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Hunters Creek Pool Rules & Practices AND The Hunters Creek Hurricanes' Swim Meet Survival Guide

***Team - Please review the Hunters Creek Pool Rules & Practices  below, followed by the Hunters Creek Hurricanes' Swim Meet Survival Guide (a must-read for new and experienced swimmers alike). 

Hunters Creek Pool Rules & Practices

We Hurricanes take pride in our team, our facility and ourselves.  

We need EVERYONE’S cooperation in following the Hunters Creek Swim & Raquet Club rules and practices so that we all stay safe and have fun.

  1. No swimmers are allowed in the pool area until a coach has arrived.
  2. No swimmers are allowed in the pool until the coach instructs them to enter.
  3. The baby pool is off limits unless the pool is open and a lifeguard is on duty.

In addition, you are asked to:

  1. Please properly dispose of your own trash around the pool area and in the bathrooms before leaving.
  2. Please move pool furniture off of the grass and back where you found it before leaving.
  3. Consider walking or carpooling if at all possible. The parking lot is small. When the lot is full, it is very difficult to back out a large vehicle.  Back into your spot if you arrive early enough, or consider parking on the street at the end of the driveway.  Always watch for children as you navigate the parking lot.
  4. Please treat everyone using the facility with patience, courtesy, and respect.
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Most Asked Questions and Answers

FAQ'S

GENERAL:

Who are the Coaches for the 2018 season and how can I learn more about them?

  • Head Coach: Jennifer Sobotik
  • Assistant Coaches: Erin Hobbs
  • Jr Asst. Coach: Britt Nelson
  • Coach's helper: 
  • Coaches’ bio’s are on the team’s website at under "About" tab, then "Coaches".

Where do I find the latest, up-to-date information about the Hunters Creek Hurricanes swim team, including meet/practice info, directions to swim meets, my volunteer obligations, what events my swimmer will be swimming in the meets, team party, etc?

  • The team’s website at hunterscreek.swimtopia.com is updated regularly throughout the season. Parents need to check it often.
  • Team-wide emails will be reserved for the most pertinent information only; it is the parents’ responsibility to check the website frequently to be aware of events, schedule changes, requirements, etc.

As a parent, what is my role on the team?

  • The role of each of our parents is to support BOTH the swimmers AND the team.
  • The best way to support your swimmer(s) is to make sure that he/she is at each practice on time and ready to work. Stay in contact with your swimmer’s coach. If you must miss practice during the week, please remember to contact your coach regarding whether or not your swimmer will be at the meet. You can help the coaches and your swimmer by encouraging your swimmer to listen to and follow the coach's’ instructions and to try every stroke he/she is asked to swim. You also should make sure that your swimmer(s) is at the meet early for warm-ups and ready and in place for his/her event.
  • To support the team, each family has an obligation to volunteer its time at meets and other team functions. Please understand that our team is obligated to supply a certain amount of volunteer time at every meet. Therefore, each family must meet its obligation to volunteer for a minimum of three (3) shifts. Your family can divide the jobs/meets in whatever way works best for you. Once you have signed up to work a meet, please arrive early and be prepared to work until the job is complete. If you have an unforeseen conflict on the day of the meet, please let your coach AND the parent volunteer coordinator know immediately and identify a substitute assignment as soon as possible.
  • Please take time before you leave each meet to make sure that you have disposed of all trash in your area and gathered all of your belongings. This makes clean-up much easier on your fellow volunteers at the end of a long meet. Your participation is vital to the team’s success.

Where do I find detailed information about how the swim meets are run (rules, timing, scoring, refereeing, swimmer eligibility, etc.)?

  • Our team is a member of the Lone Star Summer Swim League.
  • The league’s policies and procedures are on the league’s website at www.lsssl.org

If I have a concern about the swim team or the coaches, what do I do? Is there a meeting I can attend to voice my opinion?

