Information for New Swimmers
Welcome to Wellsley Wave, your friendly neighborhood swim team! We’re glad that your family is interested in joining our summer swim community, and hope that you and your kids will make friends that will sustain you through many swim-less winters.
The swim team is managed by a board of parent volunteers who work year-round interviewing coaches and coordinating schedules. Practices are led by coaches and are scheduled for every week day. Swim meets are usually on Tuesday nights.
You can find all of the information you need on the Wellsley Wave team website. The swim team newsletter, the SwimTopia app, and the webpage are our primary ways to communicate with you.
Wellsley Wave Commitments
For kids, joining the team means that they get to attend daily swim practice with coaches and neighborhood friends. Your kids are strongly encouraged to swim in every meet, however meet attendance is not required to be part of the team. Practices are in the evenings while school is in session. When school is out, your kids can attend morning or evening practice (or both).
For parents, the requirement is for each family to have someone volunteer at 3 of the 6 meets, regardless of whether your swimmer attends the meets. The good news is that there are tons of ways to volunteer, so you’re sure to find a couple volunteer roles that suit you. (There are more details about volunteer roles later on.)
Gear Your Child Needs
There isn’t much gear that kids need to participate in the swim team. Here is a list of our recommendations:
- Swimsuit: Your child can compete in any swimsuit, though we recommend trying to match the team color, which is navy blue. There is also an official Wellsley Wave Speedo swimsuit, which costs about $50.00.
- Swim cap: Many kids don’t wear them. However, if your child chooses to wear a swim cap, note that caps worn during meets cannot display brands or logos from other teams or organizations. The exception is the Wellsley Wave cap, which can be worn showing the logo.
When your kid outgrows their swimsuit, you can donate the used suit back to the team. That swimsuit is then made available to other families. The free suits are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis and are typically available on swimsuit tryout days.
What to Expect At Your First Meet
Your first few meets can be overwhelming and seem a little chaotic. If you know a family that is already participating in swim team, reach out to them and ask them to tell you about their survival tips and experiences.
There are 6 meets - 3 at Wellsley and 3 at other locations around our area. You are typically asked to arrive at a meet around 5. This can be a challenge if your schedule isn’t flexible. However, the meet doesn’t officially start until 6.
Here’s what you can expect to happen at a meet:
- Your kids get checked in by a Wellsley Wave volunteer and have their numbers written on them in Sharpie by a swim meet volunteer. (Don’t worry, it’s totally cool to sport those faded numbers for a few days afterwards.)
- You hand your kids off to the Kid Pusher, who is the volunteer adult in charge of supervising the little swimmers and delivering them to the swim area when it is their turn to swim. Parents should sit close to their younger children so that they can help ensure that their kids are in the right place at the right time. We don’t want a kid to miss a race.
- If you are volunteering for that meet, you check in with the meet director who helps you get started. If you are not volunteering, you get to relax and enjoy watching your kids swim.
- After your child is done swimming, make sure that they have cleaned up their area and notify the Kid Pusher that you are taking your child home.
Length of Meets
That depends on the meet. Typically swimmers and volunteers are expected to arrive by 5:15. If you are volunteering, there is a quick meeting at 5:45 to give out any last minute instructions. However, the meets don’t officially start until 6.
A meet can last until 9 or 10PM, depending on the number of swimmers and swim lanes. Most meets end around 9:30PM, however you can leave earlier if needed.
How Volunteering Works
Before each season, you can submit your preferred volunteer positions and the dates of the meets that you prefer to volunteer at. Although the board does its best to honor these requests, there are no guarantees. There are detailed descriptions of all of the volunteer roles on the Volunteer Positions page of our Wellsley Wave website.
What Happens If I Can’t Show Up for My Volunteer Commitment?
Sometimes emergencies and unplanned events happen. You can use the SwimTopia app to ask for help or to swap assignments with someone else.
What to Bring to a Meet
Here is a checklist of things we’ve found useful to have on-hand at meets:
- Chairs. The pool chairs are typically used for volunteers, swimmers, or unavailable.
- Extra Towel or Sweatshirt. The first few meets can get chilly for the swimmers. The kids typically put their towel on the ground to sit on, so having a dry towel or sweatshirt for the end of the meets can make you the best parent ever.
- Food and Water. Not all of the pools that we swim at have concessions that can double as dinner, so it is a good idea to bring along some snacks for you and your kids. Cash. Most concession stands are cash-only.
- Sun Protection. Most pools do not have a lot of shade, so make sure to bring some sunblock. Hats and sunglasses can also help keep parents cool.
- Heat Protection. It can get very hot on the pool deck, especially towards the end of the season. Find ways to keep yourself cool - wet towels to drape on your neck, small fans that clip to your chairs, umbrellas for shade...Whatever works for you.
Am I Going to Regret This?
Probably not! This is a great way to meet your neighbors and become friends with other parents. And for your kids, it means great swimming practice with coaches that they can look up to. See you on the pool deck.