​(703) 719-7359

6500 Deepford Street, Springfield, VA 22150, USA

Frequently Asked Questions for New Swim Team Families

Time Trials

1. Will my child swim at time trials?
Yes. Time trials is a meet at which swimmers swim every stroke (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and/or butterfly) that they are able to swim. This will give the coaches a baseline time for your swimmer in each stroke. As the season progresses, your child will probably "drop time" -- i.e., swim faster in a subsequent race.

The coaches also use the times from time trials, as well as times from all subsequent meets, to determine which swimmers will swim in the competitive "A" meets on Saturday mornings.

2. How long do time trials last?
Time trials can last 3-4 hours. However, if you are not working at time trials, you may take your swimmer home when he/she is done swimming all the strokes that he/she knows how to swim. Just tell one of the coaches before you leave so they know your child has gone home with you and is no longer supposed to be in the team area. 

The order of events is freestyle first, then backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. Within each stroke, we begin with 6-and unders, and then progress to 7-8 year olds, 9-10s, 11-12s, 13-14s, and finally 15-18s. Thus, many of our newer younger swimmers who can swim only freestyle and/or backstroke typically leave before the meet is over.

3. What should my child bring?
For time trials and every other meet, your child should wear her swim team suit and bring goggles and the SB swim cap to put on for each race. You should also make sure your child has sunscreen, plenty of water or sports drink to stay hydrated, a tee shirt or sweatshirt, and two towels -- one to sit on (there usually are not enough deck chairs for the swimmers) and one to dry off with. Because the meet can get long, you may also want to send a healthy snack or money to buy one from the snack bar, and a book or quiet games or cards.

4. Where does my child sit during the meet?
In the SB team area. The coaches and team area parents are there to supervise the children and help them get ready for warm ups and their individual races.

"B" Meets

1. Will my child swim at "B" meets?
Yes. Every swimmer swims at B (or Developmental) meets. These meets give swimmers the chance to practice in a race setting and to improve their times. Swimmers usually swim two strokes. For beginners, that is usually freestyle and backstroke, but later in the season they may swim breaststroke or butterfly.

2. Will my child get ribbons at B meets?
Yes. Every swimmer gets a ribbon for each event. 

3. What if my swimmer is disqualified?
Swimmers are disqualified, or given a "DQ", for a violation of the rules, such as failing to touch the wall properly or doing a kick or arm movement that is not permitted in that particular stroke. If this occurs, your child will still receive a participation ribbon, and a coach will work with your child at practice the following week to correct the mistake. Tell your child not to be upset. Every experienced swimmer on the team has been disqualified. It's part of the process of learning to be a competitive swimmer.

3. How long do B meets last?
About 2.5 to 3 hours, although it varies depending on the number of swimmers on the other team. The larger the other team, the longer the meet. But if you are not working at the meet, you may take your child home when he/she is done swimming. Just tell a coach before you leave so they know where your child is.

4. What if it rains?
Swim meets will go ahead as scheduled in light rain. Because B meets are in the evenings, we are sometimes faced with summer thunderstorms. In such cases, safety is our number one priority. If there is thunder or lightning, all people must leave the pool area, and the pool will be closed for at least 30 minutes. Make sure that you, or another responsible adult, are there to take your child in the event of a thunderstorm. Depending on the weather forecast, we may wait out the storm in our cars and resume the meet after the storm passes or we may cancel the meet.

"A" Meets

1. Will my child swim at "A" meets?
It depends on their times. Teams are allowed to enter three swimmers in each event at A meets, but each swimmer may swim no more than two individual events. The coaches try to place the three fastest swimmers in each event, but sometimes changes are made because some of the fastest swimmers are out of town or already swimming two other individual events. The Team Reps generally send an email on Thursday afternoon that lists the swimmers who will swim each of the events at the A meet the following Saturday morning. 

2. How long does an A meet last?
About 2.5 hours. Unlike "B" meets, we ask that your child stay until the end of the meet. Swimmers must check with the head coach if they must leave early.

3. May my child attend an A meet if he is not swimming in any events?
Yes, please do! A meets are fun to watch, and the swimmers love to have lots of fans cheering for them. The one exception is the start of the race, when everyone must be quiet so the swimmers can hear the starter.

Swimmer Etiquette and Behavior

  1. Observe all safety rules - no running, no pushing, hitting, or inappropriate touching, no dunking or splashing, no horseplay, and no diving into a pool unless instructed by a coach.
  2. Be respectful of coaches. Address them as "Coach Kim" or "Coach Claire", etc. Follow their instructions.
  3. Be respectful of officials and other swimmers. Booing, name-calling and foul language are not permitted.
  4. Cheer for and encourage teammates.
  5. Stay in the team area at a swim meet and follow the directions of the coaches and team area parent. As the meet progresses, the coaches will be calling the swimmers to go to the clerk of course area to line up for their next race. Team area parents are there to help the coaches keep order and help the younger children get caps and goggles on for their races. If your child must leave the team area to go to the bathroom, he/she must tell a coach or the team area parent so they know where your child is.
  6. At meets, swimmers must have an SB swim cap or no cap at all. Swim caps with other team names or company logos are not permitted.
  7. At the start of a race, everyone must be quiet so the swimmers can hear the starter.
  8. At the end of a race, stay in the pool until all swimmers have finished the race, shake hands with the people in the lanes on either side of you, and congratulate them on a good race.
  9. At practice and in warm ups before a meet, the fastest swimmer in the lane goes first. Do not swim over the person in front of you. Do not hang on lane lines. Do not stop in the middle of the pool.
  10. During a practice, only swimmers who are scheduled to be at that practice may be on the deck talking to the coaches. Parents, siblings, friends, and swimmers in other age groups must stay off the deck and wait until after practice to talk to the coaches.
  11. Three strikes and you're out at practice. If a coach has to talk to your child three times at any one practice about his or her behavior, your child will be asked to leave practice for that day. Your child is welcome to return to practice the following day if he or she is ready to follow the rules and the coaches' instructions.