Iowa City Eelsswim club

swim club

Frequently Asked Practice Questions

Where can I find my swimmers practice schedule

Seasonal practice schedules are posted on each practice group page along with a downloadable .PDF file. Each practice group also has its own 'Google Calendar' which is updated with changes as they become available. Subscription information as well as any schedule changes are posted in the 'Calendar Updates' section on the top of the ICE calendar page and in the sidebar of each  practice group page. 

There is also a general 'ICE activities' Google Calendar to which you may also subscribe. Coach office hours, Swim Meets, Club events and the like are added to this calendar. 

Notices of upcoming changes as well as future opportunities and deadlines will also be announce in the ICE news feed, found on the front page of the ICE website

How many practices should a swimmer attend?

The number of practices a swimmer should attend each week depends upon his practice group and her desire for improvement.

Frost and new Cube swimmers should target 3 swims each week. As Cubes grow stronger 4 or 5 practices a week are possible. Waves and Morays need to swim 4 times a week in order to maintain their skills and strength, Waves need 5 practices a week to show significant improvement, Morays often need 6.

Practice frequency and attendance is a great topic to cover during your goals meeting with your coach at the beginning of the season.

Why do we practice at City Park?

The Spring & Summer swim season is know as the "Long Course" season because ALL championship meets, whether the Iowa Swimming Championships or the Junior National Championships, are held in the Long Course format.

ICE is fortunate to have daily access to a 50m pool (that does not require moving bulkheads around) that has the added advantage of letting us swim OUTSIDE in the summertime. ICE coaches plan multiple practices each week for our Cubes through Senior groups to ensure these swimmers will be well prepared for their season ending swims at the end of July. Our novice Frost swimmers usually get in on the fun one morning each week.

We also offering regular practices at Mercer Park Pool for all training groups. Not only does this give all of our swimmers the opportunity to practice starts, it enables us to take advantage of short course training which helps produce faster turns.

Does it matter if I practice with 'my' group?

In short, yes, it matters.

  • The schedules are created to meet the needs of each practice group. The number of lanes available and the number of coaches on deck is set to enable the coaches to focus on the swimmers in the assigned group and to conduct workouts in a safe and efficient manner.
  • It is unsafe for everyone to have swimmers of different skill and fitness levels in the same lanes regardless of the workout each may be doing.
  • If your swimmer is swimming in a lane with a different group, she loses out on the coaching she would be getting if she was swimming with her own group.
  • It is unfair to the swimmers in the assigned group if a coach is consistently having to work with swimmers of a different level who is doing an entirely different workout.
  • If there is a time conflict or a problem attending a practice session on certain days with their assigned training group then (Frost & Cubes) or (Waves, Morays, Senior) need to be notified and we can make alternate arrangements.

What if I can't make the regular practice times?

Please contact your child's coach as quickly as possible to work out a schedule that will work for everyone. Please do not drop off your swimmer at an unscheduled time without prior approval from the coach.

Can I be on deck during my child's practice?

Sometimes. If the pool is open to the public and there are city lifeguards on deck, parents are usually welcome to sit in the stands and watch from there.

Coralville Recreation Center Pool: This is usually the case at Coralville Rec. Parents are welcome to sit in the bleachers or at the small tables on the pool deck while practice is going on.

Mercer Park Aquatic Park: This is occasionally the case at Mercer Park. During the week, please check to be sure lifeguards are on duty before coming out on deck. Note that parents are expected to use the lobby doors rather than the locker rooms, so if the doors are unlocked, that is usually a sign that parents are welcome to come in. Saturday morning practice is usually off limits to parents unless there is a club-related reason for being on deck.

City Park Pool: Parents are not permitted on deck during morning practice at City Park. You are, however, permitted to be anywhere else in the park, including watching practice through the fence while siblings play on the playground equipment.

How can I speak with a coach during practice?

Parents are reminded to please not approach any coaches (or swimmers, including your own) while on the pool deck. Coaches are available during office hours as well as by appointment and are willing to speak with you at any time except when they are actively engaged in coaching our swimmers.

What is the best way to avoid injury?

As parents, we know that active children are prone to injury so we do our best to keep them safe. The best way to keep your child healthy as a competitive swimmer is through communication with your child's coach. Our coaches structure each practice to ensure that muscles are warmed up properly, that muscle groups throughout the body are worked safely, and that the body goes through an appropriate cool down to end each workout. Coaches are also working to ensure a solid technical foundation which is the cornerstone of successful fast swimming.

Any other sports played or training done outside of ICE should be shared with the coaching staff including sports camps, sports lessons, recreational or competitive sports such as soccer, baseball, softball, triathlon, weight lifting or personal training sessions. This will help our coaches to safely direct your athlete's weekly training and to help prevent possible joint & muscle "overuse" style injuries.

How often do swimmers change or 'move up' practice groups?

Coaches make their decisions on practice group assignments after the conclusion of each seasons' championship meets. Swimmers may change groups when they meet the 'suggested requirements' for the next level or if the coaches decide they are ready for a new challenge.

At the start of a the next season, a Coach may have a swimmer practice once or twice a week with a next level group before making a full transition. This is done for the safety and well being of the swimmer. Rarely will a swimmer change groups completely if there are fewer than 2 months left in the season.

Placement into any practice group is entirely at the discretion of the coaches. In addition to age and stroke qualifications, coaches take many other factors into account. These factors include, but are not limited to, attendence at practice and meets, work ethic, and sportsmanship

What equipment do we need?

Please check the equipment information available on each practice group page or in the ICE handbook on the Swimming 101 page under 'Equipment Guide.'