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Lazers Handbook

OUR PURPOSE

We are a recreational team with the purpose of providing “a fun, positive, constructive, educational environment to teach the participants proper swimming stroke technique, sportsmanship, etiquette, responsibility and the importance of personal goal setting and achievement." We want our swimmers to have fun, work hard, swim fast, and be a team.

ABOUT OUR TEAM

We are a neighborhood swim team, open to the children of homeowners in the Lake Pointe subdivision and surrounding community. We include swimmers of all abilities from ages 5 to 17 (must be 5 by August 31st). Our team is a member of the Austin Hills Swim League, a group of swim teams all located in the West Austin area. Our team is staffed solely and completely by volunteers.

TRY-OUTS & PARENT ORIENTATION

Try-outs for new swimmers and those who have not previously completed a full swim season will be held on Saturday, March 4th at Lakeway Swim Center and on Wednesday, April 19th at the Lake Pointe Clubhouse. *We will host make up evaluations as needed, please email lakepointelazers@gmail.com if you need to request another evaluation date/time. 

SWIMSUITS

A team suit is not required, however it is encouraged. Girls should have their hair pulled back and in a swim cap (Lazers cap provided with registration!) during practice and at meets. Swim suits will be available for purchase on Wednesday, April 19th from 4-6:30pm. Most swimmers can use the same suit for two years and you can also trade with friends/neighbors and fellow Lazers.

PRACTICES

During school Practices will be held Monday thru Thursday from 4:00-8:00 pm (divided into age group time-slots).  Summer Practice will be held Monday thru Thursday mornings from 6:30-10:30 am.   Camper Swim is designated for those swimmers who need to swim before going to summer camp.  No permission is required to change to Camper Swim from regular age group time, but it is nice to let the coaches know anyway.

Practice times are held by age group, and are usually about 30-60 minutes in length.  During practice, swimmers will be instructed in proper stroke techniques.  However, swim practice is not swimming lessons, and is not designed for individual instruction. If your swimmer wants more one-on-one instruction, please schedule a private lesson with one of our coaches, or another swim instructor.   

COMMUNICATION

We have several types of communication in place for our team, including:

Lazers Website:   https://lakepointelazers.swimtopia.com/

This is our primary form of communication! All important team information is on our website including: practice schedules, meet times, meet directions, volunteer schedules, coach and board member contact information, meet results, weekly news and any updates or changes.  

Lazers Text Messages: Please register for text updates (weather delays, etc.) by texting @2017lazers to 81010.

Coaches Notebooks:During practices and meets, our coaches responsibility and focus needs to remain on our swimmers.  Please do not confer with the coaches during practice.  A Coaches Notebook will be set out during practices.  You may use these to leave notes and concerns. This is the preferred manner of communication with our coaches.  You must notify the coaches in writing ahead of time if your swimmer(s) will not be attending a meet, as this directly affects relay and heat assignments.

MEETS

Swim meets are organized into series of strokes and relays called events.  Events are divided into heats by age group and gender, beginning with the youngest and progressing to the oldest.  The order for events is as follows:

Individual Medley Relays – ages 8 & up

Freestyle Team Relays

Freestyle Heats

Backstroke Heats

Breaststroke Heats

Butterfly Heats

Team Medley Relays

Each swimmer 10 years old or younger is allowed to compete in a maximum of three individual stroke events plus two relays. Eleven and older swimmers can swim five individual strokes plus two relays. 

Our Coaches determine events and relays for the swimmers. They try to place as many swimmers in events as possible, within their abilities and comfort level.  Coaches will confer with swimmers during practice before each meet. Relay swimmers must arrive at meets on time, or risk losing their spot in the relay. If a swimmer must leave a meet early, you MUST let the coaches know BEFORE the meet starts so that they will not be placed in a relay.

It is VITAL that every swimmer unable to attend a meet let the Coaches know before that meet.

Swimmers should arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled warm-up and check in with their age group parent. They will remain with their age group throughout the meet. You may want to bring games, cards, etc. to occupy them between events (no iPads/electronics please!).

