Meet Schedule

Madison Westhoff

     Madison is a native to cenral Illinois, being raised and swimming in the Bloomington-Normal area. As a member of Redbird Swim Club and her high school team, she has logged thousands of yards in the pool. Most recently as a student at Lincoln College, she swam for the Lynx and after completing her Associates Degree, she has signed on as their assistant coach. With this amount of experience, we are welcoming her with open arms as she joins our team!

 Emily Hauter

     Emily is a native to Lincoln and started swimming with the Lincoln Gators Swim Club, later renamed the Aqua Lynx Swim Club, at the age of 9. She participated year-round and attended swim meets in both yards and meters. During her time with the Gators, she set records in multiple events, eight of which still stand.

     When Emily entered Lincoln Community High School, she continued swimming with the Railers, becoming a 4-year Varsity Letter winner.She was team captain and named MVP of the swim team her junior and senior years.Emily was the Central State 8 Conference Champion in the 100 butterfly her sophomore year and 200 freestyle her junior year. She was also named to the Central State 8 All-Conference Team and All-Academic Team her sophomore, junior and senior years. While at LCHS, she broke 6 school records: 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke, 200 freestyle, 200 free relay, 400 free relay and the 400 Medley relay.

     Emily received a swimming scholarship to Southern Illinois University where she swam the 200 butterfly and 200 freestyle for the Salukis. After earning her athletic letter for SIU her freshman year, Emily retired from swimming to concentrate on academics.She continued to be active with Southern Illinois University Aquatics by teaching swimming lessons and lifeguarding her remaining college years until graduating in May 2013.

    Emily returned to the newly renamed Aqua Lynx as a coach. She spent two years as head coach before leaving to concentrate on her academics again. Well just after one season away, she has come back again, fitting the swim club into her continuing education. This will make the third season coaching with the Aqua Lynx, and we look forward to many more!!!

Ed Block

Ed originally hails from eastern Illinois where he spent summers lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons. While at Eastern Illinois University, Ed played on the intermural water polo team. He moved to the Lincoln area after graduating college and started teaching at the Broadwell Grade School. Once in the area, Ed started SCUBA diving and got together with a group of other local divers, who later became the Logan County Under Water Search and Recovery Team. He also was part of the original Board of Directors for the then-named Lincoln Gators Swim Club as his two kids swam for the club. Ed eventually moved out of the education arena. However, upon retirement, he started substitute teaching, which brought his education passion back into the lime light. He returned to the Swim Club, now renamed as the Aqua Lynx and enjoys spending time educating the kids by sharing the art, sport and passion for swimming!

Jennifer Block

Jennifer originates from Springfield, where she and her three siblings spent their summers swimming for the Colony West Swim Club. Although swimming became second fiddle to softball during her high school years, her passion for the sport did not wane. When her kids were old enough and started swimming for the Aqua Lynx, she saw the opportunity to help share her passion for competition and educate the younger generations about teamwork and having fun while working hard!




(All practices at Lincoln College Pool)

6:30-8:30 6:30-8:30 6:30-8:30 6:30-8:30 6:30-8:30

ALL SWIMMERS are expected to be dressed and ready to go when practice time begins. Parents may drop their swimmer(s) off 15 minutes before practice time and pick them up 15 minutes after practice ends.

Practice will include water and land activities such as strength training and stretching.

** Please check our monthly calendar as there are some days where we can not have practice**

Members of the Aqua Lynx Swim Board


 President: Michael Block

Vice-President: Kari Adams

Treasurer: Bambi Downing

Secretary: Danielle Mahler

Trustee: Pam Dammerman

There are currently no lessons offered for the remainder of the summer. Please check back this fall for late fall/early winter options.




Introduces young children to the water.  Intended for children with little or no swimming experience.

Will work on:

-- Entering and exiting the water independently   

-- Fully submerging face for 3 seconds

-- Blowing bubbles                                           

-- Practice basic alternating arm action

-- Float, while supported, on front & back          

-- Kick, while supported, on front and back

-- Bouncing in chest-deep water (bob) to chin level 10 times


Have accomplished BEGINNER level skills, especially putting face in water.

They are now ready to start learning building blocks of basic strokes.

Will work on:

-- Holding breath and fully submerge head for 3 seconds

-- Float or glide on front, unsupported, for 5 seconds

-- Float or glide on back, unsupported, for 5 seconds

-- Enter pool into chest-deep water and stand

-- Practice back crawl arm action

-- Submerge to retrieve object in chest-deep water

-- Explore deep water, with floatation support                

-- Perform flutter kick on front & back (support optional)

-- Perform combined (kick & arms) front stroke, 5 yards 

-- Perform combined (kick & arms) back stroke, 5 yards


Have accomplished BEGINNER and BEGINNER II level skills.

