What is Freedom Aquatics?
Freedom Aquatics is an all-encompassing aquatics program offering learn to swim programs from beginners to experts as well as a USA Swimming registered, competitive swim team.
How do we join Freedom Aquatics?
All swimmers’ journeys start with a brief, in-water, assessment to determine the most appropriate level for them to train(tryout). If your child is interested in the competitive side of our aquatics program, they will need to show competence in all four strokes and the ability to complete at least one lap of each. If your child is new to swimming, our staff will determine which level of our “learn to swim” program or which group of our “swim team” they are suited for.
What is the registration process?
Following your swimmers’ assessment during tryout, you will receive a follow-up email. This email will state the level or group your child has qualified for as well as a link to register. The Freedom Aquatics policies are outlined in detail during the registration process so please read carefully.
What is the difference between your “swim school” and “competitive swim team”?
Our swim school is the non-competitive area of our aquatics program offering lessons, stroke development and conditioning in a fun, non-competitive environment. Although the majority of participants in this program are beginners with an ultimate desire to swim competitively, there are also skill development and intermediate groups made up of swimmers who choose to continue their growth but do not desire to swim competitively.
Our swim team is the competitive area of our aquatics program. The team is comprised of swimmers (most are graduates of our swim school) who choose to continue their growth in a competitive, more demanding environment.
Can my swimmer choose to swim competitively after enrolling in a “swim school” program?
Yes. The majority of our “learn to swim” program members ultimately decide to tryout and continue their swim journey on our swim team.
How does my swimmer move from “learn to swim” to the “competitive swim team”?
At any time during your swimmers learn to swim session, you may receive an email informing you that his/her instructor feels that they are ready to “move up”. This move may be from a Beginner 1 class to a Beginner 2 or from a Beginner 3 class to a Novice Prep class. These promotions are a sign of your child’s progression and improvement as the instructor feels that they are able to handle a more difficult level of training. Ultimately, after completing a Pre-competitive or Novice prep level, you (and your child) will need to decide if they wish to continue swimming non-competitively or transfer over to the competitive swim team.
My child has swam competitively before, do they need to start at the learn to swim program?
No. Swimmers with previous experience will state this on their tryout form and after a coach’s evaluation be placed in one of our competitive swim team groups.
Does Freedom Aquatics have a “Code of Conduct”?
Yes. You can review our Code of Conduct, here.
What do I do if my swimmer has an issue with a teammate?
First commend your child for confiding in you, then encourage them to speak directly with their coach to let them know about the “issue”. The coach will then work with the swimmers to help them find a resolution. However, understand that some situations and social dynamics cannot be controlled by the coach.
In the case of younger swimmers, parents are encouraged to contact their group coach if the child does not have the confidence to approach the coach on their own. Don’t wait and let a situation grow worse! The best way to reach your child’s coach in confidence is to text or email them.
My child is having an issue with a coach.
At Freedom Aquatics, we believe it is vital that swimmer-coach-parent work together to help the swimmer have a positive experience. If your swimmer is having an issue with the coach, we recommend that you email the coach and express your specific concern and then request a time to meet in person with all involved (swimmer, coach, parents). Communication is the KEY to resolving any issue.
What if I have any questions or concerns?
If you have concerns of any kind, it is vital that you communicate your thoughts to your child’s coach. Developing a trusting relationship between the swimmer, coach and parent is one of the keys to success. The best way to reach our coaches is through our team email system. If you are not sure how to reach your child’s coach, please click here for their contact information.
I don’t think my swimmer is improving?
There are many factors involved in a child’s swim progression. Our coaching staff works hard to know each of their swimmer’s individual stage of progression and growth in the sport. Swimmers improve at different rates, which are determined by numerous factors. Your child’s location coach will have unique insight into their training habits, which are related to their meet performances.
I am interested in freezing or cancelling my membership. Will I receive a refund/credit for the remaining practices?
