These questions have been compiled from the ones we hear over and over again. Hopefully they will answer some of yours. If not, ask the Coaches or Meet Manager your question. I'm sure they'll find an answer for it - somewhere.
1. Do we practice in the rain? Even in heavy rain?
This question always ranks number one and the answer is YES! Rain is water and when youre swimming, you're in the water anyway, so wet is wet right? The only ones who get "rain wet" during rainy practices are the coaches. Parents usually seek cover. The only time a practice is called on account of rain is during a thunderstorm.
This also means that meets, too, are held in the rain. And they have been during some pretty rainy days. In these situations everyone gets wet, except the chickens.
2. Do we practice if the weather is chilly?
Practice is still on in chilly weather. If the water temperature falls below 70° F then the coaches will have swimmers doing land exercises such as stretching and running.
3. Who do we call to find out if a practice or a meet is cancelled?
If you really have questions about a practice, call Team Manager, Marilyn Clune - 301-352-6792. We'll also try and let the font desk at the Aquatic Center know if a practice has been cancelled. They can be reached at 301-397-2204. If you have questions about a meet, call the Manager, David Mathews - 301-927-6207.
4. What if my child cannot make a meet?
If your child cannot make a meet, please notify the coaches as soon as possible, particularly if they are already scheduled to swim. Please notify the coaches also, if for some reason your child will be late to a meet. (Coach Kyle at 202-468-6496)
5. What should the swimmers eat before and during a meet what should they avoid?
Your swimmer should eat foods rich in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are classified into starches, which are found mainly in grains, legumes (beans), and tubers (potatoes); and sugars, which are found in plants and fruits. The carbohydrates containing the most nutrients are found in unrefined grains, tubers, vegetables, and fruit, which also provide protein, vitamins, minerals, and fats. Carbohydrates are burned during metabolism to produce energy.
Avoid foods made from refined sugar, such as candy and soft drinks, which are high in calories but low in nutrients and fill the body with what nutritionists call empty calories.
Before a meet, eat a light breakfast such as cereal, toast or fruits, enough to give you some energy, but not so much that you feel too "full"to swim. During the meet you may also want to snack on fruits or foods containing grains to sustain your energy.
And drink plenty of water! It gets pretty hot on that pool deck between events. Also stay in the shade and wear sunscreen.
6. What should swimmers keep in their swim bags?
Their bathing suit, towel and goggles are essential. At least two pair of goggles is highly recommended. Many a time goggle straps or nosepieces have broken during a meet. Not to mention being misplaced.
For girls especially, bathing caps are essential to keep the hair under control. The rubber caps will also help to keep your head warm and lessen heat loss.
Since summer can be chilly, especially after getting out of a cold pool, sweat pants, sweat shirt or T-shirts are also good items to pack. Maybe a hat.
Healthful snacks, water, and boredom busters to pass the time between events are also good to have in your swim bag.
7. What is a A Meet?
The A meets are the Saturday morning meets between two teams in the same PMSL division. They are also called dual meets. These meets are official Prince Mont Swim League competitions that are scored. These meet results determine division and league standings.
8. What is a B Meet?
B meets are mid-week dual meets with another swim team that that is not in our PMSL division. B Meets are open to swimmers of any age group.The swim club hosting the B Meet can add or modify criterion for participation in the meet. The major rule for a B meet is that a swimmer who has finished 1st or 2nd in an A meet event cannot swim the same event in a B meet. This gives other swimmers a chance to earn higher place finishes. Swimmers in a B meet have a chance to compete in events that they do not normally swim in A meets.
8. What is the Mini-Meet?
The Knights of Columbus Mini Meet is held on the second Sunday morning in July. This mini meet is for 10 and under participants. This is a wonderful meet for younger kids. Kids compete against other children of the same age: seven year olds compete only against other seven year olds and eight year olds compete separately, etc. There are events for kids as young as five years old (and younger) to swim. The top three finishers in each event are awarded medals in a special ceremony after the competition that kids and parents love--a great photo opportunity for the swimmer with Olympic dreams.
If you have a swimmer who is 10 or younger, please try to make it to this meet. You won't be sorry.
10. What is the Long Course Meet?
The Adelphi Long Course Meet is a rather intimidating name for a fun, challenging meet. The meet is held on Sunday July morning. A long course pool is 50 meters in length, or double the 25 meters the team normally swims in competition.
Adelphi has a 50 meter pool and offers the Long Course Meet every summer as an opportunity for kids try out their Olympic dreams in the pool. Attendance isn't mandatory, but the meet is a great experience for those swimmer who like a challenge and have long term swimming plans and goals.
11. What is the Firecraker Relay?
The New Carrollton Firecracker Relay Meet is held in the evening just before July 4th. An all relay meet is just that all relays--freestyle, medley, graduated/crescendo, mixed for 8 & unders to 18 year olds. The firecracker Relay meet is FUN--fast, chaotic, silly (there's a coaches relay) and a good time for parents and swimmers.
Attendance at this meet isn't mandatory, but if your child is looking for more opportunities to swm with the team, this is a great meet in which your swimmer can participate.
12. What are DQs? Why did my child receive one?
DQs are disqualifications. A disqualification is given to a swimmer who does not perform a legal stroke. The strokes that have the most restrictive rules for start, stroke, kick and turns are breaststroke and butterfly.
Many swimmers just learning these strokes DQ the first time they try them in competition because it's hard to coordinate all the elements at once without a lot of practice. The rules for disqualifications that PMSL uses (that's the league our team is in) are the USA Swimming rules. USA Swimming is the governing board for local, year round swim clubs like FAST all the way up to the US Olympic Swim Team.
The reason younger children are judged by the same standards as older, experienced swimmers is to help reinforce proper stroke technique with younger swimmers to perform legal strokes. Younger swimmers who don't receive that correction early on find it more difficult to change their stroke technique later because incorrect form has become habit.
The stroke and turn judges at the meet are swim team parents who volunteer their time to attend clinics and learn how to judge each stroke. Two judges are supplied from our team, and two judges from the opposing team. Perhaps the most difficult job at a meet is to be a stroke and turn judge. They must judge the opposing team and their own as well. It is not unusual for a judge to give a DQ to his/her own child. It's especially hard to DQ a swimmer who has just mastered a stroke and has made it through the race. Stroke and turn judges perform an important function at meets--if we didn't supply S&T judges, we'd have to cancel the meet.
If you're concerned about why your child was DQ'd in an event, please speak to your child's coach. Coaches record the reasons why DQs were given in order to work with your child on correcting his/her stroke during practice so that your child can swim the event legally at the next meet. Please remember that during a meet no spectator can approach the judges or other deck officials--they're doing their jobs and need to observe the races without interruption. If you'd like to speak to your child' coach about your child's performance, please do so after the meet.
13. Do all swimmers receive ribbons?
PMSL rules stipulate that ribbons are supplied for 1st through 6th place. Many teams, ours included, give out ribbons for places beyond 6th. Our team even gives out participant ribbons to swimmers who receive DQs. But, not every team gives out ribbons for every place.
Younger swimmers love ribbons and the affirmation it brings that they've done their best. It can be difficult for a child to watch a friend and teammate receive a ribbon when he/she hasn't. Please reassure your child that his/her efforts are appreciated by the team and coaches and that the ribbons will come as your child's swimming improves. Stress goals and future success. The team does recognize each and every swimmer at the end of the year during a special ceremony held at the End of Season Banquet for their contribution to the team.