YMCA of Central Ohio
Swim Team Guidelines

PICY Fall/Winter 2013/2014 Information

Thu, August 15, 2013

It’s hard to believe that summer has flown by and we are all preparing for a new upcoming Winter Swim Season.  The team has been hard at work with making new enhancements to the program for the upcoming season.  This correspondence will provide you with some key information that you will need to start preparing for the upcoming Winter Swim Season.


Program Enhancements for Fall/Winter 2013-14
Over the last few months, the team has been evaluating areas in which we can improve.  Some of those improvements include upgrades to equipment and other are tied to a more enhanced team experience from an administrative standpoint.  Some of the key upcoming changes are listed below:
1. The team has purchased a new Colorado Scoreboard for the natatorium that will be installed during the first few weeks of September.  The scoreboard will provide times for all six lanes and will also display the event and heat.   This should greatly enhance the swim meet experience for our swimmers, families, guests and coaches.
2. The team has two new Colorado digital pace clocks that will replace the existing analog pace clocks in the natatorium.  We feel that this will certainly enhance the coaches ability to provide better structured workouts for our swimmers.  The new pace clocks will be installed in early September.
3. The team has purchased new team management software through Team Unify.  The software will allow the team to offer online registration, meet sign-ups, volunteer sign-ups, online processing of meet fees throughout the season, enhanced time management by family and coaches, automated reminder notices and improved efficiency in management of the swim team program.  This software will be in place for the start of the upcoming fall/winter swim season.
4. The team is also in the process of accessing team equipment needs for our swimmers.  We will be making recommendations in the next thirty days for the purchase of updated training equipment.
As you can see, we have many new exciting enhancements for the start of our new season.  I want to thank the PICY Parents Group for all the support and the YMCA for helping us to make all this happen so quickly.


REGISTRATION
Team registration will be open starting August 21st for all new and returning swimmers to the PICY Program.  All team registrations will take place online this year through our new team software – Team Unify.  The link to register for the team can be found on our team website at www.ymcacolumbus.org/pickaway-swim-team.  Starting August 21st, you will be able to review all the upcoming season information on the team website and then proceed to registering online through our new site.  Once you have completed the online registration process, you will be emailed a receipt that you may then take to the front desk of the Pickaway County YMCA to pay your upcoming team fees for the season.  Please note that the YMCA does offer financial assistance and payment plans for the team fees that can be arranged at the time that you pay your fees.  Once you have paid your team fees and verified that your YMCA membership is in place, you will then receive a follow-up email from the team with your username and temporary password for the new Team Unify system.  Please note that receiving this email with your username and password is critical because it is the key for you to manage your team account, sign-up for meets, volunteer for jobs and track your swimmers individual performance throughout the season.


Please see the following important dates for the upcoming season:


     *August 21st – Open registration begins for swim team
     *September 5th from 7-8pm – New Family Orientation and Swimmer Tests
     *September 7th from 9-10am – New Family Orientation and Swimmer Tests
     *September 9th – Practice begins for all levels as defined on the team website under the practice tab.


**Please note that new swim team families are required to attend at least one of the new family orientation sessions noted above.


REGISTRATION FEES AND PARENT BOOSTER FEE
Please note that registration fee information will be available starting August 19th on the team website and at the front desk of the Pickaway County YMCA.  Team fees have been increased for the 2013-14 season, but are still very reasonable for a six month swim team season.  Please also note that the team fee will continue to include the cost of a team t-shirt for all swimmers properly registered for the team.  PICY continues to be one of the most affordable swim programs in Central Ohio that strives to make our positive experience for all our families.  We are confident that we continue to provide a quality program for our swimmers and families.  I would also add that we are incorporating a parent booster fee for the first time at PICY.  The fee is required to be paid at the time of on-line registration and is paid directly to the swim team account.  This fee has been put in place to help offset the costs of Team Unify and other administrative functions of the program.  The fee will be set for the 2013-14 winter season at $40.00 for the first swimmer and $20.00 for each registered swimmer thereafter.  We are one of the few programs in Central Ohio that did not have any sort of parent booster fee.  Also, please remember that the YMCA does offer payment plans and financial assistance for qualified applicants on the team fees.  If you have any concerns about the team fees or parent booster fee, please feel free to communicate with me or Elizabeth Richards directly.


NEW SWIMMERS TO THE PROGRAM AND WATER TESTS
For any new swimmers to the PICY program, you are required to pass the deep water test as outlined on the team website under the “Swim Team Guidelines” Tab in order to participate on the team.  The testing dates will take place during the new parent orientation meetings on September 5th from 7-8pm and September 7th from 9-10am.  Once practice begins on Monday, September 9th, water tests can be administered at evening practices as warranted.  Upon completion of the water tests, swimmers will be assigned to the appropriate practice level.


