Frequently Asked Questions



Q.   Tell me about LAC?

A.   LAC was founded in 1982 and has since grown to become one of the largest and most successful teams in Texas.  While we may be large, we have a place for swimmers of every age and ability, with a clear progression curriculum that will enable each swimmer to achieve their maximum potential.  LAC programs range from learn-to-swim lessons for toddlers, all the way up to Olympic hopeful training.


Q.   What is USA Swimming?

A.   USA Swimming is the national governing body for the sport of swimming.  They provide support for the sport all the way up to the Olympic level. The website for USA Swimming is


Q.   What is North Texas Swimming?

A.   North Texas Swimming is a Local Swim Committee (LSC) within USA Swimming.  USA Swimming divides the country into 59 LSCs.  North Texas Swimming provides club support, championship meets, and trains and certifies officials at the local level.  North Texas Swimming sanctions the local meets, which are used for qualifying times for the championship meets.  The website for North Texas Swimming is at  Approximately 30 teams are members of North Texas Swimming – these are the teams we compete against locally.


Q.   What are Practice Groups?

A.   LAC divides their swimmers into Practice Groups by age, ability and commitment level.  Our coaching staff regularly evaluates all swimmers based on predetermined standards and decides when a swimmer is ready to be promoted up to the next practice group. 


Q.   How many practices should my child attend?

A.   We realize that kids are involved in a variety of other activities and each individual’s commitment to swimming will vary.  Every Practice Group has a recommended attendance for that level.  As your child progresses, the recommended attendance becomes greater. 

We recommend that your child be prepared for practice ten minutes before the scheduled time.  A practice begins with a warm-up and continues into drills, speed sets and main sets. Each is an integral element to practice.  If you are aware of a scheduling problem, please consult with your child’s coach beforehand. 


Q.   Why are they doing all those funny looking drills and playing games?

A.   Each of the four competitive strokes is a very complex combination of muscle movements. The athlete must master the correct movements in the stroke to not only conform to the rules of each stroke but to be efficient as well.

Stroke drills are used to separate specific movements in a stroke so that the athlete can master that movement without having to concentrate on the entire stroke at one time. By repetitively mastering each movement through drills, the swimmer is able to put together these mastered movements into a more efficient stroke.

Drills are also a way to help diversify the practice. They are used in conjunction with normal training as a "warm-down," or active recovery. It also reminds the swimmers how to do their strokes correctly when they become fatigued. By mastering these drills, they are helping to ensure that they continue to improve in form and efficiency.


Q.   What equipment does my child need?

A.   All swimmers will need a racing style suit, goggles, and cap (if the swimmer's hair is 1” or longer).  Most swimmers have a team suit used only for meets and a few practice suits that may also be old worn out team suits.  In addition to these basics, each Practice Group has specific equipment required for workouts.  Your child's coach will communicate to you the specific equipment your child needs.  All equipment can be purchased through the Team Store button on our homepage.


Q.   How do I get all that cool LAC clothing?

A.   LAC has a wide variety of “spirit wear” and other accessories for swimmers and their families.  Just click on the “SPIRIT WEAR” tab on the LAC website.

At swim meets, all swimmers and parents are encouraged to wear gray or white LAC clothing on Fridays, red on Saturdays, and black on Sunday.  We recommend that new families purchase something in each color.  It is important that we look like a team and act like a team!


Q.   When is the swimming season?

A.   The Short Course (25-yard pool) season runs from September until March. The Long Course (50-meter pool) season runs from April until August. 


Q.   What are Time Standards?

A.   USA Swimming has established National Age Group time standards to allow for a stepping stone approach that swimmers can grasp.  This is a great way to see progress even if a swimmer doesn't win their event.  New swimmers 12 and under start at C times and swim in meets with other C and B level swimmers until BB, and eventually A time standards are achieved.  New swimmers 13 and older start at BB level meets until A time standards are achieved.  Time Standards can be found on the LAC website and the USA Swimming site.

In addition, there are meet-specific Time Standards for “elite” level swimming that are much faster than the National Age Group Time Standards.  Some examples include TAGS (the state championship meet in Texas for 14u swimmers) and Sectionals, which includes swimmers from several LSCs in the Southern Zone.


Q.   Where and when are meets held, and does my child have to attend?

A.   Attending meets is a great way to see the swimmers improve and to help them reach their goals.  These are meets sanctioned by USA Swimming and are for the “Competitive Team” members.  (See information below for meets designed for members of LAC’s Development Program)

Meets at each level (Level 1, Level 2, & Level 3) are generally held about once a month during each season and are hosted by various North Texas Swimming Clubs.  Meets that LAC swimmers will attend will be listed on our website under the Events section.

Each practice group has meet participation recommendations.  These recommendations can be found in the Program Curriculum document on this website, under "Program Info."

