Frequently Asked Questions
..and their answers!!!!!
SWIMMER AND PARENT ELIGIBILTY, REQUIREMENTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Q: Am I required to volunteer?
A: While not required, it is strongly encouraged. Like everything else, the swim team does not run itself. There are many opportunities to help, such as timing, home meet picnics, awards, and Mutant wear sales. These are just a few ways to volunteer. Check out the volunteer position descriptions link on the home page.
Q: Can I be on the pool deck during a meet?
A: Every park is different. At Windmill Pointe Park, spectators may watch from behind the fence, or they may sit on the bleachers. Only parents who are timing can be on-deck behind the blocks.
Q: Are parents/swimmers allowed to use an away meet park after a meet?
A: Every park is different, but usually yes.
Q: Are team suits, caps and goggles required?
A: Team suits and caps are not required, but encouraged. Swimmers must have goggles at every practice and at meets.
Q: What if we have a family vacation planned or my child is going away to camp during the swim season. Do I let the coaches know?
A: Yes, let them know ASAP. Parents can notify the coaches of planned absences via email or written note.
Q: My swimmer either wasn't at practice when the meet line-up was announced or he didn't know he was supposed to swim. Consequently he doesn't come to the meet. Why is he ineligible to swim at the next dual meet?
A: The meet line-up is announced at the three practices preceding the meet. It is the swimmer's responsibility to find out if he is swimming. When a swimmer fails to notify the coach and does not show up at the meet, relays may have to be scratched and lanes may be left open. This can be very upsetting for swimmers who would have liked/were available to swim had the coaches been notified.
Q: How do swimmers get to and from home and away meets?
A: Parents are responsible for getting their swimmers to and home from all meets.
Q: If my swimmer wants to stay on the same team as he was on last summer, does he need to tryout?
A: No. Only swimmers who are new to the Mutants or who wish to advance need to tryout.
Q: My swimmer is not able to attend tryouts, but he wants to advance, what should he do?
A: He should register and attend practice for the team he was on last summer. Coaches will evaluate any swimmers who missed tryouts during the first week of practice.
Q: My swimmer tried out but did not make the level he wanted to. What should he do?
A: The swimmer should talk to his coach to ask what skills he needs to be on the higher team.
Q: Will swimmers ever change levels during the season?
A: If the coach feels the swimmer should be practicing in a higher or lower level, he will move him accordingly.
Q: What criteria determines a swimmers placement on a team?
A: Swimmers are placed on teams based on age and swimming ability. Coaches will be evaluating the following for each level:
D Team: Must be able to swim 25 yards freestyle with face in the water and beginning rotary breathing in the deep end without stopping to hold the wall or lane marker. Swimmers on the the D-team have usually participated in swim lessons so that they are familiar with beginning stroke technique and are comfortable in the water.
C Team: Must be able to swim 25 yards freestyle and backstroke with proper breathing and some proficiency. C-team practices will consist of mostly swimming 25 and 50 yard sets.
B Team: Must be able to swim proficiently 3 or more competitive stokes (free, back, breast, fly) and be able to do flip turns. Practices will consist of mostly 50 + yard sets.
B+ Team: Must be able to swim 3 or more competitive stroke legally and be able to do turns for those strokes. Practices will consist of mostly 50 and 100 + yard sets with increased yardage.
A Team: Must be able to swim all 4 competitive strokes and turns legally. Practices will consist mostly 100 + yard sets.
Q: Does my swimmer need to be able to dive from the starting blocks?
A: No. During meets swimmers may start from in the water, dive from the deck, or dive from the starting block.
Q: Will my swimmer learn how to do competitive strokes, flip turns, and diving from the blocks?
A: Due to the short nature of the Lakefront swim season, it is difficult to fully teach all competitive strokes and techniques such as flip turns, transitions, starts and finishes. Every attempt will be made to do so, but competitive strokes and techniques are typically the result of swimming on a year round competitive swim team since most competitive techniques are the result of muscle memory and repetition.
Q: Will my swimmer improve over the course of the season?
A: Yes assuming the swimmer attends practices, listens to the coach, and makes an effort. Swimming is the type of sport that you get out of it what you put into it. Commitment is essential.
Q: If my child attends every practice will he/she swim in the meet?
A: The coaches consider swimmer's times, practice attendance and effort, and swimmer availability, and competing team when creating the meet line up. Because of the size of our team, it is not possible for every swimmer to swim at every meet. Every swimmer will swim in at least 1 meet.
Q: How many practices is my child required to attend to be eligible to swim in a dual meet?
A: Swimmers are required to attend 50% of available practices before a dual meet.
Q: Will my child learn how to swim the butterfly, for example, by joining the Mutants or should they take lessons?
A: The Mutants Team is made up of over 200 swimmers. With an eight week season, our six coaches would be hard pressed to teach a new stroke. Depending on the swim team level, coaches will give some instruction and offer improvement suggestions. Many of the coaches and lifeguards offer private lessons which can be very beneficial.
Q: What are the practice times?
A: Practice times are posted on our website.
Q: What is Mutants week?
A: Mutant Week is a celebration of the Mutant swim team; usually a theme is involved, and the coaches will planned themed practices.
Q: My child is on the D team. Where do they practice?
