What should my swimmer wear and bring to practice?
We highly recommend that all swimmers wear a competition suit as detailed in our Team Store. Fashion suits bought at department stores are unable to hold up to the chlorine and the demands of the sport. Girls usually wear a one piece printed suit and boys typically wear black jammers or jammers with some purple flare. Bring goggles, a towel, water bottle and label everything. A team swim cap is provided for your swimmer at the first meet.
Which goggles are best?
Most of our competitive swimmers prefer some version of the Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 goggle ($11-$23). They are available in juniors and have an optical option for those that need a prescription. Many prefer the bungee cord straps ($3-$5) for their goggles. The bungee cords are easier to manipulate and they don't pull the kids' hair like the typical rubber straps. But, goggles and straps boil down to personal preference.
What happens during inclement weather?
Practices and meets are delayed or cancelled during hard rain or when thunder and/or lightening is sighted or possibly near according to radar. If a weather event occurs, everyone must clear the deck.
How will I know if there is a delay or cancellation?
Please sign up for instant messaging by sending a text to 81010 with @697gfd in the body of the message for immediate updates and information sent directly to your mobile device.
What are swim meets like?
Jessica Walker wrote an incredibly helpful letter to new Stingrays families detailing how she and Adam choose to handle meets with their family.
Do swimmers receive major awards and prize money?
Every swimmer receives ribbons based on placement. Swimmers ten years old and younger receive participation ribbons for their effort regardless of placement. Ribbons are available for pick up the morning after a meet during Fun Fridays.
How much time should I expect to dedicate as a Stingrays parent?
It is the expectation that every family serves in a role at every home meet and most away meets. Remember, the entire league is run by volunteers and the success of the Stingrays is dependent upon everyone doing their part. Check our our Volunteers tab for a list of available duties.
What is swimmer's ear?
Swimmer's ear is an infection of the outer ear canal that runs from the eardrum to the outside of the head. It is caused by water remaining in the ear after swimming creating a moist environment that helps bacteria or fungi grow. To avoid swimmer's ear, use an ear water drying aid after each swim. Products such as Swim-EAR drops can be found at local drug stores ($4) or a quick search produces recipes for home remedies that include equal parts white vinegar and rubbing alcohol.
What's all this Sharpie talk?
Sharpie brand permanent markers are used to write events and heats on your swimmer and swimmers will also decorate each other to pass the time in between events. The writing is removed with baby oil and a cotton ball but usually it wears off before the next meet whereas they'll do it all over again. Most parents also bring a highlighter to mark their heat sheets.
What does it mean to 'qualify for County?"
At the end of the regular season, the Top 50 swimmers in each event qualify for the Gwinnett County Swim League (GCSL) Championships in July at Georgia Tech. Every team in every age group also brings free and medley relays. There is no state championship for summer swim league.
How do I know if my swimmer ranks in the Top 50?
Check the Weekly Meet Results on the GCSL site for the Top 50 swimmers' times per age group per event.
Is my child ready for year round swimming?
Most competitive swimmers started their careers through a summer team. There are numerous options for a year round program in Atlanta. Please read this article from SwimTopia and confer with Coach Dave about whether or not your family is ready for the rigor of a year round program and which option might be the best fit.
What should I do during practice?
Relax. No, seriously. This is important.
Thank you for entrusting your child with us and while you know your child best, we know swimming. You've chosen one of Gwinnett's oldest programs lead by one of the most established head coaches in GCSL's history. Every person that's ever been a member of our coaching staff was, at some point, in lane one struggling to finish a 25 free. These same swimmers now represent numerous county and state records, multiple high school state team championships and our club also started the careers of elite swimmers in D1 programs that have advanced to Olympic trials.
However, there are no college scouts at our Thursday night meets and the majority of our swimmers that come through our program never win an individual title or set a record. Most stop swimming competitively once they enter high school and that's why we fiercely celebrate our seniors. But, whether a member for one season or 14, all Stingrays leave with friendships and alumni status that rivals no other. They go away with memories of sharks & minnows, thunder on Thursdays, snow cones and powdered donuts. And, they all take with them into the world a sense of accomplishment that comes from working hard for the good of the team.
So, relax and trust our process. It's worth it.