COMPETITION PROGRAM & PHILOSOPHY
TNT Swimming is a Senior National oriented and Age Group swimming team. Our competition program is based on the premise that each and every swimmer will reach his or her full potential in senior swimming. The six levels of instruction and training are designed to allow for gradual development to senior level competition, insuring along the way that all swimmers of all ages and abilities are provided a competition schedule consistent with their individual development.
We believe that young and inexperienced swimmers benefit from frequent competition. On the other hand, as swimmers grow older and become more experienced, they need fewer meets and derive increased value from additional training sessions. TNT’s schedule is set with this consideration in mind.
TNT’s coaching staff reserves the right to establish the meet schedule each swimmer will follow. Any deviations from this schedule must be approved by the Head Coach.
Our team goal meets, on which we place the most emphasis each season, are the Southeastern Short Course Championships, Southeastern Long Course Championships, Junior National and Senior National Championships. We expect all team members who are qualified to swim these meets to contribute to the TNT effort.
TNT engages in a multilevel competition program within USA Swimming, Inc. that, like our training program, attempts to provide challenging, yet success – oriented competitive situations for swimmers of all ages and abilities.
I. Classified Age – Group Program
In Age - Group competition, swimmers compete within divisions determined by age on the first day of the meet. Divisions include: 10 & under, 11 – 12, 13 – 14, 15 – 16, and 17 – 18. At some meets, 8 & under and 6 & under events are included. In Southeastern Swimming there are various classifications for Age – Group competition. Time standards for these classifications are established by USA Swimming, Inc. In order to swim in a certain classification, a swimmer must achieve the qualifying times for that particular classification.
II. Junior Nationals
One of the higher levels of achievement TNT swimmers strive for is participation in the Junior National Championships. Swimmers age 18 and younger meeting the qualifying standards for this meet travel to locations throughout the country to compete against the best young swimmers in the nation.
III. Senior Nationals
Other than the Olympic Trials and World Championship Trials, each of which is held once every four years, the highest level of competition for our senior swimmers is the USA National Swimming Championships. As with the Junior Nationals, TNT swimmers meeting the national time standards travel to various cities in the U.S. to compete against America’s best swimmers. By their performance in these meets, swimmers can qualify for teams that engage in international competition.
TNT TRAINING PROGRAM
This is the entry level of the program designed to provide a fun learning experience as a means of introduction to the sport of competitive swimming. Our objective is to combine the natural fun of being in the pool with an enjoyable learning atmosphere to develop coordination of movement relative to the four competitive strokes (butterfly, backstroke, breastroke, freestyle), and diving. Learning pool safety, basic rules of the sport, and sportsmanship round out the list of objectives for this group.
Participants include novice swimmers age 12 and younger. This level offers a higher volume of coordination based training, utilizing games and drills designed to make the learning experience fun. Goals include an introduction to competitive swimming starts, turns,and skills, designed to compliment the continued development of the four strokes, as well as developing a working knowledge of the rules of the sport, learning fundamental racing techniques, and how time relates to a successful performance.
Participants at this level are generally ages 9 to 11 and have previously developed a fundamental ability to perform each of the four competitive strokes, including the ability to dive safely. Advanced technique instruction is presented by combining fun and challenging conditions in preparation for competition. Objectives are to develop a high degree of proficiency within each participant’s ability to perform the four competitive strokes, as well as starting and turning techniques. A thorough understanding of the rules of the sport, teamwork, and learning to set goals highlight the objectives of this group.
Senior Prep 1
This group is a progression from level 3 with swimmers age eleven and older in mind. Swimmers in this group will begin to experience longer bouts of exercise, also with a high degree of stroke mechanic proficiency at the core of the learning program. Greater consistency is expected from these participants with regard to effective turning and underwater propulsion techniques. Goal setting, learning effective training techniques and race strategies, as well as the value of proper rest and nutrition are among the main objectives of this group.
Senior Prep 2
This group is comprised of swimmers age 11 and older who train six days a week, but are not yet qualified for TNT's top Senior group This group regularly experiences extended bouts of exercise, including land and water training. A consistantly high degree of mechanical proficiency and self motivation is expected from all participants at this level. Greater consistency is expected with regard to effective turning and underwater propulsion techniques. Goal setting, employing effective training techniques and race strategies, as well as the value of proper rest and nutrition are among the main objectives of this group.
