TEAM HAND BOOK

Introduction:

                Welcome to the Aqua Sprites of Wisconsin (ASW) Synchronized Swimming Team.  The Aqua Sprites of Wisconsin was established in the Fall of 1991. The team represents Wauwatosa but has swimmers from all over the Milwaukee area.   The team practices from mid September through June at Whitman Middle School in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.       

      By participating in the synchronized swimming program, the swimmer not only develops the physical and mental conditioning of a synchronized swimmer, she also benefits from the character building aspects of the sport:  perseverance, dedication, the will the excel, caring for others, respect for well won victories of others, self confidence and self-recognition  of capabilities and limitations.   Preparation for competition also molds the athlete’s perception of herself, her teammates, her competitors, and those who do not participate.  These perceptions eventually influence what the athlete brings to the remaining aspects of her life. Synchronized swimming is a very demanding sport requiring much hard work and self discipline.  It also is very rewarding for everyone involved, particularly the swimmers.   The Aqua Sprites is self run club in Association with the Wauwatosa Recreation Department.  Whether holding a position on the board or volunteering at a meet all of our parents play an important role in the club.

     ASW offers 4 levels of participation with the team.  Below are the levels of participation and the responsibilities and commitment for each level.  Fees, competition and practice schedule are detailed in later sections of this handbook.

Beginning Synchro Class

     The class is offered throughout the season for 1 hour.  The class is for swimmers who are new of synchronized swimming.  Swimmers must be able to independently swim 25 yards, be comfortable underwater and in deep water and in deep water and be at least 6 years of age.  Participants will learn the basic skills and figures. Those skills and figures will be put to counts to form a small routine set to music. Class participants do not participate in swim meets.

Rec Club

     This Rec Club is for girls who want to continue after the beginner class but is not ready for the commitment of the full team.  This option practices 1 night a week for 1 hour starting in January and practices through June.  They learn a routine to perform in the end of the year show but do not compete in any meets.  Being part of the Rec Club would also include helping with fundraisers and helping at meets.  

Intermediate Level Team   (White Group)

     The intermediate team is for swimmers that have taken a synchronized swimming class and is looking for more challenge.  Swimmers will learn more advanced skills and figures.  This level practices 2 nights a week for about 1 ½ hours each night. The intermediate team will learn a full length routine to music and perform in competitions.  The team will participate in at least six synchronized swimming competitions (including a meet out of state) and will perform in the End of the Season Show.

Age Group Level Team   (Purple & Black Groups)

      The age group team is for swimmers that have demonstrated mastery of required figures and technical elements while participating on the Intermediate team or have coach approval.  Swimmers will learn age group figures, team and individual routines and competitions (including a trip to nationals) and the End of the Season Show.  

Parent Board

 The parent board is responsible for coordinating and communicating with the Coaches to help in the running of the club efficiently. The Board consists of the following members:

President

  • Works with the Head Coach
  • Presides overall meetings of the club and Board\
  • Calls meetings of the Club

Vice President   

  • Performs duties delegated by the President
  • Performs the duties of the President when not available

Secretary

  • Keeps minutes of all meetings of the Club and Board
  • Supplies minutes of meetings to all members of the Club

Treasurer

  • Keeps financial records of the Club.  
  • Collects dues and fees         
  • Pays Bills

Fundraising Chairperson   

  • Coordinates Fundraising Opportunities 
  • Coordinates Volunteers for the Fundraisers

In addition there are other opportunities for serving the club through the following roles:

Meet Manager    

  • Coordinates Volunteers for working at the meet. 
  • Works with the Head coach with anything that needs to be done before or during the meet   

Concessions Coordinator 

  • Works with the Meet Manager  
  • Coordinates the menu 
  • Secures donations and purchases items needed

New Member Coordinator / Recruiting 

  • Works with the Publicity Coordinator in Advertising 
  • Helps New Members with Questions

Travel Coordinator   

  • Works with Head coach 
  • Secures hotel rooms for out of town meets 
  • Brings ideas of how to travel to out of town meets.

