GROWING STRONGER TOGETHER - GWY Sharks Swim Team Handbook 2017-2018 Season YMCA of Greater Whittier

GROWING STRONGER TOGETHER - GWY Sharks Swim Team Handbook 2017-2018 Season YMCA of Greater Whittier

GWY Sharks Swim Team Handbook
2017-2018 Season
YMCA of Greater Whittier


The YMCA of Greater Whittier is an association of all people united in a common effort to put Judeo-
Christian principles into daily practice and to enrich the quality of spiritual, mental, physical, and social life of
their families, their community, and themselves.

The Y believes that character development, focusing on the values of caring, honesty, respect and
responsibility, is an essential element of its sports program. Our Y has the responsibility to train staff,
volunteers and participants to model and promote appropriate values through sport, and to create an
environment conducive to character development and safety.
Caring: To love others and be sensitive to the well-being of others involved in the sports program
Honesty: To have integrity, making sure that one’s actions match one’s values through participation in sports
Respect: To value the worth of every person, including oneself, one’s teammates, opponents and officials
Responsibility: To be accountable for one’s behavior and obligations.

         As a team, GWY Sharks will…
        Promote commitment, loyalty, friendship, and mutual respect among its members
        Maintain excellent communication and financial stability
        Require participation by all members
        Maintain excellent relationships with local schools, community organizations, and other swim teams
        Foster a safe, fun, and healthy environment

         For the individual, GWY Sharks will…
        Help each swimmer reach his/her maximum potential
        Instill values enabling each swimmer to achieve greater personal growth, self-esteem and an
         improved self-image
        Develop a balanced and well-rounded responsible individual

         For the sport, GWY Sharks will…
        Train swimmers to compete at YMCA Swimming level
        Provide proper equipment, education, and quality coaching

All GWY Sharks Swim Team coaches hired at the YMCA of Greater Whittier are cleared with the pre-hire
screenings that include reference checks and background checks. All coaches hold current Y of the USA
approved CPR, First Aid and Life Guard certifications.

        Coaches are responsible for placing swimmers in the appropriate practice groups. This is based on
         the age, level of commitment, ability, and level of mentality.
        Coaches have sole responsibility for stroke instruction and the training regimen. Each groups’
         practices are based upon sound scientific principles and are geared to the specific goals of that
        Direct comments at the performance rather than the person. Refrain from public criticism of
         swimmers or fellow coaches.

      Refrain from the use of profane, insulting, harassing or otherwise offensive language while coaching
      Cooperate with registered medical practitioners in the overall management of swimmers’ medical and
       psychological needs. Consider the swimmer’s future health and well-being foremost.
      Recognize and accept when to refer swimmers to other coaches of the team or sport specialists.
      Regularly seek ways of increasing professional development and self-awareness.
      Treat members of other teams and officials with respect and encourage swimmers to act accordingly.
      Cooperate with the swimmer’s parents or legal guardians, involving them in their child’s development
       as a team member.
      Be aware of the academic pressures placed on student athletes and conduct practices and meets in a
       manner so as to allow academic success.
      At meets, the coaching staff will conduct and supervise warm-up procedures for the team. After each
       swim meet, the coaches will provide feedback regarding the swimmer’s performance.
      Coaches will discourage the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco products by swimmers.


Baby Sharks - From age 4, Pre-Competitive Age Group
      Emphasis: Health, stroke mechanics, and beginning training techniques
      Pre-requisite: Must complete an acceptable level of swim lessons at the Y or previous other swim
       experience. Knowledge of freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke kick and acceptable endurance
      Training Offered: 3 days a week
       Uptown YMCA                                                   East Whittier YMCA
       Mon/Wed 4:00-5:00 p.m. / Fri 4:30-5:30 p.m.                   Tue/Thu/Fri 4:00-5:00 p.m.
      Requirements:
           o Attendance: 2 day minimum attendance per week is required
           o Parent/Coach Conversation: Required for consistent late arrival, early departure, and more
                than 1 missed practice per week.
           o Commitment: Must be committed to compete year round
           o Swim Meets: Minimum Requirement
                     Y-League: When coach deems swimmer ready, participation in 1 dual meet and 2
                        invitationals to qualify and participate in the league championship at the end of the
                        season and our own hosting meet is required.

