Sachem Swim Club: About Us

The principle purpose of the Sachem Swim Club is:

  • to recognize, develop and further the athletic abilities and skills of students in the sport of swimming,
  • to train and enter all members in United States Swimming (USS) competitions,
  • to encourage good sportsmanship at all times; and
  • to perpetuate the sport of swimming through contests, participation, meets, tournaments, demonstrations, instructions, and to take all actions necessary and proper to achieve the aforesaid purposes.

In addition, any student in the Sachem School District and /or any residing school district is eligible to become a member. Each student must be of amateur status in the sport of swimming. Also, each applicant must pass a minimum swimming test given by the coach to be eligible for membership in the Club, and have the approval of the Board of Directors.

TEAM PHILOSOPHY The team philosophy is encompassed in the words COURAGE and PERSEVERANCE.

COURAGE is the willingness to accept risk and endure failure. Courage does not exist unless there is a situation that presents the opportunity for success. We encourage our athletes to embrace these opportunities and not fear the outcome. PERSEVERANCE is the backbone of success in any endeavor in life. One cannot succeed at the highest levels without enduring some set-backs. These difficult times can create a lack of faith, low self-esteem, and an obvious drop in enthusiasm. Perseverance is the quality that transcends these difficult times. It allows the individual to find the true strength of their character. Sachem Swim Club believes that COURAGE and PERSEVERANCE developed by swimming will prepare the individual for the challenges they face.



 A competitive swim club that has approximately 160 swimmers who range in ages from 5- 18 years of age.  In order to become a member of the club, swimmers must pass a swimming test.  Based on their swim ability they are then placed into the following groups: 

Pre-team- These swimmers are usually the youngest members of the team and are not entered in competitions.  They are learning the basic strokes and building endurance so that eventually they will be ready for competitive swim. These swimmers practice twice a week for one hour.  

Developmental B- These swimmers are continuing to learn stroke development and build endurance.  These swimmers are entered in competitions based on their level of ability. They can swim up to 5 hours a week.   

Developmental A- These swimmers are capable of swimming all four strokes and are working on fine-tuning their swim technique. These swimmers are entered in competitions based on their level of ability.  They are required to swim a minimum of 3 hours a week.  

Junior   - These swimmers have transitioned from the Developmental A group.  They are required to swim one and a half hours per practice a minimum of 4 days each week and will be expected to participate in land training one day per week.  

Advanced- These swimmers will swim 2 hours a day no less than 4 days per week.  Many of these students will swim J.V. or varsity for their school district.   These swimmers must attend land training a minimum of one day per week.   

Ultra- These swimmers are our most proficient swimmers.  They will swim 2 hours per practice a minimum of 5 days per week and are also required to participate in land training activities no less than 1 day each week.  Many of these swimmers also swim for their high school varsity swim team.  

Elite- These swimmers will be selected by their coaches based upon performance, attendance, ability and attitude.  Swimmers must qualify for this level.  They will train for county, state and regional events.  

PLEASE NOTE – In order to maintain a competitive swim program it is imperative that our swimmers attend practice regularly. Attendance will be taken at each practice. Swimmers who do not attend the minimum number of practice sessions required by their level may not be able to compete in home or away meets.   

Coaches: We have a highly qualified and motivated coaching staff. 

Our Head Coach is Mr. Albert Scott. He has over thirty years of experience and started working with the Sachem Swim Club in 2008.  

Our Assistant Head Coach is Ms. Kathleen Dugan.  A Sachem graduate, Katie spent four years swimming D-1 at East Carolina University.  She has been coaching SSC for 5 years and is in charge of our juniors program.              

Based on the needs of the swimmers in each group, the coaching staff may vary throughout the year.  For example, we may need to hire additional coaches during the year.  

In order to make this a great swim club there must be cooperation between coaches, swimmers and parents. 

