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A Beginners Guide To QVST Poolside Lingo!

HEAD COACH – The coach has the first & last word on the deck
ASST. COACHES – Assists Head Coach in training all swimmers on technique
DECK – The flat concrete area that surrounds the pool
DQ – Disqualification – Swim does not count because of an infraction of the rules
EVENT – any race or series of races in a given stroke or distance
HEATS – a division of an event in which there are too many swimmers to compete at one time
HEAT SHEET – a booklet of swimmers and what events they will swim (Invitational Meets)
LANE – the specific area in which the swimmer is assigned to swim
LANE LINE – continuous floating markers attached to a line stretched from the starting end to the turning end for the purpose of separating each lane
SCRATCH – Removing a swimmer’s name from the roster for that meet’s date before the final lineup is made
STROKES – type of swim body motion. There are 4 basic strokes: freestyle, breast stroke, back stroke, and butterfly (“fly”)
SWIM LINEUP – a list of swimmers and what events they will swim


Swimming Strokes

There are 6 swimmer age groups and each group swims a set of strokes.

Freestyle: In freestyle events, the competitor may swim any stroke. The stroke most commonly used is sometimes called the crawl, which is characterized by the alternate stroking of the arms over the surface of the water surface and an alternating (up-and-down) flutter kick.

Breaststroke: The breaststroke requires simultaneous movements of the arms on the same horizontal plane. The hands are pressed out from in front of the breast in a heart shaped pattern and recovered under or on the surface of the water. The kick is a simultaneous somewhat circular motion similar to the action of a frog. On turns and at the finish, the swimmer must touch the wall with both hands simultaneously at, above or below the water surface.

Backstroke: Backstroke consists of an alternating motion of the arms with a flutter kick while on the back. On turns, swimmers may rotate to the stomach and perform a flip turn and some part of the swimmer must touch the wall. The swimmer must finish on the back.

Butterfly: “Fly” The butterfly features a simultaneous recovery of the arms over the water combined with an undulating dolphin kick. In the kick, the swimmer must keep both legs together and may not flutter, scissors or use the breaststroke kick. Both hands must touch the wall simultaneously on the turns and the finish.

Medley: The individual medley, commonly referred to as the I.M., features all four strokes. In the IM, the swimmer begins with the butterfly, then changes after one-fourth of the race to backstroke, then breaststroke and finally freestyle.

*some content from USA Swimming


Swim Meets Basics

To be EARLY is to be ON-TIME, to be ON-TIME is to be LATE!!!!!

Always arrive at least 15 minutes before the first swim meet warm-up time. Your Dolphin needs to get INKED and mentally ready to swim. It’s also a great time for your swimmer to be able to relax and chat with friends before the meet!


What to bring to the Swim Meet

Bring your Dolphin’s goggles, cap, & towel. You’ll also want to bring a comfortable folding chair, sunscreen, shade cover and a cooler with water/sports drinks/pickle juice and as assortment of healthy snacks (grapes, bananas, plums, peeled apples, etc… NOT candy), cash for the concession stand & and game/book/etc.

PLEASE be wary of taking electronic devices to the pool. QVST is NOT liable should these items find their way broken, wet or....in the pool - hey, accidents happen.


How to read your Dolphin’s INK

Every Dolphin will have a number written on their back right shoulder and right back-of-the hand with a BLACK Sharpie. That will be their ID number throughout the ENTIRE season.

They will also have a series of numbers and dashes that are CODE for what EVENT, HEAT, & LANE they will be in.


Swimmer Equipment

Team Uniform

All swimmers will wear the Team suit at swim meets. NO EXCEPTIONS! 
QVST's team suit can be found, with a link to purchase it, on our home page. It’s good to have a spare suit for meets as well, just in case. 


Goggles are an extremely important part of your Dolphin’s equipment. Swimmers can’t see the ends of the lanes if their goggles are full of water. For younger swimmers, water in their goggles will stop them mid-swim. Please have several pairs of goggles WITH your child's name written on them in permanent marker. These are the most popular item to get set-down and walked away from so it is a good practice to have at least two pair on-hand (in your swimmers bag).

Also, if your swimmer is missing their goggles after a practice, please check the lost and found. 

Swim Cap

Swim caps are also a required part of the Dolphin uniform. A team cap assists in keeping hair (especially long hair) out of a swimmers eyes -  and OTHER swimmers faces as well. Swimmers are not required to own a QVST Dolphin branded swim cap but they will be offered for purchase. 

Flippers (Swim Fins)

Flippers are used in practice to increase strength and stamina in your Dolphin’s legs. Sizes are based on your child’s shoe size, but have them try them on to make sure they are snug and comfortable. Please check with Head Coach before buying flippers for your swimmer - if they are ready to progress to flippers, Coach will let you know.

Swim Buoy

Buoys are used in practice to increase strength and stamina in your Dolphin’s arms and shoulders. 


Kickboards are used in practice to increase strength, stamina, and good breathing technique for your Dolphin. Kickboards are provided by the team, so only purchase one if you would like your own.

Water Bottle

Don’t Drink the POOL WATER! Your Dolphin will get hot and very thirsty at practice… and an ice cold bottle of water or sports drink will really help them thru the countless laps they’ll be swimming. 

Nylon Mesh Bag

A great way to gather and carry all of your Dolphin’s wet gear to and from the pool. Plus, most are washable - which is an absolute plus!

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