What is the difference between a USS Meet and a Dual Meet?
A dual meet involves two teams competing against each other. Typically, each swimmer will compete in 3 races. Beginners swim 25-50 yards per race (1-2 pool lengths), while experienced swimmers swim up to 200 yards per race. Dual meets are a great opportunity for new swimmers to get used to competing. The Boys and Girls Club of Clifton hosts most of the dual meets but some are hosted by other New Jersey teams as well. Dual meets are held on the weekends and are 4-5 hours long.
A USAS meet is only open to swimmers who have satisfy a minimum qualifying time and have good stroke technique. For swimmer 8 years old and younger, there are 3 USAS meets. Other swimmers will attend various USAS meets throughout the season based on their swimming ability and qualifying times. All swimmers must attend Winter Cup, a USAS meet hosted by the Clifton Boys and Girls Club. USAS meets are usually longer than Dual Meets and can be stretched out over a two day weekend, with swimmers swimming some races each day.
What does my child need to bring to practice?
Each swimmer must arrive 10 minutes prior to practice with the following:
Bathing suit – Boys should wear speedos or jammers, loose trunks used for recreational swimming are not permitted. Girls should wear one piece bathing suits with sturdy straps, bikinis are not permitted. All bathing suits should be form-fitting, not loose or baggy. Please replace bathing suits regularly as they wear out from daily use. All swimmers will receive a team bathing suit. PLEASE WEAR THE TEAM BATHING SUIT TO MEETS ONLY, NOT TO PRACTICE.
Goggles – Goggles should have two straps and fit the child’s face comfortably. Please adjust goggles before practice. Goggles should not fall off when diving.
Bathing cap – Bathing caps are recommended for all swimmers, even those with short hair. Silicone bathing caps are best. All swimmers will receive a team bathing cap that should be worn to meets only.
Water/Sports Drink – Swimmers should bring a drink in a plastic bottle or container. While we do have several water fountains in the pool area, it is more convenient and less disruptive for a child to have a drink immediately accessible.
What are the requirements to join the team?
Swimmers 8 years old and younger must be able to comfortably swim at least 25 yard (1 lap) of freestyle and backstroke. Basic knowledge of breaststroke and butterfly is recommended. Swimmers ages 9-10 should be able to swim all four strokes and dive. Swimmers over age 10 must meet qualifying times designated by the coach. Please contact us to schedule a try-out.
Is swimming a year round sport? What is a typical season?
For the Seahawks, a <http://www.cliftonseahawks.org/blog/faq/join-winter-season/”>seasonbegins in September and last until March/April. However, swimming is a year round sport and to that end, we offer off season programs, including spring swim team, summer clinics and tech camp.
What level of improvement should I expect to see in my child?
Swimmers who attend all scheduled practices and regularly participate in meets will substantially improve their swimming technique and times. The precise degree of improvement depends on many factors, including natural ability, desire to swim, dedication to the sport and encouragement from family. All swimmers should take the opportunity to improve their skills in the off season by swimming regularly or participating in summer programs.
Does my child have to attend every practice?
Yes, each swimmer should attend the number of practices recommended for their skill level. Especially for beginners, each practice focuses on developing a new skill and regularly missing practices will impede the swimmer’s progress.
Group Number of practices per week Junior Seahawks 2 Bronze 3 Silver 3-4 Gold/JO 5
**Seahawks Swimmers participating in High School season (Nov. 15 – Feb. 1) must attend a minimum of 2 Seahawks practices per week and participate in USAS and Dual meets. If not able to complete this requirement, please do not sign up for Seahawks swim team.
(Please see Get Ready Program on page 8 here)
***High School Group Program
This program is designed for High School Swimmers who want to participate in USAS meets and dual meets with “Seahawks” Swim Team without attending team practices.
Fee: $210.00 ($40.00 Membership plus $170.00 USAS Fee)
Do I have to make a choice between swimming and another sport?
No. Many Seahawks swimmers participate in other sports as well. However, please review the practice and meet schedules carefully to ensure that there are no significant overlaps.
How can I join the team?
Mouse over FAQ above, and click on the Join button, or click here for more information.
What is the difference between long course and short course?
The difference is the size of the pool and the length of a “lap”, or length of the pool. Long course pools are 50 meters long, while short course pools are only 25 yards(or meters) long. You will see the abbreviations SCM (Short Course Meters), SCY(Short Course Yards), LCM(Long Course Meters). The Clifton Boys and Girls Club pool is considered a SCY pool (25 yards long). Thus, if you were swimming 100 freestyle in a LCM pool, you would only have to do 2 laps, while the same 100 freestyle in a SCY pool would be 4 laps!
What is the difference between Junior Seahawks, Bronze, Silver, Gold and JO’s training groups?
Junior Seahawks – Begining swimmers new to the sport. Basic body balance (in the water), stroke technique and stroke mechanics are the main focus of this group, as well as building up stamina and endurance. Swimmers whom need to improve legal stroke technique and build confidence in competing in order to move to a higher level on the swim team.
Bronze – Next level up; beginner swimmers who have mastered basic body balance(in the water), stroke technique and stroke mechanics. Review of all previous skills plus introduction of more advanced skills are the main focus of this training group. More conditioning (more laps per practice) is added as the training session evolves. Swimmers demonstrate a legal 100 yards IM and put forth consistent effort.
Silver – Accomplished swimmer who is ready for conditioning to be a significant focus of practice. More advanced skills are promoted early in the training session and review of past and new skills are done on a daily basis. Swimmers demonstrate a willingness to train and compete in all strokes and distances and have achieved at least silver time standard in four events in their age group.
Gold – Competetive swimmer who is very committed or on the verge of being very committed to the sport of swimming. Stroke technique and mechanics are refined every day, but conditioning is the main focus of each practice. Swimmers in this group have achieved JO cuts in at least two events by the end of the season.
J.O.’s – Seriously competetive swimmer who is very committed to the sport. Attendance of 85% of practices held is expected. Swimmers tend to be among the best in the state. Swimmers in this group have achieved at least four Gold Standard times for JO’s and Zone Champs.
What is a flyover (or Overhead) start?
A Flyover start is when swimmers stay in the water at the end of their race, and the next set of swimmers dives in. Only after the race starts are the swimmers who finished their race allowed to get out.