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The Swimmer's Glossary

Whether your new to swimming or have been at it for years, there's always at least one term that is new. Hopefully the following will make time at the pool a little less confusing.


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General Swimming Terms

Strokes: the four disciplines of swimming

Free: Freestyle/America Crawl - swim on belly with arms moving in large alternating circular motion from above the head to the thigh with the legs scissor kicking (flutter kick).

Fly: Butterfly - Swim on belly with both arms moving in unison in a large circular motion from above the head to the thigh with the legs kicking in unison (dolphin kick).

Back: Backstroke - swim on back with arms moving in large alternating circular motion from above the head to the hip and the legs scissor kicking (flutter kick).

Breast: Breaststroke - swim on belly with arms moving in small circular motion from above the head to the the face with the legs kicking in unison in a circular motion (frog kick).

IM: Individual Medley is one event with all strokes swum in order (Fly, Back, Breast, Free).

Medley Relay: A relay of four swimmers each swimming a different stroke in order (Back, Breast, Fly, Free).

Free Relay: A relay of four swimmers were everyone swims Free.

Streamline: The first position of swimming and the basis for all the strokes. The body is made as straight as possible with the arms straight above and tight against the head, hands together palm to back pointing to the wall in front, and straight legs with feet pointed to the wall behind.

Short Course: 25 yard or 25 meter pool (Heritage is 25y on it’s short side - north/south).

Long Course: Olympic size or 50 meter pool (Heritage is 50m on its long side - east/west).

Distances: Used describe the length of a swim. Race distances are fixed for a given age group at a swim meet. Coaches will have you swim different lengths during practice.

25”: a length of the pool from one end to the other.

50”: a lap of the pool from one end of the pool to the other and back.

100”: 4 lengths or 2 laps of a pool

Leg: A specific part of a swim. One stroke of a I.M. or an individual swim in a relay.

Cut out and present flyer to let them know you are with the team. Lane Lines: Floating segmented plastic lane guides that separate each lane and reduce waves caused by swimming. DO NOT rest, hang, or pull on the lane lines. Not only would you be disqualified in a race, but they are easy to break and expensive to repair.

Blocks/Starting Blocks: Platforms at either end of a lane to dive in from at the start of a race. The metal & plastic blocks that are anchored to the pool deck are where most races start from. 8 & unders will removable wood blocks at the other end of the pool

Deck: The immediate area around a pool. There is no running on deck.

Board Members: Current team parents that manage all aspects of the team on a volunteer basis.

Team President: Director of the Board and Team at large.

Vice President: Support of the Team President and 2nd

Past President: Offers insight and guidance to current board.

Treasurer: The financial officer of the team, tracks and has oversight of all income and expenses. Advises the Board on all financial matters.

Meet Directors: The administrators of a meet and organizer of parent jobs assignments. Usually staff the Check-in table.

Secretaries: Record keepers of the team.

Concessions Director: The organizer of concessions and hospitality services at a meet.

Spirit Director: The coordinator of social events for the swimmers and their families, including the end of year party and personal Best raffle

Fundraising and Merchandise Director: Partners with local businesses to support the team as sponsors or for fundraising events. Manages Team merchandise options.

Computer Operations: Manager technology used by the team. Organizer of swimmers records and meet results. Coordinates between counterpart computer teams to setup the program of a meet.

Facilities Director: Inventory manager of team equipment, updates and replaces equipment as needed. Organizes equipment in storage locations.

Web/Communications Director: Coordinates all digital/mass communication to the team from the board and coaching staff. Manages the team website.

Head Coach: Is responsible for the coaching of the team. Directs coaching staff for all age groups while on deck

Team Manager: Handles all communication between parents, the city, other teams, and the coaching staff. Manages the junior coaches.

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