Publicity Coordinator 

  • Put announcements into Local newspapers Meet results
  • Advertising for Classes or Club Involvement
  • Website

Team Outfitter 

  •  Coordinates the purchase of Club Wear.  i.e. t-shirts, shorts, sweats, bags, towels. parkas

Coaching Staff

Meg Stahl – Head Coach

  • Former Aqua Sprite of Wisconsin 1991-1992
  • Head coach since 2007, assistant coach for 10 years prior.
  • Current Regional Level Judge.
  • Has been involved in the sport for over 25 years.
  • Current Master Athlete  -  Wisconsin Waterloons  & Milwaukee Synchro Sirens

Carly Schulz

  • Former Aqua Sprite of Wisconsin
  • Has been in the Sport for over 10 years.
  • Current Master Athlete  -- Wisconsin Waterloons & Milwaukee Synchro Sirens

Linda Beckley – Figure Coach

  • Former Head Coach since the club began in 1991 and assistant coach for many years before that.
  • Current Regional Level Judge
  • Has been involved in the sport for over 35 years.
  • Current Master Athlete  -  Wisconsin Waterloons

Attendance Policy

            Synchronized swimming is a   TEAM  sport and missed practices cause coaching and learning interruptions for the whole team.  The sport also requires multiple hours of training and practice to master figure skills and routines.  Attendance at regular and mandatory practices is expected.   Swimmers are expected to be on time and ready at the start of each practice.  Swimmers that are tardy or delay entering the pool for warm up laps may be kept that amount of time after practice.  Exceptions will be made based on circumstances.  Practice lasts until the designated ending time; please do not plan to pick up swimmers early from practice as this disrupts progress.  Please be aware that excessive absenteeism and/or tardiness may affect a swimmer's routine position.       

      It is anticipated that, on occasion, swimmer absences will occur for things such as contagious illness, injuries that hinder mobility, family crisis, mandatory school activities and scheduled family vacations (please plan around the meet schedule). In all of these instances, absences need to be communicated to the coaches in writing or via phone call.  Please try to avoid absences that fall within a week prior to or during any competition.  Do not attempt to contact coaches to report absences by contacting the facility where practice is held.

            Swimmers should not attend practice when running a fever or if an episode of vomiting/diarrhea has occurred on the day of practice.  Swimmers are encouraged to attend practice for land-drilling and other out of water activities of they have a minor illness/injury that is not contagious. Please email aswsynchro@gmail.com or text 414-791-5645  when your child is not going to attend practice.

Practice Schedule

Practices are held from the End of September through the End of May.  Swimmers that qualify to the National Junior Olympic competition will continue practicing through the end of June.  Practices will be held at Whitman Middle School unless otherwise noted.

Practice Locations

  • Whitman Middle School , 11100 W Center St. Wauwatosa
  • Wauwatosa West High School, 11400 West Center Street, Wauwatosa
  • Longfellow Middle School,7600 West North Avenue Wauwatosa

Practice times

  • Tuesdays  and Thursdays
  • Times will vary dependent on what team you child is on.
  • Occasional Saturdays
  • Any changes or additional practices will be listed on the club website or by email.

Items needed for practices

  • Swimsuit ( no figure suit, or competition suits)
  • 2 nose clips ( may be purchased for $3.00 from coaches)
  • 2 pairs of goggles  ( incase 1 pair breaks)
  • 2 Swim caps (incase 1 breaks)
  • Contact solution and case ( if applicable)
  • Routine Music and Player
  • Water bottle!!
  • Notebook for routine writing  

Competitions

            There will be approximately 1 competition per month, starting in November and continuing through May.  All intermediate and age group swimmers are required to be at all competitions.  The Aqua Sprites will host a minimum of 1 meet and a maximum of 2 meets in a year.  Competitions will be held on weekends in southeastern Wisconsin and may also be held in surrounding states.  ASW is in the North Zone which is comprised of 15 states in the Midwest which holds 1 meet annually and rotates throughout the 15 states.  The Aqua Sprites and the State of Wisconsin competes in a Region that includes, Illinois, Indiana, St. Louis, and Wisconsin.  Competition events include figure and routines, Solo, Duet, Team or Combo.  Swimmers can compete in up to 3 routine events as determined by the coaches.  The number of events and swimmers participating determine the duration of each competition.   The competition schedule will be available in October after the annual Wisconsin Association Meeting and will be handed out to all members and posted on the club website.         

    Swimmers will compete at the Wisconsin Association meet, which qualifies the top three routine in each category to compete at the regional meet.  From the regional meet the top three routines in each category qualify to the National Junior Olympic competition.  The annual National Junior Olympic competition is held at the end of June.  The national competition includes the top three routines from all regional meets held throughout the United States.  All Age Group level swimmers competing in the 12 and Under age group or older can qualify to go. 

            Competitions hosted by the Aqua Sprites will require the assistance of all parents.  There are opportunities for assisting with organization, set up, hospitality, scoring and clean up.  The meet manager will work with each parent to assign him or her to a job that they will comfortable with.