Concessions are usually available during meets, but we strongly advise bringing healthy snacks and water to drink. Junk foods and sugary drinks are terrible fuel for athletes, and are best enjoyed after swimmers have finished all their events. 

WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?

Registration fees are the Team’s source of financial support. Those fees cover the following:

  • Coaches Salaries
  • AAU Swim Insurance (League mandate)
  • Banners, Signs, and Notices
  • Ribbons and Medals
  • Individual Trophies
  • T-Shirts and swim caps
  • Swim Clinics
  • End of Year Awards Ceremony
  • Team Equipment Needs
  • Miscellaneous Administrative Expenses

DONATIONS & SPONSORS

If your family can contribute items, or you know of a business that would like to sponsor our team, please contact lakepointelazers@gmail.com.

AWARDS

The goal for our summer swim program is to encourage each swimmer to have fun in the water, learn basic swimming strokes, and enjoy team membership. Swimmers who participate in a meet may receive ribbons each week. There are six place ribbons for each individual event, participation ribbons, and personal best time ribbons. Ribbons will be handed out by our coaches at Monday practices. If your swimmer does not get them at practice, they will be placed in their swimmer’s file and can be retrieved at the next practice.

VOLUNTEERING

All meets are completely staffed by parent volunteers!

For each away meet we must provide approximately 42 volunteers, and for each hosted meet we need approximately 50 volunteers. EACH FAMILY MUST BE WILLING TO VOLUNTEER AT SEVERAL MEETS! Please take your volunteer assignments seriously. You are responsible for finding a substitute, and/or advising the volunteer coordinator of any changes that are necessary. We do realize that circumstances change, and we will be as flexible as possible, but understand that not fulfilling your volunteer obligation could make your child ineligible to swim the following meet or to be able to register the following season. All volunteers are required to stay the entire meet, regardless of whether your child is finished. Do not schedule yourself during a vacation!  As the season progresses, more volunteer opportunities will present themselves. Please know that we value your help and can’t do it without you!

SWIMMER’S CODE OF CONDUCT

  • A swimmer must be courteous at all times, whether in or out of the pool.  This means allowing faster swimmers behind you to pass during practice, and never interfering with the progress of another swimmer.
  • At all functions (practice, meets, social events) swimmers should behave in a manner that reflects positively on our team, and follows the “Swimmer’s Responsibilities” below.  Swimmers who behave in a disruptive, dangerous or disrespectful manner towards other swimmers or coaches will not be tolerated, and are subject to dismissal from that function.
  • Swimmers are to abide by pool rules at all times and all functions.
  • The use of alcohol, drugs or tobacco during team functions is prohibited
  •  Swimmers who violate the Code of Conduct consistently or more than three times during the season are subject to removal from the team for the duration of the season.

SWIMMER RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Be on time.
  • Let the coaches know when you cannot be at practice, or swim in a meet.
  • Stay for the entire practice.
  • No rough-housing.
  • Keep up with and label your own gear (suits, goggles, t-shirts, etc.).
  • Stay off deck and out of the water until your designated swim time at both practices and meets.
  • Stay out of the baby pool.  All baby pools are strictly off limits during meets and practice.
  • Remain with your age group during all meets.  If you must leave your age group, you must let your age group parent know where you are going.
  • Work Hard
  • HAVE FUN !!!!!

