Nashville Aquatic Club Frequently Asked Questions
Questions About Swim Meets
Click here to view Swim Meet FAQ's
What is Nashville Aquatic Club?
NAC is a year round competitive swim program that has been operating in the Middle Tennessee area since 1975. The team is comprised of eight practice groups ranging from the entry-level swimmer to the Olympic Trial qualifier. Nashville Aquatic Club aims to develop the character, skills, and desire necessary for each child to maximize his or her potential. Through swimming, we aim to develop physical fitness, self-discipline, and self-esteem, which will assist children in maximizing their personal, intellectual, and athletic potential.
Do I need to be an elite swimmer to join Nashville Aquatic Club?
No. NAC offers a variety of levels in which swimmers can begin. Elite swimmers are the result of knowledgeable coaching and consistent training, which NAC has a long history of providing. Each swimmer, no matter how elite, has started at the beginning where they have learned the basic fundamentals of swimming and a general love for the sport. NAC provides each of its athletes the opportunity to start from the very basics and advance to the most elite level. No matter what your child’s current ability level is, you can rest assured that there is a place for them within the NAC program.
How do I determine if Nashville Aquatic Club is right for me?
First, check out our website at www.swimnac.com. There you will find information about the club’s past, present, and outlook for the future. Second, talk to a current NAC parent! Members currently involved in the program are a very useful and informative resource to find out more about the team. Third, contact one of the NAC coaches by e-mail or by calling the NAC office at (615) 321-3510. You can also inquire about our FREE trial week, which is a great way to see if year round swimming is something your child is interested in pursuing.
Swim Team Questions
In which group will my child swim?
Click here for age group information.
Where are practices offered?
Practices are offered in two convenient locations. The Williamson County Indoor Sports Complex, located just off Concord Road in Brentwood, as well as the Centennial Sportsplex located on 25th Avenue in Nashville. Current Practice Schedules.
Do I need to give up other sports if I swim with NAC?
NAC realizes that young children love to participate in a variety of sports and activities. Most people are under the impression that if you swim year round that you do not have enough time to participate in other sports and activities. This is not the case at all. Many of our swimmers are also very involved in other activities and have found a nice balance that allows them to experience it all. In addition, NAC does not want your child to turn away from swimming because it is the only activity in which they participate.
How many swim meets are offered and where are they held?
Swim meets are a great chance for your child to grow in the sport of swimming. Swimmers not only learn about race strategy and stroke technique at meets, but they also end up gaining self-confidence and experience. In addition, competitions are fun! They serve as a reward for your swimmer’s hard work and an excellent test of their skills acquired during practice. At least one swim meet is offered a month and more often there are two each month. Most of the meets that NAC attends are in the Middle Tennessee area. Others are held in surrounding areas such as Knoxville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Auburn, Louisville, and Bowling Green.
What are the benefits of year round swimming?
NAC recognizes that each of our swimmers must learn good stroke technique at every stage of their development. We believe that swimming correctly needs to be taught before athletes move on to training. We also find that swimmers who learn better stroke technique, will inherently swim faster and smarter races. Naturally, year round swimming will improve swimming ability, but it will also carry over to other aspects of an athlete’s life. Swimmers tend to take the listening, discipline, organization, work-ethic, time management, and goal setting skills they learn in our program with them to the classroom and thereafter to the real world. In addition, swimmers learn to handle successes and failures, which in turn creates superior sportsmanship and self-confidence.
What are some of the team’s accomplishments?
NAC has won the Southeastern Championships more than 30 times, competing against teams in Tennessee, Alabama, and the panhandle of Florida. We have been recognized by USA Swimming as a Gold Medal Club ever year since 2002. Currently we are the only team in the Middle Tennessee area that has ever been recognized as such. NAC has produced numerous Olympians, Olympic Trial qualifiers, World Championship qualifiers, Senior and Junior National qualifiers, Sectional and Southeastern champions, as well as National Age Group record holders. With all of our accomplishments, we recognize that it is the depth of a team, not a few exceptional swimmers that make the program successful. Our depth is something that we attribute to the ability to keep kids interested in the sport and consistently improving.
Parent Volunteer Questions
How do I find out how many volunteer points my family has earned?
More information on Parent Volunteer opportunities are posted here.