Beginner Level - From age 6, Experienced Beginning Competitive Age Group
      Emphasis: Health, stroke mechanics, and beginning intermediate training techniques
      Pre-requisite: Must complete an acceptable level of swim lessons at the Y or previous team
       experience required
      Training Offered: 3 days a week
       Uptown YMCA                                                East Whittier YMCA
       Tue/Thu/Fri 4:30-6:00 p.m.                                 Mon/Wed/Fri 3:30-5:00 p.m.
      Requirements:
           o Attendance: 2 day minimum attendance per week is required
           o Parent/Coach Conversation: Required for consistent late arrival, early departure, and more
                than 1 missed practice per week.
           o Commitment: Must be committed to compete year round
           o Swim Meets: Minimum Requirement
                     Y-League: Participation in 3 invitationals to qualify and participate for the league
                        championship at the end of the season and our own hosting meet required

Intermediate Level - 8 and up, Intermediate Competitive Age Group
       Emphasis: Health, stroke mechanics, and advanced training techniques for swimmers gearing towards
        to higher level of age group swimming.
       Pre-Requisite: Completion of Beginner level or previous swim team experience
       Training Offered: 4 days a week
        Uptown YMCA                                                East Whittier YMCA
        Tue/Thu 5:30-7:30 p.m./ Fri 5:00-7:00 p.m.                 Tue/Thu/Fri 5:00-7:00 p.m.

                         East Whittier and Uptown Joint practice:
                         Sunday 1:30-3:30 p.m. (East Whittier Site)

       Requirements:
           o Attendance: 3 day a week minimum attendance per week is required
           o Parent/ Coach Conversation: Required for consistent late arrival, early departure, and more
                than 2 missed practices a week
           o Commitment: Must be committed to compete year round
           o Swim Meets:
                     Y-League: Participation in all invitationals to qualify and participate in the league
                        championship at the end of the season and our own hosting meet required.

Advanced Level – Ages 9 and up, Advanced Competitive Age Group
       Emphasis: Health, stroke mechanics in advanced training techniques, and mental maturity.
        Pre-Requisite: Completion of Intermediate level or previous swim team experience
       Training Offered: 4 days a week
        Uptown YMCA                                                East Whittier YMCA
        Mon/Wed/Fri 5:00-7:00 p.m.                                 Mon/Wed/Fri 5:00-7:00 p.m.

                         East Whittier and Uptown Joint practice:
                         Sunday 1:30-3:30 p.m. (East Whittier Site)

       Requirements:
           o Attendance: 3 day minimum attendance per week.
           o Parent Notes: Required for consistent late arrival, early departure, and more than 2 missed
                practices a week.
           o Commitment: Must be committed to compete year round
           o Swim Meets:
                     Y-League: Participation in all invitationals to qualify and participate in the league
                        championship at the end of the season and our own hosting meet required.

The placement of a swimmer in a swim group shall be initiated by the coach only. Factors considered in the
group coaches’ decisions are the swimmer’s promptness to workouts, attendance record, work out habits,
ability, endurance, and right level of mental readiness. All promotions will be discussed with the head coach
for the final approval.

The GWY Sharks Swim Team is active in the So Cal Y Swimming League from September through February.

The “Y” season runs from September through February and culminates with the “Y” Championship meet in
February. To be eligible to compete at “Y” Champs, a swimmer must compete 3 “Y” Invitational meets in the
season, at least 1 before December 31st. All meet schedules will be posted on the team web page on the Y
website ( During the season, the swimmer competes in the age-group that he/she is
on the first day of December of that season. Participation and completion of the Y season is mandatory for
all swim groups and 100% participation on the meet GWY Sharks Swim Team hosts.