Swimmers in LAC’s Development Program (Red/Black Stroke School) compete in fun “speed and skill meets” at LAC facilities.  These meets are designed to introduce novice swimmers to the competitive environment until they are ready for USA Swimming sanctioned meets.


Q.   How do I enter my child in a meet?

A.   First of all, find out from your child’s coach if they feel your child has the technical proficiency to be a success at a meet.  Then ask for a recommendation of events to enter.  It may be a good idea to attend only events on one day of a meet for the first time or two.  Each Practice Group has a specific meet participation recommendation.  This recommendation can be found in the Program Curriculum document on our website.

Meet entry is done on LAC’s website.  There is a tutorial on how to do this under the “My Tutorials” section.  You must be signed in to your account to view this content.

Be sure to review the document called “Meet Invitation.”  This is available both on the LAC website (as part of the meet information) and on the North Texas Swimming website.  This document contains important information such as the schedule of events for the meet.


Q.   How long do meets generally last?

A.   Meets are divided into “sessions” with there being 3-5 sessions over the course of 2-3 days in general.  Sessions usually run about 4 hours, not including warm-ups.  Often, sessions are divided by age group.  Each age group may have 2-3 sessions available to them over the course of the weekend.  It is your choice in how many sessions your swimmer will participate in.


Q.   When should we arrive for swim meets?

A.   Arrive at the pool at least 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time begins. This time will be listed in the meet information.  Be aware that parking and seating will be limited.  The earlier you arrive, the better opportunity you have for both.


Q.   What should we bring to meets?

A.   The LAC website has lots of informational resources for “swim meet survival.”  It is recommended that you review this information well in advance of a swim meet in order to be prepared for success.


Q.   Will my child’s coach be at the meets?

A.   While LAC generally sends more coaches to each meet than any other team, your child’s coach may not always be at any specific meet for all three days of the meet.  With each of the levels (B/C, BB, A, Senior, etc.) there is generally a meet nearly every weekend, and some coaches have swimmers in all of those meets, in addition to coaching up to six days a week. Our coaches are enthusiastic about and committed to helping all swimmers have the best meet experience possible whether or not they are currently in the same practice group.  The coaches look forward to this opportunity to get to know other swimmers on the team, and swimmers likewise should look forward to getting to know all of the many amazing coaches they may come in contact with during their career at LAC.


Q.   What is positive check-in?

A.   Positive check-in is like “roll call.”  By checking in upon arriving at the meet, the swimmer declares his/her intention to swim the events.  Positive check-in is used to eliminate unnecessary heats in lengthy events and help the meet run in the most efficient manner possible.  By not checking in, the swimmer will be scratched from the event with the assumption that they are not present or do not wish to swim it.

Usually when you arrive at a meet, a “check-in” area is prominently displayed with a printout of that session’s events posted.  It is the swimmer’s responsibility to put a check mark next to their name in each and every event they intend to swim.


Q.   What is a scratch?

A.   A scratch is when you do not swim an event in which you were entered and seeded.  Make sure you are aware of the scratch procedures for a meet before you elect not to swim an event.  These rules can usually be found in the “Meet Invitation” document.


Q.   What is a Psych Sheet?

A.   Available for purchase at some swim meets, a psych sheet lists the order of events that will be swum in each session, and all swimmers entered in that event and their seed times. Psych sheets are available either online via the Meet Mobile app, or sometimes sold at a meet as hard copy.  They are a great way to keep track of your child’s events and also help you in cheering on your child’s friends.

Depending on the meet, the actual heat and lane assignments may or may not be on the psych sheet.  At some meets, heat and lane assignments are assigned once all swimmers have checked in at the meet and are periodically posted throughout the swimming venue several events in advance of each race. The psych sheet lists swimmers based on seed times from fastest to slowest.  

Some swim meets use Meet Mobile (app) instead of distributing psych sheets or heat sheets.


Q.   How do we know how he/she performed in their events?

A.   Often you will be able to see your child’s time on an electronic scoreboard. However, what is displayed on the scoreboard is never the official result. Once an entire event is completed, the official results will be posted in an easily accessible area, generally near the viewing stands, so that parents and swimmers can find out how they did.  Official results are posted at the North Texas Swimming website within a few days of the completion of the meet.

The host team provides award ribbons, generally for places 1-8.  It can often take weeks for the host team to produce the ribbons and distribute them to each team, and for the team to distribute internally.  Rather than use the motivation of a ribbon, swimmers and parents should focus on doing their best and following the coach’s instructions.  Success is not necessarily a ribbon, but being technically correct and working hard.


Q.   Can we leave the meet as soon as my child’s events are over?

A.   It is always a good idea to double check with the coach before leaving.  Sometimes a coach may decide to enter a child in a relay, which sometimes will occur at the end of a meet.  If he/she is not entered in one, then you are free to go.


