required for swim team?
A: Swimmers generally wear a team swim suit (from any year – hand-me-downs are fine) to the swim meets. But, any competitive swim suit is acceptable. You will receive an e-mail about ordering the suits and opportunities to try on sizes in the spring. Girls are required to wear a swim cap to swim meets and encouraged to wear them during practices. Swim caps are recommended but not required for boys. The suits cost approximately $50 (girls)/$40 (boys). You will receive a swim cap with team registration. Your child will also need goggles.
Q: When is the best time for me to talk to the coaches? I don’t want to interrupt practice, but I’m not sure when else to ask questions.
A: The best time to speak with coaches is any time after practice.
Q: What is expected of the parents?
A: In addition to getting your swimmer to practices on a regular basis/on time, please make sure you communicate with the coaches and respond to sign-ups and e-mail requests. This is especially important as we try to manage a growing team. Parents are also expected to volunteer to help at swim meets and attend a kick-off meeting with the coaches at the beginning of the season.
Q: Does my child need to attend preseason to be on the team?
A: Preseason swim practice generally runs during the last two weeks of Wayland Public School year, from 4-5pm, Monday – Thursday. The first swim meet is usually the last Saturday in June, so preseason gives your swimmer a chance to meet the coaches, meet other kids, and start conditioning. If your child is available, preseason will help your child, but is not mandatory. Many kids attend only a few days of preseason due to other year-end commitments.
Q: How many practices is my child expected to attend?
A: Morning practice is held for an hour Monday-Friday for the six-week season, with a “make-up” practice at 5pm Monday-Thursday for those who have conflicts in the morning. See the WSTC website for detailed time for your child’s age group. Like any sport, the kids will get the most out of the swim team by attending practices on a regular basis, especially with such a short season. If you expect that your child will not be able to attend at least three practices on a weekly basis, please talk to the coaches. Swim team is not “drop in” and does require a commitment for the season.
Q: I can’t get my child to practice on time, should we still come?
A: Arriving to practice on time is very important and part of committing to the team. Swimmers warm up at the beginning of practice (as in any sport) to prepare their bodies for the more strenuous parts of practice. Coaches also put swimmers in lanes based on who is at practice – late arrivals will disrupt the other swimmers who arrived on time. If your swimmer will regularly be late because of his/her schedule, please talk to the coaches about the best solution. Please emphasize this message to your caregivers (or older children who are getting themselves to the club).
Q: What if we go on vacation or my swimmer goes to camp?
A: Please tell the coaches. There are many kids who miss a week of practice here or there for camp or vacation and as long as the coaches are aware of the circumstances (and whether you will be at a meet), going to camp or on vacation during the season is no reason not to sign up. If your child is at a local camp that ends in time for the 5pm make-up practice, it is generally expected that he or she will make every effort to come to the 5pm practice.
Q: How many swim meets is my child expected to attend?
A: We need as many swimmers as possible at any meet and it is a great experience for the kids. There are four or five dual meets on Saturdays and you should plan to attend at least two of them.
Q: What are the Wednesday meets?
A: There are three meets on Wednesday afternoons (4pm warm-up). There is a non-league meet at Weston (indoors) which is very informal and gives the kids a great opportunity to try out whatever strokes they want. The other two Wednesday meets include all five teams in the league: All-Stars, which is by invitation based on your child’s swim times in previous meets, and Colonial Classics, which is for everyone who did not swim in All-Stars. All swimmers are entered to swim in the Colonial Classics if they do not participate in the All-Star meet.
Q: What is All-Stars?
A: All-Stars is a swim meet with one heat per event, and kids qualify based on their times from previous meets. The five teams in the league are divided into “east” vs. “west” to compete against each other. WSTC will typically have one swimmer in each event. The coach will tell your child if they qualified for All-Stars the Monday before the meet.
Q: What is Championships, and is my child required to attend if he/she is on the swim team?
A: Championships is the final meet of the season and all five league teams are present. It is a full-day event, with early warm-ups, followed by a parade of all the teams into the pool area/around the pool. Medals are given out at the end of the meet in an awards ceremony. It is a great culmination of the season! Swimmers should plan to participate in Championships unless they are away for camp/vacation, etc. Unlike other meets, a program is printed for the meet listing all swimmers/heats/times, so it is CRITICAL that you let the coaches know whether your child will be at championships one week in advance.