Ready for introduction to formal swimming skills and refining of strokes.

Will work on:

-- Tread water                                                      

-- Jump into deep water from side of pool

-- Bob in water slightly over head to travel to safe area    

-- Do elementary backstroke kick, 10 yards

-- Perform front glide with push-off, 2 body lengths            

-- Do back crawl, 10 yards

-- Retrieve an object from the bottom in chest-deep water          

-- Perform 15 bobs in chest-deep water with head all the way under                                            

-- Dive from the side of pool from kneeling and compact positions

-- Coordinate arm stroke for front crawl while breathing to the front or side, 10 yards


Able to swim the length of the pool and accomplish skills of the 3 previous levels.  Time for advanced strokes and kicks.

Will work on:

-- Perform rotary breathing                                

-- Practice deep water bobbing

-- Demonstrate diving from blocks                    

-- Demonstrate turning at the wall

-- Treading water with a modified scissors, modified breaststroke and/or rotary kicks (2 minutes)

-- Perform the following for 25 yards:

Front crawl with rotary breathing, Elementary backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly



Table of Contents



The purpose of this handbook is to explain to members just what the Aqua Lynx Swim Club is and to outline various policies that affect all parents and swimmers. It should be read by all families so that they may become familiar with the rules of the club.



The Aqua Lynx Swim Club (formerly the Lincoln Gators Swim Club) is a year round swim club offering high quality professional coaching and technique instruction for all ages and abilities. We are sanctioned as a member of USA Swimming, the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming. The purpose of the Aqua Lynx is to provide a quality, safe, and nurturing atmosphere for young swimmers to develop and practice competitive swimming skills. Good character development, fitness and physical strength improvement, cooperation, and team spirit are major goals of our program.

All of our certified coaches have access to the most comprehensive training and certification program for youth coaches of any sport in the United States. They provide assurances that the time children spend in swimming will be quality time.

The Aqua Lynx Swim Club, a nonprofit club, is run by its elected Board of Directors which meets each month. All members are welcome at each parent meeting and encouraged to be involved in team activities and fundraisers.

We are constantly growing and training young swimmers to maintain a well-rounded competitive swim team. Thank you for joining us. We are looking forward to meeting you. Please feel free to ask another member, board member or coach any question you may have.



Our mission is to develop abilities in our swimmers that will inspire and empower them to achieve excellence in life through a positive competitive swimming experience. We believe that our sport is a tool to teach fundamental life skills, thus we aim to develop in our athletes the self-discipline, personal responsibility, physical fitness, and personal excellence necessary for success in competitive swimming and beyond.


Team Philosophy

“The best part about swimming is FRIENDSHIP….. And with FRIENDSHIP comes TEAMWORK”


USA Swimming

The Aqua Lynx Swim Club is a club member of USA swimming. Membership benefits include USA swimming rules and regulations, membership certificate and certificate of insurance. Teams joining USA swimming have liability insurance coverage for approved insured activities.

USA swimming is the National Governing body for the sport of swimming. They administer competitive swimming in accordance with the Amateur Sports Act. They provide programs and services for their members, supporters, affiliates and the interested public. USA swimming values their members of the swimming community, and the staff and volunteers who serve them. USA swimming is committed to excellence and the improvement of the sport.

USA Swimming

One Olympic Plaza

Colorado Springs, CO 80909



Coaches’ Responsibilities                    

The coaches’ job is to supervise the entire competitive swim program. The Aqua Lynx Swim Club coaching staff is dedicated to providing a program for swimmers that will enable them to learn the value of striving to improve oneself--"to be the best you can be." Therefore, the coaches must be in total control in matters affecting training and competition.

1. The coaches are responsible for placing children in practice groups. This is based on the age and ability level of each individual.

2. Sole responsibility for stroke instruction and the training regimen rests with the Aqua Lynx coaching staff. Each group’s practices are based on sound scientific principles and are geared to the specific goals of that group.

3. The coaching staff makes the final decision concerning which events a swimmer is entered into.

4. At meets, the coaching staff will conduct and supervise warm-up procedures for the team. After each race, the coaches will offer constructive criticism regarding the swimmers performance. (It is the parent's job to offer love and understanding regardless of their child’s performance)

5. The building of a relay team is the sole responsibility of the coaching staff.

The coaching staff is constantly updating and improving the Aqua Lynx Swim Club program. It is the swimmer's and parents' responsibility to make the most out of the excellent opportunity this program provides for success in swimming.


