Swim School General Questions
What are Perpetual Lessons?
Find a day and time that has the class you need and register for that class. You will own that day and time until you decide to take a break, move to another day/time, or your student gets promoted
You may join any time. If you join mid-month, your monthly tuition will be prorated.
You will pay for your first month when you register and then through a monthly direct debit which will occur on the first working day of the month.
We require a 30 day notice before your last class. This is so we can put an end date on the class and open up a spot for other children.
Why do you have lessons year round?
Our year round program will provide a positive environment for your child to learn and grow. When you register for lessons, we hold that spot for you every week. If a change is needed, please let us know and we will do our best to make that happen, based on availability. We do ask that you limit your changes to four times per year.
For children, we recommend once per week lessons. Consistent attendance and repetition in the lessons are crucial for success. Of course children attend more than once per week, but it is not critical for their learning to swim.
How young do you offer lessons?
How frequently should I schedule my child’s lessons?
What should I bring to swim class?
What if my child cries or is afraid?
Swimming, like many activities, generates anxiety in some children. This apprehension or fear may be most evident on the first day of lessons. As each week progresses, your child’s anxiety should be less evident. Time, familiarity and consistency offer reassurance to the child.
Should I be visible during my child’s lesson?
What is a Deck Manager/Supervisor?
Why don’t you offer Make-Up Lessons?
If you miss a class, you may receive a voucher for your child and a parent to our next Family Swim Night. Just fill out the form online for a voucher and then let us know which Family Swim Night you would like to attend. One pass per child is given per month for students participating in weekly lessons.
If your child has a medical reason for not being able to attend for more than two weeks in a row, please contact us about alternative arrangements.
We understand that family schedules can change throughout the year. If a schedule proves to be difficult for your family, we are happy to help you change your lesson time, as long as there is availability. We will do this up to four times per year.
We do not offer vouchers for missed lessons in the Blitz classes.
What do Waterloo Toddler Classes focus on?
How are Waterloo Toddler classes structured?
What is the Waterloo Toddlers Curriculum?
Week One: Kicking, Positioning, and Reaching
Week Two: Breath Control and Submersions
Week Three: Back Floating, Kicking, and Sculling
Week Four: Independent Skills and Parent-Out of Water Practice
** on the occasion that five classes occur within the same month, the focus will be determined by the instructor and new or different activities or songs may be introduced at this time.
We structure toddler classes similarly to our Waterloo group lessons, with some adjustments based on age and learning development.
2 min: Greet parent and child and welcome into the water! Encourage parents to practice safe and independent entries with their child and support child waiting for proper cues from their parent to enter the water. Setting proper boundaries during the lesson can be vital to learning safety precautions: children learn best through habit so we want to create the habit of waiting for an adult’s permission to enter the water.
3 min: Warm up! Toys, balls, and floating objects can be spread around the pool to encourage parents and swimmers to adjust to the water while instructing parents on the proper ways to hold their child in the water to best support their body positioning.
*Group song to bring class together*
10 min: Instructional skill review and maintenance: this time is allotted to practice the skills that are NOT the focus of the week. There is usually enough time for at least two activities (see Waterloo Toddlers Activities for lesson plan ideas)
10 min: Instructional skill focus of the week this time is allotted to practice the skill focus of the week. Each skill focus has many activities and games to help a child build their respective skills. It is important during this time to interact with each participant individually and communicate one-on-one to each parents and child about how they perform the skill. It is also beneficial to educate the group of parents as to why the skill focus is important.
*Group Songs to Close Instructional Period*
5 min: Reward Time! This is a great opportunity for parent and toddler to explore and play through child-led learning. This means not only creating opportunity for games and fun, but supporting parents in looking for ways to support their child’s natural desire to learn. This is also a good opportunity for the instructor to follow up with any questions, or offer added support to parents whose child may be struggling with specific skills.
What do Waterloo Baby Classes focus on?