Coaches’ Responsibilities:Coaches are responsible for helping students develop stroke technique and endurance.  This is accomplished by teaching certain skills and practicing specific drills with their group. The coaches are also responsible for monitoring the progress of each swimmer and determining when they are eligible to move to a higher group level.  Movement to a higher level will be based on a number of factors:    

  • Learning of specific skills 
  • Improvement of time in swim competitions
  • Attendance at practice and land training
  • Active participation at practice
  • Attendance at all home meets
  • Improved endurance

 Coaches in conjunction with the swimmers will help select the events they will swim in competitions.  

Swimmers’ Responsibilities:  Swimmers should attend swim practice on a regular basis and always be prepared to do their best. Swimmers who have poor attendance or do not fully participate during practices may not be entered in swim competitions.  Swimmers who continually pull out during practice may be asked by the coach to leave or sit out for the remainder of that practice.    Swim times will improve if swimmers commit their time and energy at each and every practice. 

Swimmers are also expected to be respectful of their coaches and capable of taking constructive criticism.  Swimmers need to bring all their necessary equipment to practice on a daily basis. 

Parents’ Responsibilities:  Parents are responsible for encouraging their children to try their best and be supportive of their efforts.  Swim is a difficult sport.  A hundredth of a second can be the difference between a child making or not making a championship time.   While parents are allowed to watch practices-please do not coach from the stands.  This is distracting to your child, the other swimmers and the coaches.  If you have a specific concern, please arrange to speak to the coach before or after practice.  You can also email the coaches.  

Parents are also responsible for participation in at least two mandatory fundraisers a year or opt out (via buyout).  They are also required to work at home meets and are responsible for donating money to help purchase supplies for our food concession at our home meets.   Working the home meets is a great way to learn about our club and mingle with the other swim moms and dads.   

Parents – Please read our attendance policy and understand the time that you are committing for your child and yourself.  

Tuition:  Please refer to the registration section regarding specific tuition payments for each group.  Tuition is due the first of every month and will be billed automatically to your account. A $275 non refundable registration fee is due in Sept. Payments are then divided equally into eight month intervals (Oct- May).   Failure to pay tuition for two consecutive months will result in your child losing swim privileges until tuition is up to date. Remember the Sachem Swim Club is a non-profit organization.  Tuition is used to help pay our coaches, and rent our pools.  However, if you are having financial hardships or if there is a specific reason why you can’t make your payments, please inform the president and treasurer of the club so that special arrangements can be made.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

First Day of Practice:Our swimmers will be swimming at both Sachem High School East and Sachem High School North.  Calendars are available at both high school bulletin boards, by the swim area where the parents sit. Calendars are also available at our website  In addition, a parent handbook is available at registration or can be downloaded via the website. Please make sure your child has the appropriate items needed: a bag for holding supplies, towel, goggles, swim cap and a change of clothing for after practice.  If the coach needs additional equipment, he/she will inform the parent where to purchase these supplies. Children are to get changed in the locker rooms and then go to the pool deck area for instruction. Parents are not allowed on the pool deck.  Coaches are available to address questions and concerns before and after practice. 

Home Meets:2011-2012Home meets are exciting events for both the swimmer and parent(s). We have three home meets: one November 4th and 5th, one on January 6th and 7th and our third meet will be held at the Holtsville Ecology Site in July. A few weeks before the meet, a monetary donation will be collected to help purchase food for our meets. Each parent will also be assigned a job for the meet.  The events your child will be swimming on that day will be posted on the website as well as the East and North bulletin boards.  Many of our new swimmers make their debut at the November meet.  The November and January meets have morning and afternoon sessions. The session your child swims will be determined by their age.  It is very important that your child arrive on time.  Warm ups are an hour before the actual start of the swim meet. If your child is late to warm-ups they may not be allowed to swim. Therefore, please have your child at the pool fifteen minutes before warm up.  Your child should wear their Sachem swimsuit and swim cap.  All swimmers should wear their team suit and shirt to the meet. The shirt is included with their registration fee. They should also bring a towel and goggles.  Many swimmers chose to bring extra towels and goggles.  Swimmers should also bring bottled water and a few healthy snacks.  Some children bring money to buy a snack from the concession stand.  When children arrive at the meet, they should immediately report to their coaches.  Coaches will be responsible for helping the younger ones line up for their events Parents should report to the sign in table located by the pool.  You will be signed in and given your work assignment should you have not pre-selected your assignment online. One parent per swimmer must work at the meet each day that your child is scheduled to swim. The meet can only run smoothly if we have many volunteers.  Parents will be fined $75 if they do not work at the meet. If your child is not swimming at the home meet you are still responsible for giving a monetary donation for food concession.  

