The paragraphs below contain an overview of Frequently Asked Questions with regard to Practices and Meets. If there's something that you would like to know that you don't see listed, please do drop us a line. We'll answer your question and add it to the list
- What time does practice begin?
Practice always begins at 5:30 pm. However, announcements begin each day at 5:25 pm, with the goal of wrapping things up and having the swimmers under the "Tent of Knowledge" by 5:30. Of course, it may take a few minutes longer, especially if there are questions, but our goal is to be in the water as close to 5:30 as we can. Accordingly, please make sure that our swimmers are there on time, with suit and goggles on, ready to swim.
- Can we watch practice?
Of course. We want our parents to know what their children are doing. However, we do ask that you remain behind the fence while practice is going on. Swimmers (and even coaches!) can sometimes get distracted when parents are on deck, so please do try to avoid coming through the pool area while the coaches are coaching. If there's something you would like to talk to any of us about, the best time to do so is after practice. If something strikes you while you're away from the pool, the email addresses of most staff members can be found on the Dolphins website.
- When does practice end?
Practice ends at 7:00 pm. As such, we ask is that you make sure you're at Bishop Park to pick your children up when practice is scheduled to be over. Though members of the staff will often be around the pool for some time afterward and will never leave a child at Bishop Park alone, we ask that you be respectful of their time. Many of them have early morning practice and need their sleep; others have classes and need to study; still others are expected at home to tuck people in!
- What do we do in the event of a storm?
Thunderstorms are a part of summer here in Athens, and we can expect some practices to be canceled or interrupted because of them. For that reason, we ask that you keep an eye on the weather, especially if you're dropping your child off. We always try to have practice, so in the event that it's storming before practice, coaches will still be at the pool at the regular time. If the storm blows over before 6:00 pm, we'll get in. If not, practice will be canceled for the night. In the event that a storm blows in during practice, we will clear the pool. Swimmers will be dismissed to their cars; those who are on their own will be moved to the locker rooms and guard house. No one should remain under the bleachers. We will keep the pool clear for 30 minutes after the last alarm, and then get back in to finish practice. If lightning is spotted after 6:15 pm, practice will be canceled for the night.
- Do we have to do meets?
If by this question, you mean is participation in meets a requirement to be on the team, then the answer is no. However, we believe that meets are important and there are great benefits to participation.
- First, they allow coaches to track progress. Swimmers are often able to replicate a skill under practice conditions, but a truer measure of mastery is whether they can do the same thing in a meet.
- Second, meets allow us to teach the value of positive thinking and practicing sportsmanship. These two skills will stand our children in good stead, not just in swimming, but in life.
- And finally, meets are fun. They offer our swimmers a social as well as a competitive opportunity, which with many children (and for that matter, grownups as well) is a key element in terms of staying involved in a sport.
- How do we sign up for meets?
We ask that Dolphins swimmers let us know which meets they'll be attending at the beginning of the season. To do this, all you have to do is fill out the Meet Registration Form
and turn it in to one of the coaches. The deadline for doing so this year is June 2nd. If your plans change, and you can't make a meet that you've signed up for, please let your coach know as soon as you can. This is important, as non-attendance at meets can have an impact on other swimmers, particularly when it comes to relays. One absent swimmer can deprive three teammates of the opportunity to swim, so it's important that we get the lineups each week right.
- Can we or our children choose the events that they'll be swimming?
Yes and no. While in doing entries, we'll always take a child's preferences and ability level into account, we believe in developing the whole swimmer. Our goal at the Dolphins, then, is to enter each swimmer in each event at least one time each season. We do this because we want to ensure that every swimmer has the opportunity to improve in every stroke. Swimmers who swim their favorite event all season long not only specialize at too young an age, but they also tend to exhibit slower rates of improvement overall. The Dolphins is about giving our athletes the tools and background to continue improving throughout their swimming career.
- How do we know what our swimmers will be swimming?
After the coaches have done the entries, the meet lineup will be posted in the Entries section of the website. Swimmers and parents are asked to check the entries to make sure that swimmers who are supposed to be in the meet are, and swimmers who are not supposed to be in the meet aren't. The day before the meet we will post heat and lane assignments. Because these are generated by our computer entry program, they are, like many such things, not particularly intuitive. That being the case, a key to deciphering them is below.
|Dolphin, Harvey - Male - Age: 5 - DD - Ind/Rel: 2 / 2
||#24 Boys 6&U 25 Free
||#56 Boys 6&U 25 Back
||#2 Boys 6&U 100 Free Relay (2)
||#14 Boys 7-8 100 Medley Relay (3)
The first part is pretty straightforward. Our swimmer is named Harvey Dolphin, he's a boy, and he's five. The "DD" stands for "Downtown Dolphins" the traditional name for our team. "Ind/Rel: 2/2" means he's swimming two individual events and two relays. The specific events are listed below.
His first individual race will be Event 24, the Boys 6 & Under 25 Free. His fastest time so far this season is 25.86. The "3/2" means he's been seeded into heat three, lane two. Harvey's first relay race (and his first race overall) will be Event 2, the Boys 6 & Under 100 Free relay. The "(2)" means he's the second swimmer out of four. The other relay is a Medley Relay; he'll be swimming third, and his team is in heat one, lane one. The "NT" stands for "No Time" and means that his team has not yet done that event this year.
Because heat sheets are sometimes in short supply at a summer league meet, it's helpful if you write the heat and lane information on your swimmer's hand or arm with a sharpie. Not all of the information above needs to be written out. All that you really need to put down is something like the following:
#2--Free Relay H1 L6
#14--Medley Relay H1 L1
#24--25 Free H3 L2
#56--25 Back H3 L6
This will allow any coach or official to easily decipher what's going on and help get your swimmer to the right place at the right time.
- Do we need team suits for the meets?
Not necessarily. While we prefer our swimmers to wear navy suits and a Dolphins cap, it isn't a requirement for competition. Dolphins caps are free for each swimmmer at the beginning of the season; these should generally not be used in practice as they need to be saved for meets. Dolphins suits, which are both durable and competitively priced, will be sold at pratice for the first two weeks of each season. Suit scholarships are available for those swimmers who are swimming on the team at reduced fees. For more information on this, please speak to the Head Coach.
- How do long to meets last?
- How do our swimmers participate in District and State?
District and State meet are fun additions to the Dolphins Dual Meet season, and we encourage any swimmers who are interested and can qualify to go. If you would like to try to make State, you must participate in the District meet and be among the top three finishers in your particular event. Please note that participation in District involves a commitment for the entire sequence, so swimmers should not register for this meet if they'll be unavailable for the State meet at the end of July. For more information on these two meets, it's a good idea to speak to the coaches.