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Swim Team 101

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Frequently Asked Questions – Tidal Waves

When does weather affect our swim season?
Two weather events cause practice delays or cancellation: Lightning (sighted or possibly near) and/or hard rain. If a lightning strike is seen, or if thundering is loud overhead, practice will be called for about 30 minutes. Coaches will take the swimmers to the pavilion to wait. Light rain without lightning is no problem; hard rain that prevents a swimmer from seeing the bottom of the pool will cause practice delays or cancellation. Watch the website and email for info on cancelations and delays.

What are the family folders?
Family folders can be found under the covered area next to the front gate of Apache Pool at practice and at Check-in of all swim meets. They contain important information, ribbons, etc.

When do swimmers receive ribbons from meets?
All ribbons will be in the family folders by Tuesday after the meet.

How many events does a swimmer swim?
Swimmers may only participate in up to 3 individual events and 2 relays (1 relay for 5/6). You may find your swimmer in fewer events, this is because it is not always possible to have all swimmers swim the relays and/or they are not yet able to legally swim certain strokes within a reasonable time.

What does "INV" next to a child's name mean on the results page?
The swimmer has qualified for the Invitational Meet. 

Practice 101: 

When do we practice?

We practice Monday-Friday with meets on Saturday mornings.

What do I wear and bring to practice?
A competition style swimsuit. Swimmers should have goggles, a swim cap, a towel, and a bottle of water. Put your name on everything you bring to the pool.

What do parents do during practice?
Parents need to check family folders. Otherwise, have fun watching your swimmer and getting to know the other Tidal Wave parents!

Meet 101:

Meet Day:

  • Get there early/on time. Check-in times for swimmers and volunteers will be posted for each meet. Coming late effects the entire relay team. Also, swimmers must warm up in the pool prior to the meet. Please remember that you will need time to find a parking spot and unload your vehicle. It's always best to arrive early!
  • Swimmers need to check in with their individual age group pit parent. Volunteers need to check in at the check-in table with the volunteer coordinator. 
  • Bring lots of water/Gatorade (no soda) and HEALTHY snacks. Concessions will also be available at all home meets.
  • Bring something to entertain your swimmers (e.g. cards, hand-held games) for use when they are not competing (make sure their name is on EVERYTHING). Please refrain from sending them with anything that will take away their energy (footballs, volleyballs, lacrosse, etc). 
  • Bring extra goggles
  • Bring Tidal Waves Swim Cap, and extra caps
  • Bring 2 beach towels, blankets (swimmers will need towel or blanket to sit on and one to keep dry
  • Sunscreen 
  • Warmups/heavy shirts for those cool mornings (pajamas work well too!)
  • Chairs for parents, blankets
  • Pack the night before, the morning will be crazy even with the best made plans!

Time Trials 101:

Time Trials is a simulation of an actual meet. It allows swimmers and parents to get a feel for how a meet is run and for coaches to get swimmers' seed times for the first actual meet.

Divisionals 101:

There are four divisions within the Northwest Swim Circuit. This year, the Tidal Waves are in Division IV. The Divisional Meet at the end of the year will consist of four teams in our division. To be eligible to participate in the Divisional meet, a swimmer must have swum in at least two official regular season meets during the season. They must also have an "official" time in the event they sign up for. Points are awarded through 8th place for both individual events and relays.

Invitationals 101:

This meet is truly an invitational meet and is open only to those swimmers who equal or better the qualifying standards in a NWSC dual meet or in the Divisional meet. Age group invitational qualifying times are listed on the NWSC's website. Swimmers must swim in at least two dual meets to qualify.

Pits/Tents 101:

Pits Serve Several Purposes at a Meet:

  • Provide a safe place for swimmers to stay while parents are working various jobs during the meet.
  • Provide a fun place for our swimmers to pass the time while they are waiting for their events.
  • Provide a place where swimmers can gather to be guided to the ready bench when it is time for their events.

We all need to work together to make sure these items happen.

Swimmer Safety:
While we like to think of our meets as family events, they are open to the public and as such present the same dangers to a child as being at a park or the mall when they are out of a parent's direct supervision. As a result, swimmers must be reminded prior to the meet, that they should remain in their tent for their safety or abide by the following rules:

  • Younger swimmers (10 & under) should not leave the tent alone. We have pit parents assigned to each tent, please check regularly to see if swimmers need to use the restrooms and escort groups there or to the snack bar as needed. Parents should not remove swimmers from the tent without first telling one of the pit parents they are doing so. Please escort your child back to the tent when you are done with whatever activity you are removing them for.
  • Older swimmers should not leave the tent without first telling the tent parent where they are headed. It is recommended that they do so in groups of 2 or more.

Swimmer Fun:
The pits provide a shaded area for our swimmers to socialize between events. Parents, please make sure your swimmer has activities to keep them entertained while they are there. Also please remind your swimmers that part of having fun involves that golden rule "do unto others as you'd have them do unto you". They need to show respect for the pit parents and other swimmers in their tent. 

Each swimmer was asked to sign a code of conduct and they will be held accountable for their actions if they do not follow it. Foul language, back talk, spitting, hitting and other inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated in the tents.

Pit parents, please stay tuned into the activities that are occurring in the tents. It is easy to get caught up in watching the meet, a good book or casual conversation. However if you have an eye and ear on the activities underway, you can often resolve any issues before they occur. With our younger ones to some degree, yes this is "kid watching," but it is a very important part of this job.

While it is the tent parent's responsibility to get swimmers in the tent to the ready bench, it is not the pit parent's responsibility to track down a swimmer not in the tent when it is time to line up. For our younger swimmers, if you remove your child, always know when it is their next turn to swim and have them back in time to line up (this is several events prior to when they actually swim). For our older swimmers, our pit parents can caution them about how much time they have when they ask to leave the tent, but it is their responsibility to return on time. Please make sure they are aware of this.

Lastly, please do not remove your swimmer from the meet for the day without first checking with the pit parent to confirm if they are swimming in the freestyle relays. Do not go by the heat sheet or even by what is on their arms. Pit parents have the actual relay cards with them and can confirm it for you. Relays lineups change due to last minute illnesses before or during the meet and parents forget to tell us their swimmers are leaving early or missing entirely. Some of this we know first thing in the morning when we make initial adjustments. These changes will most likely be reflected on your child's arm. However some of these we don't find out until later in the meet and they may not be reflected. The best bet is to stay through the free relays for your child's age group and to support the team. Our goal is always to have as many swimmers as possible swim these relays so don't be surprised to see them pulled in last minute.

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