Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
What about safety?
- Pool safety is always our number one concern.
What is your view on team vs. individual sport in swimming?
- Swimming is an individual sport. Only one person steps up on the starting blocks but it takes a team to get there.
Is competition really necessary?
- Racing motivates us to try harder. Swimmers are racing to improve their times which is indicative of how hard they are working to improve strokes, turns, starts and conditioning. Our competitors help us become better swimmers.
Is winning important?
- First place or last place does matter to the team score. North Thurston has a tradition of winning meets because our swimmers work hard to improve and have great team camaraderie.
- The effort to win a race makes us faster and the joy of winning is undeniable. Fast is Fun. So is winning.
How long are swim meets?
- Home swim meets last about 2 hours depending on the number of exhibition heats or equipment malfunctions, away meets about 1.5 hours (more lanes=less heats)
Who participates in swim meets?
- All participants swim at least one event in every meet. As novices gain skill and endurance they are entered in more events. There are 3 varsity slots in each individual event. Exhibition swimmers (JV) are striving to improve their times to earn ‘varsity’ entries and post season time standards.
- Each athlete is allowed to swim a maximum of 2 individual events and 2 relays or 3 relays and 1 individual event in any one meet.
How do scores work?
- Swimming is all about the clock. The personal goals we encourage are more about improving performances than winning a particular event. Advancement to the post season is based on current season meet times. Each level has faster qualifying time standards which change year to year and are posted at the pool. Achieving the next highest time standard is one of our goals. Conference > District > State
What about Post-Season relays?
- Post Season Relays: Relay team members are selected based on meet times achieved during the season. Depending on their individual event schedule, the top four swimmers EARN the right to compete for North Thurston in championship meet relays. Earning a spot on the championship relay team is a goal that many of our swimmers work hard to achieve. For the last few year we have been lucky to have six-eight swimmers separated by only a few seconds. After each meet we post results so that athletes knows their personal best times and how they compare to their relay member status. The coaching staff makes every effort to make the selection process transparent, fair, and based on meet times. This is not always as easy as it sounds for the coach or easy for the parent to understand. For example, the fastest swimmer might be recovering from a broken elbow and hasn’t swam since the first meet, or maybe the fourth fastest shows up to the state meet bus with the flu. We do our best to be consistent and fair to the swimmers so that they all know how to earn their way onto a relay.
What about injury?
- Swimming challenges the body like no other sport. We can train longer and harder than most other athletes because we are water-cooled. Swimming does not stress the skeletal system like most other land sports which is why it is a great lifetime sport. Swimmers do need to be careful of repetitive-motion shoulder injuries which we do specific exercises to avoid.
What about hydration & nutition?
- Hydration: Swimmers sweat just like other athletes, maybe more. Drinking water throughout the day and at practice is important to not only replace fluids but also to flush the toxins that develop in muscle cells during exercise. Be careful with “sports drinks”, some contain caffeine and excessive salts. Use them in moderation or if recommended by your family physician.
- Nutrition: Replacing calories with quality foods is essential to good health: Most sport nutritionists recommend a balanced diet low in animal fats that includes fresh fruit, veggies, whole grain carbohydrates and a complete protein source (animal or plant combinations if vegetarian). There are websites galore on this topic. I recommend the ‘USA Swimming’ website. A well balanced diet should not require supplem