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Q. Is my child ready for the swim team?

We welcome all Palisades members in good standing, aged 6-18 who can swim a length of the pool freestyle. If your child cannot make a length of the pool, then he or she should join pre-team. To participate in pre-team, your child should be able to swim half way across the shallow end of the pool.

Q. What role does my child need to play?
We want the summer swim team experience to be fun for our swimmers. We also expect them to be on time to workouts and meets, come to practice with a positive attitude and a readiness to work hard. Our coaches plan practices designed to improve technique and to motivate and foster swimmers’ advancement. We take great pride in our team and expect that our swimmers represent Palisades in a positive manner and should act accordingly. We expect all Palisades swimmers to exhibit good sportsmanship at all times. The coaches are excellent and will work with swimmers to help them reach their potential.

Q. What is my role as a parent?

  • You are a cheerleader. Our kids, especially your own, should always know and visibly see that you are positively supporting them by cheering. Start off by a) wearing Palisades t-shirts, sweatshirts, caps to the meets; and b) standing, clapping, and cheering when our swimmers step onto the pool deck.
  • Prepare your swimmer for their events. One of the best ways you can do this is by encouraging them to focus and pay attention to coach instructions during workouts and warm-ups.
  • Volunteer. Parent participation and support is vital to the continued success of the swim team. Each family who registers a swimmer is expected to volunteer at least 3 times during the season. Parents can be trained by the MCSL to officiate meets as referees, starters, and stoke and turn judges. No training is required for parents to participate as announcers, runners, clerks of course, timers, ribbon writers, or to assist with pep rallies, the Swim-a-Thon, and other social events.

Q. Do I need to buy the team swim suit and other equipment?

Suits: Swimmers wear racing suits. The girls wear one piece suits and the boys wear “jammers” (bicycle shorts-like suit). At meets, team suits are optional but encouraged. Many swimmers wear older models of team suits, which is fine. Purchases can be made at Sport Fair (5010 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA, 22207).

Caps: Male and female swimmers wear caps during practice and when racing. Palisades caps should be worn at meets and are available for purchase.

Goggles: Swimmers should wear goggles during practice and at meets.

Q. Can a swim meet or practice be “rained out”?

Swim meets are postponed only because of thunder and lightning, not rain. Even if it is raining, you should come to the meet until it is called off because it may only be delayed. If it begins to thunder and lightning during the meet, the meet may be delayed up to 30 minutes after the last lightning was seen. If it does not appear that it will blow over, the meet may be postponed until another mutually agreeable time for both teams.

Q. When is the best time to ask a coach a question?
The best time is before or after practice or by email. Please do not disturb coaches during practice. The coaches’ primary focus is the swimmers.


Q. How often are practices?

We hold practices every day Monday through Friday. From Memorial Day until the last day of public school, we will hold one practice a day. After the last day of public school, we will have morning and afternoon practice. We generally expect every swimmer to attend at least one practice a day. (We would love it if you come to two practices a day).

Q. What happens if my daughter has baseball, soccer, piano practice on Tuesday night and can't make swim practice on that night?

Until school gets out we understand that you may have conflicts. It is ok to miss a swim practice for your soccer practice, etc. Please understand that the more you come, the better you will become and the more connected you will become to the team. Once school lets out, we offer two practices and expect you to be able to make at least one practice.

Q. What if it is raining or cold?

We will hold practice unless the pool staff has closed the pool. Some children (especially young and thin children) can be miserable on cold rainy days. It is ok to keep them home as we want all children to love swim team. Because attendance tends to be lighter on those days, the swimmers gets lots of individual attention.

Q. How will I know if the pool staff has closed the pool?

The pool staff closes the pool for 30 minutes at a time so check our Twitter account for updates: @PalisadesPool.

Q. I swim for a year-round club whose practices conflict with Palisades practices, what should I do?
We are glad that you swim with a year round club and appreciate it is important to you and your club coach that you attend those practices. You may count those practices to your daily practice requirement. HOWEVER, we expect you to attend a least one Palisades practice a week.


Q. What is Time Trials?

Time Trials is a practice meet for all swimmers on the team. All swimmers should attend Time Trials whether it is their first year on the team or they have qualified for the Olympics. Each swimmer should swim each stroke he or she can swim legally (even the strokes he or she doesn't like). Time Trials are a good chance for parents to practice as well. Please volunteer to help at Time Trials.

Q. When are the swim meets?

We have dual meets on Wednesday nights (B meets) and on Saturday mornings (A meets). 

Q. Which meets will my child be in?

Almost everyone swims on Wednesday night. On Saturday mornings, the approximately six fastest swimmers in each age group will swim. This can change from week to week so a swimmer may swim one Saturday but not the following Saturday.

Q. How do I sign up for Wednesday meets?

For Wednesday night meets, you can sign up for events between Sunday night and Tuesday at 6 PM using your Swimtopia account. Deck entries are not allowed. Each swimmer must be registered for the B meet on the Palisades Swim Team site by 6 pm on Tuesday.

Q. How do I sign up Saturday meets?

For Saturday morning meets, the coaches create the line up with the intent to create the strongest team. Generally, six swimmers per age group swim on Saturday morning. The coaches will email the lineup to participating swimmers on Thursday afternoon. We assume that you are available for all A meets unless you decline participation. The coaches cannot make changes to the line up after Thursday, so if you don't show up, you are costing the team points and keeping out some other child who would love to have the opportunity to swim on Saturday morning. Please remember to check the line up each week as it changes each week.

Q. Why won't the coaches let my child swim breaststroke or butterfly in a Wednesday night meet?

The coaches will allow swimmers to swim breaststroke or butterfly only if the coaches believe the swimmer can swim the stroke legally. While learning to swim these strokes legally, swimmers need to swim slowly and shouldn't race. In addition, disqualifications slow down the meet.

Q. Which swimmers are precluded from swimming on Wednesday night?

If a swimmer finished 1st, 2nd or 3rd at the previous Saturday morning meet (A meet), he or she cannot swim that event at the next Wednesday meet. 

Swimmers must swim in their age group. No swim ups.

Please select no more than 3 individual strokes in combination with the IM. Do not select 4 individual strokes, e.g., Free, Breast, Back, Fly.

Q. What happens if my child is scheduled to compete in the A Meet but cannot make it?

The lineup for an A Meet should be comprised of swimmers who will be in attendance at the meet on Saturday to compete. If a swimmer is in the line-up and does not show up, Palisades forfeits points. More importantly, another willing and able swimmer has missed the opportunity to compete. Please do not cancel at the last minute unless you absolutely have to. Of course, emergencies arise and swimmers become ill. If something unexpected occurs and your child cannot attend the meet, it is vital that you communicate with the coaches. There is likely another swimmer who has been working very hard and who would very much welcome a chance to swim at the A Meet.

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Palisades Swim Team

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