Q.   Who gets chosen to swim relays?

A.   The coach will decide who gets to swim in a relay.  Often, this decision is based on previously documented times, but also subject to the discretion of the coach on the meet day, based on how each swimmer has been performing during that particular meet.


Q.   What is a “DQ”?

A.   A “DQ” is a disqualification.  All meets sanctioned by USA Swimming are observed by trained officials.  The technical rules of swimming are designed to provide fair competition and to promote uniformity in the sport. Each swimming stroke has specific rules designed to ensure that no swimmer gets an unfair competitive advantage over another swimmer.  Stroke and turn judges observe the swimmers during each event to ensure conformity with these rules. If a swimmer commits an infraction of the rules that is observed by an official, a disqualification or DQ will result. This means that the swimmer will not receive an official time and will not be eligible for an award in that event.

DQ is a learning opportunity and should not be regarded as failure.  Your child’s coach will discuss the DQ with them.  As a parent, your role is to praise the effort rather than the result.


Q.   What if I have a question about the posted results or a judgment against my swimmer?

A.   Parents are not allowed "on deck" at meets for any reason.  All questions concerning meet results, an officiating call, or the conduct of a meet, should be referred to the coaching staff. They, in turn, will pursue the matter through the proper channels.


Q.   Are parents required to volunteer?

A.   Volunteering is a great opportunity to meet other parents and learn more about competitive swimming.  LAC hosts several swim meets per year.  These are an excellent source of income for our team and help keep your fees low.  It takes a small army to run a meet but it is worth it – our meets are reputed to be the best-run in North Texas!  There are a wide variety of meet jobs from working in the snack bar, timing (we’ll train you!), to officiating (North Texas Swimming will train you).

LAC has a minimum volunteer requirement from each family and uses a points system to track participation.  Complete information can be found on the LAC website under "Volunteer Obligation" (New Member tab).  In addition to swim meets, there are occasionally other opportunities to meet your family’s points obligation, such as social events, and committee work.  As these opportunities arise, an email will be sent with more information.  Families who opt to not fulfill their obligation in volunteer points will be assessed a fee in lieu of points.

As volunteer opportunities become available, they will be communicated to you via email as well as posted on the LAC website with instructions on how to sign up.


Q.   How do I communicate with my child’s coach?

A.   During practice, the coach’s only job is to coach the swimmers.  If you have questions or concerns, you are welcome to email your child’s coach or speak with them after practice or by appointment.

You will receive a weekly email from your child’s coach with updates on practice, upcoming events, and any other information that pertains to your child’s Practice Group.  In general, you can expect the following types of communication and feedback protocols:

Coach-Swimmer Communication:

  • Feedback is given to the athletes each day they practice, as a group and as individuals.
  • Your child’s coach may include tips on technique, etc. in their weekly emails – please share this information with your child.
  • At swim meets, your child should seek feedback from the coach on deck, both before and after each of their events.


Coach-Parent Communication:

  • Coaches hold parent meetings with their practice groups 2-3 times a year.
  • At the higher levels, coaches will schedule seasonal “goal meetings” with the swimmers that may or may not include the parent, at the parents’ discretion.
  • Questions about your child’s training are best addressed to the coach via email.  Please allow 48 hours for a response.
  • During practice is not the time to talk to the coaches. It is not fair to the swimmers.
  • A meeting with your child’s coach may be scheduled if email is insufficient.
  • Questions or complaints about coaches should be addressed first directly to the coach. In the event further input is required, then the Site Supervisor is the next in the chain of command, followed by the Head Coach, and finally the Board of Directors.  All email addresses can be found on the website.
  • Compliments about coaches can be sent to the Site Supervisor, Head Coach or the Board of Directors.


Q.   What can I do to best support my swimmer?

A.   There is a LOT you can do!  First of all, remember that at LAC your child is in the hands of some of the best coaches in the nation.  You are your child’s biggest fan!  Let the coaches provide the technical feedback, while you focus your praise and recognition on the effort rather than result.

Also, good nutrition is essential!  More than any other sport, swimming requires excellent nutrition to support the amount of calories burned and the unique energy requirements of competition.  Swimmers should be well-rested and arrive to practice on time.  There are many tips to parenting swimmers available in the parent resources section of the LAC website.


Q: What if I have a question about my invoice?

A.   Please visit the New Member Info area of our website, which has links for Account and Billing information.


Q:   What if I have a question about other LAC stuff?

A.   Your first resource should always be our website.  There are lots of documents, articles, videos and tutorials.  If you are unable to find your answer on our website, email your Site Supervisor, and they will refer your question to the appropriate channel.


Thank you for being a part of Team Lakeside!