Below are answers to some of our most commonly asked questions. Much more information and details can be found in our team handbook found here.
What are the requirements for my child(ren) to join the Piranhas swim team?
Your swimmer must demonstrate the ability to swim freestyle stroke the length of the pool (25 yards) unassisted by the end of the 2nd week of practice, or they will be removed from the team (our coaches will make the determination if your swimmer meets our minimum requirements). Registration fees minus a $30 processing fee will be returned to swimmers who do not pass this evaluation. Please note that swim team is not a “learn to swim” program or group swim lessons. Swim lessons are available through the City of Pflugerville (more information can be found here). Swimmers are required to participate in a minimum of 2 regular meets during the season.
What if my child can swim but does not know all 4 of the competitive strokes?
That’s okay! As long as they can swim freestyle stroke the length of the pool (25 yards) unassisted, our practice program is designed to acquaint and teach young swimmers the strokes and training involved in today's competitive swimming. Emphasis is placed on learning the proper stroke, start and turn techniques as well as the improvement of each swimmer’s "personal best" time in each event.
Are parents required to volunteer?
Yes! At least one parent must volunteer at each meet your child is signed up to swim. Failure to sign up for and fulfill your volunteer obligation will result in your child not being signed up for the meet or scratched from remaining events at the meet itself.
Why do we need parent volunteers?
Our organization is completely run by parent volunteers, and it takes ALL families doing their part to make our team successful. While we do charge a registration fee, we are a non-profit organization. Our fees are only intended to cover the cost of equipment, pool rental, swimmer insurance, coach’s salaries and other expenses. The board members are also volunteers and do not gain any profit from the registration fees. For parents who are new to the sport, you will soon learn that it takes a large number of parents to run a swim meet and every position is critical to the function of the meet!
How do the coaches and board members communicate with the parents?
We communicate with parents via the following means:
- E-mail ~ announcements, news
- Web site ~ announcements, news
- Facebook ~ announcements, news
It is very important that you keep your account updated with a valid e-mail address for your family and that you check that email address regularly during swim season as this is our primary means of communication with you. Also, make sure you follow us on Facebook (see the home page of our website for the link)! The latest meet information will be posted on the Meets page on our website.
How can I find out more information before registering?
Our team handbook is filled with information regarding our team, parent and swimmer requirements, and what to expect during practice and meets. Feel free to email us here with any additional questions you may have.
How much does registration cost?
2017 Piranhas registration fees:
- 1st swimmer ~ $150
- Each add’l swimmer ~ $140
Each swimmer will receive a Piranhas team shirt as part of their registration fee.
When is registration?
Our registration dates for the 2017 season are as follows:
- February 1st to February 15th ~ Early Registration (open to all returning families from last season)
- February 16th to March 31st ~ Open Registration (open to all new and returning families)
- April 1st to April 15th ~ Late Registration (a $25 late fee per swimmer will be applied to all late registrations)
Please note that returning families are only guaranteed a spot for their swimmers during the early registration period. Once open registration begins, age group caps will be in place and groups will be filled on a first come basis. Once an age group is filled, you may email registration to be placed on a wait list for that group.
I have one returning swimmer and one new swimmer ~ when can I register?
Any family with at least one returning swimmer can register all their swimmers during early registration.
Do I have to purchase a team suit and swim cap?
Yes. The Piranhas choose a new team suit design on a 2 year cycle. A new suit will be introduced for the 2017 season. As noted in our team handbook, all swimmers are required to wear their team suit and cap at all swim meets.
What items are needed at practice?
A comfortable suit (not your team suit), goggles, fins, a towel and a water bottle. Label everything you bring to the pool with your name!
Do I need to attend every practice?
No; we understand that other activities sometimes interfere with practice time, but swimmers are asked to attend as many training sessions as possible. Let's face it, getting up early on a summer morning for practice may not always seem like a lot of fun. However, being there on time, every time, is how individuals learn self-discipline and how to be a responsible, contributing member of a team.
