West Haven Wizards Swim Team

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WEST HAVEN WIZARDS HANDBOOK

2016 – 2017 Staff

 

West Haven Parks & Recreation Department

Pool & Waterfront Supervisor

Margaret Ruggiero                              937-3651

 

Team Coaches

Sean McCauley, Head Coach     815-5889;

email: smccauley426@yahoo.com     

Eric Pimer, Assistant Head Coach / 8&Under Coordinator

Robin Viani, Assistant Head Coach / 8 & Under Coordinator

Erin McCauley, 12 & Under Coach

Callie Jackson, Assistant Coach

Jay Falanga, Assistant Coach

 

Parents’ Club Officers

 

President: Cecily Shubin wizardparent@gmail.com   

Vice President: Bill Wilson

Treasurer: Shaileen Morton

 

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/westhavenwizards

Team Website: www.westhavenwizards.org

League Website: www.yankeeswimleague.org

Park Rec Dept: www.whparkrec.com

 

Practice Schedules

Unless otherwise noted or announced practices will be held Monday through Friday at the following times:

                        4:30 Group – “Merlins”:           4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 

                       

5:30 Group – “Dumbledores”:  5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

                       

6:30 Group – “Gandalfs”:         6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on M,W,F;

                                                                          6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Tues. & Thurs;           

                                                                          7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings

All swimmers will be assigned a regular practice time to attend on the first day.

 

Monthly Calendars are provided prior to the first of each month to inform you of any changes in the schedule, however, the calendar page on our team website will have the most up to date information throughout the season and is constantly updated. 

 

 

A NOTE ON PRACTICE TIMES: Swimmers are assigned practice times based on age and ability.  Each swimmer is evaluated by the coaching staff and put in the time slot in which we feel each swimmer can be the most successful.  Swimmers may be moved up at coaches’ discretion throughout the year.  We sincerely apologize if your child’s practice time presents difficulties for you, however, please be advised that these times are non-negotiable. 

 

TRIALS FEES: There will be an $8.00* meet entry fee per swimmer due Friday, December 1.  This covers the Trials entry fees.

 

DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES

 

The West Haven Wizards Swim Team is an activity organized and run by the Department of Parks & Recreation.  Any boy or girl up to the age of 18 may join.  The coaches evaluate the swimming skill at the outset of the season to assure that the child is ready to join the team.  Expertise is not necessary, but the child must be independent enough not to need a coach in the pool with him/her.

 

The team is a member of the Yankee Swim League and competes in meets against other teams from across the state.  Dual meets start in November and end in early February.  If your child qualifies, he or she will also compete in Championship meets in late February and early March.  Meets are usually held on Saturdays.  The Yankee League abides by the rules of the U.S. Swimming Association.

 

Please read this handbook carefully.  It contains most of the rules and information you will need to know to get the most out of this season. 

 

 

 

 

Season Timeline

 

  1. Regular Practices: September – March; Swimmers are required to attend at least 3 practices per week.  Contact Coach Sean if this is not possible.  3 practices a week is the minimum time a swimmer needs to spend in the pool to improve.  If cancellations, illness, or homework prevent swimmers from attending 3 practices in a week, it will not be held against them. 

 

  1. Dual Meets: November – January/February; Against other teams from the Yankee League; home and away.  (No transportation is provided to away meets, but the parents club can help arrange car pools, etc.).  ALL MEETS ARE MANDATORY AND ALL SWIMMERS REMAIN ON DECK UNTIL THE CONCLUSION OF THE FINAL CHEER.  We are a team and we remain as one throughout the course of the meet. 

 

  1. Special Meets (some require minimal entry fee):
    1. November:  West Haven Invitational Jamboree 11/26, 11 & Overs only, space limited, see separate handout for details. 

 


    1. February: Trials and Finals, held by age group, elimination rounds.  ALL SWIMMERS ARE EXPECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN TRIALS AND ARE AUTOMATICALLY ENTERED INTO THE EVENT BY THE COACHES.  Swimmers must participate in a minimum of 5 meets to qualify for trials. 