How are Waterloo Baby classes structured?
What is the Waterloo Babies Curriculum?
Week One: Entries, Exists, and Water Acclimation
Week Two: Kicking and Reaching
Week Three: Back Float
Week Four: Bubbles and Submersions
** On the occasion that five classes occur within the same month, the focus will be determined by the instructor and new or different activities or songs may be introduced at this time.
We structure babies’ classes similarly to our Waterloo group lessons, with some adjustments based on age and learning development.
2 min: Greet parent and child and welcome into the water! Encourage parents to practice safe entries with their child and support child waiting for proper cues from parent to enter the water. With a young baby who does not walk yet, parent may need assistance entering the water safely with baby.
3 min: Warm Up! Toys, balls, objects can be spread around the pool area as the instructor encourages parents to help baby move through the water and instructs proper ways to support baby in the water.
*Group song to bring class together*
10 min: Instructional skill review and maintenance: this time is allotted to practice the skills that are NOT the focus of the week. There is usually enough time for at least two activities (see Waterloo Babies Activities for ideas).
10 min: Instructional skill focus of the week: this time is allotted to practice the skill focus of the week. Each skill focus has many activities and games to help a child build their respective skills. It is important during this time to interact with each participant individually, and communicate one-on-one to each parent and child about how their perform the skill. It is also beneficial to educate the group of parents why the skill focus is important.
*Group Songs to Close Instructional Period*
5 min: Reward time! This is a great opportunity for parent and baby bonding as well as making new discoveries around the pool and in the water. This is also a good opportunity for the instructor to follow up with any questions, or offer added support to parents whose child may be struggling with specific skills.
A Healthy Swimmer
Should my child eat before a swim lesson?
How are ear infections prevented?
What if my child is sick?
Do you guarantee instructors?
I already know I will be missing some classes. Can I just be charged for the classes I will attend?
Competitive Swimming Questions
Why do I have to register in two systems for Waterloo swim team and USA Swimming?
You will also need to register with USA Swimming to be eligible for practices and swim meets. This is for insurance reasons.
What is Waterloo’s swim team attendance policy?
Senior Group Attendance: In addition to the Senior group being an invite only group and swim/kick set requirements, there is a 75% attendance policy.
Swim Meet Sign-Up Attendance: Waterloo’s policy for swimmers to sign up for a swim meet is that they must attend 75% of the previous month’s practice offerings. Why 75% attendance? Because we want to see your swimmer have the best opportunity to improve his/her times at the meet. Why would you want to pay swim meet fees to go slow?
Is swimming too competitive for my swimmer?
Waterloo Swimming’s goal is to develop a strong competitive team. However, we also encourage the USA Swimming focus on making swimming a fun and inspiring sport. One advantage of competitive swimming over other sports is that swimmers compete not only within their age group, but also within their skill level, as races are seeded by their best times.
Is there any time off from practice in year-round swimming?
The seasons generally run as follows:
Short Course – First week of September through TAGS/Sectionals in March, usually 26 weeks.
Long Course – First week of April through TAGS/ Nationals in late July/August.
We usually take off a week in August as the kids start school, as well as Spring Break. The December/January Holiday weeks are known as Hell Week…and we are training hard through that time.
What is the difference between Long Course (LC) and Short Course (SC)?
The swim year is considered to begin in September with the short course season. The meets during the SC season are in 25 yard pools (the width of our Pool). Some meets offer 25 yard events for the 8 and under group. The SC season culminates with STAGS (South Texas Age Group Championships) and TAGS (Texas Age Group Champs) in February/March.
The long course season generally begins in late March or April. The meets during the LC season are usually in 50 meter (Olympic size) pools (the length of our Pool). The shortest races in a LC meet are 50m, or one length. The LC season culminates with the STAGS/TAGS in late July/August.
How often should my swimmer practice?