The tuition for your individual swimmer secures their spot on the team and covers the entire year. The 4 Installments payment plan which is in place is a courtesy provided to our clients to limit the impact of a “pay in full” policy. Expenses for your swimmer fluctuate throughout the season and payments made later in the season may still be covering expenses that were encountered earlier in their season.In addition, when you enter into this payment schedule you agree to make the 4 payments on or before their due date. By cancelling or freezing your membership prior to making all payments you are in violation of this agreement and therefore registration of your swimmer into any of our programs in the future may include any or all of this remaining balance.
I am not receiving any Freedom Aquatics emails related to Competitive Swim Team. What should I do?
First, you should check your SPAM folder of your mail and if you see any of emails from Freedom Aquatics, you should mark it as “not spam” to continue receiving our emails in your mailbox. If no Freedom Aquatics emails are found in your SPAM folder, please email Admin@freedomaquatics.com to report the problem.
Please remember reporting emails from Freedom Aquatics as SPAM may lead to automatic blockage of your email address in Team Unify system causing You to miss important messages about events and schedules related to the Swim Team.
I am not getting important text messages about last minute schedule changes on my phone. What should I do?
You should check that the right cell number and carrier are listed on your account. Incorrect carriers will cause text messages not to go through. Therefore, we should be notified of any changes to your carrier and/or cell number. To update your number and/or carrier please email to firstname.lastname@example.org
What are the different levels within the Swim School?
Beginner 1 – is the entry level of Learn to Swim Program and are based on a “two to one” ratio with one of our instructors (2:1) Swimmers are beginning to get comfortable in the water and get ready to learn how to submerge and exhale. They learn to float prone and supine without floats; to push and glide from the wall; to kick front crawl and backcrawl with rhythmic breathing.
Beginner 2 – is a second level of Learn to Swim program and classes are based on a “four to one” ratio with one of our instructors (4:1) Swimmers should be able to propel 4-6 feet on their front without an aid. They continue to learn floating and kicking on front and back; to submerge with eyes open. They begin to master rhythmic breathing and develop bilateral breathing. Students combine stroke on front and back (arms and legs coordination); they push off wall, glide, kick and exhale 4 -7 yards. They also perform jumps and sitting dives and get introduced to deep water.
Beginner 3 – classes are for swimmers who have passed the first two beginner’s levels and based on a “five to one” ratio with one of our instructors (5:1) In this class they learn: arm strokes, leg kicks and breathing coordination, as well as rotation, treading water, floating, submerging and changing directions. Swimmers are introduced to the technical fundamentals of backstroke and freestyle with rotary breathing; to the rudiments of breaststroke and butterfly, as well as sitting and standing dives.
Skill Development A is our entry level group for younger swimmers (9 years and younger) with a desire to swim on our competitive team. These future competitive swimmers will continue to develop and improve in all four strokes as they prepare for Novice or Junior Prep (next Team level group) through our structured “Technique Excellence” drill program. Skill Development A is one step away from the Competitive Team Level. No meets are required for this group.
Upon completion of Skill Development A, Individuals may opt to continue their journey in our “non-competitive” segment (Technique Development) instead of joining the competitive swim team.
Skill Development B is our entry level group for swimmers (9 and over). Swimmers will train for promotion to either a Junior or Senior level group based on their age and abilities. Athletes will continue to develop and improve their techniques in all four competitive strokes including starts and turns. Through our structured “Technique Excellence” drill program swimmers will find a comfort and confidence in the water. No meets are required for this group.
Upon completion of Skill Development B, Individuals may opt to continue their journey in our “non-competitive” segment (Technique Development) instead of joining the competitive swim team.
Technique Development A – at intermediate level swimmers will continue to improve their technique in all four competitive strokes. Focus is on improving all technique details including starts, turns and finishes. Swimmers are introduced to pace work and the ability to build their “swimming endurance”. Swimmers may opt, with instructors approval, to transfer to a competitive level group, if desired.
The equivalent competitive group may be Novice or Junior Prep depending on the swimmers age and individual development level.
Technique Development B – Advanced level emphasizes stroke refinement, competitive techniques, and personal safety. Swimmers will become “better oriented” with pace work and will continue to build their endurance level. Swimmers may opt, with instructors approval, to transfer to a competitive level group, if desired.