All swim families are required to meet the following financial commitments.

    1. YMCA MEMBERSHIP: All swimmers must be facility members in order to be on the team. The family
       membership comes with many benefits for the 1 or 2 adults (30 years and older) and their
       dependents. The Welcome Center will be happy to go over all options with you.

    2. SWIM TEAM DUES: The monthly dues are based on the swimmer’s group level. All swim dues are
       automatically debited from an account every month. Swim dues for a single child family for each
       group are as follows:

         Baby Shark - $57, Beginner - $60, Intermediate - $67, Advanced - $67
                 *Sibling Rate: additional siblings are $4 off of the monthly due. Not applicable to swimmers
                 on financial aid or staff children.

    3. Y-League ANNUAL REGISTRATION FEE: $25 per year. The registration fee is set by the Local
       Swimming Committee and is due in September.

    4.   MEET FEES: Each swimmer is responsible for paying his/her entry fees for meets. The team is
         electronically entered as a single group for each meet and issues a team check to the meet host.
         Once the entries are processed by the meet administrator and the fee report is generated by the
         team, all families are responsible for the payment in timely manner.

         Intermediate/Advanced Levels:
                  A one-time non-refundable fee of $125 will be due by October 1st. This fee will cover one
         day’s events of each of the 5 invitationals in the 2017-2018 season. Parents wishing their children
         to swim more than one day per invitational can confirm with their coach and will submit an extra
         check 2 weeks before the meet or if you are on auto-pay for your monthly swim team fees, the fee
         will be deducted from your account on your next month’s payment, spreading the $125 fee out over
         5 months. ***Intermediate and advanced levels are strongly encouraged to come to both days of
         every invitational! Coaches will choose all events for each swimmer. Relays are mandatory for the
         swimmers chosen.

         Baby Sharks/Beginner Levels:
                Before every swim meet an entry form will be emailed home and checks will be due 2 ½
         weeks before every swim meet, to be turned in to your coach. If you choose to auto draft your fees,
         you may request it by email.

       In the event that a family does not fulfill PSH, $100.00 will be debited from the account on March
       1st. There is no credit given for partial hours completed.


  1.   MINIMUM ATTENDANCE POLICY: Swimmers in all levels must adhere to the attendance policy below.
       These attendance standards have been set in order to preserve the integrity of a practice
       environment geared towards training championship level swimmers. Swimmers are more motivated
       to train hard and to manage their time to be at practice when they know their teammates will be
       there with them. Consistent training is needed at the advanced level in order to continue
       improvement, and the coach can design a much more effective, progressive training plan when the
       swimmers are there on a regular basis. Swimmers are excused for longer absences only with prior
       parents’ notification via e-mail or hand written note.
                Baby/Beginner: 2 minimum, 3 recommended per week
                Intermediate/Advanced: 3 minimum, 4 recommended per week

       Swimmers may face demotion or other disciplinary action if;
              Habitually late to practice or habitually not meeting the minimum attendance policy
              Miss 3 or more practices consecutively without any prior notifications to the coaches

  2.   PRORATE POLICY: The swim team monthly dues for swimmers with injuries or conditions that
       require more than 2 weeks of treatments with the doctor’s note will be prorated.

  3.   TEMPORARY MEDICAL LEAVE: Existing swimmers with medical condition may hold the swim team
       membership for up to 3 months.

  4.    PARENT SERVICE HOURS: Each family is required to complete 10 service hours per swim year in
        addition to timing at the meets. The hours may be completed by the spouse, older sibling,
        grandparents, or guardians. In the event that a family does not fulfill their obligation, the family will
        be debited $100.00 electronically on March 1st each year. No completed partial hours will be
        recognized; prorate will not apply for unfulfilled PSH. *If the team season does not have enough
        hours for each family to complete 10, it will be adjusted accordingly.
       Service Hour Opportunities
         Come to the mandatory Parent Orientation meeting at the beginning of the season (1.5hr credit)
         Sign up to set up and assist at team functions (1-3 hour credit)
         GWY hosting meet in the Y season- several shifts available
         Annual Support Campaign-must campaign a minimum of $350 in order for it to count as PSH
         Join and serve on the Parent Support Group- 1 year commitment, meet once a month
              Volunteer to time at meets when emergency timers needed* (See TIMING AT MEETS)
            PSH Exempted Activities
             Following activities will not applied towards to PSH
                 Mandatory timing at meets
                 Bringing food to team functions
            Logging Hours: A master log book will be kept by the swim team secretary and updates will be
             sent home periodically.