Each Waterloo Swimming training level requires a specific level of commitment, which increases commensurate with skill level. Each training level description (found on the Program page of the website) contains practice schedule. The good news is that there is little increased risk of injury with additional swimming as there is in other sports because of the lack of impact or contact in the sport of swimming.
Attendance + Effort = Success
What ability level is required for my swimmer to join the Waterloo Swimming team?
Waterloo Swimming offers programs from Beginner Age Group (has some swim lesson experience) through National level swimmers. The ages generally range from 5 to 18 years old, with some collegiate swimmers returning over school breaks. See Programs page for more details.
What is USA Swimming registration for?
Each member of the Waterloo Swimming competitive swim team must be registered with USA Swimming. Membership includes the mandatory insurance coverage for practices and meets. Each swimmer will receive a membership number via the Deck Pass App. This number is a combination of the swimmers’ birthdate and name. Swimmers may bring this number to each meet in case there is ever a question regarding membership. Swimmers can also find their membership information on their USA Swimming “Deck Pass” Account on USASwimming.org.
How does my swimmer move up in groups?
The move-up criteria is provided on the Programs section of the website. However, the final decision is at the coaches’ discretion and based on maturity and dedication in addition to physical skills. There is no guarantee of moving up due to passing the training group prerequisites.
Are parents not allowed on deck during practice or meets?
Yes…and No. The insurance provided through USA Swimming does NOT cover parents or siblings on the pool deck. In addition, extra people on deck can be a distraction to the swimmers, the coaches, and the meet officials. Parents are welcome to view practice from the viewing room at our Pool. If you want to speak to a coach regarding your swimmer’s progress, please schedule time with that coach.
How can I be a good swim parent?
Providing support for your swimmer is critical. Ensuring consistent attendance at practices and meets, assisting your swimmer with a proper diet and rest, and helping your swimmer understand that swimming, like most other things in life, is an ongoing learning experience, both physically and mentally. Leave the coaching to the coaches, and provide unconditional support to your swimmer.
In addition, active participation with Waterloo Swimming through volunteer and social activities will help us create a positive team environment, making the team an outstanding experience for all swimmers.
Swim Meet Questions
What is South Texas Swimming?
Waterloo Swimming is a member of South Texas Swimming (www.stswim.org). ST Swimming is a regional governing body and part of USA Swimming (www.usaswimming.org), the governing body of all competitive swimming in the United States, including the United States Olympic Team. In general, we compete against other teams within the South Texas Swimming LSC, which covers Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, Belton and Temple. Elite swimmers, especially those in the Gold & Senior group will occasionally travel for bigger competitions.
How often should my child compete?
Waterloo Swimming competes year-round and averages one to two meets per month. It is important that each swimmer attends the swim meets so that coaches can assess the swimmers’ progress. However, swim meets are not mandatory.
What are the different types of meets?
The most common types of meets are:
Open Qualification Meets: Swimmers of all levels are invited to participate in these meets.
B Times: Only swimmers with B times or faster may compete in these meets. Swimmers with slower times or who have not previously competed in an event (NT – no time) may not participate in these meets.
Custom Qualification Meets: Swimmers must meet custom time standards to be eligible for these in season and end-of-season Championship meets.
STAGS Championships: This South Texas Championship meet is held at the end of each competitive season. All Waterloo Swimmers with A qualification times will compete in this meet.
TAGS Championships: The Texas Age Group Championship, usually referred to as TAGS, is held at the end of each competitive season. Swimmers are required to achieve TAGS time standards to be eligible for this meet.
Elite Championship Meets: Swimmers may qualify and compete in any number of elite championship meets. These may include Sectional Championships, Zones and National Championship meets.
How do I register my child for a swim meet?
You will receive an email asking you to declare your attendance at the swim meet. Please follow the directions on the email and webpage to enter the meet. All swim meet registrations occur in your Team Unify account.
It is ok to attend partial of the swim meet?
