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Parent Responsibilities

Support your swimmer by attending meets with them and volunteering your time throughout the season. These two actions are vital to the success of your child and the Orland Otter Swim Team. Seeing your child’s smile after a race, or being there for consolation, supporting your swimmer and his/her teammates makes all their hard work and your support more meaningful. By working together, we can accomplish great things! Below are ways in which you can contribute to our team's “Pursuit of Excellence!”

Team Practice

In order for your child to be in the water when practice begins, it is important that swimmers arrive early – approximately 10 minutes. By doing so you accomplish three important tasks: 1) Reduce stress level by allowing time for them to change clothing, gather necessary gear, adjust goggles, etc… 2) Enable your child to have the best opportunity for a quality workout by being prepared. 3) Allows for brief social contact with other swimmers for team bonding. This is very important for a swim team. Coaches will determine practice times for swimmers based on their age/ability. The practice schedule may be revised during the season. Swimmers must be picked up within 15 minutes of the conclusion of their practice time.

During the team practice parents may not be on the pool deck. This may be difficult, but it is in the best interest of your swimmer(s) to stay in the bleacher area or outside of the immediate pool area. Let the coaches coach and the swimmers SWIM!

Provide Swim Gear

The Orland Otter Swim Team provides much of the equipment necessary for training. This includes pull buoys, kick boards, training fins, and other equipment.  The Orland Otters do not provide swim suits, swim caps, goggles or any other personal wear equipment. Team Suits are highly recommended but they are not mandatory. Caps are mandatory, and though goggles are not mandatory they are a must for competitive swimmers. Swim Suits must be in good taste. Swim suits should fit snug but comfortable, so that “air pockets” are not created while diving/swimming, creating drag. Be aware that there are suits out there that are somewhat “see through”, or have pictures/wording that are not allowed: (i.e. alcohol/drugs) “USA Swimming rules are quite specific about the prohibition of any visible marquee or insignia in the form of advertising (other than that of the trademark on technical equipment or clothing.)” Sierra Nevada – USA Swimming Officials Committee Rev: October 2006. Practice gear should include, suit, cap, goggles, sunscreen, plastic water bottle, towel and t-shirt, sweatshirt or cover-up for before and after practice. Please make sure that the swimmer's name is on all personal items.


In order for your child to have the required energy needed to swim a quality practice workout and races, make sure they are eating a nutritious snack(s) and meal(s) before and after practice and meets. A balanced meal with protein (meat, eggs, fish, peanut butter, or any other favorite protein) is very important. You will be surprised at how much their appetite will increase: swimming takes a lot of energy and swimmers need the right kinds of food to fuel their body! Water and hydration is extremely important as well.


Each family has a personal file located in the FAMILY FILE BOX. The Family File Box is located at the Pool Gate area during morning practices. The “Monday Memo” is the main form of communication from the coaches and the Board of Directors to swimmers and parents and will be emailed to all swim families. These memos provide information regarding upcoming meets, social activities, practice times and important reminders. Entry forms, meet ribbons, Picture Day information and personal communication from coaches will be placed in your file folder. Please make sure that you check in on a regular basis. While communication with coaches is encouraged, practice time is not the time to do this. Coaches are concentrated on the safety of all swimmers on deck and in the water. DO NOT approach swimmers in the water.

If you need to speak with a coach please do so in one of the following ways:

  • Leave a note in his/her file located in the front of the file box.
  • Email or phone message- Make arrangements for a good time for you both to talk.

Please remember that the best time to talk with a coach is NEVER right before, during, or after a practice unless the coach has agreed to a meeting with you during those times. We need our coaches fully focused on the practice and on the kids in the water.

Attend Parent Meetings

Your ideas and recommendations are wanted and appreciated. If you have ideas you would like to discuss with the Board of Directors we encourage you to bring them to the Board. Be prepared to help out! We are all volunteers on behalf of our kids!

Support Team Fundraising

Your annual fees provide only a small part of the money necessary to operate our team. How much you pay each season is directly related to you and your child’s participation in our fundraisers. To help keep your cost down and allow your child to participate in a healthy and rewarding sport, your time is needed with our 3 major fundraisers, which are the FIREWORKS BOOTH, FUNDRAISING DONATION LETTER, AND THE OTTER INVITATIONAL. In addition, our SNACK BAR is open during Home Dual/Tri-Meets and the Invitational. Sign-up sheets for volunteer hours will be located at the Family File Cart.

Family Deposit

The $250.00 family deposit is refundable for families who work a total of 20 volunteer hours during the swim season. Your check will be returned to you at the Team Awards Banquet in August. This can be accomplished by helping with the HOME MEETS, A SHIFT AT THE FIREWORKS BOOTH, AND THE OTTER INVITATIONAL (Snack Bar, Ribbon Table, Hospitality, Running, Meet Set-Up, Clean Up and other positions outlined on the sign-up sheets.) You are responsible for keeping track of your time in the Volunteer Hours Log. The Fireworks booth and the Invitational are the two events that require the most help. We can’t run these events without your help! Families who do not meet their full 20 hours will have their deposit checks cashed after the last scheduled home meet or fundraising event available in July.


All of these tasks can be very fun, easily learned and are the responsibility of all NVAL parents for meets. Please do not be afraid to learn! You can and will be asked to “Time” at Home and Away Dual/Tri-Meets and Invitational Meets. If you are new to swimming or have never done any of these things, ask a Board member for help. In addition, if you have always done one task, try something new this season! Your time at our out-of-town meets and Invitational meets does go toward your 20 hours of help.

Swim Connection

Swim Connection is an Internet based website that is part of USA Swimming. It offers clubs and swimmers instant access to individual and team swim times and records as well as on-line meet entries (not for dual/tri-meets). If you have access to the Internet and an email address (free email account like Yahoo and Hotmail are fine), you can visit the website by going to www.ome.swimconnection.com and register your swimmer(s). After registration is complete you can enter your swimmer(s) in meets and pay the meet entry fees online. Swim Connection does charge a small service charge for processing meet entries, but the benefits are worth it. When your swimmer(s) participates in Sanctioned Invitational Meets their times are automatically forwarded to Swim Connection. You can track their progress, print out their records, see the Sierra Nevada Times Standards for your swimmer(s) age group and have access to numerous swim related sponsors, including NORCAL Swim Shop – online. When you enter your swimmer(s) in a meet, the times from their last meet are automatically filled in and your entry is accepted immediately. Keep a copy of your online meet entry, and bring it to the appropriate meet as proof of registration.  

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