Swim Team FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about the Madrona Swim Team

What is the Madrona Swim Team?

The Madrona Manta Rays swim team is a recreational (non-competitive) swim team made up of Madrona Swim Club members. Anyone from age 5 to 18 who can comfortably swim one length of the pool is encouraged to sign up.

The team is in a league of six neighborhood pools. There are five regular swim meets per season, plus one practice meet to kick off the season, and the All-City Meet on the first Saturday in August.  The practice and regular meets are generally on Thursday afternoons.

Boys and girls compete separately in age categories of 6 & Under, 8 & Under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, and 15-18. Sign-ups for the Madrona Manta Rays begin at the general member meeting in April.


Why should my child be on swim team?

It’s fun. They will improve strokes, times, and endurance. They build camaraderie and develop friendships with other team members. They can also keep in shape for fall sports.


What if my child is not a very good swimmer?

If your child can comfortably swim one length of the pool, they are welcome on swim team. Swim team is a great way to improve your strokes. Although swim team is not a substitute for swimming lessons, the coaches will encourage you and help you with your technique. There is a wide range of ability on the team–from beginner to competitive. The team is about having fun while becoming a better swimmer.

For swimmers who cannot yet comfortably swim the length of the pool, or require more stroke development, we offer a “Pre-Swim Team” class in our swim lessons.  Swimmers enrolled in these classes are welcome to swim at the weekly meets, and will be able to join team practices at any point in the season that they acquire the skills needed for swim team. 


Does my child still need swim lessons if they are on Swim Team?

Swim team is focused on the team experience and racing techniques like flip turns and diving starts from the blocks. Swim team builds endurance and stamina (and is a lot of fun!). Swim lessons are a smaller group setting  (4 swimmers to one instructor ratio or less) with a focus on stroke technique. Lessons and swim team complement each other; even some of our teen swimmers have improved race times with swim lessons.


How long is the season?

Swim team lasts for approximately 6 weeks (mid-June to the beginning of August). The practice schedule will be noted in the club newsletter and website, and the meet schedule will be available by the start of the season.


How many practices does my child have to attend?

Swimmers are encouraged to attend practice as often as possible, but there is no penalty for missing practice.  We understand that summers are full of vacations and other commitments, and we want each family to be involved to the extent they are able.  


When is swim team practice?

Swim team practices are offered M-F (except on meet days), from 12pm to 1pm OR 5 to 6 p.m. A 3rd practice may be added if the team is large. Swimmers choose between the practice times; they may not attend more than one.


What if we can’t make all the swim meets?

We don’t expect all families to be able to make each meet. We do encourage each swimmer to attend meets as often as they are able.  Meets are an essential part of the swim team experience.  The swimmers have a chance to meet other swimmers from different practice groups, learn to perform athletically in a safe non-competitive environment and cheer for and encourage their team mates.  Due to the nature of All-City, with six competing teams, we do require prior notice if your child cannot make it that day.  Swimmers can be deleted from the heat sheets on the day of All City, but they cannot be added.


Do I have to buy a team suit for my swimmer?

Our team “uniform” this year will be a solid black suit of any style, but matching suits are not required for practice or meets.  If your child wishes to wear a black suit, you may purchase your own at any time from any vendor, or you can order one through the pool at the parent meeting in June.  Swim caps, goggles, T-shirts and sweatshirts are also available for order at the parent meeting.


What do I have to do?

We request a completed swim team registration form and fee from each family.  The forms will be available at the April member meeting, at the guard table after the pool opens, or at the parent meeting in June.  The cost for swim team is $40 for the first child and $75 for two children and $105 for three or more.

Swim team requires the help of many parent volunteers during the season and at meets.  We ask that each family be willing to volunteer in some capacity during the season.  Whatever your time constraints, abilities and comfort level, we can find a way for you to contribute.

For questions about swim team, please contact Dave Pluister at madronaswimteam@gmail.com.