  • Feel free to contact a member of the Parent Board if you have a question, concern, or feedback about the team or the coaches.
  • The head coach is available by email to address individual concerns. Contact information is on the team’s website at hunterscreek.swimtopia.com
  • If you have an immediate/urgent concern during practice time, please refrain from questioning the coach in front of your child and the other swimmers. If possible, address the coach at the completion of practice or ask permission to pull the coach aside, and allow the coach time to alert the other coaching staff that he/she is stepping away from the swimmers. The questioning of the coaches in front of the swimmers allows the swimmers to subconsciously lose trust in the coaches and their ability to do their jobs.

Should coaches be using their phones during practice/meets?

  • The coaches’ use of cell phones for personal use is forbidden during practice/meets; the parent board has discussed this policy with them.
  • Coaches may use their phones for the purpose of using video to show a swimmer his/her mistakes. Our head coach has used video as a valuable tool in teaching private lessons; she and the rest of the coaching staff will occasionally video for instructional purposes at team practices. Videos of swimmers will ONLY be used for instructional purposes and will be deleted at the end of each practice. Please contact a parent board member or a coach if you don’t want your child to be on video.
  • Coaches may use the timer function on their phones during practice.
  • If you notice coaches using their phones for any other reason (besides instructional video or timing) please contact a member of the parent board and we will address it.

I have a 4 year old that can swim across the pool without assistance. Can he/she join the team or at least attend practices with the team?

  • Unfortunately, the insurance that we pay for through our league only covers registered swimmers between the ages of 5 and 18; for this reason, we don’t allow 4 years old to practice with or join the team.

PRACTICES:

When are practices for this season?

  • Please visit our team’s website at hunterscreek.swimtopia.com under the "schedule" tab for this season’s practice schedule.

What does my child need for practice?

  • The swimmers need a comforatable bathing suit, goggles, and swim cap (if hair gets in face while swimming)
  • Coaches will notify you if your child needs additional equipment for practice. 8
  • All swimmers will be required to wear a team cap at meets, available for purchase under “shop” at http://www.swimoutlet.com/hunterscreekhurricanes

How many practices does my child need to attend each week?

  • Practice is held Monday through Friday (except on meet days). Your child should be at every practice
  • If your child is attending practice for a year-round swim team during our summer league season, we ask that your child attend at least one practice per week with the Hurricanes. The coaches need to know/recognize all the Hurricanes swimmers and have an understanding of each swimmer’s strengths/weaknesses when deciding which swimmers swim which events.

What if my child can’t attend all practices?

  • The more time your child spends in the water, the better. Frequent practices allow your child to improve endurance, stroke technique, and confidence in the water. Frequent practices allow the coaches to get to know your swimmer.
  • Attendance will be taken at each practice. There are no penalties to swimmers that miss a practice.
  • Each practice is designed with the swimmers' age/ability/safety in mind but, ultimately, we want our swimmers in the pool! If your swimmer is unable to participate in the practice for his or her particular age group, we will do our best to accommodate him or her a different practice time, provided that there is enough space and coaching staff available. Please discuss your situation with a member of the parent board or the coaching staff so that we can recommend the best practice time for your swimmer/schedule.
  • We do not have make up practices. In May, practices are offered in the evening only. Once school is out June, morning practices (by age group) are offered with ONE evening practice that all ages can attend.

Do 15-18 year old swimmers need to attend every practice?

  • Ideally, all Hurricanes swimmers should practice every day that practice is offered, but we understand that some of our older swimmers may have “competing priorities”. We request swimmers to attend practice at least once a week, to allow coaches to know/recognize them and gain understanding their strengths and weaknesses. In previous seasons, some of our older swimmers were disqualified for stroke/turn/touch violations that would have been easily remedied had those swimmers attended at least one practice a week.

What can we expect from practice time, especially for us who are new to the sport?

  • Each practice starts with a brief time for stretching in the grassy area at the end of the pool near the clubhouse. Please have your swimmer there at least 10 minutes before swim time to participate in stretches.
  • Then, the swimmers will line up behind the lane to which they are assigned (generally by skill level/age).
  • The coach will give the go ahead to get in the water to start warm up and then will lead the swimmers through the workout for the day.
  • Once the practice is over the swimmers will be released and any announcements will be made by the coaches for all the swimmers and parents to hear.

Will the coaches be in the water to assist the swimmers?