  5.   TIMING AT MEETS: The timing assignments will be confirmed by a parent volunteer before each
       meet. Parents who wish to change the time slot should consult the Head Coach. A minimum of 2
       sessions (morning or afternoon- approx. 3.5 hours) of timing is required of each family per season.
       Timing assignments will be emailed home 1 week before each swim meet. A season calendar will be
       open at the Parent meeting in August for people to start signing up for shifts.
           Carpooling families: Must fulfill the other family’s timing duty
           Parents with small children: please make arrangements for care or bring someone else that can
            time for you.
           Self-driving and dropped-off athletes: No exception from the timing assignment. Each athlete is
            responsible for the timing duty accordingly.

             If you wish to be exempt from timing at swim meets, you may pay a one-time season fee of
              $100 per season and you will not be asked to time.
             If you choose to volunteer for the Annual Support Campaign, it will take the place of one timing

    6.   FINANCIAL DELINQUENCY: Late swim team/membership payments may prevent swimmers from
         practicing with the team until the delinquency is resolved.

    7.   TEAM APPAREL: The swimmers’ equipment consists of a team suit, cap and other apparel. We
         strongly recommend that every swimmer orders the basic suit and cap for swim meets. If you are
         unable to afford the team suit, please try to stick to the team colors of navy blue. Major orders are
         placed twice a year and small items are available for sale all year through the Swim Team Office.
             Female Athletes: One piece suit and swim cap should be worn at all times. The suit should not
              be revealing. A secondary suit is allowed to compensate the coverage.
             Male Athletes: No board shorts allowed unless otherwise directed by the coach for the training
              purposes. Any style of the suit should be unfading and worn tight.

    8.   SEASONAL SWIMMERS: GWY Sharks Swim Team is a competitive year round program. The team is
         not designed for;
             Seasonal high school swimming preparation
             Non-competitive swimmers who are interested in fitness maintenance
         All swimmers must be committed to compete during the league season.

    9.   CANCELLATION POLICY: A confirmed email of cancellation or letter is required when a swimmer
         cancels from the team and must be submitted to the member services desk or emailed 15 days prior.
         At the time of cancellation, all pending financial obligations will be prorated if necessary, and
         processed. One’s membership will not be terminated at the membership desk without the written

The GWY Sharks Swim Team Parent Support Group is an organization of interested volunteer parents. PSG is
open to all parents who would like to contribute their time and effort for the team. The purpose of PSG is:

    1. To help the coaching staff to organize and promote the parent involvement of the swim team.
    2. To stimulate and develop interests in competitive swimming of the community.
    3. To promote a closer relationship between the families on the team, and the Y.

PSG holds regular meetings to discuss business and coordinate activities. Any interested parents are
encouraged to attend. Please contact Aquatics Director Soretta Walker by email for more details.

The GWY Team Code of Conduct is for all swimmers, parents, and coaches as it provides a clear
understanding of expected behavior during all team-related activities on or off the Y facilities. All swimmers,
parents, and coaches must follow the four core values of the Y: Caring, Respect, Honesty, and Responsibility.

