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 Coaches will respond to email within a 24 hour period. If you have immediate concerns, please contact Paris Jacobs, Team Manager, at 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.

Nine and Eleven Month Programs

The 9 month program is from September - May. This is a 36 week program and is for swimmer practicing one - four times per week. This includes our Stroke Mechanics program as well as our Micro Machine Green and Orange, Age Group Green and Orange (4 workouts), Senior Silver and Senior Orange (4 workouts). This program ends with the short course season in mid-May. Swimmers in this program have the option to join the Long Course program for the summer. There is an additional fee for Long Course. 

The 11 month program is from September - late July/early August. This is a 49 week program and is for swimmers practicing five and more workouts per week. This includes the High Performance Orange, Senior Orange (5 workouts), National Prep and National Team groups. This program ends with the conclusion of the long course season in late July/early August. The long course fees are included in the cost of the training fees. We do not charge an additional fee for swimmers during long course when they are registered for the 11 month program.

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



For registrations questions for Maryland and meet entries, please contact Becky Widman -

For registration questions for Virginia and general information, please contact Alison Galbraith -

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 typically 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 read the meet announcement first. You can find the meet announcement on the Meets page under the individual meet or on the PVS website(  under the Meets/Schedule section. The meet announcement will include information about the date, location, events, entry limits, and possible timeline for the meet. Each meet is different, so please read each announcement carefully. Be sure to review the meet announcement with your swimmer(s) before you select events. Please reach out to your swimmer’s coach if you have questions about their 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 for which your swimmer is qualified 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. If your swimmer is not qualified for a meet, you do not need to indicate they are not attending.

Once your entries are in the system the coaches will review them. They will either approve or reject them. If a swimmer’s events are “rejected” the coach will select another event for the swimmer. The day after the entry deadline an Entry Report will be posted in the “Meets” page on TEAM UNIFY. Once entries are submitted to the host team NO changes or additions can be made. Check the Entry Report as soon as it’s available to make sure that your swimmer is in the correct events.

A few days prior to the meet, the host team will post a psych sheet on the PVS website ( 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 swimmer’s responsibility to check the psych sheet and report any errors. If you find an error, please contact Becky Widman at as soon as possible. If you wait until the last minute, no changes can be made.

If you have any questions about meet entries or need assistance in the process, please contact Becky Widman at


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


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 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 - - to sign up and offer help. 

Machine Aquatics Apparel

All Machine Aquatics apparel will be available exclusively through Swim and Tri and  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

make up policy

Machine Aquatics will do our best to offer make up practices when needed.  Swimmers may request a make up workout from their coach, but are not permitted to attend an unscheduled workout without permission. Please note that we will not allow makeup practice in any workout where additional swimmer will compromise the integrity of the workout in place.

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 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

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

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