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1. How do coaches determine the line-ups for each meet?

The Eagle Ridge Swim Team Coaching Staff gets together a few days before the meet and spends a great deal of time preparing for each event. Best times as well as times from previous meets are examined to place each swimmer in their proper position. Improvement over the course of the season is taken into account and conversely consistent lack of improvement may affect placement.

Each Eagle Ridge Swimmer is placed in an event for a reason. It could be a strategic reason based on our opponent’s strengths/weakness. It could be as simple as trying a new event for a time. Parents have the right to ask for the reasoning behind their child’s events and placement but parents must do so in a respectful manner. Please remember that Eagle Ridge Swim Team Coaches are under a lot of stress and pressure towards the beginning of each meet. It’s best to trust the judgement of the coaching staff and ask upon the conclusion of the meet or via phone/email in the following days.

2. My child can’t be at the entire meet on a given Tuesday… is that ok?

Yes, I would love for all Eagle Ridge Soaring Eagles to put the swim team at the top of their priority list but I’m a realist. Things come up that a child can’t miss for one reason or another. Also sudden illnesses and other unforeseen events may arise. All that is asked is for the child or parent to indicate to the coach the meet the swimmer is missing and whether or not it will be the entire meet.IF something comes up the Monday or Tuesday before the meet, then Coaches must be called or texted to ensure that they are aware of the situation. Whenever possible, please indicate the meets your child is missing well in advance. If we do not hear from you, we will assume that they are swimming at the meet.

3. How do I know if practice is canceled?

A push notification alert and/or email will be sent via the SwimTopia app. When applicable it will be posted on the Eagle Ridge Swim Team Facebook as well.

There are only a few reasons why practice would be canceled. Weather and/or the pool being closed for mechanical reasons are the most common.

4. My child is struggling to keep up… what can I do as a parent?

There are several steps a parent should take to help a child reach his/her full potential. First, analyze why the swimmer is falling behind or not being able to keep up. A lot of problems result from comparing a child to the rest of the swimmers in his/her group. Every child develops and matures at a different rate. It’s only inevitable that certain young people are going to excel easier/faster than others do. A better way to measure success is to compare a swimmer’s times throughout the season. Are they improving? Getting worse? Or staying about the same speed? Just because they aren’t winning main events doesn’t mean they aren’t enjoying swimming or improving. Does your child need extra help, or do you need to change your perspective and focus on their progress? Don’t hesitate to speak with the coaching staff. Don’t be afraid to ask, “How’s Joe doing?… Is that normal?… What could be the causes?…What can we work on to make improvements?”

As mentioned above, every child is different. Every solution is therefore not the same. What works for some children will most certainly not work for all. Perhaps the most crucial indicator missed by parents is attendance. Excuses like “But Joe has baseball, soccer, volleyball and baseball practice… He can only come once a week to swimming,” are common. Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does help a swimmer succeed and feel a part of a group. Our Eagle Ridge coaches can only help swimmers if they’re there.

Some swimmers may require a little extra help, one on one, from the coaches. Swim lessons can be arranged with any member of the coaching staff.

A final word of advice… The only way to truly understand is to communicate. Talk with your child, with the coaches and others often to put everything together.

5. My child can’t get enough of this swimming business and wants to swim year round… where should they go and why?

I get this question a lot and there isn’t a simple answer. I suggest remaining open. The worst thing that you can do is to base your decision solely on the word of another parent. You may trust their judgement but chances are your child won’t get the same things out of a program as another’s. All year round programs in the Triangle area have their costs and benefits. Just like choosing your elected leaders in government, it’s often hard locating all the facts and making the best decision. Research all their histories and discover what they have to offer; see if they have a trial period or “bring a friend days.” Talk with the coaching staff too and see if your child is ready to make that step forward.

6. What is a Medley Relay? And what strokes are on what side?

Relays in general have their origins in track and field. A relay consists of four swimmers. In a freestyle relay each swimmer does freestyle. In a medley relay, each swimmer swims a different stroke. One person does backstroke, one does breaststroke, one does butterfly and one does freestyle in that order. 7/8s and 9/10s swim 4 x 25s (one length of each stroke), whereas 11/12s, 13/14s, and 15-18s swim 4 x 50s (two length of each stroke). For the 7/8s and 9/10s the backstroker and butterflier start at the regular end of the pool going off the blocks (backstrokers start in the water like normal). The breaststroker and freestyler start at the opposite end of the blocks and dive in off the side. Each swimmer after the backstroker will do a relay start. Swimmers are instructed not to dive in until the preceding swimmer has touched the wall. Leaving early, before the swimmer touches, will result in a false start and the relay will be disqualified. 11/12s and above all start at the end with the starting blocks obeying the same rules for relay starts.

The rules for each of the four strokes apply for medley and freestyle relays. Disqualification can result from improper technique or touches. Additional rules apply for relays.

Those are the big questions that we could think of. Throughout the season I’m sure parents will come with questions worthy of posting here. All names on those new posts will be either changed or removed to ensure confidentiality. As always, it’s important to continue to ask the tough questions. The hope of this section is to let others on the team see the answers to questions that may come up or that you’ve always wanted to know the answers to…

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