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In organizing this Website parents of younger swimmers were asked for their suggestions and comments. Some asked for a question and answer section. Their reasoning was as new  or parents of younger swimmers they have questions that they felt were to simple and would be embarrassing to ask, didn't know the appropriate way to ask etc. In this section we hope you will ask your question(s). Let us know if it is OK to use your question on the Website or do you want a private answer. When you click on one of the highlighted phrases that follow, type your question then the question will be forwarded and  we will answer you by E-mail. To ask a question E-mail your question to me at  or STATE COMMISSIONER (click on a phrase ).   Indicate if you would like a private response or may your question be published and answered  on this web site. Privacy is guaranteed if you request it. 

The only restrictions are these :

1. Don't ask what  the proper workout should be for your child or

2. Don't ask for advice on stroke technique

Those questions should be asked of your coach. For example : Some coaches let 8 & under swim backstroke with a straight arm pull, others may teach another style. Both have merit and thus it would be inappropriate to make suggestions . 

An example of  a question I was asked recently that some one may not want to ask a coach was this. My 8 year old is coming along real well and qualified for the State Championship. Should or could I ask the coach for private lessons ? Should I go and get outside private lessons ? 

The answer given was as follows. If the program is a good program the coach is probably giving some stroke work in the workout . Let us take the example above about backstroke. If your coach lets the swimmers use straight arm backstroke pulls at this age  and you go get a private coach who is going to teach your child another style it could prove counter productive. Using a bent arm pull takes a while to perfect and if your private coach were to start just before the state meet it could be disastrous. Suppose however, you notice that your child has difficulty doing a flip turn and is in the 50 Free which has a turn. Then you should talk to the coach , point out the problem and see if the coach ,  one of  the assistants or perhaps an older swimmer could help. Many coaches would not want to give private lessons because it raises the issue of favoritism but if you think it necessary, ask the coach. You are all working together in the best interests of the swimmer. Remember if you are in a quality program stroke work, starts and turns will all be part of the program . In general the  younger the swimmers the more emphasis on these aspects.

Another question that is frequently asked is "What is the difference between a Y team and a USS team ? "

The answer.  Some Y teams are seasonal , offering a fall winter program consisting of mostly dual meets, some medal meets for novices to seasoned swimmers, a league , and a district or state championship  for those who qualify.  Other Y's are year round teams that follow this schedule plus enter USS meets during the Y season and the rest of the year. USS teams are generally year round teams that compete in a highly competitive USS schedule. Y teams can offer more novice or introductory competition as well as the more advanced competition. There generally is a more team oriented philosophy. This is not to say that USS teams don't have team spirit. It is just easier to come by when you have dual meets.

For example my own Y team had a program for 6,7, and 8 year olds that was as much instruction (teaching) as well as conditioning. For the older swimmers we still had a program for every one. We had a swimmer with a rod in the spine and at the same time the Y National Champion, Sr. National Qualifier etc. In short Y's may be more inclined to offer a program for everyone.

A good friend of mine turned up at the recent state meet with her daughter representing a Y. I was surprised because I new they were in another program the prior year.  I asked why she was at the Y this year. They replied their daughter didn't like the other program but her friends were at the Y and she thought she would try it. Instead of not wanting to go to practice she now wants to go because there is less pressure and it's more fun oriented. 

Parents will have to pick a program suitable for your swimmer . Don't hesitate to ask questions. Choose  a program based on what you want for your child. Find out the amount of practice required, the teams goals , the length of the season etc. Choose a program that fits your needs , don't try to adapt your needs to the programs.

Hopefully , this will give you an idea of questions that can be asked and if in doubt ask your question. I'll answer it as best I can.

Bill Niblock - Commissioner