  • Depending of the skill level and/or activity or skill being taught, coaches may or may not be in the water with the swimmers.  Safety is a our first concern - it is important that at least one coach be available to see the whole pool and pool bottom. Sometimes it can be difficult to see the bottom of the pool if the coaches are in the water.  
  • That being said, our coaches love the water - and will sometimes be in the water assisting swimmers and/or demonstrating skills.
  • Swimmers on our team should be able to make it across the pool without assistance. 
  • The one day that coaches WILL likely be in the water with the swimmers is the day after a meet, when they will be reviewing/demonstrating issues related to DQs.

Will my child receive individual attention at practices?

  • Remember that is is a swim TEAM, not swim lessons. Instruction on proper form and technique will be provided in a group format.
  • Coaches will make every attempt to provide individualized feedback during practice time, but time will not permit for detailed, in-depth discussion or instruction.
  • Coaches are available for private stroke technique lessons through From Sink2Swim.  Contact the coach of your choice.

I think my swimmer needs extra help. Where can I find individualized, detailed instruction for my swimmer?

  • Coaches are available for private stroke technique lessons.  These are arranged when the coach (and pool) is available outside of practice time.

My swimmer came to practice to work on a specific stroke and instead the practice seemed to be play time. Why was the practice not focused on what my child needed?

  • Instruction is provided for all strokes each week. Generally, the coaches will focus on a different specific stroke each day of the week. The more practices your child attends, the greater the likelihood your child’s individual stroke concerns will be addressed.
  • In the event that your child is not able to attend the practice(s) that include instruction of the stroke your child needs, coaches are available for private stroke technique lessons.
  • The practices are designed to teach the swimmers the skills they need while allowing them to enjoy the sport. Coaches attempt to make swimming activities fun - and some skills are taught through “silly” games (for example, when practicing relay starts/touches, the swimmers may swim silly strokes across the pool, but the focus of instruction is what is happening at the ends of the pool)

What is the purpose of swimming with a tennis ball tucked under my swimmer’s neck?

  • The tennis ball is used to correct and enhance the proper form for breaststroke, particularly to prevent swimmers from bobbing their head excessively while performing the stroke.

Why were coaches instructing swimmers to dive in and swim so far underwater?

  • Swimming a long distance underwater helps develop swimmers’ breath control - this drill is helpful in teaching swimmers NOT to take a breath on the first stroke after diving in and in being able to hold their breath coming into/away from the wall when performing flip turns.

Is Fun Day Friday really needed?

  • Fun Day Friday allows swimmers to enjoy time together and build friendships with one another. In the sport of swimming, competitors compete individually, but also as a team. Fun Day Friday provides team-building opportunities

MEETS

How do I sign up for a swim meet?

  • As a member of the team, we assume your swimmer will be present and we will enter your child in EVERY meet.
  • It is extremely important that you do TWO things if your child will NOT be at a meet:
    • Notify the head coach
    • Provide notice online at www.hunterscreekhurricanes.com: log in, click on “Schedules” tab, then “Swim Meets and Events”, then select the meet your child will miss, and follow the prompts to signify that your child will not be present at the meet.
  • Please keep in mind that your swimmer’s absence from a meet affects many other swimmers’ meet entries and relays, so the sooner our coaches and meet-entry volunteer knows of any absences, the better.

How long do swim meets last?

  • Each meet can last between three (3) to four (4) hours, depending on the number of swimmers competing for each team.
  • Swimmers are usually asked to arrive at the meet approximately 1 hour before the meet is scheduled to start. Details on expected arrival times are listed on the team website.
  • The meet is divided into different events by age group and swim stroke, and there may be several heats, or races, within each event to accommodate all of the swimmers competing.
  • We encourage you to stay until the end of the meet to cheer on the rest of the team; however, you are free to leave the meet once your swimmer has completed all of his/her events and you have completed any volunteer obligation you may have for that meet.
  • Please check with your coach before concluding that your swimmer has completed all of his/her events, even if all events for his/her age bracket have been run. The coaches will sometimes need to assign swimmers to later races during the meet in order to fill vacancies, especially vacancies in relays.

What do I need to bring to the meets?

