Machine Parent Handbook

Our Coaches

Machine Aquatics brings together a strong and dedicated group of swimming professionals to provide high-quality instruction in a competitive, safe and nurturing environment for our swimmers to grow and improve as athletes and individuals. Our goal each year is to be better in every aspect than we were in the previous year. We expect our team of coaches to strive for greatness. 

Please respect our coaches while they are on deck with our swimmers. Parents are not allowed on the pool deck during practices. Our coaching staff is available via email for communication with parents. Each coach can be reached at firstname@machineaquatics.com. Coaches will respond to email within a 24 hour period. If you have immediate concerns, please contact Paris Jacobs, Team Manager, at paris@machineaquatics.com or 703-281-1500.

Our Programs

Machine Aquatics provide a safe, positive and productive instruction environment for all ages and abilities. 

MICRO MACHINES - These experienced 8 & Unders will train side by side with Age Group swimmers. Swimmers must be able to swim three (3) legal strokes and be comfortable in competition to enter this group. This group focuses on mastering the four (4) competitive strokes, starts, turns, finishes and are introduced to interval training and race strategy. Swimmers are encouraged to participate in approximately one(1) meet per month. • Workouts average 1hr 15min water time & 15min dryland.

AGE GROUP PROGRAM - (Ages 8-12) Developmental Age Group Program. Designed to develop proper stroke technique, introduce swimmers to training and competition. Strongly encouraged to participate in approx. one(1) meet per month. Minimum two(2) workouts per week. Suggested three to four(3 to 4) workouts per week. • All workouts average 1hr. 15 min. water time & 15-30 min. Dryland.

HIGH PERFORMANCE AGE GROUP SILVER AND ORANGE - (Ages 8-12) Must have coaches approval to enter these groups. Minimum four(4) workouts per week, suggested five+(5+) workouts per week to take advantage of this option. Advanced training and aggressive goal setting. The bar is set high and participants are expected to make all scheduled workouts. Swimmers will be required to participate in at least one(1) meet per month and they must have the desire and commitment to train. The following practice days and times may be combined to customize your schedule. All schedules are subject to coaches approval. Please indicate COACH who approved workout when registering.
• All workouts average 1.25 - 2.0 hrs. water time & 15-30 min. dryland

SENIOR SILVER AND ORANGE - (Ages 12-18) Two(2) to three(3) days a week. Programs designed to prepare swimmers to progress into more advanced Senior groups. May also be used to prepare for High School or Summer League seasons. Stroke development will be emphasized while improving endurance and efficiency. • Workouts average 1.5 to 2hrs water time & 15-30 min. Dryland.

NATIONAL/NATIONAL PREP - (Ages 13 & UP) Must have coaches approval to enter these groups. Minimum five(5) workouts per week, suggested six+(6+) workouts per week. Advanced training and aggressive goal setting. The bar is set high and participants are expected to make all scheduled workouts. Swimmers will compete at least once per month and they must have the desire and commitment to train diligently.

The following practices can be combined to create a customized schedule with your coach. Must participate in a minimum of five(5) workouts per week to take advantage of this option.

All schedules are subject to coaches approval. Please indicate COACH who approved
workout when registering. • All workouts average 1.5 - 2.25 hrs. water time & 30 to 45 min. dryland

HIGH SCHOOL/ SUMMER PREP - This group is designed to prepare for High School or Summer League seasons. Stroke development will be emphasized while improving endurance and efficiency. Group begins 09/12/11 and runs through 11/15/11. Breaks during HS Season and resumes 2/21/12 and runs through 5/17/12. • Workouts average 1.5hrs water time & 15-30 min. Dryland.

Team Communications

We have a weekly Team Update for our Machine families. The update includes schedule changes, meet entry information and other resources for our swimmers.

In addition, we are always available to our families for questions or concerns. 

Our Team Manager, Paris Jacobs, can be reached at:

Telephone: 703-281-1500

Email: Paris@machineaquatics.com

Website: www.machineaquatics.com 

For registrations questions for Maryland and meet entries, please contact Becky Widman - becky@machineaquatics.com

For registration questions for Virginia and general information, please contact Alison Galbraith - alison@machineaquatics.com

All registered swimming families should provide at least one email address to Machine. The majority of communications from the team will come via email. We will send a weekly Team Update. This will include information about upcoming meets and events, practice changes and cancellations and team news. 

The complete schedule for the 2017-2018 season is available on the website. Information includes: meets, meet entry deadlines, practice cancellations and team activities.

Please remember to check the website with any questions about upcoming events or changes due to inclement weather. We DO NOT follow the school system closures.