Swim Meet Frequently Asked Questions (Click here to download a PDF Version of Swim Meet FAQs)
Welcome to Nashville Aquatic Club! Many of you are new to the program and thus will have a lot of questions over the next few months. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about year-round swim meets. Please take the time to read through this at the beginning of the season and keep it as a resource for future reference.
Why does my child need to compete in swim meets?
Much like a soccer game is an opportunity to use skills learned in practice, so a swim meet provides a chance for swimmers to use skills, mental preparation, and race strategies that have been developed in practice. Swim meets aid in building a child's self-confidence, self-awareness, accountability, and physical strength. Nashville Aquatic Club is a “competitive swimming team”. Our goal is to help each swimmer go as far in the sport of competitive swimming as their talent and desire will allow.
What are the different type of meets that will NAC compete in this year?Z
Nashville Aquatic Club participates in a variety of swim meets, from entry level meets to international competition meets. NAC strives to provide its swimmers the opportunity to compete in at least one local meet per month. In general, swim meets will be Short Course or 25 yards in the Fall & Winter months and Long Course or 50 meters in the Spring & Summer months.
Our first choice for competition is to participate in USA Swimming team hosted invitationals and opens. Invitationals are meets where specific teams are invited to the meet by the host team. Opens are meets that are open to any team for competition. Occasionally, NAC will run a Race Day Meet, which is a quick, one-session meet for NAC swimmers only. These meets have become a means to introduce our developmental swimmers to the world of USA Swimming sanctioned swim meets, as well as provide our team the opportunity to compete here locally. Additionally, the Race Day Meets are a great opportunity for new families to learn the ropes and fulfill part of their volunteer commitment.
What is the meet schedule for this season and which meets should my child attend?
The 2012-13 Swim Meet Schedule is posted online under the Meet & Events tab. There is one for the Short Course Season “SC Meet Schedule” and another one for the Long Course Season “LC Meet Schedule”. These schedules list the meet, date and location of each swim meet that NAC will be competing in that season. It also shows who is eligible to participate in each of these meets. If you are not sure whether your child should participate, ask your child's coach.
Most of the meets we attend are here locally, but a few require overnight travel. Because host teams change their plans mid-season, our meet schedule is updated from time to time, so always make sure you have the most current information. Each practice group has certain guidelines as to how many swim meets the swimmers in that group should attend. Please make sure you are aware of the guidelines set in place for your child's practice group.
How do I sign my child up for a swim meet?
In the weeks right before each swim meet you will receive a Meet Invitation Email with a link to the Meet Event Page. Notice that most meets, with the exception of the Race Day Meets, are divided into morning and afternoon sessions, based on swimmer age. Once you are logged in to your account, you will be able to declare your swimmer(s) for the meet by clicking on their name and selecting “Yes, please sign [child's name] up for this event” or “No, thanks, [child's name] will not attend this event”. There is also a Comment Box where you can let the coaches know of any specific requests, for example if your swimmer can only swim one day of the meet or if you have to leave the meet early. Your swimmer’s coach will then select the individual and relay events for your swimmer.
After the deadline to declare for the meet, you will then be able to login to your account, go to the Meet Event Page, click on your swimmer's name and view which events your swimmer is entered in for the meet. It is important that you check over your swimmer's events and let them know what they will be swimming in the meet. All swimmers should be able to communicate to their coach what events they are entered in that day.
What is NAC’s Swim Meet Entry Policy?
Athletes and parents are free to commit, decline, or de-commit to swim meets up until the meet deadline listed on the event landing page on the swimnac.com website. The swimnac.com website automatically enforces the deadline.
Once the deadline has passed, if space is available, athletes may be entered into the meet at meet management and coach discretion. Deck entries are an administrative challenge, so they are extremely discouraged and a last resort. Please make every reasonable effort to enter the meet by the deadline in order to secure a spot in the meet. Also, once the deadline is passed, athletes can NOT de-commit from the meet and will be liable for charges regardless of participation. Any circumstances that results in participations or non-participation of a committed meet will result in meet fees. Such circumstances include, but are not limited to: illness, change in plans, or commitment error.
The NAC staff works hard to keep the deadlines as close to meet entry deadlines as possible, often with less than 24 hour turn-around. Once a meet entry file has been sent from NAC to meet management, NAC is responsible for all the entries included in that report, regardless of swimmer participation. In turn, you will be responsible for the meet fees.
How do I sign up to volunteer for home swim meets?