A: D team practices in the shallow end, along the steps leading into the pool. Occasionally, D-team swimmers may practice in the deep end.
Q: Do swimmers on D team participate in the Wednesday night dual meets?
A: No. The youngest age group at the Wednesday dual meets is eight and under, those children in that age group come from the C or B teams. If the coaches are in need of younger swimmers, D-team coaches may ask a D-team swimmer to swim in the meet. All D-team swimmers and their families are encouraged and welcomed to attend dual meets. This is a great opportunity for younger swimmers to see what the dual meets are like.
Q: Should swimmers from the D team attend the end of the season banquet?
A: While children from the D team are more than welcome to come, the D team has its own banquet at the end of the season. In addition to the D team coaches, the other coaches also attend. It is a fun yet smaller picnic where the kids get to enjoy all the coaches.
Q: Who swims in the mini-meet?
A: All D team swimmers are encouraged to participate in the Saturday Mini-Meets. Additionally, any swimmers from C, D, B, B+, and A teams who would like to participate in Mini-Meets are welcome also. Mini Meets are a great opportunity for ALL swimmers to get practice competing, get times, as well as compete in strokes that they might not have an opportunity to swim in at a dual meet.
Q: How many events can my child swim in a mini-meet?
A: Swimmers are able to swim in as many events as they choose; ribbons are given out at the end of every heat. Times are kept and recorded.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT DUAL MEETS:
Q: What is this difference between a home and an away meet?
A: Home meets take place at Windmill Pointe Park. Away meets will be at another lakefront park, please see calendar or season schedule on our home page.
Q: What happens at a home meet?
A: Meets start promptly at 5:30 p.m. (swimmers need to be checked-in with their coach by 4:30 p.m.) There are 56 events so meets are usually about 2.5 hours. After the meet is over the team sponsors a potluck picnic, with each member of the A, B, C and D teams responsible for a salad, dessert or chips. (See picnic/parties link on our home page).
Q: Is the picnic only for the kids who swim in the meet?
A: No, ALL Mutants and their families are welcome.
Q: When is the line up announced and how do I know if my child is swimming?
A: The line up is announced to the swimmers starting Tuesday with changes being made through Wednesday afternoon. It is the responsibility of the child to let their parents know they are swimming. Additionally, it is the swimmers' responsibility to let the coaches know if they can not swim in the meet.
Q: Will the coaches ever change the line up after it has been announced?
A: Yes. When a coach is notified that a swimmer can not swim, another swimmer will be entered in the event. Therefore, it is very important for swimmers to listen to the line-up at every practice that it is announced. A swimmer who was not in the line-up on Tuesday, may be in the line-up come Wednesday. Additionally, coaches from both teams have what is called a “scratch meeting “ before the meet begins, that is when any changes will be made. Event vacancies are filled with swimmers in attendance and ready to swim.
Q: At a meet, how will my child know when it is their turn to swim?
A: When the swimmer checks in with the coaches, his event numbers will be written on his hand. Swimmers must stay on deck to ensure the coaches can find them and they don't miss their events.
Q: My child really wants to swim a certain event, what should he do?
A: Express an interest to his/her coach. ALL swimmers also have the opportunity to swim any/all events of their choice at the mini meets.
Q: How many events can my child swim at each meet?
A: A child cannot swim more than two individual events and one relay at a dual meet.
Q: If my child swims in a dual meet, will he get a ribbon?
A: Ribbons are award for 1st-6th place. Swimmers must go to the awards table to pick up their ribbons.
Q: My swimmer thought he got 1st place, but he was given a 2nd place ribbon. Why?
A: Places are called by the meet official and awarded according to his judgement of the finish. On some occasions, a swimmer with a faster time may actually place behind a swimmer with a slower time. Usually these are very close races and the experienced official determines the place rather than the parent volunteer stop watch time.
Q: What is a DQ?
A: DQ is abbreviated for disqualified. A swimmer can only be disqualified by the meet official. DQ's are typically called for false starts or an illegal stroke or turn. Usually the meet official will tell the swimmer why he was DQ'd. If he does not, then the swimmer should talk to his coach to find out the reason for the DQ.
Q: If my swimmer is DQ'd will he still get a ribbon?
A: Unfortunately when a swimmer is DQ'd, he will not receive a ribbon.
Q: Does my swimmer have to pick up his ribbons from the awards table at the meet?
A: Yes. If your swimmer would like to receive his ribbons, he must stand in line at the awards table at that meet to pick up his ribbons.
Q: How long is a typical dual meet? Mini-meet?
A: Dual meets start at 5:30 p.m. and end after 8:00 p.m. Mini-meets start at 9 a.m. and end around noon.
PRELIMS AND FINALS:
Q: What happens during prelims and finals?
A: The Mutants celebrate finals week with a poster party at the Windmill Pointe Park, pasta and head shaving party at Patterson Park and a special dinner for prelim and finals swimmers.
Q: Who goes to prelims and finals and when is it announced?
A: Every park sends two swimmers and one alternate for each event. In addition each park sends one relay team with two alternates. The announcement is made after Thursday afternoon’s practice. Swimmers are selected for prelims based on fastest times. The top 6 swimmers move on to finals.