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Chap 2: Important Basic Stuff


Practices begin in late May. Until Arlington County Public Schools are released, practices will be held in the evenings at the DH pool. Swimmers should come to practice regularly, be prepared to enter the water on time, and be prepared to do their best. Attendance and participation in practice will be taken into consideration when choosing swimmers for the Saturday meets.

Parents may stay to watch practices from behind the fence on the upper pool deck. We ask that you refrain from going on deck or holding discussions with the coaches or swimmers during practice. Only swim team members are allowed in any of the pools during practice, and then only under the direction of their coaches. Discussions with the Coaches are encouraged, outside of practices, either at the request of the Coach or during times they have announced that they will be available.

Also, please understand that the coaching staff cannot provide supervision for children not on the swimming pool deck during practice. Please be sure your child arrives and departs the facility at the appropriate times and is appropriately supervised. The game room is not to be used during team practices.

Swimmers should do all possible to make the appropriate age-designated practice. If the practice time scheduled for your child is a problem for your family’s work or your child’s camp schedule, please inform the Coach and the Team Rep. We try to accommodate each family’s needs considering also the safety of the swimmers in the water. Coaches appreciate knowing who’s coming when, so that workouts can be planned that are appropriate for the swimmers in attendance.

 Practices in the pool will be held in light rain, as long as there is no thunder and lightening!

Basic Swimmer Apparel

All swimmers should wear a swimsuit that will be comfortable and appropriate for racing.

We select a new team suit every two years. Purchasing the team suit is optional.  Team suits can be purchased at Sports Fair on Lee Highway.  

Sometimes, there is culture shock for some boys regarding the tight fitting "jammer” style suits used for racing. Usually, when they realize that this type of suit is good for racing and everyone else is wearing one, their opposition breaks down. They, too, will become adept at dropping the shorts they’ll wear over them, just as they are about to enter the pool. The Team Rep will announce information about where to purchase the team suit.

You should also consider buying at least one practice suit for your swimmer. Sport Fair on Lee Highway in Arlington, as well as other area swimsuit retailers (there are several on-line) frequently sell suits discontinued by manufacturers at a reduced price as practice suits. Having a practice suit often protects the team suit for competition as regular use of the suit in the pool can cause more excessive wear on the suit.

The team will provide one DH swim cap per swimmer. Only caps with the DH logo or plain caps can be worn in Northern Virginia Swim League (NVSL) meets (turn other caps in side out). A team t-shirt is also provided to each swimmer on the team. Team clothing (e.g., deck pants and sweatshirts) may also be offered for sale at an additional charge.

Accessories for the Well Dressed Swimmer

Every swimmer needs a towel (or two), the bigger and thicker the better. Other accessories you should consider are goggles (probably two pair as they are always getting lost), a sweatshirt and deck pants (for cool days), a swim cap (especially for girls with long hair), a hat or other sun protection, and a bag to carry everything. You should also have liquid refreshment (Gatorade, Propel, or a water bottle) and a light snack for during the meet such as fruit, granola bars, or other healthy foods. Save the sweets at the concession stand as a reward for swimming a great meet.

Team Mail Box

The team mail box is located on the ledge beneath the swim team bulletin board, under the awning attached to the club house. Each family whose team dues are current has a folder with the family name on a tab. As the season gets underway, the family folder should be checked frequently for ribbons, news items, team photos, and other bits and pieces. There are folders at the front of the box for the Team Rep and the Coach. Communications for him/her may be left in that folder.


An e-mail distribution list is maintained by the Team Rep and weekly, or often times even more frequently, e-mails go out with important information. Please be sure the Team Rep has your current e-mail address and that you monitor it frequently during the swim season.

Web Page

As part of the Dominion Hills website (www.dominionhills.org), the DH Swim Team maintains a web page. Our page contains the swim meet schedule, this handbook, registration forms, and other information. There is also an official NVSL website (http://mynvsl.com) that lists meet results each week and contains administrative information including NVSL records. All NVSL teams have web pages on the NVSL site. Some are kept more current than others.

Parent Volunteers

As already mentioned, it takes a lot of parent volunteers to run a swim team and swim meets.

While some of the meet officials must attend NVSL training sessions to qualify for their positions, there are many other volunteer roles that need little or no advanced preparation and can be learned “on the job”. At a minimum, ONE VOLUNTEER FROM EACH FAMILY is needed to keep the swim team functioning smoothly. The Team Rep will be asking you to volunteer for a position, or you should tell a volunteer you are interested in helping them. Or while you are still trying to figure out which job might appeal to you, sign up for a shift at the concessions stand during home meets, or try timing at a Monday night meet. You will sign up for your volunteer slot via Swimtopia in the days leading up to each meet. The team reps and volunteer coordinators need all the help they can get; it’s just that sometimes they are too busy to ask for it!

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