PARENT’S RESPONSIBILITIES 

  1. Bring swimmers to practices and meets on time.  Swimmers who are late and/or miss warm-ups for meets can lose their relay spots.
  2. Do not coach your swimmer during practice or meets, that’s the coaches job. Parents are NOT allowed on the pool deck during practice.
  3. Get permission from coaches for swimmers to practice at times other than their designated age group time or camper swim. 
  4. Use the Coaches Notebooks instead of talking with the Coaches during practice.  Their job is to focus on the swimmers and their safety.  Distracting them could be potentially dangerous.
  5. Notify coaches before meets of any absences. 
  6. You can cheer and photograph your swimmer but must stay out of the way of the stroke judges and coaches during meets. 
  7. Let the age group parent know how you will pick up your child at meets.  Don’t leave them waiting or guessing.
  8. Confirm your swimmer has completed all events with their age group parent before leaving a meet.  They might be in a new event or relay.  All swimmers are encouraged to stay for the whole meet. 
  9. Supervise siblings and keep them out of baby pools during meets.  All baby pools are off limits during meets and practices
  10. Don’t use practice as free baby-sitting.  Swimmers may be dropped off and left during their designated age group swim time.  They must be supervised by an adult at all other times. 
  11. Help age group parents with set-up and clean-up of their areas at meets.  They really do an amazing job with your kids.
  12. Use of alcohol, drugs or tobacco during team functions and swim meets is prohibited.
  13. No glass or gum is allowed on the pool deck at any time.
  14. Engaging individual lessons outside of designated swim times is arranged between the Coaches and your family.  The swim team and league is not responsible.
  15. Have fun and encourage your swimmers.
  16. EVERY SWIMMER IS A WINNER !!!

CHILD ABUSE POLICY AND PROCEDURES

The increasing incidence of reported child abuse is a special concern for The Austin Hills Swim League (AHSL) and the Lake Pointe Lazers swim team. It is all employees' duty to recognize and report child abuse and neglect. Child abuse is damage to a child for which there is no "reasonable" explanation. Child abuse includes nonaccidental physical injury, neglect, sexual molestation, and emotional abuse. The following guidelines have been adopted as the official policy.

Staff Recruitment, Training and Supervision
1. Reference checks on all prospective employees will be conducted, documented, and filed prior to employment.
2. Supervisors are encouraged to work with the board of directors to secure license checks, or otherwise conduct criminal record checks of staff who work directly with youth and youth development education programs and their associated events. Youth employed in programs such as child care and camping are included in the employee screening process.
3. All new employees will be required to participate in an orientation program including written materials explaining policies, procedures, and regulations on child abuse. They should be aware of legal requirements and, by their signature, acknowledge having received and read appropriate policies and procedures.
4. Employees working directly with children will be provided training and information about identifying signs of possible child abuse. Staff training will include approved procedures for responding to the suspicion of child abuse.
5. Administrative staff responsible for the supervision of programs involving the care of children will make unannounced visits to each program site to assure that standards, policies, program quality, and performance of staff are being maintained.

Staff Relationships With Children
6. In order to protect individuals, employees and volunteers, they are encouraged to avoid, where possible, being alone with a single child.
7. Lake Pointe Lazers employees and volunteers are encouraged not to socialize with program participants under the age of 18 outside of organizational activities.
8. Lake Pointe Lazers employees and volunteers will not, under any circumstances, discipline children by use of physical punishment or by failing to provide the necessities of care such as food or shelter.
9. Lake Pointe Lazers employees and volunteers should be alert to the physical and emotional state of all children each time they report for a program. Signs of injury or suspected child abuse should be reported to the Lake Pointe Lazers board of directors.

Responsibilities To Parents
10. Parents will be informed about their child's program participation and may visit programs at any time.
Reporting Procedures
11. When there is suspicion of child abuse, employees or volunteers to whom it has been reported will immediately inform the Lake Pointe Lazers board of directors. The reporting of suspected child abuse situations is a personal obligation as well as a professional and legal one.
12. The designated Lake Pointe Lazers board member receiving the initial report is responsible for investigating the facts reported and the condition of the child. This should be done as soon as the report is received.
13. Volunteers who suspect any child abuse should report the information to the Lake Pointe Lazers board of directors.
14. In the event the reported incident involves a Lake Pointe Lazers employee or volunteer, this individual will be relieved from all activities involving children until cleared.
15. Regardless of where or under what circumstances the alleged incident takes place, if a Lake Pointe Lazers employee is involved, appropriate action will be taken according to the Lake Pointe Lazers Discipline Policy.
16. Lake Pointe Lazers employees and volunteers should be sensitive to the need for confidentiality in the handling of information concerning child abuse. Employees will discuss matters pertaining to abuse and suspected abuse only with the appropriate Lake Pointe Lazers representatives. 

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