Meet Entry Procedures

Meet announcements are posted on the Machine Aquatics website under the “Meets” page. Entry deadlines are on Tuesdays at 5:00 pm. All entry deadlines for the season are posted on the “Schedule” page for the season.

To register for a meet, please download and read the meet announcement. The meet announcement will include information about the date, location, events and possible timeline for the meet. Review the meet announcement with your swimmer(s) and select events. Confirm these selections with your swimmer’s coach. Coaches will communicate with you via email or conversation before or after practice about their recommendations for events.

All registrations for meets are done using the TEAM UNIFY system. This is the same account that you used to register for the team. At the beginning of the Machine season, you will receive an email with the password for the TEAM UNIFY system.

Once you have logged into the system, you will need to declare you are participating in the meet. Once you declare for the meet, the meet events will automatically pop up. Click on the events you would like to swim. Remember to hit save or your entry will not be saved in the system.

Once your entries are in the system the coaches will review them. They will either approve or reject them. If a swimmers events are “rejected” the coach will select another event for the swimmer. The Friday following the entry deadline an Entry Report will be posted on the Machine website. Once entries are submitted to the host team NO changes can be made. Check the Entry Report to make sure that your swimmer is in their events.

A few days prior to the meet, the host team will post a psych sheet on the PVS website (www.pvswim.org). Machine will also post a copy of the psych sheet on the “Meets” section of our website. Please make sure to check it. It is the swimmers responsibility to check the registration report. If you find an error, please contact Becky Widman at becky@machineaquatics.com as soon as possible. If you wait until the last minute, no changes can be made.

Officials

As a Potomac Valley Team we are called upon to provide officials and/or timers for all meets that we participate in.  We are in need of parents to volunteer to become certified as officials. If you are already a summer official, you may be eligible to take the review course to become a USA Swimming official. Please contact Courtney Johnson at officials@machineaquatics.com.

Volunteers

Parent volunteers will be needed throughout the year.  All families are required to volunteer 22 hours per season.  Starting with the 2017-18 season, you will be able to see the hours recorded in the Team Unify site.

Once you have worked at an event, please email your volunteer hours should be emailed to volunteer@machineaquatics.com with the event name, your role and the hours you worked so that we can have a record of your participation.  Please remember to include the name of your swimmer and family name. Once you have made you commitment, the $75 volunteer fee will be refunded to you. Refund checks are mailed monthly.

Machine hosts six meets during our season. Parents are requested to work at these meets if their swimmer is participating. There are several other ways to volunteer within the program.  These include: timing at meets, becoming a certified PVS official, helping at social events, working meets that Machine Aquatics host, updating bulletin boards, coordinators for travel meets, picnics, awards and phone trees are just a few ideas are only a few ways to volunteer.  

Please contact Alison Galbraith - alison@machineaquatics.com - to sign up and offer help. 

Machine Aquatics Apparel

All Machine Aquatics apparel will be available exclusively through Cassel's.  Please contact them with any questions concerning apparel.   

These caps are required to be worn at all competitions. 

All Machine Swimmers are required to have a Machine Team Suit or Aquabladewith a MachineLogo. - NO EXCEPTIONS

Championship suits (FSII, FSPro, LZR, etc.) will be permitted to be worn at CHAMPIONSHIP meets ONLY- NO EXCEPTIONS

Practice Cancellation due to Weather

If the facility of your practice is open and it is not a scheduled Machine Aquatics holiday, practice will be conducted. At times, due to extreme weather, Machine Aquatics will cancel practice even when the facility is open. We will email you as soon as a decision has been made about the practice cancellations. If uncertain, please check the website at www.machineaquatics.com for updates. 

Understanding USA Swimming

Machine Aquatics is a member of USA Swimming. As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 300,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events and education. The website for USA Swimming is www.usaswimming.org.

Within USA Swimming, there are four Zones. These are North, South, East and West. Machine is located in the Eastern Zone. The Eastern Zone includes the Local Swimming Committees (LSC) from Maine, New England, Adirondack, Niagara, Allegheny Mountains, Middle Atlantic, Connecticut, Metropolitan, New Jersey, Potomac Valley, Maryland and Virginia. It includes swimmers from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and the District of Columbia. More information about the Eastern Zone can be found at www.easternzoneswimming.org.

Machine Aquatics is a member of the Potomac Valley Swimming (PVS) LSC. Potomac Valley represents the swimming clubs from Maryland, Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. Machine competes against team from Potomac Valley for the majority of our meets. Additional information about PVS can be found at www.pvswim.org.