  • Your swimmer will need: a team suit, team cap, goggles (always a good idea to bring a back up pair), sunscreen, a towel, a small blanket to sit on (if he/she doesn’t want to sit on his/her towel), snacks and/or money for the concessions stand.
  • Parents will need a chair or blanket for seating.
  • A copy of the heat sheet (which will be posted on the team’s website before the meet) and a permanent marker (to write your swimmer’s events on their arms or legs) are handy to have as well. We encourage that this is done before getting to meet. Coaches will no longer being doing this.

How do I know in which events my swimmer(s) will participate?

  • Your swimmer’s events for each meet will be available for viewing on the team’s website. After logging in, go to the "Swim Meets and Events" under “Schedules” on the site.
  • In addition, “Heat Sheets,” listing each event (race), the swimmers from each team who will be swimming in the event, and the lane in which each will swim, will be posted on the team’s site.
  • You will notice that some swimmers have their events/heats/lanes written on their arm or leg with a permanent marker in order to help keep track of their event and lane assignments. If you feel that would be helpful to your swimmer, please mark your swimmer.

Are concessions sold at the swim meets? What should my child eat/drink during a meet?

  • Concessions are provided by the host team. This is a convenient way to feed your family during the meet. Proceeds go to support the host team and we encourage you to take advantage of this service.
  • The time between warm ups and the completion of the meet can be quite long; swimmers can benefit from light, energy-rich snacks with plenty of fluids. Fruit, granola bars, trail mix, and water work well.

Should my swimmer eat before a swim meet?

  • It is a good idea to eat a complete (but light) balanced meal before a swim meet; however, this meal should be consumed at least 1 hour before warm ups are scheduled to begin to allow time for digestion. Pre-meet meal ideas include:
    • —before morning meets:
      • hot/cold cereal with low fat milk and fruit or juice
      • whole wheat waffles/pancakes with all-fruit topping
      • eggs and toast with milk and a piece of fruit
      • whole wheat toast with peanut butter and jelly and a piece of fruit
    • Before afternoon meets:
      • turkey sub with veggies, light mayo, baked chips and applesauce
      • thin crust cheese pizza topped with veggies with fresh/canned fruit
      • baked/grilled chicken, turkey, lean beef or fish, steamed rice, cooked green beans with low fat frozen yogurt
      • Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread with a glass of milk
  • If there isn’t enough time to eat a full meal and allow time for digestion, your swimmer can have a liquid or semi-liquid snack, as these are digested more rapidly - try offering a smoothie made with low fat milk or yogurt with frozen fruit, a container of yogurt with a cup of 100% fruit juice or a serving of low fat frozen yogurt. If your child doesn’t eat a full meal before the meet, he or she may need more frequent snacks during the meet.

How do I know when it is time for my swimmer’s event?

  • During the meet, there will be someone (usually the starter) announcing the each event as the meet progresses.. There will also be a visible banner or sign of some sort that indicates the current or pending event number, so that you can keep track of where the meet stands.
  • Team volunteers line up the swimmers several events in advance in a designated area called the “ready bench.”
  • It is critical that swimmers stay with their team within ear shot of the ready bench, so they can hear when their events are called. Please help us by keeping track of in which events your swimmer is to participate and getting them to the ready bench early.

Will the coaches be helping the swimmers and providing encouragement behind the starting blocks during the meet?

  • Coaches will be watching swimmers and taking notes (including starts, finishes, turns, strokes) from the side of the pool. This provides the best vantage point to view each swimmers’ entire swim. Coaches rely on parent volunteers (and perhaps older, helpful swimmers) to help swimmers get to the starting blocks, on time, prepared for their events.

After my swimmer swims his/her event what should he/she do?

  • After swimming an event, swimmers should walk by and check in for a “high five” a (very) brief feedback on their performance.

How do coaches decide which swimmers swim each event?