Other Meets:In addition to our home meets your child will have the opportunity to swim in other meets. On-line forms for these meets will available prior to the start of our short course season in the fall, and in the spring for our long course season. Parents will select the meets they want their children to attend. This information will then be reviewed and approved by their coach. New swimmers should ask the coaches to advise them on what meets to attend. Some of these meets are for all swimmers, while other meets are championship meets. In order for swimmer to be eligible for these meets they must meet the criteria for attendance, participation and financial obligation as outlined previously in this document. 

Communication:If you still have questions please visit our Website, speak with a board member, liason or coach.  Please check the website weekly at  This site will provide you with important updates regarding practices, events and parent meetings.  This site is updated weekly for your access to all activities associated with SSC,   

Parent Meetings-The Swim Club will hold meetings periodically to keep parents informed of upcoming events and answer questions. Dates for these meetings will be posted on the website and on the pool bulletin boards. Please make every effort to attend these meetings. Parent representatives for each level will be posted to better help communicate the needs of all of our swimmers directly to the board. Please check our website in September to identify your level’s representative. 

Parent Committees-In order to get many of our parents involved throughout the year we will be forming the following committees:

  • Nominating Committee
  • Spirit Committee
  • By-Laws Committee
  • Membership Committee
  • Home Meet Committee
  • Fund Raising Committee

 Parents- Many of our parents stay for practices.  Don’t be afraid to ask them questions.  Our parents are very helpful, knowledgeable and volunteer at every home meet to work a supportive position, such as timing heats, marshalls, food concession, admission, set up and take down etc.  Please remember to wear your Sachem colors and support our team. 

Fun Events: There will be many opportunities for swimmers and parents to socialize as a team.  Throughout the swim season we will have beach parties, “dive in” movies, pasta parties, a holiday party, away meets, our Awards dinner and many more fun events.  These are all opportunities for parents to get involved and meet new friends. There is a lot to know about the sport of swimming.  Don’t worry you don’t have to learn it all in a day or by yourself. The Sachem Swim Club welcomes you and your swimmer to the SSC team!


We want your swimmer to relate to his or her coach as soon as possible concerning swimming matters. This relationship between coach and swimmer produces best results. When parents interfere with opinions as to how the swimmer should swim or train, it causes considerable, and often times insurmountable, confusion as to whom the swimmer should listen to. If you have a problem, concern, or complaint, please contact the coach 


One of the traditional swim team communication gaps is that some parents seem to feel more comfortable in discussing their disagreements over coaching philosophy with other parents rather than taking them directly to the coach. Not only is the problem never resolved that way, but in fact this approach often results in new problems being created. Listed below are some guidelines for a parent raising some difficult issues with a coach: 1.     Try to keep foremost in your mind that you and the coach have the be interest of your child at heart. If you trust that the coach's goals match yours, even though his/her approach may be different, you are more likely to enjoy good rapport and a constructive dialogue.

2.     Keep in mind that the coach must balance your perspective of what is best for your child with the needs of the team or a training group that can range
in size from 20-100 members. On occasion, an individual child's interest may need to be subordinate to the interests of the group, but in the long run the benefits of membership in the group compensate for occasional short-term inconvenience.

3.     If your child swims for an assistant coach, always discuss the matter first with that coach, following the same guidelines and preconceptions noted above. If the assistant coach cannot satisfactorily resolve your concern, then ask that the head age group coach or head coach join the dialogue as a third party.