Training Sessions

Practices are offered Monday through Friday. Each swimmer may swim all 5 days but is not required. Practice Schedule (can be changed at coach’s discretion):

Monday- Long aerobic all age groups

Tuesday- Sprint or pace work

Wednesday- Recovery day/ technique work

Thursday- Sprint or pace work

Friday- Fly day or Dry land/ Weights for older kids


Practice and Attendance Policies

The following guidelines are to inform parents and swimmers of the coaches’ policies regarding practice.  These policies have been developed over many years and are designed to provide the best possible practice environment for all.

1. Occasionally, most of a practice group may be attending a meet, in which    case you will be notified of a practice change or cancelation.

2. While on pool grounds, the swimmers are the responsibility of the coaching staff.  

3.During practice sessions, swimmers are never to leave the pool area without a coach's permission.

4. For the swimmers protection, they should arrive at the pool no earlier than 15 minutes prior to their workout time.  They should also be picked up no later than 15 minutes after their practice is over. Swimmers should be ready to swim five minutes prior to the start of their practice. 

5. The team has an obligation to act as guests while at the pool (both swimmers and parents). Every member of the team needs to do everything possible to respect this privilege. Any damages to college property may result in financial liability of the swimmers’ parents. Any damage may also result in the swimmer being asked to leave the team permanently.

6. Do not try to communicate with any swimmer from the seating area.  This is not only distracting to the swimmer, but can also be distracting to the entire team as well as the coach.


Illness and Injury       

Whenever possible, the coach should be informed in advance of an illness or injury. Regardless of how serious or trivial it may be, it will almost always be possible to find a physician (or parent) who will recommend abstaining from training and one who will recommend a modified approach. For this reason, the coach must be the one to determine if the absence is excusable (especially for the advanced swimmers). It is helpful to find a family physician who appreciate the importance of participation and who understands the repercussions associated with missed meets and training sessions.


Code of Conduct


1. Never interfere with the progress of another swimmer, during practice.   

2.  At all team functions, whether practice, meets, or social gatherings, we expect each swimmer to behave in such a way that their actions reflect positively on the team.  

3.  All members of the team, whether parents or swimmers, continue to protect and improve the excellent reputation the team has throughout the state and country. 

4.    A copy of the Aqua Lynx Swim Club “code of conduct” can be found in the registration packet, and should be returned signed and returned at the time of registration.       

PARENTS... YOU’RE ATHLETE NEEDS YOU to have a successful program there must be understanding and cooperation among parents, swimmers, and coaches. The progress your child makes depends to a great extent on this triangular relationship. It is with this in mind that we ask you to consider this section as a member of the Aqua Lynx Swim Club.

You have done a great deal to raise your child. You create the environment in which they are growing up. Your child is a product of your values, the structure you have provided, and the model you have been. Human nature, however, is such that a parent loses some of his/her ability to remain detached and objective in matters concerning his/her children's athletics. The following guidelines will help you keep your child's development in the proper perspective and help your child reach his/her full potential as an athlete. 

The coach is the Coach!

We want your swimmer to relate to his or her coach as soon as possible concerning swimming matters. This relationship between coach and swimmer produces best results. When parents interfere with opinions as to how the swimmer should swim or train, it causes considerable, and oftentimes insurmountable, confusion as to whom the swimmer should listen to. If you have a problem, concern, or complaint, please contact the coach.   Best kind of parent: The coach's job is to motivate and constructively criticize the swimmer's performance. It is the parent's job to supply the love, recognition, and encouragement necessary to make the child work harder in practice, which in turn gives him/her the confidence to perform well in competition. 


Ten and Under:

Ten and under are the most inconsistent swimmers and this can be frustrating for parents, coaches, and the swimmer alike! Parents and coaches must be patient and permit these youngsters to learn to love the sport. 

Not every time: Even the very best swimmer will have meets where they do not do their best times. These "plateaus" are a normal part of swimming. Over the course of a season times should improve. Please be supportive of these "down" meets. The older swimmers may have only one or two meets a year for which they will be rested and tapered.  



Please make every effort to have your swimmers at practice on time.  Realize that your child is working hard and give all the support you can.  Encourage good diet and sleeping habits.  They will serve your children well.

1. The greatest contribution you can make to your swimmer's progress is to be a loving, supportive parent.  In this handbook is a reprint of an article called, "The Ten Commandments for Parents of Athletic Children". It offers some very useful and sound advice on communicating with your swimmer. 