 


    1. March: All-Stars – a pentathlon meet for top league swimmers from each age group; swimmers must qualify at Finals.

 

  1. Social Activities: September – March; Run by the parents club, including a ziti dinner to kick off the season and a Holiday party.

 

  1. Annual Awards Banquet: usually held in April or early May; includes presentation of awards designated by the coaches and the annual gift from the Parent’s Club.

 

TO ALL 4:30 GROUP PARENTS AND SWIMMERS

 

At the beginning of the season, we share space with the High School Girls Team.  It is possible that for approximately the first 6 weeks of the season, the 4:30 group practices may start later than the scheduled time due to the high school team practice.  Please be patient as this is only a temporary inconvenience and we ask all swimmers to be at the pool ready to swim at 4:30.  Practice will still end at 5:30.    In addition, home meets may alter the practice schedule so please check monthly calendars. 
Meet Participation:  Meets are Mandatory

 

All swimmers are required to attend all scheduled meets.  A swimmer’s absence can have serious effects on the rest of the team.  The coaching staff works hard to ensure that all swimmers swim as often as possible (99.9% of the time this means each swimmer swims the maximum of 4 times in each meet).  All swimmers are required to stay on deck in swim gear until the very end of the meet after the final cheer.  We are a team and must remain together – in meet gear - during the entire duration of the meet.  Unexcused absences will result in a swimmer’s removal from the team. 

 

Team policy requires attendance at a minimum of five meets.  High School Boys cannot compete in meets with the West Haven Wizards after their first High School Meet due to C.I.A.C. and Yankee Swim League regulations.

 

Contact Coach Sean if illness or family emergency occur.  PLEASE let him know as soon as possible.  The coaching staff spends hours before each meet setting up relay events and deciding what individual events each swimmer will swim.  Coach Sean’s cell phone number is in this handbook and on every copy of meet directions we hand out. 

 

Please inform the coaches of any vacations which will affect the team by OCTOBER 14, 2016.

 

 

The Jamboree

 

The Wizards are continuing the resurgence of a beloved Yankee League Tradition with the Jamboree on November 26th.  This year the event will only be open to swimmers 11 and over.  Registration will open on October 1st and space is very limited – please look at the separate handout for further details. 

  Trials, Finals, and All Stars   Trials, Finals and All Stars are the three most important and exciting meets of the year.  Not only do they represent the culmination of the hard work of coaches, swimmers, and parents, but also West Haven is privileged to host some or all of these events which represents a tremendous opportunity to raise funds for our team.  More information is available via the Guide To Trials but here are the most important points:    

 

 

  ALL SWIMMERS are expected to swim at Trials, and if they make it, Finals.  Please block this time off ASAP.  Any swimmer 9 or older who places in the top 12 of any individual event they swim at Trials will swim at Finals the next week.  Anyone who captures a top 3 finish at Finals will qualify for All Stars.  For 8 & Unders, swimmers who take a top 3 place at 8 & under Championships will qualify for All Stars.  For more information, please see the Guide to Trials.   

Trials Fees will be due Friday, December 1st and will be $8.00 per swimmer.  This helps curtail cost of awards given out during the championship season.   ANY SWIMMER THAT HAS NOT INFORMED COACHING STAFF WHO THEY ARE MISSING TRIALS BY DECEMBER 1 must still pay Trials Fees.

  Meet Rules

 

·         Wear team suit, shirt, cap (if you have long hair) and goggles

·         Arrive on time – for stretching and warmup

·         No swimmer may leave the deck without coach permission.  All swimmers stay from beginning to end of meet, except with coach permission, to cheer on teammates and help the younger swimmers.  Swimmers may not get dressed in street clothes before the end of the meet.  It is disrespectful to opponents and teammates.

·         IPODS, Cell phones, handheld game systems, etc. are not allowed on deck.

·         Swimmers with asthma should have their inhalers in a safe, accessible location

·         Swimmers should not bring valuables to the pool. 

·         Only small food items, such as granola bars and water bottles, are allowed on deck.  http://www.westhavenwizards.org/nutrition.htm for more information.

·         Swimmers should have their name on everything they bring on deck.