STROKE AND CONDITIONING
Many returning families may have noticed that we are starting practice two weeks earlier this season.  The first two weeks of practice will really focus on specific stroke and conditioning work with our new and returning swimmers.  Swimmers will be participating in both land and water drills during the first few weeks of practice.  Please make sure that swimmers are bringing appropriate clothing to practice for dryland activities.  I would suggest, depending on weather, shorts/t-shirt/tennis shoes along with a water bottle.  Please make sure that swimmers have a water bottle that they can use for both dryland and regular practice sessions in the pool.  Keeping our swimmers hydrated is extremely important and we as coaches take that very seriously.  Also, the coaching staff will be working with the swimmers on learning new stretching routines that will be used throughout the season.  Making sure that swimmers properly stretch before conditioning and practices is important and will be emphasized.


STROKE CLINICS
In an ongoing effort to provide the best experience for our swimmers, the team will be providing at least one stroke clinic a month throughout the season.  These stroke clinics may be organized by our coaching staff or we may bring in outside coaches to assist in the clinics.  The times of the clinics will be announced after the start of practice on September 9th.


PRACTICE SCHEDULE
The upcoming season practice schedule is listed below:

 

  Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
White (5-8) 5:15-5:45pm   5:15-5:45pm   5:15-6:15pm    
Silver (9-10) 6:30-7:30pm 5:15-6:15pm 6:30-7:30pm   5:15-6:15pm    
Green (11-12) 5:15-6:30pm 6:30-8:00pm 5:15-6:30pm   6:30-8:30pm   3-4pm alt
Black (13 and Up) 6:30-8:30pm 7:00-8:30pm 6:30-8:30pm 7:00-8:30pm 6:30-8:30pm   3-4pm alt

   
    
PRACTICE SCHEDULE NOTES:      
1. Please note that some sub-levels will be created within each listed level above based on swimmer experience.
2. Schedule is subject to change based on holidays, weather, staffing or other team related events. 
3. The Sunday Black Level practice is also open to Green Level as a make-up practice session 
(please note that a Green Level swimmer cannot practice more than four days in a one week time period and a 
Black Level Swimmer who is 13-14 years of age cannot practice more than five days in a one week time period. 
Black Level swimmers who are age 15 and above are required to have one mandotary day of rest in a one week
period.)        

You will notice that the format of the practice schedule is slightly different from last winter season.  The schedule allows more flexibility by all our coaches to be more involved at all levels of the team.  I want to make sure that we are fully utilizing all the talents of our coaching staff to help our swimmers achieve their personal goals throughout the season.


TEAM UNIFY ON-LINE REGISTRATION
As noted above, when you are ready to register for the team, your registration process will generally start with our team website.  The following key steps will help guide you in the new registration process (the registration steps are also outlined on the introduction registration page within Team Unify.
1. Please start by reviewing all the pertinent team information on our website at www.ymcacolumbus.org/pickaway-swim-team. 
2. Once you are ready to proceed to registration…..you will click on the tab in the upper right hand corner of the home screen that says “Join the Team”.  You will then be directed to the introduction page for the on-line registration system.  Please follow the prompts and general instructions to complete the on-line registration process.
3. Once you have completed the on-line registration in Team Unify, you will be asked to pay the new parent booster fee before it will finalize your registration.
4. Once you have paid the booster fee online and completed all fields and forms within the system, it will generate a receipt and email to you at the primary email address you provided.
5. You will take this receipt to the front desk of the Pickaway County YMCA and proceed to pay your team fees and sign-up for a YMCA membership, if you are not already a member.  Please note that your swimmer, at a minimum, must be an individual member of the YMCA to participate on the team.  The front desk of the Pickaway County YMCA will collect your team fees and assist you with a membership, if needed.  Please note that team fees can be paid under a payment plan or can be paid all upfront.  Also, the YMCA does offer financial assistance for qualified applicants.
6. Once you have paid your fees and a YMCA membership for the swimmer has been validated, you will receive an email that will show that registration has been fully completed.  The email will provide you with a username and temporary password to access the Team Unify System throughout the season.  This access to the system is important, since it will allow you to sign-up for meets, volunteer for team events, pay meet fees online and track your individual swimmers results throughout the season.  Please note that a swimmer will not be able to participate on the team unto the complete registration process has been finalized.


PAST SEASON MEET FEES
The team has been in the process of reconciling our swim team account since we concluded the summer swim team season.  We want to thank all families for your patience on awaiting updated invoices for meet fees that were incurred over the summer season.  We will be sending out updated invoices to all our existing families by the last week of August.  You are more than welcome to mail or drop a check off to Elizabeth Richards at the Pickaway County YMCA for your summer fees upon receipt of your updated invoice.  Upon completion of your registration in Team Unify, if your fees have not been paid for any past seasons, we will go ahead and add the fees to your Team Unify account.  You will then have the ability to log into your account and pay your fees online through our new system.  We do ask that any fees for past seasons are to be paid by October 31st, at the latest.  Any families that do not register for the team and still owe past season fees will be sent an invoice by the swim team for payment.


MEET SCHEDULE
Our meet schedule for the upcoming season is very close to being finalized.  We are making a few adjustments to the schedule and will have it posted on the team website very soon.  The schedule is fairly similar to last winter season, but will have a few more local meets to help with team travel.  More information is coming soon on the full season schedule.

I look forward to seeing all our new and returning families very soon……
Jason Harrell – piranhascoach@ymcacolumbus.org


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