2. Aqua Lynx Swim Club hosts at least two swim meets each year. One of the commitments made when you joined the Aqua Lynx Swim Club was to help work our own swim meets. We usually host the meets in the summer months. Every family is expected to provide workers for these meets.




Aqua Lynx Website 

The Aqua Lynx Swim Club has a website at 

This is the most important means of team communication. 

General information from the coaching staff and announcements from the Board of Directors including meet sign up dates, social events, etc. will be updated as it becomes available.

 It is strongly suggested that you become familiar with the team website so you stay an informed team member.  



Is the easiest way to communicate with a board member.  Emails will be sent at different times by board members for important information.  It is each family’s responsibility to make sure their email addresses are correct in their account.  The Aqua lynx swim club email is


Bulletin Board

The bulletin board is located in the entrance to the pool. Please check the bulletin board periodically for any important information.  



One of the traditional swim team communication gaps is that some parents seem to feel more comfortable in discussing their disagreements over coaching philosophy with other parents rather than taking them directly to the coach. Not only is the problem never resolved that way, but in fact this approach often results in new problems being created. Listed below are some guidelines for a parent raising some difficult issues with a coach:

1. Try to keep foremost in your mind that you and the coach have the best interests of your child at heart. If you trust that the coach's goals match yours, even though his/her approach may be different, you are more likely to enjoy good rapport and a constructive dialog. 

2. Keep in mind that the coach must balance your perspective of what is best for your child with the needs of the team or a training group that can range in size from 20-60 members. On occasion, an individual child's interest may need to be subordinate to the interests of the group, but in the long run the benefits of membership in the group compensate for occasional short term inconvenience. 

3. If another parent uses you as a sounding board for complaints about the coach's performance or policies, listen empathetically, but encourage the other parent to speak directly to the coach. He/she is the only one who can resolve the problem.


The Ten Commandments for Parents of Athletic Children

Reprinted from The Young Athlete by Bill Burgess included in “The Swim Parents Newsletter”

I Make sure your child knows that - win or lose, scared or heroic – you love him/her, appreciate their efforts, and are not disappointed in them.  This will allow then to do their best without a fear of failure.  Be the person in their life they can look to for constant positive reinforcement. 

II Try your best to be completely honest about your child'’ athletic ability, his/hers competitive attitude, their sportsmanship, and their actual skill level. 

III Be helpful, but don’t coach him/her on the way to the pool or on the way back, or at breakfast, and so on.  It’s tough not to, but it’s a lot tougher for the child to be inundated with advice, pep talks and often critical instruction. 

IV Teach them to enjoy the thrill of competition, to be “out there trying,” to be working to improve his/her swimming skills and attitudes.  Help him/her to develop the feel for competing, for trying hard, for having fun. 

V Try not to re-live your athletic life through your child in a way that creates pressure; you lost as well as won. You were frightened, you backed off at times, and you were not always heroic. Don’t pressure your child because of your pride. Athletic children need their parents so you must not withdraw. Just remember there is a thinking, feeling, sensitive free spirit out there in that uniform who needs a lot of understanding, especially when his world turns bad. If he/she is comfortable with you – win or lose – he/she is on their way to maximum achievement and enjoyment. 

VI Don’t compete with the coach. If the coach becomes an authority figure, it will run from enchantment to disenchantment, etc., with your athlete. 

VII Don’t compare the skill, courage, or attitudes of your child with other members of the team, at least within his/her hearing. 

VIII Get to know the coach so that you can be assured that his/her philosophy, attitudes, ethics, and knowledge are such that you are happy to have your child under his/her leadership. 

IX Always remember that children tend to exaggerate, both when praised and when criticized. Temper your reaction and investigate before over-reacting. 

X Make a point of understanding courage, and the fact that it is relative. Some of us can climb mountains, and are afraid to fight. Some of us will fight, but turn to jelly if a bee approaches.  Everyone is frightened in certain areas. Explain that courage is not the absence of fear, but a means of doing something in spite of fear of discomfort.


Meet Sign up Procedure    

*Meet sign up takes place 5-7 weeks prior to the meet date.     

*Sign up dates can be found on the team calendar which is posted on the website and under the events tab on the website.      

*Parents will need to go under the events tab and commit if your swimmer will be attending that meet or not attending the meet.

*The coaches will then select events for all swimmers.       

*Once an entry is complete you will be charged whether your swimmer participates in the meet or not.  These fees are non-refundable.  Errors  made by the team and reported to the coach immediately will be corrected.   