4.     If another parent uses you as a sounding board for complaints about the coach's performance or policies, listen empathetically, but encourage the other parent to speak directly to the coach. He/she is the only one who can resolve the problem. 

COMMUNICATION: Check the Bulletin Boards!  

Some Helpful Info. For Parents: 

 Home Meets: 

·       We usually have 3 home meets: November (short course), January (short course), and July (long course). See below for details on short vs. long course meets

·       Home meets are MANDATORY events for all qualified SSC swimmers

·       For each event that your child registers to swim there is a small fee (approx. $3) which will be automatically charged to your account

SCRATCHING your swimmer from an event or meet last minute will still result in the applicable fee(s) being charged to your  account – to withdraw your swimmer from an event or meet contact your child’s a minimum of   2   weeks before their scheduled swim

  • 1 parent for each SSC family swimming will be expected to sign up for a job during each day that the swimmer is present. Please remember that we are a parent run organization and count on ALL families to share in this responsibility
  • Failure to work your scheduled day/time will result in a fee of  $ 75 (per day) being charged to your account
  • You can sign up on-line for available jobs. Click on our website to view the listings for each home meet
  • NOTE – SSC parents DO NOT work at away meets (although we do help in some of the invitational meets)
  • Parents that work at a meet do not pay an entrance fee. Nonworking parents and family members watching the meet must enter and pay with visiting spectators
  • If you are on deck working as a timer – you will get wet. Aquatic areas are wet and decks are hard on your feet! We recommend shorts and crocs if you are timing
  • Each family is required to pay a small cost to cover food-related expenses, This money purchases items to be sold at our concession stand. Profits from concessions and meets help keep expenses down for our club


         Short Course                        vs.                        Long Course                

-  swimmers compete in a 25 yard pool                      -   swimmers compete in a 50 meter


-  meets are usually indoors                                         -   meets may be indoors or outdoors

                                                                                    -   new qualifying times are set for

                                                                                        all events

-  season runs from Sept. – Feb.                                  -   season runs from May – July

    with qualifying swimmers                                           with qualifying swimmers

   competing at invitationals in                                        at invitationals in late July and

   March and April                                                           early August


 SSC swimmers are prepared and expected to swim both short and long

course seasons 

   Which pool when? 

·         We use BOTH Sachem North and Sachem East High School pools for practice. Check our swim calendar (on the website) to note the location of practices.

·         The summer practice (long course) schedule DOES change as school hours are modified. The summer practice schedule will be posted on our website as that season approaches

·         SUMMER PRACTICES are often in the early morning due to our use of a public pool (ie: Holtsville). You may need to make arrangements for your child’s transportation during June and July

·         Meets are most often held in the NORTH pool

Qualifying for invitational meets: 

  • This is based on qualifying times and the coach’s decision.
  • All qualifying SSC swimmers must be financially up-to-date and attend practice regularly (check page 2 for attendance requirements for each level)
  • The following meets are “Quals” : seniors, silvers, JOs, age groups, 8 and Unders,and Zones. Each invitational may have different qualifying times – these will be listed in the Heat Sheets provided at each meet or can be accessed through our website – click on “Time Standards” to view the minimum times needed for your swimmer’s age and event
  • Swimmers for the Relay Carnival and County Championships are selected by the coaches
  • Both “8 and unders” and county championships involve a “team theme”  which will be selected each year – these are very enjoyable events for our swimmers and all SSC swimmers should strive to be selected for one of these teams

  Ribbons, Medals and Awards: 

·       During a meet your swimmer will compete against other swimmers of similar age and ability. Those swimmers with the fastest official times will swim the LAST heats for their event.

·       A HEAT SHEET will provide you with your swimmers event(s), lanes and current time for each event.