     Abide by the rules and regulations of the Y, USA Swimming and follow procedures for enforcement of
      the GWY Sharks Swim Team codes of conduct
     Maintain professional standing in an honest manner and preserve the reputation of the Y and the
      USA Swimming coaching profession.
     Be professional and accept responsibility for all actions.
     Extend professional courtesy to other coaches, athletes and their parents by keeping all parties
      informed in matters of athletes entering/leaving training programs
     Make decisions based upon the best interest of the swimmer’s sports, education, and health
     Acknowledge the individual talents and potential of all swimmers.
     Set appropriate training programs based upon the developmental level of the swimmer.
     Maintain a balanced emphasis of swimming involvement with educational and career objectives
     Direct all observations and recommendations regarding all aspects of swimming to the appropriate
      persons. Be constructive in criticisms and direct comments to the organization.
     Respect the efforts of appointed and elected representatives of the Y and USA Swimming.
     Respect the health and dignity of swimmers to compete on the basis of their abilities.
     Exercise a standard of care consistent with the professional qualifications as a swimming coach
     Refrain from any form of sexual harassment toward athletes and parents and show concern for the
      health, safety, and welfare of athletes and parents.
     Keep all relevant qualifications and certifications up to date.
     Respect the right, dignity and worth of every human being.
     Refrain from any discriminatory practices on the basis of gender, race, religion, ethnic background,
      or special ability/disability.

  1. As a swimmer of the GWY Sharks Swim Team;
      I agree to conduct myself in a courteous, responsible and exemplary manner.
      I recognize that the reputation of the GWY Sharks Swim team is affected by and dependent upon
         my conduct and behavior.
      I understand all swimmers must wear team-issued caps and non-revealing one piece suit
         (female)/non-fading tight suit (male) that comply with team colors at all times.
      I will compete and participate in all of my events to the best of my ability.
      I will exhibit sportsmanship teammates, and competitors from other teams, and respect for
         coaches and meet officials at all times.
      I will not in any way endanger the safety of another participant.
      I will comply with all team rules and regulations, and procedures directed by the coaching staff.

  2. I acknowledge that the following conduct is unacceptable and will NOT be tolerated;
      Disrupting practices, failing to abide by coaches’ directives, or disrespecting teammates,
          coaches, officials, and lifeguards at the facilities.
      Habitual tardiness or leaving early.
      Use of profanity or inappropriate language anywhere in the Y facility and other swim
          meet/practice sites.
      Inappropriate or unsupervised activities between group members.
      Destruction or damage to the Y, any facility we visit, or other member’s property.
      Roughhousing with teammates in the locker rooms, using violence or profanity.
      Possession or use of alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs or tobacco products.
      Isolating fellow teammates or discrimination of any kind.
      Attending a swim meet or official function independent from the swim team.
      Violating the team morale or unity.
      Rebellious behavior towards coaches, officials, and lifeguards.
      Non-participation in major team competitions and functions without coach’s permission.

    3. I understand GWY Swim Team has a “zero tolerance” policy for abusive and disruptive behavior
       against teammates, parents, and coaching staff and that any of the behaviors listed above may
       result in immediate disciplinary action by the coaching staff including but not limited to:
        Suspension at a meet
        Suspension from the team, the Y-league, and Southern California Swimming
        Forfeiture of all payments or credits for participation in an event and/or program
        Dismissal from the Y and the GWY Sharks.

SANCTION: I understand that it is an honor and privilege to represent the GWY Sharks Swim Team, and I
agree to conduct myself appropriately and honorably at all times at practices, meets, and all other team
functions as stated above.

As a parent of a swimmer and member of YMCA of Greater Whittier, and GWY Sharks Swim Team, I will abide
by the following guidelines:

