Here is all the information you need to know about our swim and dive teams. If you are considering becoming a member of the team, please review all of this information, especially the Swim Team Handbook.
When practice starts in May the team practices at night from 5-8 pm for all competitive team swimmers. Rookies do not start until later. 8 & unders practice from 5-6 pm. 9-10 year old practice from 6-7 pm. 11 & up practice from 6-8 pm. Once school is out the regular practice times are as follows. 7-8 am M-F is open to all age swimmers. 8-9 am is for 8 & under swimmers. 9-10 am is for 9-10 year old swimmers. Night time practice is for swimmers 11 & up and they practice from 7-9 pm every night except meet nights. The morning of a swim meet all swimmers entered in the meet will attend practice. Those not entered in the meet are not eligible to practice that morning. We do not allow "For Your Convenience" practices. What does that mean? If you have one child whose practice time is 8-9 am and another child whose practice time is 9-10 am, they may not swim at the same time.
The swim team is for children ages 4 to 18, as of May 31st. Four year-olds are only eligible for the "Rookie Team.” Swimmers ages 5 to 8 may be placed on the regular team OR the rookie team, based on their proficiency and willingness, at the coaches’ discretion. You must be a Cobb County resident to participate in the rookie program or swim on the swim team; however, you do not have to be a Smyrna resident to participate.
You do not have to know all the strokes, and you do not have to be a great swimmer. Practices and meets are a great deal of fun for swimmers and parents alike. You’ll probably find many of your neighbors in attendance. We generally have 150 swimmers on the Hammerheads and on the Makos. We do usually fill up all of the spots on the swim team, so please register as quickly as possible after online registration opens.
Developmental "Rookie” Group and Beginning Swimmers of all Ages
Our developmental "rookie” group is intended to be a transition between swimming lessons and the swim team. Some rookies move up to the regular team after a few weeks (at the coaches' discretion and as space allows), and others are happy to stay on the rookie team for several seasons. Many of our rookie swimmers continue with swimming lessons while they are on the rookie team. Rookies must be willing to get in the pool and must be able to propel themselves independently through the water. Style is not important. This group will generally practice at the same time as the 10 and under age groups in the mornings only. These swimmers will have their own informal "rookie races” and ribbons will be awarded to all swimmers. As they become able to swim the length of the pool, they may be able to move to the regular team and be included in the regular meets as space allows (at the coaches’ discretion).
Swimmers who are 9 or older who cannot yet swim the length of the pool (two lengths of the pool for ages 11 and up) without stopping are still welcome to join the team. These swimmers will not be eligible to swim in meets until they can swim the one (or two) lap(s) without stopping (requires coach approval). This usually doesn’t take long!
WHEN AND WHERE
We practice at Tolleson Park Pool on King Springs Road in Smyrna. We generally start practice in early May several evenings each week. Once school is out, we begin morning practices (for swimmers 10 and younger) and evening practices (for swimmers 11 and older). Our most recent season’s calendar can be accessed from this website for an idea of the schedule; however, we cannot guarantee that practice times will be the same from one season to the next because the number of swimmers we have in each age group does change each season. We make every effort to balance the size of our practice groups, so practice times for each age group will be decided after registration and swim evaluations are completed. Swimmers are placed in practice groups based on their age, not their team assignment. If your child is assigned to the Makos, but has friends the same age on the Hammerheads, they will practice together.
Attendance is not taken, and there are no requirements. It is up to you whether or not your availability to participate is worth the investment.
There are usually 5 regular season meets during the season. Each swimmer may swim in a maximum of 3 individual events and 2 relay events at each meet. Each swimmer is awarded a ribbon each time (s)he swims. Generally swimmers compete in heats with swimmers of similar skill levels. (I.e., the faster swimmers compete together, and the slower swimmers compete together). Five weekly weeknight meets (during June) generally last from 6 pm to 9:30 pm (ages 5 to 6 finish around 8 pm). In mid-July swimmers are encouraged to compete at the GRPA (Ga Recreation and Parks Administration) District 5 Swim Meet (Saturday). The top 3 finishers in each event may then advance to compete in the GRPA State Swim Meet on Friday (younger ages) or Saturday (older age groups) two weeks later in July. Several times brand new swimmers have surprised themselves by qualifying for the State Meet during their first season on the swim team!
Number of Swimmers and Wait List
The Cobb County Swim League only allows each team to have 120 swimmers participate in a regular season meet. However, we can and do have more swimmers than that on the team. During the summer, many swimmers are not able to attend all of the meets. If more than 120 swimmers sign-up to participate in a swim meet, we may look at a number of different factors to determine who will swim in the meet such as registration order, gender/age needs for that specific meet, as well as fulfillment or progress towards meeting volunteer requirements. It is very unusual for more than 120 swimmers to sign-up for a meet; however, it is a possibility. We do the best we can to maximize the number of kids on the team while trying to limit the number of kids who cannot swim in the meets for which they are available.
If we do see more kids interested in registering than we can hope to accommodate, we will start a wait list. We will take people off that wait list as late as mid-May.
Swimsuits and Other Equipment
Each registered swimmer will receive a team t-shirt with their registration fee. Each swimmer will be able to purchase a team swimsuit before the season starts (strongly encouraged, but not required). Rookies may purchase a swimsuit but are certainly not expected to. The price of the suits is generally around $50 for girls and approximately $35 for the boys. We also prefer that each swimmer and rookie purchase a pair of training fins (not the recreational ones) for approximately $18. Girls (and boys with longer hair) will need to purchase a swim cap for both practice and meets. All the prices mentioned above may change each season. The swimmers will also need a pair of swimming goggles (again, not the recreational type). Each swimmer will be required to furnish the team with a copy of his/her birth certificate by the first meet.
Communication (e-mail, web site, folders)
Once you have registered, you will be expected to read and agree to abide by the swim team policies as communicated on this web site and in other team communications. The primary form of communication for the swim team is via e-mail and the team web site. You are expected to provide us with an e-mail address when you register. We also use folders at the pool during practice to distribute ribbons and paperwork. Your swimmer should check his/her folder each time (s)he is at practice.
Various volunteer positions must be staffed by parent volunteers, primarily at the regular season meets. Swim meets are fairly "labor intensive” and require a great deal of parent participation. (This does not apply to parents of "rookie” swimmers). The best part is that when you’re working as a timer, place judge, etc., you usually have a better "seat” for watching the races. Each family will be expected to fulfill its "fair share” of volunteer shifts during meets. Each shift is half of a meet. Generally families need to work approximately 4-6 shifts each, but that requirement may vary. Most of these jobs are simple, and we will provide appropriate training.
If you are interested in swimming on the swim team (being an active participant in both practice and meets) and being a paid junior coach, please send an email to Leigh Landon at email@example.com. We will make final selections of junior coaches by the end of April. The number of hours junior coaches will be scheduled is at the discretion of the head coach and the coordinators and will depend on experience, availability and performance. A junior coach must be 15 by June 1st.
Registration, Fees, Priorities, Refunds, and Deadlines
Registration is handled online on a first-come, first-served basis.
The swim team registration fee is $160 per swimmer This includes a new $15 surcharge that must be paid to the City of Smyrna for each swimmer. Additionally, there is a charge of $25 per swimmer if you reside outside the city limits of Smyrna. If you decide to not participate after registration, you can receive a full refund by making a request before the first scheduled day of practice. If we have already placed an order for your child's t-shirt, you will receive a refund less the cost of your child's t-shirt. On the first scheduled day of practice, all registrations are final and we cannot issue any refunds. Full refunds will be issued to those who remain on the wait list.