Waterloo understands families have other obligations and might not be able to attend the whole swim meet. Just sign up for the days you can attend. However, you did need to let you coach know if you are not able to participate in relays.
I saw somebody changed the events I signed my swimmer up for at the meet?
Coaches will review each swimmers events prior to turning in the entries to the swim meet host club. If a coach changes an event, the coach will reach out to the swimmer to explain why.
Will my swimmer be competing against swimmers at his or her own level?
Yes! When a swimmer enters an event for the first time, he or she will be entered with a custom time set by his or her coach. Each meet is seeded by best times. Swimmers will compete in heats with swimmers of approximately the same time. For some meets, including championship meets, awards will be given for each level of swimmer.
How does a South Texas Swimming meet work?
Most swim meets are extremely organized events and run very smoothly. Upon arrival at a swim meet, the swimmers need to check in with their coach. It is required that swimmers check in 30 minutes prior to warm-up or at the times designated by their group coach. Otherwise, they may be scratched from the meet altogether. The team will generally sit together in one area. After check-in, the team will warm-up and swimmers will be given their event and heat entries (for younger swimmers- these are can be written on their arm!). Once the meet starts, the swimmers must pay attention to the event and heat announcements (or scoreboard) and be prepared to line up at least five heats before their own. Swimmers will check in with their coach both before and after the race.
What are the parents’ responsibilities at the swim meets?
In addition to supporting your swimmer and the Waterloo team, parents are needed to assist the hosting team with timing throughout the meet. Each meet requires volunteers from each team to help time or fill other duties. When officials call for volunteers, our hope is that Waterloo parents are the first to stand up. Timing is an easy job and allows you to watch the meet from the water’s edge.
What should my swimmer wear at a swim meet?
Waterloo Swimming requires that all meet participants wear the team suit and swim cap at meets. In addition, swimmers will be expected to wear Waterloo Swimming warm-ups and t-shirts to display team unity and spirit! It is important to dress appropriately for the weather and the facility. It is often cooler on deck, especially when you are wet. Staying warm is important for fast swimming. Conversely, we sometimes swim outside and it is important to stay out of the sun. Bring sunscreen and light clothing.
How do the swimmers know their heat and lane assignments?
Upon arrival and check-in, the meet director will produce heat sheets for each event and provide this information to the coaches. For younger swimmers, the coaches will assist the swimmers in writing the event, heat and lane assignment on their arm. About 5 heats prior to a swimmers’ race, the swimmer should check in with the coach and line up to race.
What happens after a race?
Swimmers should check in with the coach to receive feedback on the performance. Then, he or she will usually rejoin the team and cheer on their teammates! Older swimmers should immediately warm down in the designated lanes or separate pool, before meeting with the coaches. Afterwards there is often sufficient time between scheduled events to have a quick snack or a break.
Is there food available at the meet?
Generally, the host team provides an extensive snack bar and sometimes breakfast and lunch meals. Swimmers should eat healthy at all times, and especially at swim meets. Do not purchase junk food for your swimmers at meets. Swimmers may and should also bring water and healthy snacks to maintain energy throughout the meet.
What is a DQ?
A DQ means the swimmer was disqualified from the race and will not receive an official time for the race. Each meet is staffed by well-trained officials who are responsible for paying careful attention to every detail of the swim, from start to finish. There are a number of infractions that can result in a DQ, including a false start, incorrect stroke or kick, or illegal finish. In the event of a DQ, the official will speak with the swimmer and/or the coach immediately after the race to explain the infraction. Though a DQ can be upsetting to the swimmer, most swimmers experience them and they should be considered as an educational experience.
How long are swim meets?
Most swim meets are two-day events, however we may also swim in one day meets, or 3-4 day championship meets. In these meets each day will be divided into two or three sessions by age group. Usually, if your swimmer is in the first session on one day, he or she will also be in the first session on following. The exact scheduling of age groups can be found in the Meet Announcement, and is available on our website in the Meets page.