    1. Practice teamwork with all parents, swimmers and coaches by supporting the values of Honesty,
        Caring, Respect and Responsibility.
    2. I will not coach or instruct the team or any swimmer at a practice or meets (from the stands or any
        other area) that interfere with coaches on the pool deck.
    3. Demonstrate good sportsmanship by conducting myself in a manner that earns the respect of my
        child/children, other swimmers, parents, officials and the coaches at meets and practices.
    4. I will place the emotional and physical well-being of my child ahead of a personal desire to win
    5. Maintain self-control at all times. Know my role.
                  Swimmers - Swim
                  Coaches - Coach
                  Officials - Officiate
                  Parents – Parent
    6. During competitions, questions or concerns regarding decisions made by meet officials are directed
        to a member of our coaching staff. Parents address officials via the coaching staff only.
    7. I understand that the Y-League has disciplinary authorities for misconduct of swimmers and parents.
    8. Enjoy involvement with the GWY Sharks by supporting the swimmers, coaches and other parents
        with positive communication and actions.
    9. I will demand a sports environment for my child that is free from drugs, tobacco, and alcohol, and
        will refrain from their use at all the Y youth sport events.
    10. I will help my child enjoy the youth sports experience by doing whatever I can, such as being a
        respectful spectator.
    11. I understand that criticizing, name-calling, use of abusive language or gestures directed toward the
        coaches, officials, and/or any participating swimmer will not be permitted or tolerated, and I will be
        facing a disciplinary action or/and will be asked to leave the program. I also understand that my
        misconduct may cause termination of my child’s participation on the team.
    12. I understand that my volunteer efforts are an integral part of the success of the team and I will
        complete my volunteer responsibilities such as timing assignments, Parent Service Hours, and other
        duties at our hosting meet.
    13. I understand that I am responsible for all financial commitment. Affecting my child’s participation of
        the team due to my financial delinquency is the least thing I want to do.

Sanctions: Should I conduct myself in such a way that brings discredit or discord to the Y or GWY Sharks
Swim Team, I will involuntarily subject myself to disciplinary action. The Y maintains the right to terminate
any membership with/without cause in the interest of our vision, mission and objectives.

When a swimmer or a parent breaks the rules of the swim team’s Code of Conduct, the coach will complete an
incident report stating the misconduct for the Aquatics Director to review. Aquatics Director and coaching
staff will grant ruling depending on the severity of the infraction.
(i.e. the misconduct may directly warrant the third infraction consequence).

First infraction: Requires the swimmer to write a personal letter of apology to the offended party signed by
the swimmer and parents. Depending on the severity of the offense, a swimmer may face dismissal from the
Second infraction: The length of suspension/demotion will be decided by coaching staff and a personal letter
of apology will be written to the offended party signed by the swimmer and parents
Third infraction: The swimmer will be dismissed from the swim team permanently.

When an infraction is caused by a parent, a meeting will be called by the Head Coach and/or Aquatics
Director. Depending on the seriousness of the infraction, the parent may be suspended from attending the
team meets or the swim family may be removed from the team.

Any Issues concerning conflicts among swimmers or parents need to be submitted in writing to the Head
Coach. He/she will address the conflicts and obtain a suitable resolution and will then inform the Aquatics
Director of the situation. The Head Coach has the authority to decide on other issues related to swimmers or
parents not stated above. All swimmers and parents must comply with the coach’s decision. Failure to follow
the appeal process will result in immediate dismissal from the team.

Amanda Kasimoff-Swim Team Coordinator             (P) 562 309 4852

Helen Fonti-Swim Team Administrator               (P) 562 217 4962

Soretta Walker-Aquatics Director                  (P) 562 309 4814




Full Name:                                                                 Birthday:

School:                                                                    Grade:

Program Joined Date:                                      Name of Current Group:

Athlete Cell (if available):                              Athlete Email:






Father’s Name                                     Mother’s Name

Home Phone:

Father’s Cell:                                    Father’s Email:

Mother’s Cell:                                    Mother’s Email:


Primary Name:                             Relationship:                    Contact #:

Secondary Name:                           Relationship:                    Contact #:       ___________

I,                               , parent/legal guardian of                        authorize
to provide transportation from and to the Y, other practice venues and swim meets.

Parent Signature:                                 Print Name:                               Date:

I have read and understand the complete GWY Sharks swim team handbook. I have gone
over the swimmer code of conduct with my child. I will abide by all rules and procedures
set forth by the team and the YMCA of Greater Whittier.

Swimmer Signature: _______________________________________________

Parent Signature:___________________________________________________   Date:_____________________________
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