 

 

 

Practice Rules:

 

·         Do not wear team suit or team cap

·         Use goggles and caps

·         No food or drink (except water bottles) on deck or in locker rooms

·         Be on deck in swim gear fifteen minutes before practice starts. This time will be used for stretching and dry land activity.

·         Swimmers and other children are not permitted in the hallway during practices. 

·         Swimmers with asthma should have their inhalers in a safe, accessible location

 

 Anytime Rules:

 

·         Leave all valuables (money, jewelry, etc.) at home

 

·       Locks may be used on pool lockers, but must be removed and taken home after the conclusion of practice.

 

·         No improper behavior – including swearing, stealing, chewing gum or eating on deck, disrupting others, showing disrespect to coaches or teammates.

 

SCHEDULE CHANGES

 

High school meets, football games, school holidays, and other events may prompt cancellation or modification of the practice schedule.  To make sure you are at the pool at the proper time please consult the calendar on the website (http://www.westhavenwizards.org/apps/calendar/) and the monthly calendars available at the pool for the most accurate day to day schedule. 

 

INCLEMENT WEATHER

 

During the winter months, foul weather may cause cancellations.  If the West Haven school system is cancelled or given an early dismissal due to inclement weather, practice is cancelled.  If weather forces a cancellation of a meet, parents will be notified by notice, phone call and/or email and the meet will be rescheduled ASAP.  To be sure you receive the most up to date announcements please be sure you include your e-mail address on the contact info sheet.  

  FOOD

 

On the day before a meet we recommend carbohydrates like pasta to help provide stamina for the next day.  Avoid very sweet items in the morning – sugars will cause a swimmer to crash part way through the meet.  Water bottles are the only items allowed on deck during a meet.  Please consult our nutrition page: http://www.westhavenwizards.org/nutrition.htm for more information. 

 

        PARENTS

 

Unless acting as a timer or scorer, or have been asked by coaches to help supervise, PLEASE stay in the stands.  It gets crowded and distracting if parents are on deck.  The coaches have a great system for keeping the kids safe and helping them to be in the right place at the right time.  The older swimmers accompany the younger to the blocks for their events and no one is allowed into the locker room alone. 

 

Parents are welcome to watch practice from the stands but cannot be on deck during practice. 

 

Coffee or food cannot be consumed on deck.  An area in the bleachers is reserved for this purpose.  Please keep this area clean or we will lose this privilege. 

 

Check the locker rooms periodically during practice, especially if things are taking longer than is normal.  You may be required to be in the locker room with your child if the swimmer has difficulty following locker room procedures and directions.  The coaches cannot always leave the deck to monitor locker room activities.

 

 

 

SAFETY RULES FOR PARENTS

 

Parents must escort their children in and out of practice. 

 

Do not leave your child at the pool unless a coach is present.  Coaches will not allow children to leave the pool unless a parent or authorized adult comes in for pick up. 

 

SWIMMERS NEED TO REMAIN IN THE BUILDING UNTIL THEIR RIDE ARRIVES AFTER PRACTICE.  It is dark and swimmers cannot be properly supervised if they leave the building.  Coaches will wait after practice until all swimmers are picked up, but please make sure your child knows to stay in the building until you arrive. 

 

Please do not expect coaches to be babysitters for the swimmers or other siblings, please drop off and pick up promptly.  Do not allow swimmers or siblings to run in the facility, play ball or other games.  The pool facilities were not designed for these activities.  All children must be directly supervised and watched.

 

 

PARENTS’ CLUB

 

 

The Wizards Parents’ Club is an integral part of the team’s success.  The WPC is in charge of providing workers during meets and organizing our fundraising activities and special events.  We ask that all parents help the team by becoming involved in the Parents’ Club throughout the season.  The more who volunteer, the easier it is for everyone and the more successful our team will be!  For more information please visit http://www.westhavenwizards.org/parentsclubcentral.htm

 

 

Volunteer Spot: Our team uses volunteerspot.org to coordinate workers and item donations for team events such as home meets.  A url for each event will be emailed to you ahead of time. 