Volunteer Opportunities are available online for all of our NAC hosted meets by clicking on the Job Signup button on the Meet Event Page. This is the only way you can sign up for specific volunteer opportunities and sessions that you want to work. Some jobs require you to be certified, such as officiating. If you are interested in becoming certified to officiate swim meets, you can contact Pat Kyriakidis (email@example.com). For all other questions regarding volunteering, please contact Peggy Goss (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Where do I stay for away meets?
For away meets, all travel and lodging information will be posted on the Meet Event Page. Generally, the team reserves a block of rooms near the competition pool. It is your responsibility to call the hotel and directly reserve one of the blocked rooms (or you may make your own arrangements).
Where can I find more specific information about each swim meet?
On the Meet Event Page there will be a Forms & Documents section at the bottom of the page. If you click on the Meet Information or Meet Invitation link, this document will contain all the specific information as to where and when the meet will take place, as well as exactly how the meet will be run. It is a good idea to read over this document before each meet. Please note that there is nothing for you to fill out or return in the Meet Invitation, it is purely for your informational purposes. Meet entries and billing are both done electronically and NAC will not accept written entry forms or checks for meet fees.
What are the costs involved in entering my child into a swim meet?
For every meet there are Meet Entry Fees that you will incur when you sign your child up for the meet. These fees change from meet to meet, but are listed in the Meet Information document for each meet. You will be charged for each individual event your child is entered in and each relay event your child participates in. In addition, there usually is a swimmer surcharge and a facility surcharge paid by each swimmer entered in the meet. The Meet Entry Fees will be calculated after each meet and billed to your account the following month. You can sign in to your account at any time to view your detailed monthly statement.
Please note that you are charged for each event your child is entered in at the meet and not for the events they participated in at the meet. Even if your child misses a race or does not show for the meet, you are still charged.
What should I bring to a swim meet?
Most venues offer a concession stand with drinks, food, and snacks available to purchase. Just to be safe, you should always pack your child nutritional snacks and water for each meet. Sessions usually last a few hours and you will need to make sure your child is well hydrated and fed to keep their energy level up. Keep in mind that swimmers should not be eat a big meal that will sit on their stomach right before a swim meet or during it.
Additionally, there is often a swim equipment vendor on site with swim suits, goggles, caps, and other gear for sale. It is safest, however, to come to the meet equipped with everything you think you will need, such as: ?
- Team/Competition swimsuit and a spare ?
- Goggles (an extra pair is strongly recommended) ?
- Team Cap (a NAC coach will have these available at every meet – $5 will be billed to your account if your child gets a cap from a coach) ?
- Towels & warm clothing to wear during the meet ?
- NAC t-shirt and other team wear ?
- Swim bag to keep it all organized ?
- Reading materials, games, cards, etc ?
- Lawn chairs and/or floor blankets
When should I arrive at a swim meet?
As a general rule, you need to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the team warm-up time. All swimmers, regardless of age, are required to attend team warm-ups. Doing a full warm-up with the team is a very important part of preparing you for competition. Showing up late, based on when you are swimming, or how you are feeling, can severely hinder your meet performance and will make your child susceptible to injury. It is also important to remember that swim meets are generally crowded, so getting their early will ensure that you find a comfortable spot to watch the meet.
General team warm-up times can be found in the Meet Information document. Please note that warm-up times are usually based upon the number of athletes entered in the meet and how long each session will run. This information is not usually known until the week of the meet, after all entries are in and the host team has put together a timeline for the meet. Your child's SPECIFIC warm-up time will be emailed out the week of the meet.
What is a Heat Sheet and where do I get one?
A Heat Sheet is a printed document of all the events of the meet, listed in heats, with each swimmer's lane assignment. This document contains information with every swimmer's name and seed time, organized into heat and lane assignments. The heat sheet is printed in the order that the swim meet will run from start to finish. There is also usually a timeline in the front of the heat sheet, which will show when each event is expected to start. You and your swimmer should be actively looking at and learning to read the heat sheet during the meet. It is imperative that you have one to reference before each of your child's races. It is also a good place to record your swimmer’s times.
Every invitational and open swim meet will have a table set up with heat sheets for sale. Some of the meets will sell one heat sheet for the entire meet and others will sell separate heat sheets for each session. The only exception is with our NAC Race Day meets. For these meets, typically a link to the heat sheet is posted online the day before the meet for each family to print out.
Do I need to write my child's events on their arm or anywhere else on their body?