*All eligible swimmers will automatically be entered into the Regional meet, Age Group Champ meet, Senior Champ meet and any other Championship meets.  If for any reason your swimmer cannot attend let the coach know immediately.


Entry Fees   

At the beginning of the season you will receive a meet calendar for the remainder of the season. You will be billed separately for each upcoming meet that your swimmer participates in. Once committed to the meet, the coaching staff will select the events your swimmer will be swimming. The entry fee bill will usually be due four days after the billing has been distributed. Typically, you can expect to be charged $3.00-$4.00 per individual event, a portion of the relay fee, and a swimmer surcharge that is billed by the host team. In most meets, swimmers can swim three to five events per day. Aqua Lynx Swim Club will then write the host club a check for all the entry fees collected for the swimmers on our team. These checks will often run over one-thousand dollars for a large meet.   Once meet sign up has been removed, if you signed up for a meet, you will be charged whether your swimmer attends the meet or not.


Fees Invoicing Policy  

Characteristic of any business, Aqua Lynx expenses begin the first day of every month. A positive cash flow is required to assure payroll requirements and various other expenditures. It is, therefore, imperative for all Aqua Lynx parents to pay their swimmer's fees once an invoice has been received.  A late fee of $10.00/month will be accessed for any unpaid balance by the 10th of the month. It is the responsibility of the member to notify the coaching staff or Aqua Lynx Board member of intention to terminate, or suspend a team membership.  Failure to notify the treasurer may cause a member to be unnecessarily billed for monthly dues. If a member quits the program or is dropped from the program because of overdue bills, overdue and current account balances are immediately payable in full or make arrangements. Failure to do so will result in the Aqua Lynx Board to seek Legal action.

Non Aqua Lynx Hosted Meet/ Parent Requirements

It is the parent’s responsibility to work both home and away meets. This will be done by

Coaches assigning parents to specific jobs. It will then be the parents job to find a replacement if they cannot work or will not be at the meet. We want to ensure that all parents are taking responsibility with working meets, as it is not fair or right for the same parents having to work every meet (Parents will not be signed up to work if their child is not swimming that particular meet). Please listen for the announcement for the timers meeting and make sure you are there so they do not have to keep announcing for timers from Aqua Lynx.



It is required of all Aqua Lynx Swim Club swimmers that they have a current USA Swimming membership. This membership not only supports swimming throughout the country, it also provides very important accident and medical insurance for every swimmer and every team.  Each swimmer is covered at any organized practice of Aqua Lynx Swim Club and every competition that is USA Swimming sanctioned. 


Competitive Strokes  

The four competitive strokes are (1) freestyle, (2) backstroke, (3) breaststroke, and (4) butterfly.

Events are held in all of the competitive strokes at varying distances depending on the age-group of the swimmer. In addition, there is a combination of the strokes swum by one swimmer called the individual medley. Other swimming events include relays, which are a group of four swimmers who either all swim freestyle (freestyle relay) or each swim one of the competitive strokes in the order of backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle (medley relay).  



The swim year is divided into two seasons. The winter, or "short course", season runs from September to mid-March. The meets are held in a 25-yard pool. The summer, or "long course", season runs from early April to mid-August. Meets are generally held outside in 50 meter pools (Olympic size). 



1. Dual Meets-Occasionally, the Aqua Lynx Swim Club will compete with one other team in a dual meet. These meets help promote team unity, but usually limit the number of events a swimmer may enter. 

2. Developmental Meets-These meets generally do not have any qualification time standards. Most of the time these meets offer each one of the competitive strokes in the two distances offered for each group. Each swimmer is usually allowed to enter from 3-4 events per day.  

3. Qualification Meets-These meets have some type of qualification time standard(s) that a swimmer must meet in order to enter the meet.  

4. State Championships-At the end of each short course (winter) and long course (summer) season, a State Championship meet is sanctioned by Illinois Swimming (ISI), the governing body of swimming in the state of Illinois. ISI sets the qualifying time standards for these championship meets. There are two championships held each season: the Age Group Championship for swimmers 14-Under and the Senior Championship open to any swimmer in the state who has met the qualifying standards regardless of age. 

5. Zone Championships - After the state championships are held in the summer, a swimmer may qualify to participate in the Central Zone Championships by swimming a national "AAA" time. This is an all-star meet where swimmers compete as a member of the Illinois Zone team competing against other states from the Midwest. 

