Frequently Asked Questions  

- 2017 Tuckahoe Swim Team -

When does registration begin?  Registration for the 2017 Tuckahoe Swim Team is now open. Please see our "Registration" Tab for more details and a link to our online registration site.

When does swim season start and end?  The full 2017 season calendar is available now.  Our first practice is on Tuesday, May 30th, the day after Memorial Day.  The last Monday Night meet will be July 24th and the last regular practice for the whole team will be July 25th.   Divisionals will be held Saturday, July 29th and All-Stars on August 5th. See our Team Calendar for a full list of events and dates. 

Are there "Try-Outs" for the swim team? The general requirements for joining the Tuckahoe Swim Team are that you are a member of Tuckahoe Recreation Club in good standing and:

  • are at least 5 years of age as of June 1st (exceptions made at Coaches discretion),
  • able to swim the length of the pool in either freestyle or backstroke, and
  • able to maintain your attention and energy for a 60 minute practice.

This coming seasons, new swimmers to the team will be required to attend an evaluation.  You may feel free to register your new swimmer in advance of the evaluation.  Evaluaions will help us us confirm before practice begins that new swimmers can complete the basic skills required and to help our coaching staff prepare.  A Schedule for Evaluations times will be posted in mid-April. 

How long are practices?  Practices will last approximately 60 minutes.  Please make every effort to be early to practice and ready to start promptly.  Please see the practice schedule for details.

How often should my swimmer come to practice?   While Fairfax County schools are in session swim practice is held everyday (except Sunday). During summer recess practice held every weekday morning. Swimmers are encouraged to come as often as fits your schedule. Swimmers improve the more they are in the pool.  

What suit should my swimmer wear?  For practice, swimmers may wear any suit they wish, however we generally encourage a one piece suit that fits snugly with little drag. For meets, swimmers are encouraged to wear their Tuckahoe team suit.  Exceptions will be made at coaches' discretion.

Does my swimmer need a cap? Swimmers must wear Tuckahoe caps during meets. Exceptions will be made at coaches’ discretion. All swimmers will receive two personalized caps as part of their swim team registration if they register before the cap order deadline.

Does my swimmer need fins?  Yes, every Tuesday and Thursday are fin days. Practice Fins are available at most swim stores or online swim retailers.  Sizing can be a little tricky so it may be helpful to visit a local retailer. Please avoid scuba or snorkeling fins.

How are practice lanes assigned?  Practice Lanes are assigned by coaches generally based on the swimmers ability and age.  Swimmers are moved from lane to lane at the Coaches' discretion based on the speed of the individual and the group.  This can change from day to day or remain constant through the season and may depend on such things as the child's proficiency with varies strokes, the type of drill or exercise, or the energy level of a child on any given day.

Can my Swimmer attend another age group's practice?  The short answer is "no". However, on a very limited basis we give our coaches discretion to make exceptions to this rule when it can be shown to be in the best interests of both the team and the individual swimmer.  Please do not send your swimmer to a different practice session unless it has been authorized by both the coaches and team reps in advance.

Does an adult need to remain at Tuckahoe during a practice?  We do not have a set rule regarding dropping off a child at practice but it is not uncommon for our youngest swimmers to have an issue during practice that requires parental help. Our coaches and volunteers are not in a position to leave practice to care for a swimmer in such event.  We therefore strongly encourage that all of our 8 and under swimmers have an adult at TRC that may assist the child should they be unable to complete practice.  If you intend to have another individual stay with your children during practice, please note that Tuckahoe Bylaws require all visitors to be members or pay a guest fee each day they visit including when attending a swim practice.  You will need to make the appropriate arrangements with our front desk staff in advance.  For our older swimmers, in most situations it is reasonable to "drop off" assuming you intend to return before practice ends.  

Are Coaches available for Private Lessons?  Yes.  Most of our coaching staff do make themselves available for private lessons.  Please feel free to approach any of our coaches and discuss availability and that individual coach's pricing. Coaches are not available for Private Lessons from 11 am to 11:30am on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for "office hours".  Coaches are also not available from 11am to 12:30 on Wednesdays for the Meet Sheet Meeting.

When is an appropriate time to speak to Coaches?  Our Coaches and Swimmers work best together when they are able to concentrate on each other during practice.  While our coaches like to be available to parents, please do not disturb a coach during practice to ask questions and please also try to avoid "hovering" over practice.  Anyone not participating in an ongoing practice is asked to stay a reasonable distance away from our practice lanes so as to not disturb the coaching staff or distract the swimmers.  Our Coaches and Team Reps reserve the right to ask people to leave the practice area if this becomes an issue.  Questions can be addressed after practice or at other times around the pool.  Our Head Coach and Assistant Coaches will remain available for "Office Hours" after practice from 11 am to 11:30am on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday to field questions from Parents.  Potlucks can often be a good time to address questions with our coaching staff.  Coaches are also available to answer questions via email but please recognize that their jobs do not allow them the ability to check email routinely throughout the day.  Feel free to communicate with Team Reps regarding ancillary team issues, not related to coaching or stroke development.  

Which swimmers swim in Monday Meets? We have 5 Monday Night (Development) meets and all registered swimmers are eligible and encouraged to swim.   Parents will receive an email the week preceding a Monday Night Meet asking you to register your swimmer for events.  You must register your swimmer for events prior to the registration deadline.  Each swimmer may participate in two events, plus the Individual Medley.  Parents should register their swimmers for events that they believe the swimmer can swim "legally".   Please feel free to discuss event selections with your child's coach. Swimmers that place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in an event during a Saturday Meet are excluded from swimming the same event in the preceding Monday Night meet and are encouraged to swim other events on Mondays. Limited Exceptions to this rule may only be made with the Head Coach prior approval.