Swimmers of all ages should learn how to read a heat sheet and be aware of their event, heat and lane assignments. Swimmers should not get in the habit of writing reminders on their body. All parents should purchase a heat sheet for their family to refer to throughout the meet. Also, coaches have heat sheets available for your swimmer to look at in case they forget their heat and lane assignment on their way to their event. Keep in mind that your child need only remember one heat and one lane assignment per event. They will have time between their races to check back in with a coach or a parent for their next heat and lane assignment.
How will my child know where to report before his/her race?
Generally, it is the swimmer’s responsibility to get to his/her events on time. Some meets will have a Clerk of Course for the younger swimmers. This is a designated place at the meet where they can check in before each of their races and volunteers will help direct them to their correct heat and lane. In the event that a meet is running a Clerk of Course, all swimmers should still know their own heat and lane assignments for each race.
Parents should always be paying attention to what is going on in the pool. Current event numbers and heat numbers will be clearly indicated on the scoreboard at all times. For your first couple swim meets, it is recommended that you follow along in the heat sheet and watch the meet as this will be the best way to become accustomed to how a swim meet is run. If you have any questions during the meet, the best people to ask are those sitting around you in the bleachers. Veteran families can be a great resource in helping you navigate your way through your first couple swim meets.
What interaction will my child have with their coach during the meet?
Your child's coach is at the meet, not as a spectator, but as a coach. She/he will be on the pool deck evaluating every race. All swimmers must talk to their coach before each of their races. During this time, the coach will provide individualized instruction to your swimmer, as well as remind them about disqualification rules and teach them about race strategy.
In addition, after every race, all swimmers must report to their coach to discuss their performance. The coach has just watched the race and by taking this time to communicate with the coach, your child will be receiving individualized feedback while it is still fresh on the coach's mind. Swimmers who actively communicate with their coach both before and after their races become better swimmers, as well as build lasting relationships with their coaches.
Please note that your child's swim coach is the best resource for them before and after their races. Usually there are specific skills that your child is working on in practice that the coach will want them to perform in that particular meet. Your child will develop skills gradually throughout the season and the coach has a season plan in mind when instructing your child at swim meets. Please refrain from giving your child additional feedback regarding their races as this may conflict with what they are learning from their coaches.
How do I know if my child is swimming on a relay?
Relays are compiled at the sole discretion of the NAC coaching staff. Your child will need to check with a coach at the meet, either after warm-ups or after their last race, as to whether or not they are on a relay that day. Relays are typically not decided until the day of the meet. Once the relays are posted or announced to the swimmers, it is the swimmer's responsibility to report to their coach well before the relay event is set to start. The coaches do not have time to search the facility for missing relay swimmers, so please make sure you know when the relay is and where your child needs to report. If all four swimmers do not report on time, the entire relay cannot swim.
Typically relay cards need to be turned in before the start of the meet. If your child is late or not there for warm-ups they will be removed from their relay, as the coaching staff will have no way of verifying their availability for the relay. In addition, sometimes relays change or are swum during a finals session of the meet. Please make sure you check with a coach after your child’s last individual event to see if your child will be swimming on a relay.
As a parent, am I allowed access to the pool deck at a swim meet?
For safety and security reasons, swim meets do not usually allow parents on the pool deck. Parents may ask the coaches questions before or after the session, but not when the coach is on deck.
In addition, parents should refrain from directly speaking with the meet officials about questions or concerns specific to their child. These issues need to be communicated to a NAC coach at an appropriate time. Your coach will, if necessary, address issues with the officials. Swim officials can expel swimmers and parents from meets if they feel they are being challenged or harassed.
What is the difference between Short Course (SC) and Long Course (LC)?
Very simply,short course takes place in a 25 yard or meter pool whereas long course takes place in a 50 meter pool. Short Course is normally noted as SCY for Short Course Yards or SCM for Short Course Meters. Long Course is sometime noted as LCM for Long Course Meters. Short Course season normally runs from late summer/early fall through winter. Long Course usually begins in the spring and extends through the summer months. NOTE: When the pool is set up to begin practice for Long Course, there are fewer lanes available for each group's practice. Therefore, during this period, practice schedules may be adjusted to allow the appropriate number of swimmers/per lane.
Neither NAC or USA Swimming endorses any conversion factors between different courses.
Answers to general time questions can be found at: USA Swimming General Times Questions & Information