6. Speedo/USA Junior National Championships-One of the highest levels of achievement Aqua Lynx swimmers strive for is the participation in the Junior National Championships. USA Swimming sponsors an eastern United States Junior National meet and a western United States Junior National meet each season. Aqua Lynx swimmers meeting qualifying time standards for this meet travel to different locations throughout the eastern half of the United States to compete against the best 18-Under swimmers in the nation. 

7. Phillips 66/USA National Championships (Senior Nationals)-Other than the Olympic Trials and the World Championship Trials, each of which is held every four years, the highest level of competition for our senior swimmers is the USA National Championships. As with the Junior Nationals, Aqua Lynx swimmers meeting the national qualifying time standards travel to various cities throughout the U.S. to compete against America's best swimmers.


Meet Schedule  

Each season's meet schedule is distributed via email and posted on the Aqua Lynx website. 

1. The meet schedule has been established with the expectation that swimmers will attend every meet available at their classification level. We do not schedule a meet unless we feel it is important to participate. However, it is not mandatory to attend meets. One can also choose to enter only one day of a two or three day meet. 

2. On an average, we want all team members to compete once every three or four weeks. The meet schedule is established with this philosophy in mind. In some cases, meets of a similar classification are scheduled as close as two weeks apart or as far as one month apart. This happens when the meets that the coaching staff chooses from offer no other alternative. 

3. The coaching staff reserves the right to make the final decision concerning meets Aqua Lynx swimmers may attend. 


Philosophy of Competition 

The Aqua Lynx Swim Club engages in a multi-level competition program with USA Swimming that, like our training program, attempts to provide challenging, yet success-oriented competitive situations for swimmers of all ages and abilities. The following policies outline our philosophy: 

1. We emphasize competition with oneself. Winning ribbons, medals, or trophies is not our main goal. Even if the swimmer finishes first, but has swum poorly in comparison to his/her own past performances, he/she is encouraged to do better. The individual's improvement is our primary objective. 

2. Sportsmanlike behavior is of equal importance of improved performance. All the coaches teach swimmers how to behave like a champion when the swimmers have both a "good" and a "bad" swim. Respect for officials, congratulations to other competitors, encouragement to teammates, determined effort, and mature attitudes are examples of behaviors praised and rewarded by the Aqua Lynx coaching staff. 

3. A swimmer is praised for improving his/her stroke or time. It is the coach's job to offer constructive criticism of a swimmer's performance. It is the parent's responsibility to provide love and encouragement that bolster the swimmer's confidence along the way. 

Swimmers are taught to set realistic, yet challenging, goals for meets and to relate those goals to practice to direct their training efforts.  Swimmers are prepared and encouraged to compete in ALL swimming events, distances, and strokes. This policy promotes versatility and encourages the swimmer to explore his potential in the wide range of events offered in competitive swimming. Oftentimes, a swimmers "best" stroke changes as they mature and his/her body goes through physical changes.


Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Swim Meets…..But, Were Afraid to Ask (Or didn’t know what to ask):

Swim meets are a great family experience! They're a place where the whole family can spend time together. Listed below are some very in-depth guidelines geared to help you through your first couple of swim meets. It may seem a little overwhelming, but we tried to be as specific and as detailed as we possibly could. If you have any questions, please ask your coach.  


What to Take To the Meet

1. Most important: Swim Suit and Swim Cap--and goggles. 

2. Towels-Realize your swimmer will be there awhile, so pack at least two. 

3. Something to sit on. Example: sleeping bag, old blanket, or anything that will be comfortable to sit on. The swimmers will be spending a lot of time on it. 

4. Sweat suits: bring one. Each swimmer may want to bring two because they can get wet and soggy. 

5. T-shirts: Two or three. Same reason as above. 

6. Games: travel games, coloring books, books, anything to pass the time. 

7. Food: Each swimmer is usually allowed to bring a small cooler. It is better to bring snacks. They usually have concessions at the meet. Suggestions for items to bring: Drinks: Hi-C, Fruit juice, Gatorade and bottled water.        

Snacks: Granola bars, Fun fruits, yogurt, cereal, jello cubes, sandwiches, fruit, veggies, cheese sticks, peanut butter, frozen grapes.

Once you have attended one or two meets this will all become a routine. Please do not hesitate to ask any other Aqua Lynx parent for help or information! 

These meets are a lot of fun for the swimmers! He/she gets to visit with his/her friends, play games, and meet kids from other teams. He/she also gets to "race" and see how much he/she has improved from all the hard work he/she has put in at practice. 

Special Parent's Note The pool area is usually very warm. Therefore, you need to make sure you dress appropriately. Nothing is worse than being hot at a swim meet. It makes the time pass very slowly! If you don't think that a gym floor is comfortable, feel free to bring folding chairs to sit on.