The equivalent competitive group may be Junior or Senior depending on the swimmers age and individual development level.
What are the different groups that make up the competitive Swim Team?
Novice is our entry level team group. Young athletes will be introduced to a proper technique for all four competitive strokes including starts and turns. Through our structured Technique Excellence drill program swimmers will find comfort and confidence in the water. Swimmers will learn how to work together as a team and have fun at the same time.
- JUNIOR PREP
The Junior Prep group is geared toward those young people who have shown dedication to the sport of swimming. Training is designed to improve the young swimmers’ technique while introducing them to interval and pace training. This group capitalizes on the swimmer’s enthusiasm for swimming as they learn to train in a fun and friendly environment. Swimmers are introduced to fundamental competitive skills with an emphasis on learning and improving their starts and flip turns.
This group is designed for dedicated competitive swimmers. The focus of this group is to improve swimmers technique, build an endurance base and develop enthusiasm for swimming. Swimmers must attend 3-4 practices a week. Additional dryland training might be required for swimmers at this level.
This group is designed for dedicated competitive swimmers. The focus of this group is to improve swimmer’s technique, build an endurance base and develop enthusiasm for swimming. Swimmers must attend 3-4 practices a week. Additional dryland training is required for swimmers at this level.
This group is designed for young competitive advanced top-level swimmers. The focus of this group will be on technique improvement and conditioning. Swimmers will be challenged with an intense training program which will consist of a combination of yardage and ability to training at different levels and speeds. Swimmers must attend up to 4 practices a week. Additional dryland training is required for swimmers at this level.
- SELECT PERFORMANCE
This group is designed for skilled and experienced swimmers who would like to improve their technique and overall performance level. Swimmers will be challenged with appropriate to this level training in and out of the water. Besides qualification standards, swimmers must be committed to consistent training at the highest possible level. Swimmers must attend 5-6 practices a week. Additional dryland training is required for swimmers at this level.
- ELITE PERFORMANCE
This group is designed for the most dedicated, top level, competitive senior swimmers. Correct stroke technique is emphasized in each training session. This group is the most intense training group, preparing swimmers to compete at regional, national and international levels. Besides qualification standards, swimmers must be committed to consistent training at the highest and most challenging levels. Availability in this group will be very limited. Selection process for this group is based on swimmer’s: practice performance, meet performance, attitude and sportsmanship. Swimmers must attend 5-6 practices a week. Double practices, when available, are mandatory. Additional dryland training is required for this level of swimmers.
What is the “Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy” and why am I being asked to sign written acknowledgements?
The Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention policies are completely new and are part of a congressional mandate that USA Swimming and other amateur sports organizations and governing bodies implement policies and procedures that limit one-on-one interactions between minor athletes and adults who are not their parent/legal guardian.
USA Swimming’s MAAP policies affect one-on-one meetings/training, social media, electronic communications (such as text messages and email), travel and more. The MAAP policies are designed to protect both minors and adults, and sports across the country are enacting similar measures. The USA Swimming Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention (MAAP) policies can be found here (insert link).
As a amateur sports team we are required to have all members and parents sign a written acknowledgement that they have read and understand the Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policy. These written acknowledgements must be completed annually and will therefore be a part of all registrations going forward.
My child is not part of a carpool and does not travel with coaches. Why am I being asked to sign a transportation waiver?
We are asking all parents to sign this waiver so that we can keep them on file at our offices in the event of an emergency that requires a member of Freedom Aquatics or a fellow parent to provide transportation for your swimmer.
I am currently swimming for another USA swim team but wish to swim on the Freedom Aquatics Team?
During the registration process you will be asked to complete a transfer form. During the transfer process (120 days) you will swim “Unattached”. You will be a member of Freedom Aquatics but will be registered for swim meet as Unattached – Freedom. If you are currently coached by another USA club coach, please notify them that you are registering to compete for the Freedom Aquatics Swim Team. If you have further questions regarding this, please email us at Admin@freedomaquatics.com
What exactly does “Unattached” mean?