Participants at this level are the oldest, most dedicated and experienced swimmers on TNT. These swimmers are expected to consistently perform the accumulated skills presented throughout the TNT level progression, combined with a high level of fatigue during training sessions. Goal setting and goal achievement, training and racing strategies, rest and nutrition, as well as assuming positive leadership roles within the team characterize the main objectives of this group.
At each level of training below level 5, we expect our swimmers to have as their goal moving up to the next level.
SWIM MEET PROCEDURES
1. Warm up
a. Warm ups are always conducted by a member of TNT’s coaching staff; parents should never interfere or participate in the warm – up procedure. This is the coach’s role.
b. Warm up times are pre – assigned and are included on all meet invitations. Parents are also encouraged to check the TNT web site prior to the meet to check warm up time assignments. In order to take full advantage of the allotted time, all TNT swimmers are expected to be present and ready to begin at least 15 minutes prior to warm up time.
c. Team members are required to warm up with the team. The only exceptions will be when a youngster has made special arrangements with the coaching staff for reasons which will be considered on an individual basis. However, these situations must be brought to the attention of the coaching staff prior to the late arrival of the swimmer.
d. It is important that swimmers and parents alike understand that a good warm up is an essential part of successful performance. Each youngster in TNT’s program deserves every opportunity available to be successful. Warm up is one of those opportunities!
2. It is customary for TNT to have a “team area” at meets and to sit together as a group. This helps promote team unity and spirit. When a swimmer first arrives at a meet, he or she should find the team area.
3. It is the responsibility of the swimmer to obtain a heat sheet and check to see if you are properly entered in your events. If there is a mistake, discuss it with your coach so he or she can take corrective action.
4. At the conclusion of each race the swimmer should ask for his or her unofficial time from the timers. Upon receiving this time, the swimmers are asked to come immediately to the coaching staff present at the meet. This gives the coaches an opportunity to discuss the race with the swimmer and add positive comments concerning stroke techniques, splits, race strategy, etc.
5. The coaching staff shall have the final word about the events in which a swimmer competes at a meet. TNT members are never to scratch or late enter an event without first consulting one of the coaches. In a meet with preliminaries and finals it is expected that any TNT swimmer qualifying to swim in the finals shall do so.
6. As a matter of courtesy to the officials and meet hosts, TNT prefers that swimmers and parents stay off the deck and competition venue unless they are competing or serving in an official capacity.
7. Similarly, as a matter of courtesy, all questions swimmers or parents may have concerning meet results, an officiating call or the conduct of a meet, should be referred to the coaching staff. They will pursue the matter through the proper channels.
8. Each TNT swimmer is responsible for knowing which events he or she is swimming and being present on time to swim. If for some reason a youngster cannot compete, the coaching staff should be notified ahead of time.
9. Relays: It is very important that parents check with the coaching staff prior to leaving the swim meet, making certain that their child has not been placed on a relay. If for some reason a swimmer must leave early, please notify the coaches as soon as possible so that other youngsters may be informed as to whether they too will be needed for a relay.
The building of a relay team is the sole responsibility of the coaching staff and there are many variables to be considered. One is the attitude of the swimmer; second, his or her best time; third, his or her ability to perform under pressure; and finally, the type of meet the swimmer has had for that particular day and occasion. Even with these variables being considered, it is often very difficult to select the top four people for a relay.
10. As a matter of pride, leave the team area and pool in a neat and clean condition at the conclusion of the meet each day.
OUT – OF – TOWN MEETS
Trips to meets in other cities become an important aspect of a swimmer’s career as he or she advances through the age group ranks. At TNT, we have established the following policies for the safety of the swimmer and peace of mind of his or her parents.
1. Parents are to be responsible for arranging transportation to away meets, with the exception of Nationals and Junior Nationals. Please do not ask your coach or swimmer to handle this job.
2. Parents are expected to attend out – of – town meets with their swimmers. These trips can be great fun for parents and swimmers alike and are rare opportunities to participate in a special way in a young swimmer’s career.
3. A coach has too many responsibilities to the team as a whole to accept responsibility for an individual. Therefore, please do not ask a coach to provide transportation.
4. Any swimmer riding in a car is responsible to the parent/driver for his or her behavior and is expected to adhere to TNT’s code of behavior at all times.
1. The number of times that a swimmer must attend workouts is determined by the age and ability level and group assignment of the swimmer.