  • Many factors are used in deciding which swimmers swim which events. Some of these include: individual strengths, participation of different swimmers at each meet (for example, if the fastest backstroke swimmer will be absent from the meet, your swimmer may be entered in backstroke, even though he/she doesn’t usually swim back stroke), the opposing team’s line up, etc.
  • An important factor is deciding meet entries is the potential to earn points for the TEAM. Occasionally, swimmers may not be entered in their “favorite” events, but will be entered in events that have greater potential to earn points for the team.
  • If your child is entered in an event that is new for him/her, or your child is somehow uncomfortable swimming a particular event, please help the coaching staff by encouraging your child to view the event as a challenge, an opportunity for growth.
  • Our coaching staff is willing to discuss meet entries with you, outside of practice/meet times and not within the 24 hr time period before a meet.
  • If on meet day, you notice your child is incorrectly entered in an event or is not entered in the maximum allowable events, please contact the coach and we will make every attempt to correct the entries.

Can I make a request for my child to swim a specific event?

  • Coaches decide which swimmers swim which events based on a variety of factors. We do not accept special requests; however, the coaching staff is willing to discuss meet entries with you, provided the discussion takes place outside of meet/practice times and not within the 72 hr period preceding a meet.

How many events will my child swim at a swim meet?

  • Swimmers are allowed to swim up to 3 individual events and up to 2 relays per meet.
  • Generally, 5&6 year old swimmers only swim 2 events, freestyle and backstroke. These are the only 2 events offered in the 5&6 year old age group.
  • Occasionally, (based on swimmers’ times, skill level, and availability) swimmers will be invited to swim in events with older swimmers and/or to complete a relay with older swimmers.
  • Note: meet entry guidelines are slightly different for the league championship meet held at the end of the season.

Will my child swim on a relay?

  • Relays are formed based on swimmers’ times. The 4 swimmers with the fastest times are placed on the “A” relay, the 4 swimmers with the next fastest times are placed on the “B” relay and so on. If we have 6 swimmers in a particular age group, it is likely that not every swimmer in that age group will swim on a relay.
  • Relays earn more points than individual events, so coaches make every effort to create as many relays as possible. Quite often, swimmers are placed on relays in an older age groups to complete a relay team to earn points for the team.

My child was disqualified at a meet and I don’t know why - will this be addressed?

  • The official day that DQs are addressed is the practice day after a meet. At this practice, a coach will discuss each DQ with each swimmer, to ensure the swimmer knows why he/she was disqualified. If your swimmers does not attend practice on the day after a meet, it is his/her responsibility to ask a coach about his/her disqualification.
  • At the completion of each meet, coaches are provided with the DQ slips that are written by the stroke and turn judges during the meet. The coaches will keep these DQ slips in a binder. They will compare DQ slips from meet to meet to make sure stroke/turn/finish violations are being corrected. You and your swimmer can access the binder as well.

Is there anything that my child can do to reduce the chance of my child being disqualified at a meet?

  • The best way to reduce the chance of being disqualified is to attend EVERY practice.
  • If your child is having difficulty, you can also arrange private lessons with a coach at rate of $15.00 for 30 minutes, per child.

My child was the first one to touch the wall at the meet and he/she received a blue ribbon, but the score sheet said he/she got 4th place. The coach gave him/her a 4th place ribbon at practice - what’s the difference?

  • The ribbons that are received on the day of the meet are called “heat ribbons”. These ribbons are given to swimmers 10&under according to their place in their specific heat. They provide immediate “praise” to younger swimmers for a job well-done.
  • The “official place” your child earns is determined after all the swimmers in that particular event have competed. The times for all swimmers in a particular event (not just each heat) are used to determine the place and the points for each swimmer. (For example, there are 18 boys total competing in 7&8 free style; they are divided into 3 heats. Johnny, who was the fastest swimmer in the second heat of 3 heats, receives a blue ribbon immediately upon finishing his race. In comparing Johnny’s time to the times of all 18 7&8 year olds in the event, Johnny’s time was the 4th fastest. Johnny earns 3 points for the team and the coach presents him with a 4th place ribbon on the Friday following the meet.
  • The “official” ribbons (for which swimmers earn points for the team) have the swimmer’s name, date, event, and time printed on a label attached to the ribbon.

We hope you find this information helpful as we start the season. Please let the coaches and parent board know if you have any questions as the season progresses. Again, welcome to the team!

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