A swimmer in “Unattached” status can still practice with a team, be part of team activities, but cannot score, or post times as a member of that team, until their 120-day waiting period is over. Unattached swimmers cannot compete in any relays at Championship meets.
How long is a swim season?
A typical swim season runs from September till the end of July. Although, some swimmers may qualify for meets that extend their swim season into early August.
How do I know what equipment my swimmer needs and where to buy it?
There is a basic list that all swimmers need for training. Please see your group under the Training Group Tab.
Does my child need to wear the team swimsuit during practice? During a meet? What brand and where do I buy it?
Not during practice. In fact, to reduce wear-and-tear the team swimsuit should only be worn during meets. The suit may change from year to year. To see the required swimsuit please visit the required equipment under your training group tab.
Where can I find my swimmers practice schedule?
On our Team Calendar. Choose Your group under Your location.
Can I stay and watch my child’s swim practice?
You’re welcome to watch. Please watch from the balconies (when available) and refrain from communicating with your child or their coaches during practice. Practice is a time where coaches build bonds with their swimmers that will be valuable in their growth and development.
In addition, when siblings attend practice please make sure they remain quiet and refrain from distracting swimmers or coaches during practice.
What is a Time Standard?
Competitive swimming is broken into time standards in order to appropriately group swimmers and provide achievement milestones. For the latest Metro Swimming time standards, please click on the following link: https://www.teamunify.com/team/mrlsc/page/times/time-standards
My swimmer is unable to attend a practice this week. Can he/she attend a makeup or different group practice?
No. There are no makeups or practice schedule changes offered as part of the competitive swim team.
While we encourage all swimmers to attend as many practices as possible, each practice has a per lane swimmer limit so that each swimmer may get the most out of their respective practices. Therefore, we cannot allow swimmers to participate in practices for which they are not scheduled.
What are Short Course and Long Course Seasons?
Freedom Aquatics competes in 2 seasons (which makes us a year-round team) in accordance with USA Swimming. Short Course vs Long Course refers to the length of the pool, not the length of the season.
Short Course Season:
- Runs September – March
- All competitions are held in a 25-yard pool
- Meets generally start in September and end in March
- Swimmers build on their training to peak at the end of the season at Bronze, Silver, Junior Olympics, Age Group Championships, Senior Mets and Sectionals.
Long Course Season:
- Runs April-July
- Meets generally start in May and end in July
- All competitions are held in a 50-meter pool (like you see at the Olympics)
- Swimmers build on their training to peak at the end of the season at Bronze, Silver, Junior Olympics, Age Group Championships, Senior Mets and Sectionals.
Are there any Tech Suit restrictions for any swimmers?
Yes, The tech suit restrictions, proposed by the Age Group Development Committee, will go into effect for 12-and-under swimmers beginning September 1, 2020. Below are complete lists of the suits that will be restricted for athletes 12 and under, and then a list of those tech suits that will be allowed for athletes 12 and under:
I understand that Freedom Aquatics has switched to a monthly payment program. Why the change and can you please explain the details?
We have switched to a monthly payment system due to the uncertainty that the current “Corona” environment has presented. The monthly payment plan, that has been adopted by many USA Swimming teams, allows clients the flexibility to opt out at anytime without being locked in to a full year commitment. With this monthly plan you may notify us of your decision to opt out and you will only be responsible for the current month, no future payment obligation.
SWIM MEET & ENTRY PROCEDURES
When does my child start attending swim meets?
Swimmers will be notified by their location coach when they are eligible to attend swim meets. Eligibility is determined by a swimmers abilities as well as other determining factors.
How many meets will my child participate in?
Freedom Aquatics attends, on average, 1 swim meet per month. Depending on your child’s abilities, they may qualify for additional “Championship” meets.
Does my child have to participate in every meet?
Meets are optional but swimmers are encouraged to attend whenever possible. Swim meets are a great measuring tool to gauge your child’s progression while providing invaluable experience at the competitive level.
How do I know which events my swimmer should enter in a meet?
The good news is that you don’t have to worry about this. The coaching staff has a training and meet plan for each swimmer and will choose those events.
How do I register for a meet? What if I am unable to attend or can only attend on certain days of the meet?