Competition Travel

            Teams in and outside Wisconsin will host competitions.  A competition is considered a local event if it is hosted by a team in the Wisconsin Association.  Travel to these meets will be the responsibility of each family.  If you are unable to attend a competition with your daughter, please make arrangements for your daughter to travel with another swimmer's family as a chaperone.   Should you need to make such arrangements please notify one of the coaches.

            Any competition hosted by a team outside the Wisconsin Association is considered an away meet.  The travel coordinator will discuss arrangements with the swimmers parents.  Swimmers and parents spectators will be responsible for all travel costs.

Competition Apparel

            Before routine meets begin in January, the Suit Coordinator for each routine, with the help of the coaches, chooses and orders swimsuits for the team routines.  Parents will be required to pay for the suit before the swimmer receives it.  Parents may be required to add decoration as suit design dictates.

All swimmers are required to wear a Club Warm-Up** for all award presentations or a club   t-shirt and black shorts.

** Club Warm-Ups will be handed out at the beginning of the year Clean and on a Hanger.

Please return at the end of the season Clean and on a Hanger.

  Items Needed for Competition

Same as for practice but include the following:

  • Suits -  All Black (For figures) and Routine Suits
  • White Swim Cap
  • Goggles
  • 3 or 4 pairs of nose clips
  • Headpieces for routines and Bobbie pins
  • Waterproof make up (Eye Shadow, Eye Liner, Lipstick, etc)
  • Towels
  • Music Player and music for Land drilling
  • Team Warm-Ups, T-Shirt and Black Shorts

Competition Etiquette

  • Arrive at least 15 minutes early.  Arrival times will be determined by the event schedule
  • Arrive at routine meets with hair already knoxed.  Many pool facilities do not allow knoxing or de-knoxing on the premises
  • Ensure that coaches and the team know how to reach you in case of schedule changes or team plans.
  • Do not talk during announcements, during figures, or when a routine is in the water.
  • Stay out of the competition area.  Spectators must remain in the spectator’s area.  Coaches will ensure your child knows where to go.
  • Show proper respect to all competitors.  You never know who may overhear.
  • Support the hosting teams fundraising efforts if you can.
  • Keep in mind: space is limited in the spectator’s area.  Be considerate and do not bring large coolers, etc into the meet area.

 Big Sisters/Little Sisters Program

To help incoming swimmers adjust more quickly to the sport of synchronized swimming and to build team unity.  At the start of each season swimmers will be paired across age groups.  Big Sisters are responsible for welcoming new swimmers to the team and encouraging all swimmers during practice.  It is customary for “Sisters” to exchange “Good Lucks” at competitions.    The following are some basic guidelines for giving Good Lucks.

  • Good Lucks should be exchanged on the first day of competition.
  • Good Lucks should consist of a either a card or a poster.  Maybe a candy or small trinket.   Remember it is the thought that counts not the cost!!

 Websites :


Aquaspritesof Wisconsin.org

USA Synchro :  usasynchro.org

Practice or Competition Suits:      


    • Swimoutlet.com   http://www.swimoutlet.com/aswsynchro
      • Please purchase through swimoutlet .com as we receive 8% back on each order. Use the address above.
      • www.actionfit.com  - Special Made Suits
      • www.actionfabrics.com  - Sequins, Rhinestones , Fabric

Local Stores:   

  •     Walters Sporting Goods on Capitol Drive in Brookfield.     
  •     Dunhams Sporting Goods = Team Discount Available         
  •     Dicks Sporting Goods    


Approximate Costs:

Dues:

  • $250.00 , $260.00 or  $275.00 per Quarter.  (Dues cover Pool, Coaches, Meet fees and USA Synchro Fees)
  • First payment is due at the first parent meeting in October 
  • Suits, team apparel and other charges are separate. and due at the time charge is incurred

This is a list of the fees that are paid with the dues:

  • USA Synchro $100
  • Wisconsin Association $10.00
  • November Figure Meet: $15.00
  • December Figure Meet: $15.00
  • Grade level Testing :     $15.00
    • Fee Plus the Grade Level Fee being Tested
      • Level One $15
      • Level Two $20
  • Senior Association and Routine Meet: $15.00 plus $10.00 per routine swam
  • Wisconsin Invitational:   $15.00 plus $10.00 per routine swam
  • Wisconsin State Championship: $15.00 plus $10.00 per routine swam
  • Regional Swim Meet: $15.00 plus $10.00 per routine swam