 

 

CONTACT INFORMATION and CONDUCT FORMS

 

Please take a moment to fill out one of the contact information forms at the beginning of the season and return it to Coach Eric or Coach Sean.  All information will be kept entirely confidential.  The forms will allow the staff to be able to contact parents in the case of an emergency and email important announcements to parents in an efficient manner. 

 

In additions, all parents, coaches and swimmers are required to review our Conduct Forms and abide by all guidelines listed therein.  This insures that all members of the Wizards family are aware of the rules and policies of this team which help make us so successful. 

 

 

 

 

REMIND 101

 

In addition to emails, and the website, the team uses remind 101 to get news to parents and swimmers as fast as possible.  Please use the available handout to subscribe to Coach Sean’s distribution list to receive a text for any last minute announcements and reminders.  Please note, this is a new list for 2016-17.  Last year’s list is inactive.  Please sign up for this group to get announcements. 

 

 

 

 

EQUIPMENT

 

Swimming has the fortunate benefit of requiring little equipment to purchase in order to compete.  There are certain items that parents will be responsible for purchasing. 

 

Swim Outlet Team Store: http://www.swimoutlet.com/WestHavenWizards

 

Order from the Swim Outlet Team store and get great products and equipment hand selected by the coaching staff.  Plus a portion of each purchase gets contributed to the team, so everyone wins! 

 

For Practice

 

Suit: Swimmers are required to wear a suit in the pool!  For girls, a one piece suit is best and is required.  For boys, we highly encourage parents to purchase the “jammer”, which is a form fitting suit resembling bicycle shorts.  Baggy ‘trunks’ provide too much resistance and make practice very difficult.  Team suit fittings will be held during the season. 

 

Caps: Latex caps are recommended, and caps are required for any boy or girl with longer hair

 

Goggles: Goggles are highly recommended for meets and practices – it helps to see where you are going.  Coaches recommend Speedo Hydrospex Juniors

 

Towel: It helps to be dry when you leave J

 

For Meets

 

Team Suit: The team suit is required for all parents and is the largest expenditure you will make, prices are generally in the $50 - $70 range for girls and $30 - $40 range for boys.  It is required for ALL swimmers to be worn at ALL meets.  TEAM SUITS CANNOT BE WORN DURING PRACTICE.  -

 

Team Caps: Team caps will be provided to swimmers prior to their first meet.  A cap is not required for meets, but if one is to be worn, it must be the team cap. 

 

Goggles, Towels, Shorts, T Shirts & Water Bottles are all recommended for on deck and in the pool during meets. 

 

PARENTS – WRITE YOUR CHILDS NAME ON EVERYTHING HE OR SHE BRINGS TO THE POOL:  Many items can get misplaced and many look the same. 

 

 

TEAM MERCHANDISE

 

Over the years we have outfitted our swimmers in some great looking apparel courtesy of Xtreme Designs.  In an effort to make all Wizards gear available to everyone in the most convenient way possible you can now order merchandise online at

 

http://xtremedesignswhwizards.bigcartel.com/

 

and have your items shipped directly to your home!

 

Swimming Tips and Definitions

 

Children compete only against other children of their own gender and age.  The age groups are as follows:

 

8 & under

9&10

11&12

13&14

15&over

A child’s age is determined as of November 1st.

 

There are four strokes – butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke, and freestyle.  One length of the pool is 25 yards. 

 

A dual meet has approximately 80 events.  An event is a particular race for each gender and age group.  For each type of race, the events progress from youngest to oldest swimmers; then the next type of race starts over with the youngest swimmers.

 

A heat is one race with 6 swimmers.  Often there is more than one heat for each event. 

 

The IM means Individual Medley which means one swimmer does all four strokes in one race.  The medley relay means each swimmer does a different stroke in one relay race.

 

DQ means “disqualified”.  This is VERY COMMON, especially with newer swimmers, and parents and swimmers should not fall apart – it is part of the learning process.  Doing the wrong stroke, standing up, missing the wall on a turn, or not touching the wall properly, if seen by the official, will result in a DQ.  The officials will also tell the swimmer what he/she did wrong to help the swimmer learn. 

 

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