How are swimmers selected to participate in Saturday Meets?  We have five Saturday (competitive) Meets against other NVSL Division 1 pools this season.  Our Head Coach may only select three swimmers per event to swim in NVSL Duel Meets.  Additionally, each swimmer is limited to swimming only two individual events, plus relays.  Generally the swimmers with the top three posted times for each event are selected, however the Head Coach has complete discretion when making the team's roster for Saturday Meets.  The Head Coach generally uses the results of our Black and Gold Meet (time trials) to seed swimmers for the first Saturday Meet.  Thereafter, swimmers may post new times by participating in Monday and/or Saturday Meets.  Our Data Coordinator Volunteers works hard to post the times of all swimmers in alphabetical order in our team area following each meet.

How are participants in a Relay Team selected?  Our Head Coach selects the relay participants before each Saturday Meet and Divisional Relays.  Four relay members and at least one Alternate will be selected for each relay team.  All participants and alternates must attend relay specific practices and the event itself.  The Head Coach has discretion to select participants based on numerous factor; including the ladder, most current performances, health, split times and training habits. The Head Coach, in his discretion, may call for a "swim off" to help determine the fastest relay team. Swim Offs will be schedule for a mutually convienent time for the Coach and swimmers.  Swim Offs will not disrupt practice times.  Thank you for your cooperation with making the relay selection process a positive experience for our swim team and our pool environment. 

How is the Saturday Meet Roster announced? Our Head Coach makes his preliminary Saturday meet roster and selects Saturday Swimmers on Wednesday afternoons after practice.  Parents are generally notified Wednesday evening and are asked to confirm availability as soon as possible. Should a selected swimmer not be available another swimmer is notified by the Head Coach or Team Reps.  On Thursday evenings, Team Reps and the Data Coordinator meet with the representatives of the opposing team to exchange our list of swimmers.  At practice on Friday the finalized meet sheet is announced to the team. Following the "meet sheet reading" the Saturday Meet Sheet will be emailed to the team.

What is a DQ?  Trained Volunteer Officials help us run all of our meets and help ensure that all participants are following the rules, including the coaches, fans and swimmers.  Stroke and Turn officials and other are monitoring swimmers' strokes during events and will disqualify a swim if they do not proform a stroke "legally." This disqualification is called a "DQ." Your swimmer's time will not be recorded on the ladder and is listed as a DQ in the results.  A DQ slip will be provided to our team by the official that explains the reason for the disqualification. While a DQ may be frustrating to the swimmer, it is can be an effective way to identify a flaw in a swimmer's stroke, turn or take-off and can help our coaching staff correct the issue with the swimmer in future practice.  Please feel free to ask the team reps or coaches at an appropriate time about a DQ and how the issue can be fixed.  

How many hours am I required to volunteer?  Each family is required to volunteer 15 hours during the swim season.  We need your help at meets and social events.  Almost all of our events are volunteer organized so please be generous with your time.  If you are unable or unwilling to volunteer you may pay a non-volunteer fee of $200 per family at the beginning of the season.  If you fail to volunteer or pay the buy-out your family account with the swim team will be charged the fee and you will receive a emailed billed through Families with outstanding statements will be unable to register for subsequent swim seasons until balances are paid in full.

When should my swimmers report for a meet?  For Monday night home meets, please arrive around 4:45 p.m. as swimmers will be begin warm-up at 5:00.  For Monday night away meets, please report to the host pool at 5:00 p.m. as swimmers will be in the water at 5:20.  For Saturday home meets, please be at the pool no later than 7:45 a.m. for an 8:00 warm-up.  We usually caravan to the host pool for away meets.  The time to report depends on the distance to the host pool but we usually meet at TRC around 7:20 a.m.

What is the Tuckahoe Ball?  We celebrate the end of each season with a semi-formal end of year celebration with food, drinks, award ceremony and dancing for all swim team kids.  Dive and tennis team are also invited to participate.  The 2017 Tuckahoe Ball will be held on July 29th.  We are currently searching for a new location as the McLean Community Center will be under construction for the next two summers.

Who gets a trophy?  All kids who swim in at least one meet will receive a trophy.

How is a team record set?  A team record can be set in a Saturday NVSL meet or on a Monday night meet against another team.  A record is not set at Tuckahoe's internal Black and Gold meet. NVSL Records may only be broken at Saturday Dual Meet or at Divisional or All Star events.

What are Potluck Dinners? Each swim team family is invited to bring a dish to share for potluck dinners every Friday before meets.  You will be given a food assignment based on your family name.  All potluck dinners are held at the lower level next to the snack bar and begin at the posted time.

How will I receive news and information?  We communicate mostly through email and website.  We also enjoy posting updates, news, fun facts, and team pictures to our facebook site.  You can contact a Swim Team Rep at with any questions or concerns.

What is the weather policy? Practice is generally always 'ON' rain or shine.  In the event of thunder and/or lightening, our swim team has access to several indoor pool lanes so that practice will continue regardless of the weather.  Meets are also held rain or shine.  In the event of thunder or lightening at a meet, swimmers must exit the outdoor pool immediately and everyone should report to your car to await further instructions.  We generally must wait 30 minutes without further storm signs in order to resume swimming. Please do not leave a meet that has been delayed as all attempts will be made to wait out a storm and complete the meet.