Swimmer/Guardian: The following information outline the Spring Lake Park Schools competitive swimming and diving program. Please read the information thoroughly so there are no misunderstandings later in the season. The rules and procedures included have been developed over the last several years and reflect the high degree of discipline for which our teams have been noted. Violation of these rules could result in disciplinary action and possible removal from the team. If there is any doubt in your mind about a situation, consult the head coach.
Philosophy: It is the philosophy of the Spring Lake Park Swimming and Diving Coaches that every student in grades 7-12 in our school district has the opportunity to try out for the swimming teams. The coaches also feel that any student who adheres to our rules, works hard, and shows a sincere desire to be a swimmer/diver should have a place in the program regardless of ability. Naturally, skill levels must be considered when using students in varsity competition, but it is hoped that the swimming team is a worth while experience for every swimmer/diver, novice to state qualifier.
It is also the coach's philosophy to provide the best in coaching, time and facilities to help each swimmer/diver reach his/her optimum of performance. We hope to never hear a swimmer/diver say at the end of their career, "I could have been better if the coaches had shown more interest, had given more time,or trained us harder."
Team Selection: The varsity team shall be comprised of the top 15-20 swimmers and top 3-4 divers in the program. They shall be chosen on their ability to be one of the top three swimmers in any given event. Middle school students will be given equal consideration for positions on the varsity team.
At Spring Lake Park the junior varsity shall encompass those swimmers and divers in grades 7-12 who are as yet not ready for the varsity team. The purpose of the junior varsity is to develop the skills needed to compete at the varsity level.
Movement between the junior varsity and varsity team shall occur during the course of the season. The coaches will take into consideration the needs of the individual and the team when promoting or demoting a swimmer.
- All swimmers and divers will follow the team dress code for team travel. This dress code will be explained by the coaches.
- All swimmers and divers will wear only approved school issued equipment and uniforms at meets unless directed otherwise by the coaches.
Conduct: Good sportsmanship shall be observed by all associated with the swimming team in all situations. Conduct causing embarrassment to our team will not be tolerated and could result in suspension from the team.
Language: Offensive language will not be accepted. Violators will be warned. Continued disregard for this rule will result in disciplinary action according to athletic department procedures.
Attendance: All swimmers will attend every practice session scheduled for them morning and evening. All practices are compulsory. The only excuses honored are illness (not attending school), family emergencies, and family travel with prior approval by head coach. Non-emergency medical and dental appointments are not approved. If a team member becomes ill in school or is unable to go in the water because of a medical problem he/she is required to report to the coaches to either be excused, for dry land training, or limited work in the weight room.
Any varsity swimmer/diver who has a non-excused absence from practice shall not swim in the next scheduled meet. Any three such absences may result in termination for the season.
Junior varsity swimmers shall follow a similar procedure regarding attendance at practice. It may be slightly more flexible but again chronic absenteeism will not be tolerated.
All varsity swimmers/divers are expected to attend all scheduled varsity events, whether they are scheduled to participate or not. The exceptions to this rule are serious illness or absences excused by Spring Lake Park Schools policy. Family travel will be considered only with significant prior notice (three or more weeks) and with serious consideration given to team goals and objectives. Non family travel will not be excused. Family travel shall be that involving your family of residence. Failure to comply with this rule may result in termination for the season.
Junior varsity swimmers shall be expected to attend all home varsity meets and those junior varsity meets scheduled for them. Repeated absences could result in termination for the season.
Tardiness: Tardiness to practice or meets will not be acceptable. warnings will be given. Chronic violators will find the pool door locked, and they will be charged with an un-excused absence.
Academic Tutoring: Academic tutoring is often necessary for students to meet their first responsibility in school, that being academic success. Swimmers and divers must provide at least one day notice to expect an excused absence for any practice time missed due to academic tutoring.
Detention: Swimmers and divers are expected to be an example to good citizenship and thus avoid detention. Should they falter each case will be dealt with by the head coach. Absences due to chronic detention will be unexcused.
- Disrespect for the coaching staff and their decisions will not be tolerated under any circumstances and could result in suspension or termination from the team.
- Disrespect for officials, spectators, fellow team members and opponents will result in disciplinary action in accordance with Spring Lake Park Schools and Minnesota State High School League procedures.
Curfew: A curfew may be set for all swimmers/divers on the night before a major competition. The coaching staff will announce any such curfew and team members are expected to comply. Violators may be suspended for at least one meet.
- Any swimmer or diver deemed to be displaying attitudes or behaviors not conducive to good team rapport and morale may be suspended by the coaches. The same is true of any team member consistently not working to his/her maximum in practice or meets.
- All varsity team members are expected to concur with all team preparations for specific meets as directed by coaches. Included would be such things as shave downs, rub downs, team meetings, and special get togethers.
Sub-Varsity: All junior varsity swimmers and divers are expected to comply as per varsity swimmers and divers unless noted.
Miscellaneous Rules: All swimmers and divers will observe all team, school, and Minnesota State High School League and Spring Lake Park Schools rules. Pay particular attention to rules on use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco.
All swimmers and divers will attend all their scheduled school classes. Truancy will not be tolerated.
All swimmers and divers will maintain at minimum, grades meeting Spring Lake Park Schools scholastic standards.
Letter Policy: Any swimmer or diver expecting to letter in swimming at Spring Lake Park must be a varsity team member in good standing at the end of the season (last date of competition by any team member). The letter winners will be decided on a point basis with actual meet points carrying the most significance. Other plus or minus point incentives may be incorporated. A more specific breakdown of lettering criteria will be presented by the coaching staff at the beginning of each season.
Post Season Awards: A swimming or diver must be in good standing relevant to all Spring Lake Park Schools, Minnesota State High School League, Conference and Team rules to be nominated for any post season awards.
Health Problems: Swimmers have always had to be on guard against colds, flu, ear infection, and other illness. The best remedy for illness has always been prevention. The use of swim ear drops is a strong deterrent against ear problems, the best means of illness prevention is avoiding chills. Both girls and boys seasons are held during the coldest months of the year. It is standing policy that any varsity swimmer/diver seen outdoors without a hat when the temperature is below 45 degrees will be subject to disciplinary action. The same is true for those seen without a jacket on during colder weather, continued for these rules may result in suspension from the team.
Remember you are a swimmer/diver 365 days a year and you are expected to act accordingly. The off season is not an excuse to break training rules. Swimming is like all other athletic endeavors, very demanding when done correctly. With this is mind the swimmer/diver must regulate their time very closely during the fifteen week school season. Class work, practice and training must be ranked as top priorities. Other activities such as work and social engagements must be reduced.
Competitive swimming is not just an activity that teaches swimming skills and competition. It is an experience in self direction that can only help us in later life. The successful swimmer learns character traits that will make him/her successful in many endeavors. At Spring Lake Park we have been justifiably proud of the young men and women who have participated on our teams, both during and after their school years.