Frequently Asked Questions
About the sport of swimming
What are the main differences between long course and short course?
As USA Swimming has both a long course and short course season it makes sense to explain a few of the biggest differences. First of all, and perhaps most obvious, are the changes in events. There are no 25s in long course (since the pool is 50 meters rather than 25 yards), and some of the longer freestyle distances change. Rather that the 500, 1000, and 1650, we swim the 400, 800, and 1500. Other major differences have to do with the races themself. For example, swimmers are able to simultaneously gain speed and rest as they streamline off a turn, but in long course races the number of turns is greatly reduced. This may seem minor at first, but when one considers that a 500 freestyle has 19 turns versus 7 for its long course counterpart, the difference is significant. Finally, there is the difference between meters and yards. Although one meter and one yard are very nearly the same distance, when one swims 100, 200, or 400, the difference begins to add up. For these reasons race strategy often changes, and swimmers who have mastered short course find that changing to long course makes swimming a whole new “ball game.”
What kind of equipment should my child have for swim practice?
• Pups: kickboard & fins
• Dawgs: kickboard, fins, & pullbouy
• Seniors: kickboard, fins, pullbouy, & paddles
I like to watch practice–where is the best place for me to observe what is going on?
Things have changed since the days when ABSC practiced in Stegeman Hall, and we’re fortunate to have access to such a wonderful facility. One of the benefits to practicing in the Ramsey Center is that we have ample seating that for spectators in the stands. We usually ask parents and other observers to watch practice from there for two reasons. First, having parents on the deck can be a distraction to the swimmers. Although first time Gups sometimes find it a comfort to have a parent nearby (and we do encourage parents of such swimmers to watch the first practice from on deck), most swimmers do better when they can focus on the coach and the strokes. Second, the stands offer an excellent vantage point from which to watch. From that height it is often easier both to identify individual swimmers and to get an overall picture of what is going on. We encourage parents who have questions or comments about practice to approach the coaches before or after the session starts, or to use the e-mail links found on the coaches section of this site.
What is the Swim-A-Thon?
Does ABSC need volunteers?
Is there an opportunity for me to become an official?
All competitive swimming events held under USA Swimming sanction must be conducted in accordance with the rules and regulations established by USA Swimming. These rules are designed to provide fair and equitable conditions of competition and to promote uniformity in the sport so that no swimmer has an unfair advantage over another. To that end, we at ABSC are always in need of certified officials to order to be able to hold swim meets, both at home at the Ramsey Center, and at away meets hosted by other swim clubs. Without certified officials, we cannot have a swim meet. Officiating at swim meets is one of the best ways to actively participate in your child’s sport. By becoming an official, you will learn a lot about swimming, help your local swim club, meet people from all over the state of Georgia, and get to watch the competition up close. There are several positions for which one can obtain certification. These include: Stroke and Turn Judge, Starter, Chief Judge, Referee, Administrative Referee, and Clerk of Course. Beginning officials must first get certified as “Stroke and Turn Judges”.
How do I get certified as a swimming official in Georgia?
In order to become a certified Stroke and Turn Judge, you must first complete a “home self-study course, and then attend a one-session “stroke and turn clinic”. Clinics are offered at designated swim meets and Georgia Swimming meetings throughout the year. After attending the clinic, you will be ready to “apprentice” at a series of meets, where you will be shadowing an experienced stroke and turn judge. After completing your apprenticing sessions and sending in your apprenticing log, you will have completed the certification process. To request the materials for the Stroke and Turn Home School training or to get information about future clinics please contact the training facilitator for Georgia Swimming, Rob Schreer. If you have questions about officiating feel free to contact Kathleen Schmaltz.
About Swim Meets
Why is it important that swimmers attend meets?
How can I ensure that everything runs smoothly regarding my entry in a meet?
What should a swimmer eat at a swim meet?
• PBJ sandwich
• Granola bars
• Power Bars
• 100% juice boxes
• Whole fruits (orange, apple, peach )
• Container of berries ( strawberries, raspberries )
• Trail mix
At meets why is it important to stay for finals?
There are a number of reasons why swimmers should stay for finals, but three in particular stand out. First of all, swimmers always go faster at night. Since most teams have their main practice in the afternoon or evening, swimmers are accustomed to performing at night. Natural biorhythms take over and the body is far more likely to respond in the evening than in the morning. Also, most swimmers respond to the excitement of finals with increased levels of adrenaline, another contributor to peak performance. Second, the only time a swimmer can score points for the team is at finals. A swimmer can’t help the team by swimming fast in the morning, and then scratching before the night swims. And finally, swimming in finals is a privilege and a reward. At finals a swimmer gets recognition for all the hard work and sacrifice that it took to get there. It is one of the few times when a swimmer gets to stand up on the blocks, hear his or her name called out over the PA system, and wave at the crowd before showing off their skills in a race.