|Swimmers at Central York Aquatics|
- Expectations for volunteering, donations for concessions, etc.
- The differences between the types of meets
- What to bring to meets, and how to prepare their children
- Where to go to find relevant information
- How to sign up for meets and volunteer jobs
- How to support their child's progress and attitude through the ups and downs of competing in the sport
- How and when to interact with the coaching staff
The organizers of the meeting were swim parent veterans with multiple club experiences. They started this club knowing what it was like to feel out of the loop, to feel like an interloper, to feel, well, stupid. They knew what it was like to be new (in a bad way) themselves, and they didn't want anyone else to have to endure what they did.
This team communicates on a team website, via an email communication coordinator, and through periodic meetings like this one led by parents or by one or more of the coaching staff. They have a new parent coordinator who is designated specifically to answer questions with parents of prospective and current swimmers.
The orientation for parents includes a practice meet before the season starts, where parents can learn to do jobs like timing and operating the computerized timing equipment.
When meet day comes, the well-oriented parents are eager to volunteer to help run the meet because they'd rather help than sit for 3 hours. Kidding. Well, sorta. They volunteer because they feel part of the group, they know what is expected and they know how to do it. They wind up sharing a love of the sport, and a love of the herd of children who swim on the team. They cheer for other parents' kids as well as their own. And they stay for season after season.
Not a bad investment in orientation, eh?