What if my swimmer also swims on a club team?
Swimmers who are currently swimming with a year-round club are welcome to continue to practice with their club teams for the majority of practices during the Piranha season; however, all club swimmers are required to attend a minimum of one Piranha practice per week in order to be eligible to attend swim meets with our team.
What if there is bad weather?
Pool rules state that no one can be in the pool for 30 minutes after thunder is heard or lightning is seen. Practice cancellations due to weather will be posted on our Facebook feed, messaged on Remind 101 and a team wide email will be sent with more information. Thunder and lightning mean no pool time, but if it's just raining...hey you're already wet!
When are the swim meets?
Our meets for 2017 begin June 3rd and run most Saturdays thereafter through July 8th. A complete schedule can be found here. Check-in time for most meets is 6:00am (yes, you are reading the time correctly!), and they typically finish up around 1:00pm.
Can I choose what events my child will swim at a meet?
Our coaches will enter swimmers in events best suited to the swimmer and the team. Parents may indicate preferred events to swim for each meet, but it is ultimately up to the head coach to determine which events are most beneficial to each swimmer and the team as a whole.
What is a heat sheet?
Heat sheets are a timeline of all events for all swimmers in a meet. They will be made available by Friday before each meet on our website. You will need (and want!) to print your own heat sheet as we do not sell heat sheets on the day of the meet. Heat sheets will show which events, heats and lanes your swimmer will swim.
What do I bring to a meet?
All swimmers should come prepared with the following items to every meet: team suit, team swim cap, team t-shirt, 1 - 2 towels, 2 pairs of goggles (always good to have a 2nd pair for a backup), a cooler packed with nutritious food and drinks, something to keep them entertained between their races (hand held games, books, etc) and a chair or blanket to sit on in their pit. We recommend labeling EVERYTHING with a permanent marker. You should plan on bringing folding chairs for every member of your family. Your swimmers will sit in in their designated age group tents while parents will set up chairs usually around the pool deck or other designated area. Pack a cooler with favorite snacks and drinks; however, full concession stands are provided as well.
Do we have to come to the warm-up before the meet?
Absolutely. Your swimmer needs to warm up and become familiar with the pool. A check-in time will be posted for each meet. Swimmers arriving after the check-in time may not be able to swim. A final official heat sheet is handed in at about 7:15 A.M. Swimmers not checked in may be replaced or scratched from the meet.
Do I have to attend every meet?
We strongly encourage all swimmers to participate in every swim meet if possible. Please don't worry that your swimmer isn't fast enough or not ready! Meets provide the opportunity for swimmers to gauge their progress and see the results of all their hard work during practice. Each and every swimmer is critical to the team’s overall performance and is therefore expected to participate in as many meets as possible. Swimmers are required to attend a minimum of two regular meets during the season.
What if I signed up for a meet but can't make it?
We understand that plans can change quickly and unexpectedly, and that emergencies do occasionally arise between any given Tuesday and Saturday morning. In such cases, at the earliest possible moment, click on the "report a meet absence" link on the homepage of our website.
How are relays chosen?
The coaches will determine the relay teams for each meet based upon the swimmers’ times.
What is Divisionals?
The Divisional Meet is our championship meet at the end of the season against all other teams in our division. Our goal is 100% attendance at this meet! Northwest Swim Circuit rules require each swimmer to have swum in a minimum of two dual meets during the regular season in order to be eligible to swim at the Divisional Meet. This meet is VERY important for our Divisional standings, and every swimmer is VERY important for our team to earn points toward winning the championship. Participation at the Divisional meet is required to attend the Invitational meet.
What is Invitationals?
Invitationals is a meet for swimmers who have met the Invitational Qualifying Time Standard for that event during the current swim season. These time standards are located under the Resources tab on our home page. The Invitational meet for 2017 will be held at Texas A&M, and it is an honor to swim this meet. Swimmers must participate in the Divisional swim meet in order to swim at Invitationals (any exceptions require approval from the Head Coach).