How old do you need to be? Minimum age is 8, although exceptions will be made. (Ask Ms. Elise.)
What swimming skills should my child already have? Swimmers need do the following:
1. jump into the deep end of the pool and swim 37.5 feet on their front and again on their back;
2. swim totally underwater without coming up for about 14 feet;
3. tread water for 20 seconds in the deep end.
Comfort level doing these things is very important. Style is not important.
What is the time commitment? This varies, but in the beginning about 2-3 hours per week for swimmers (including at home fitness).
What is the yearly calendar like? In the fall, new swimmers join and practices begin. There is an annual Christmas show in early December. Competition season is January-May. There are two major competitions in late April and May. The summer may have a few optional events.
Typically, when are practices? Frequently parents choose weekends and not school nights.
How are practice times and days determined? By all parents--plus, there will be a scheduling volunteer who will coordinate and communicate.
How much does it cost to be a member of WHB? Other than the cost to join USA Synchro and Gulf Association, swimmers and their parents MUST promise a commitment to give their time and energy freely to support the WHB club. There is no monetary fee paid directly to the club for the use of the practice pool or for Ms. Elise's coaching time. Your time and involvement is the cost.
Are there any parent prerequisites to joining? Yes. Before your child can join, one or both parents must attend a parent-only meeting to become oriented to the club and also agree to their own time commitments, roles, and responsibilities. Practices with swimmers will begin after parents are organized and prepared to support the club.
What are the first steps for new swimmers to join? Swimmers need to attend one or more workshops to learn basic skills and decide if this is for them … then tell Ms. Elise their decision. Next, the parent must sign a commitment agreement/waiver, and then the swimmer must join USA Synchro (local and national) at the Athlete level.
Do you have to be a member of USA Synchro? Yes. Join the national organization online at usasynchro.org. For novice swimmers, join at the "athlete" level for $50. You also must join the local organization (Gulf Association) for $5.
Are there any other monetary costs? Yes, but only if your child chooses to compete. (Separate list of FAQ covers competition.)
Does my child have to compete? No. Some swimmers don't compete their first year or two. Most swimmers eventually want to compete and have the skills to do so.
What are the parents expected to do? There are minimum expectations.
1. Parents must check the online schedules and have their swimmers at all practices as medically possible.
2. Each swimmer must have a responsible adult present for all practices, meets and competitions - no drop offs,
3. Parents must volunteer and take on significant tasks / roles in support of the club.
4. Non-major parents must attend monthly meeting throughout the season (September through May).
5. Complete free, online SafeSport information and review as specified.
Why do the parents need to do so much? Ms. Elise does not get paid and does this for her love of teaching, her dedication to health and safety of all individuals and families, and seeing her students develop and grow. She cannot coach without significant support as she must limit her time to doing just what she does best.
I'm really busy and have no time. Can my child still join? No. But please talk to Ms. Elise first to figure out if there is a solution.
How do I volunteer to help? There are several significant roles from which parents will choose: Scheduler, Communication Liaison, Competition Coordinator, USA Synchro Coordinator, etc. Parents offer your unique skills such as choreography, photography, costuming, etc. There will be parent meetings for you to learn more.