Before the Meet Starts

1. Arrive at the pool at least 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time begins. This time will be discussed with the swimmers at practice and distributed in a written packet.  

2. Upon arrival, find a place to put your swimmer's blankets, swim bags and/or sleeping bags. The team usually sits in one place together, so look for some familiar faces. 

3. Find the positive check-in and have your swimmer check themselves in.  This is done so that the people running the meet know who is actually at the meet.  Positive check in usually closes 15 or 20 minutes after warm ups starts. Make sure your swimmer checks in or they will not be assigned a heat and lane for their events and will be scratched from the meet for that day. Some meets have the coaches do check in for the swimmers. If you are running late please text or call your coach so they can check you in.

4. Once "checked in", write each event-number on your swimmer's hand in ink or sharpie marker. This helps him/her remember what events he/she is swimming and what event number to listen for. 

5. Your swimmer now gets his/her cap and goggles and reports to the pool and/or coach for warm-up instructions. It is very important for all swimmers to warm-up with the team. Swimmer's bodies are just like cars on a cold day-he/she needs to get the engine going and warmed-up before he/she can go all out. 

6. After warm-up, your swimmer will go back to the area where his/her towels are and sit there until the next event is called. This is a good time to make sure he/she goes to the bathroom if necessary, gets a drink, or just gets settled in. 

7. The meet will usually start about 10-15 minutes after warm-ups are


8. According to USA Swimming rules (because of insurance purposes), parents are not allowed on deck unless they are serving in an official capacity. Similarly, all questions concerning meet results, an officiating call, or the conduct of a meet, should be referred to the coaching staff. They, in turn, will pursue the matter through the proper channels. 

9. Psych Sheets. A psych sheet is usually available for sale at the admissions table in the lobby or concession area of the pool. It lists all swimmers in each event in order of "seed time". When the team entry is sent in, each swimmer and his/her previous best time in that event is listed. If the swimmer is swimming an event for the first time, he/she will be entered as a "no-time" or "NT". A "no-time" swimmer will most likely swim in one of the first heats of the event. 


Meet Starts

1. It is important for any swimmer to know what event numbers he/she is swimming (again, why they should have the numbers on their hand). He/she may swim right away after warm-up or they may have to wait awhile. 

2. A swimmer's event number will be called, usually over the loudspeaker, and he/she will be asked to report to the "bullpen". Swimmers should report with his/her cap and goggle. Generally, girl’s events are odd-numbered and boy’s events are even-numbered. Example:  "Event #26, 10-Under Boys, 50 freestyle, report to bullpen." 

3. There may be a “bullpen” to line up all the swimmers and take them down to the pool in correct order.  Not all meets have a bullpen.   Most meets will provide a bullpen for 8 and under, and 9/10 swimmers. 

4. The swimmer swims their race. 

5. After each swim:  

A. He/she should go immediately to their coach. The coach will discuss the swim with each swimmer.   

B. Generally, the coach follows these guidelines when discussing swims:  

 a. Positive comments or praise   

 b. Suggestions for improvement  

 c. Positive comments  

6. Things you, as a parent, can do after each swim: 

A. Tell him/her how great they did! The coaching staff will be sure to discuss stroke technique with them.   You need to tell him/her how proud you are and what a great job he/she did.  

B. Take him/her back to the towel area and relax.  

C. This is another good time to check out the bathrooms, get a drink or something light to eat. 

D. The swimmer now waits until his/her next event is called and starts the procedure again at the bullpen. 

7. When a swimmer has completed all of his/her events he/she and their parents get to go home. Make sure, however, you, as a parent, check with the coach before leaving to make sure your swimmer is not included on a relay. It is not fair to other swimmers who may have stayed to swim on a relay where your swimmer is expected to be a member and he/she is not there. 


What Happens If Your Child has a Disappointing Swim?    

 If your child has a poor race and comes out of it feeling bad, talk about the good things. The first thing you say is, "Hey that is not like you. You're usually a top swimmer." Then you can go on and talk about the good things the child did. You never talk about the negative things.  If your child comes up to you and says, "That was a bad race, don't tell me it wasn't," there is nothing wrong with a swimmer negatively evaluating a race. The important thing is for the child not to dwell on it. You should move the swimmer on to something good. "All right, you have had a bad race. How do you think you can do better next time?" Immediately start talking about the positive things. 




The swimmers are not allowed a false start. If they jump the start and the starter thinks they are trying to get an advantage (whether intentional or not-it does not matter), they will be disqualified from the race.  