Q: Is my child expected to stay until the end of meets?
A: Swimmers are encouraged to stay until the end of the meet and support the rest of the team. As a practical matter, some swimmers do leave after their last race, especially the younger ones. But please let the coaches know if you are leaving as they sometimes need to fill spots on the last relay.
Q: How long are the swim meets?
A: The actual dual meets run about three hours, with warm-ups starting an hour before the meet starts.
Q: What should I bring to the meet?
A: There is a lot of downtime for swimmers between events. Please bring things to help your kids pass the time (cards, coloring). Some kids like a blanket to sit on, and some kids go through multiple towels (warm-ups, and after each event they swim).
Q: Is there food at the meets?
A: There is generally some sort of food for sale at the meets (some clubs have a formal snack bar, others will set something up for the meet), and most parents also bring snacks/drinks that are a good fit for their kids.
Q: Does my child need to be at the meet for warm-ups?
A: Warm-ups are important so the swimmers are not going in cold and have had a chance to try out the pool. It also gives the coaches time to check in all the swimmers and make sure everyone is set before the meet starts. If your child will miss warm-ups for some reason but will be at the meet, please let the coaches know in advance.
Q: Why do I need to sign up for a meet?
A: The coaches decide who will swim which events based on who will be at the meet. If you do not sign up but do show up, every effort will be made to add your child to a heat. If you sign up but do not show up, it is very frustrating for the coaches and volunteers. Heats will not have 6 swimmers and the extra heats due to no-shows add to the length of the meet. It is also difficult for the bullpen volunteers to know if they are missing a swimmer or not.
Q: What if we have a change of plans?
A: Please let the coaches know before the meet! For dual meets, coaches usually do the line up the day before a meet. It is easier to cross someone out than to have people not indicate whether they can come one way or the other. If it is last minute (sick child), it would be helpful if you can call or text someone who is at the meet so they can let the coaches know.
Q: What am I required to do at meets?
A: The club has committed to providing 12-15 volunteers for each meet. You are expected to volunteer for at least one meet. No experience is necessary, and you can split a spot with a spouse or friend if you cannot stay for the whole meet. There are two timers for each lane, plus a back-up timer for each heat so if you want to be poolside for the meet, this is a great spot for you. If you’d prefer to work with the kids, helping in the bullpen (the area where the kids line up for the races) is a great way to meet the team. Ribbon writers usually sit off to the side, but have flexibility to get up and watch their child’s events.
Q: What is the difference between the diving team and diving lessons?
A: All kids who are interested in diving sign up for the diving program. It is $120 for the season. Kids who do both the swim team and the dive team pay only $200. The diving program runs Monday through Friday from 1-3 pm. Except for days when there is a diving meet, the afternoon program consists of diving lessons. To be on the diving “team”, kids need to be able to perform a certain number of dives. The diving coaches work with the kids to achieve the number of dives required for their particular age group so each kid, ultimately, will be able to dive in a meet.
Q: When are the diving meets?
A: Each Saturday dual meet with Colonial League clubs starts with diving. There are also diving only meets which typically occur on Monday afternoons.
Q: Can my child be on the swim team and the diving team?
A: Yes! Since the groups practice at different times, it is possible to do both. You should be aware that if a child “dives” in one of the dual meets, that will count as one event. Typically kids can participate in two individual events per dual meet (plus one relay), so a diver would dive and swim one event.
Q: Does the team have any other activities besides practice and meets?
A: Yes! The team has a kick-off ice cream social. It is very fun and you will be asked to sign up so we can order the correct amount of ice cream. There is also a breakfast mid-season and you will be asked to sign up and bring something (pot luck), and a pizza lunch towards the end of the season. These are all very casual activities.
Q: What is the Team Banquet and Pep Rally?
A: The Wednesday evening before Championships the coaches (including the tennis team) say a few words about each child and give out medals to all team members. People usually bring dinner or order pizza. It is a really nice time for the whole family. There is also a team picture, and a cheer. If you have noticed the white wooden chair at the club with all the names on it, it gets repainted each year and the current year team members sign it. This chair is carried at the front of the team in the parade at championships holding one of the younger team members.