2. Please have the swimmers to practice at least 10 minutes prior to the start of practice. Swimmers should go immediately to the locker room to prepare for practice. Playing and or loitering in the locker rooms will not be tolerated.
3. All TNT practices begin on time and all swimmers are expected to be present and ready to begin at that time.
4. A coach has too many responsibilities to the team as a whole to accept responsibility for an individual. Therefore, please do not ask a coach to provide transportation to or from practice.
5. In case that a youngster is late for a workout, it is our hope that the parents will send a note with the child explaining the reason for tardiness so the child is not badgered about his or her tardiness by the other swimmers or the coaching staff.
6. Plan to stay the entire workout. The last part of practice is very often the most important and often there are announcements made at the end of practice that may be otherwise missed should a swimmer leave early. In the event that your child needs to be dismissed early from a workout, a note from the parents is requested. Unless a note accompanies a youngster for each early dismissal requested, the child will not be allowed to leave the pool.
7. In case you swimmer will be out of the water over a long period of time with an illness, please notify TNT’s head coach so that the coaching staff is aware of the problem.
1. All swimmers are expected at all times to follow the oral direction of any coach at any time, and at no time will disrespectful attitudes be tolerated from any youngster. It is important that the coaching staff’s relationship with the swimmers be that of direct control and mutual respect. When a coach is working with as many swimmers as we often do, it is important that we have their undivided attention at all times. When a coach signals for quietness, it is to be done immediately. If a child fails to demonstrate this ability of self – control, that youngster will be removed from the workout situation. If a youngster is removed from a workout, their parents will be notified prior to that youngster’s next scheduled practice.
2. In the pool, swimmers are always to remain against the wall, never playing back and forth in the lane. The only time a swimmer will be allowed to be away from the wall is when swimming a given distance or so instructed by a coach.
3. The use of profanity, verbal abuse, or physical abuse towards another swimmer or a member of the coaching staff will never be permitted during a workout.
4. Swimmers are never to enter the swimming pool without a coach being present on the deck.
1. Naturally, swim suits are a basic requirement. The swimmers may wear training suits of any color or design. Goggles are need to save the eyes from irritation which can arise from being in the water for a long period of time. Latex or silicon caps are a must for long hair. To avoid dehydration, water bottles are recommended.
2. All equipment should have, at some point or place, the name of the swimmer. Also, lockers are available at the YMCA in which the swimmers may store their belongings. Please bring a combination lock. The YMCA is not responsible for lost or stolen items. If swimmers bring their belongings onto the pool deck, please be sure that they are stowed in an area that does not interfere with the activities of other YMCA programs or patrons.
TNT team uniform items and accessories are ordered through our team supplier:
3761 Government Blvd. or 1805 Creighton Rd. Mobile, AL. 36693 Pensacola, FL. 251 – 662 – 1178 888 – 554 – 7946 Web site: www.swimstuff.us
Required meet items: Team racing suit with logo, team racing cap with logo, team T – shirt with logo.
Optional meet items: Team bags with logo, team warm up suits and sweat suits with logo.
WEARING THE UNIFORM
TNT swimmers are expected to wear the team racing suit and, if a cap is worn, a TNT racing cap in all swimming competitions. Swim suits, racing caps, T – shirts and uniforms of any other team are unacceptable. There will be no exceptions permitted; this includes swimmers competing in an “unattached” status. Warm up suits and other team items are suggested. Wearing the complete team uniform promotes team unity and pride and greatly aids spectator recognition.
Whenever a TNT swimmer wears any items of the team uniform, he or she should remember that his or her actions and words reflect on the team he or she represents, and therefore behave accordingly.
Many teams offer patches for sale to the collector. Our swimmers are welcome to collect such items as they choose, but do not clutter your good looking warm up suit with these patches. Put the patches on a separate jacket and keep your warm up uniform clear. Only TNT team record pins may be displayed on team warm ups.
RECEIVING AWARDS IN PUBLIC
Whenever there is a system of presenting awards at a meet, it is customary for swimmers to be prompt and to cooperate fully at the presentation.
If he or she owns the full club uniform, the swimmer wears it when he or she accepts his or her award.
It is also customary for our swimmers to be polite and modestly thankful for any awards they receive. It is appropriate to congratulate other swimmers and to receive like congratulations with poise and a “thank you.”
If photos are being taken, we ask the swimmers to remain until the shooting is complete, being sure to cooperate with the photographer. Do not ham it up or clown around! The picture may be special to someone else, even with you in it!