 ·       You will note that each event listed includes silver, JO and zone qual. times for your reference

·       Many meets award “Heat Winner” ribbons for each heat

·       Additional ribbons may be given to swimmers placing in the top times (up to twelfth place depending on the hosting club)

·       The top 3 finishing swimmers will receive medals in that event

·       All place ribbons and medals are provided to the coaches at the close of the meet. They will be handed out at a practice following the meet

·       Each swimmer has a FOLDER – he/she should check their folder regularly for ribbons etc. that they may have missed

·       SCC has an AWARDS DINNER each spring. This is a fun, formal event where our swimmers, coaches and families can celebrate their accomplishments. All SSC swimmers and their families are invited to attend  


Before the Meet Starts

1. Arrive at the pool at least 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time begins. This time will be listed on the meet information sheets.

2. Upon arrival, find a place to put your swimmer's blankets and swim bags. The team usually sits in one place together, so look for some familiar faces.

3. Your swimmer now gets his/her cap and goggles and reports to the pool and/or coach for check-in and warm-up instructions. It is very important for all swimmers to warm-up with the team. Swimmer's bodies are just like cars on a cold day he/she needs to get the engine going and warmed up before he/she can go all out.

4. Once "checked in", the coach will write each event number on your swimmer's hand in ink. This helps him/her remember what events he/she is swimming and what event number to listen for.

5. After warm-up, your swimmer will go back to the area where his/her towels are and sit there until the next event is called. This is a good time to make sure he/she goes to the bathroom if necessary, gets a drink, or just gets settled in.

6. The meet will usually start about 10-15 minutes after warm-ups are over.

7. According to USS rules (because of insurance purposes), parents are not allowed on deck unless they are serving in an official capacity. Similarly, all questions concerning meet results, an officiating call, or the conduct of a meet, should be referred to the coaching staff. They, in turn, will pursue the matter through the proper channels.

8. Heat Sheets. A heat sheet is usually available for sale in the lobby or concession area of the pool. Heat sheets generally sell for one to two dollars per day. It lists all swimmers in each event in order of "seed time". When the team entry is sent in, each swimmer and his/her previous best time in that event is listed. If the swimmer is swimming an event for the first time, he/she will be entered as a "no-time" or "NT". A "no-time" swimmer will most likely swim in one of the first heats of the event.

When the Meet Starts

1. It is important for any swimmer to know what event numbers he/she is swimming (again, why they should have the numbers on their hand). He/she may swim right away after warm-up or they may have to wait awhile.

2. A swimmer's event number will be called, usually over the loudspeaker, and he/she will be asked to report to their lane behind the blocks. Swimmers should report with his/her cap and goggle. Generally, girls events are odd numbered and boys events are even numbered. Example: "Event #26, 10 & Under Boys, 50 freestyle, report to your lane."

3. The swimmers will check in with the timers. This will verify that they are in the correct event and lane. You can expect at least 4-8 heats of each event.

4. The swimmer swims their race.

5. After each swim:

I. He/she is to ask the timers (people behind the blocks at each lane) his/her time.

II. He/she should go immediately to their coach. The coach will ask him/her their time and discuss the swim with each swimmer.

III. Generally, the coach follows these guidelines when discussing swims:

a. Positive comments or praise

b. Suggestions for improvement

c. Positive comments

6. Things you, as a parent, can do after each swim:

A. Tell him/her how great they did! The coaching staff will be sure to discuss stroke technique with them. You need to tell him/her how proud you are and what a great job he/she did.

B. The swimmer should go back to the team area, dry off and relax.

C. This is another good time to check out the bathrooms, get a drink and relax.

D. The swimmer now waits until his/her next event is called and starts the procedure all over again.

7. When a swimmer has completed all of his/her events he/she and their parents get to go home. Make sure, however, you, as a parent, check with the coach before leaving to make sure your swimmer is not included on a relay. It is not fair to other swimmers who may have stayed to swim on a relay where your swimmer is expected to be a member and he/she is not there. (The coaches speak from experience on this issue.)

What Happens If Your Child has a Disappointing Swim

If your child has a poor race and comes out of it feeling bad, talk about the good things. The first thing you say is, "Hey, that is not like you. You're usually a top swimmer." Then you can go on and talk about the good things the child did. You never talk about the negative things.If your child comes up to you and says, "