Turns and finishes 

1. Freestyle: feet have to touch the wall   

2. Backstroke: swimmers have to be on their back when they touch the wall. After he/she touches, he/she can then turn around, but he/she must push off on their back. At the finish a swimmer must finish on his/her back. A swimmer may not roll over and grab the wall until they have first touched it.   

3. Breaststroke and Butterfly:   

A. Swimmers have to touch with both hands at the same time.  

B. A swimmer may not freestyle kick off the wall in either    breaststroke or butterfly.   

C. When swimming butterfly, both arms must move at the same time.



Trips to meets in other cities become an important aspect of a swimmer's career while advancing through the age group ranks. The Aqua Lynx Swim Club has established the following policies for the safety of the swimmer and peace-of-mind of parents: 

1. Parents are to be responsible for arranging transportation and lodging to away meets. Oftentimes, a certain hotel will be designated as "team hotel." 

2. These trips can be great fun for parents and swimmers alike.  They also are a rare opportunity to participate in a special way in each young swimmer's career.


Parent Contract Terms and Conditions For Participation

1.  The team registration fee, and USA Swimming (USA) fee, must be paid prior to the swimmer attending practice or signing up for meets. Should a swimmer decide to discontinue participation on the Aqua Lynx Swim Team, within 10 days from the first team practice offered for the swimmers training group, fees will be refunded upon written request.  However the USA Swimming registration fee and any applicable meet fees are not refundable.  

2.  Family accounts may be viewed at any time by signing onto the Aqua Lynx website using your password.  It is each family’s responsibility to make sure they are in good standing.  FEES ARE TO BE PAID BY THE 10th DAY OF THE MONTH. ACCOUNTS NOT PAID BY THE 10th OF THE MONTH WILL INCUR A $10.00 LATE FEE. 

3.  Any checks returned to the Aqua Lynx Swim Team for Non-Sufficient Funds will be subject to a $25.00 additional handling charge.

4.  When participating at a meet hosted by another team it is the parent’s responsibility to “step up” and be a timer.  Talk to the other Aqua Lynx parents at the meet and work out a schedule. 

5.  Team members and parents are expected to display proper respect and sportsmanship toward coaches, officials, meet administrators, and fellow competitors. 

6.   All questions you may have concerning meet results, an officiating call, or the conduct of a meet should be referred to the Aqua Lynx coaching staff only.  Our coaches, in turn, will pursue the matter through the appropriate channels. 

7.  In accordance with USA Swimming rules, parents are expected to remain in the spectator area and off the pool deck during practice and swim meets, unless they are working the meet in an official capacity. 


9.  Every year the Aqua Lynx Swim Team hosts a couple swim meets. It is each family’s responsibility to be aware of their worker assignment for each meet.  The dates for swim meets can be found on the Aqua Lynx website.   


Swimmer Code of Conduct for Aqua Lynx Swim Team

1.  Team members are expected to be on deck and ready for practice on time. 

2.  Team members are to follow the rules about practice and meet behavior in the team handbook. 

3.  Team members are expected to display proper respect and sportsmanship toward coaches, officials, meet administrators and fellow competitors. 

4.  All team members are expected to follow the team uniform policy. Your personal appearance shall be neat and appropriate at all times. 

5.  The coaching staff and Aqua Lynx Board holds the final word on any rules, regulations, or disciplinary action.

6.   Meet warm-up times, which are set by the staff and published in the team meet information and website, are to be strictly adhered to by all team members.     

7.  All swimmers, who are members of the Aqua Lynx Swim Team, are required to participate at their highest level of achievement in meets (including relays). 

8.   Team members should check with their coach prior to leaving a meet.    

9.  Swimmers are expected to meet with their coach after each of their events.  

10.  Swimmers are expected to sit with the team and participate in all team meet activities and team meetings. 

11.  As a matter of team pride and courtesy to the meet host, swimmers are expected to leave the Aqua Lynx team area in a neat and clean condition at the conclusion of each session of the meet. 

12.  All questions swimmers may have concerning meet results, an officiating call, or the conduct of a meet, should be referred to the Aqua Lynx coaching staff only.  Our coaches, in turn, will pursue the matter through the appropriate channels. 

13.  In prelim/final meets, all swimmers who qualify to compete in the finals and consolation finals are expected to participate.  All team members are strongly encouraged to return to the evening finals sessions to support the team and take advantage of the opportunity to learn from watching.  At times, alternate and relay positions open up that need to be filled.

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Aqua Lynx Swim Club

PO Box 602
Lincoln, Illinois 62656