Freedom Aquatics swimmers are automatically registered for every meet that Freedom Aquatics is scheduled to attend. It is the parents responsibility to opt out of a swim meet that they are unable to attend.
Prior to a scheduled swim meet, as a parent, you will receive an email announcement of a swim meet that Freedom Aquatics is planning to attend. This email will contain the first draft of events that your swimmer has been entered in by their coach (1st Draft). Please review the days, sessions and events that they are scheduled to participate. After reviewing this information please send a *text message to their location coach via their work number with any necessary changes, ie. unable to attend, can only attend certain days, etc. See Coaches contact info HERE.
Several weeks prior to the meet, you will receive a second email (Final Draft). This email will contain the final list of entries (with any changes you requested). This will be your final opportunity to make any changes before entries are submitted to the Meet host and Meet fees are incurred. Please review this file carefully, any changes received after the due date of this email will not be accepted and meet fees will NOT be refunded/credited.
*Text messaging is the only form of communication for meet entry changes. Conveying your preferences through email or verbally to coaches and/or administrators is not acceptable and may result in the changes not being made and meet fees to be incurred.
I noticed there were relays at the last meet we attended. Why wasn’t my child chosen? Why were some swimmers in the relay not swimming their best stroke?
Relay entries are computer generated and provide coaches with the fastest combination of swimmers by gender and age group.
What does DQ mean?
Disqualification – This can happen for a variety of reasons including starting early (false start), performing an illegal stroke or turn, etc. The reason for the DQ is usually listed on the results sheet.
Why is there an entry deadline for swim meets and why do I have to pay the fees if my swimmer can’t attend if they were entered?
Meet entries are due to the Meet host club weeks before the meet. Once the entries are submitted, the swimmer’s spot is secured and Freedom Aquatics has guaranteed payment to the host team. Changes cannot be made after the deadline.
My credit card was charged for “Meet Fees” but the amount is different from last month’s meet?
What is the Bolles Training Trip? And who is eligible to attend?
The Bolles training trip is an annual trip for swimmers to the Bolles Academy to train in a long-course (50 meter) pool in preparation for the upcoming long-course season.*
All Freedom Aquatics competitive Swim Team members whose accounts are active and in good standing may attend this trip. There are no cut or time standards required for eligibility.
(See Bolles Training Trip event on website for more information)
*All swimmers must be accompanied by a parent or guardian on this trip. Coaches will not be responsible for supervision of swimmers outside of the training times and/or facility.
My credit card was charged for “Meet Fees” but the amount is different from last month’s meet?
Meet fee’s vary by location, host and level of meet. Meet fees are listed in the information packet for each meet.
What do the meet fees for Freedom Aquatics home meets include?
The meet fees for Freedom Aquatics home meets include:
Event fee per event per swimmer ($8-$15). The total amount will depend on the number of events your swimmer(s) are entered.
Facility Surcharge ($15);
A $10 Freedom Aquatics surcharge. (This surcharge will be added to your meet fees for each meet your swimmer(s) attend and will be billed per family (not per swimmer or event). The $10 surcharge fee will be charged to your account if your swimmer(s) are attending at least one day of the meet, or if at least one swimmer of your family is attending a meet.
You might be charged other Fees such as COVID fee, Heat Sheet Fee, Live Stream Fee when required etc.
What is Freedom Aquatics swim meet surcharge fee?
A $10 Freedom Aquatics surcharge fee. This surcharge will be added to your meet fees for each meet your swimmer(s) attend and will be billed per family (not per swimmer or event). The $10 surcharge fee will be charged to your account if your swimmers are attending at least one day of the meet, or if at least one swimmer of your family is attending a meet
What is the Freedom Meet Surcharge fee used for?
It is an administrative fee used for various things including, but not limited to:
Offset some of the costs incurred by coaches when attending away meets or meets requiring an overnight stay;
Any items or services that will benefit or enhance our swimmers experience;
Training Equipment, Trainers, Nutritionists, etc;
Scholarships to Training Trips and Clinics and/or to offset the cost of these events for the team as a whole.