Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Is class attendance expected every day?

A: We 're happy to see your swimmer when we see him.  Obviously, consistency in attendance will have an effect on progression of skill level and conditioning.  We can't, however, control other activities or the health of your swimmer. 

Q: What is "Mini-Team" exactly?
A: The title "Mini-Team" came from the "pre-competitive lessons" days when.  We use it to help include swimmers in the "Orca Spirit" though they are not yet on the wild Orca Swim Team.  Orca coaches teach swimmers with an eye toward making them swim-team-ready.  Children will practice proper technique relative to body position, breathing skills, kick, stroke mechanics, competitive rules, and more.  Freestyle & backstroke will be covered primarily.  Other strokes may be introduced.

Q: Will there be makeup days in class sessions?
A: We have no schedule for makeup days for personal conflicts.  If we have weather cancellations for 2 days or more then we will do our best to work within the programmed time or other club limitations to schedule makeup times for classes missed.

Q: Are parents allowed on deck?
A: Fewer distractions on deck, for both swimmers and coaches, means more attention goes to your child.  
 Please do not sit on the wall.  Being out of the line of sight helps tremendously when working with a group of kids and trying to hold EVERYONE's attention.  Friends, family, fans, and other spectators are asked to hang out at the cabanas, picnic tables, or other seating outside (a bit away from) the deck area. 

Q: Will the baby pool be open?
A: NO. The baby pool will be closed during mini-team and other swim sessions so please prepare to entertain  friends or younger siblings off deck, preferable outside the pool fence, at the playground or other area.

Q: What if there is impending, or seemingly bad, weather?
A: We will not hold sessions if there is lightening or thunder.  We usually determine this onsite since, as well-known, it could be pouring on one side of the block and not the other — and, y
ou know what they say in Texas: "if you don't like the weather, just wait a minute."  By the way, if it rains — swimmers get more wet . . .  Parents take cover :)

Q: How will we be notified of weather cancellations?
We do our best to get the word out.  Sometimes we have enough warning to post on one of the websites: or  Other times you will make the trip and see a note on the gate or get word from a coach.

Q: Does my child need EQUIPMENT?
A: Your swimmer should have a pair of "adjusted-to-fit-his-eyes" swim goggles, a pair of swimming fins if he's in a clinic (not necessary for small classes), and a suit that won't come off when diving or jumping in the pool.  Feel free to ask Sandy about the fins.

Q: What GOGGLES work best?
A: There are many goggles made for "kid-sized-eyes." I would suggest trying on a few goggles for fit at Lane Four Swim Shop.  Speedo, TYR, and Water Gear all make simple goggles that should offer a good fit for youngsters. Take the goggles carefully out of the box (L4 rep will help).  Place eye pieces on eyes.  Press lightly but firmly.  If it is a good fit the goggles should seal and stay "sucked-on" the eye socket area for a few seconds. And, while the large lenses may work great for snorkeling — remember that's not what we're doing at the pool.  Super-sized goggles don't as easily stay on when diving in.

Q: What about those supposedly "kid-friendly" DIY goggle straps?
Coach likes the "KISS" strategy best.  From experience, the easier they try to make it with "new-fangled" inventions, the more things get messed up.  I've found the self-adjusting straps and the new "release" mechanisms break more quickly.

Q: Does my swimmer need FINS?
YES.  All swimmers in pre-season sessions, and all but (13-15 yr. old) 2013 Orcas, will need to have fins.  We use them for many things including: stroke technique, feeling fast, going easy after swimming fast, equalizing the field at times.  Summer lesson swimmers do not need fins.

Q: What TYPE OF FINS should I get my swimmer?
Regular swim fins from the swim shop. Not appropriate or useful are: long dive fins, fins with strap on back, split fins, shorty fins, angled fins.  Tritan fins are your Coach's first choice.  They seem to work the best for what we do and are least expensive.  Try them on.  If you don't get a comfy fit then try Speedo.  They are similar but sizing is different.

Q: Does my swimmer need to wear a SWIM CAP?
The reasons to wear a cap are to: protect ones hair from splitting from the goggle strap, protect the pool filter from getting clogged with hair, and help with good swimming technique by keeping it out of the face.  If your swimmer has long hair the choice is to wear a cap or put it in a ponytail — better yet, a braid.

Q: Will my 10 year old who is learning to swim be stuck with the 5 & 6 year olds who are also learning to swim?
We work hard at matching age and skill levels and almost always have children of similar ages that can work together in a group.  Tell your child not to worry. We'll figure it out.

Q: What's the deal with SUNSCREEN?
We ask that when you use sunscreen on your child that you apply at least 30 minutes prior to swimming.  Not only does the sunscreen then have a chance to soak in and work more effectively, but it also has less chance of coming off the skin and gunking up the water.  If you've ever seen the milky white cloud surrounding a swimmer you'll know what we mean!