View Full Version : Information about how to start a high school swim team

February 16th, 2011, 01:02 AM
Hello everyone,
I am a college student and currently I am writing a research paper on how to start a high school swim team. Also how it is beneficial to the community, athletes, and school. If you have any information that would be relevant to this subject please help! It is much appreciated!
Thank you!

February 16th, 2011, 11:08 AM
Hi everyone! Help her out. She's my daughter and I told her this would be a good place to get information. Thanks.

February 16th, 2011, 12:57 PM
Hi 1st you must get the school to find the funds to run a team. This is not the best time to ask a school board for pool time, coaching pay ,bus costs,uniforms,equipment et all. It is a great sport for all that , as I can attest at 65, lasts a lifetime. Good luck with the paper & please check in with us in the future.

Redbird Alum
February 16th, 2011, 03:33 PM
Hello everyone,
I am a college student and currently I am writing a research paper on how to start a high school swim team. Also how it is beneficial to the community, athletes, and school. If you have any information that would be relevant to this subject please help! It is much appreciated!
Thank you!

From the United States Swimming website... a good set of questions to think about before starting a club (even though these are not directly high school related)... may help you think about areas for research with a few local high schools who have, or are planning teams. You may want to talk with schools that have been both successful, and those who had to drop teams.


Make sure to speak with the coach, any parent organization that supports the team, and also the Athletic Director. Many people forget that the Athletic Director often has to schedule within conference and State events, and also may do administrative duties relevant to insurance, maintenance, travel, etc.

Not sure if you're considering affiliation with whatever state organizations oversee the schools, but there are almost universally state bodies that govern athletics. As example, here is a coaches certification page from the Illinois High School Association:


I would suggest finding your local State organization and contacting them about what is required (or you could solicit several if your paper is intended to generally cover any/all states).

February 17th, 2011, 11:57 AM
Several parents got a team started at our daughter’s high school 6 years ago. This was at a private school, which I think would be easier than a public school, but I think the same concepts would work at either. The following steps worked for us:
Assemble a base. In our case there were 6 parents who got together to try to get the school interested. Four of us were current or former swimmers or divers. It is important that your group have enough knowledge about what would be required to have a team to inform the school of what is required and how and where to get it.

Be prepared to do all of the leg work for the school yourself. Finding pool time and good swimming/diving coaches are concepts that are particularly daunting for a school administrator who knows nothing of the sport. Assuming you have put together people who are involved in swimming, you will have people with the contacts to find pool time and a coach. These are details that you should have at least a preliminary plan for when you meet with the school. It is much easier for the school to agree to a fully formed plan than a concept that will require the school to reinvent the wheel.

Find a good coach. In our area we are lucky to have a number of large Masters and USAA teams with a lot of good coaches. Many of them also coach area private high school teams. Finding the right coach who can lead, inspire and build the team is key to the continued support and success of the team.

Win. Nothing succeeds like success. Continued support for any high school sport depends on success. Hopefully, if the first three points have fallen in place, the fourth will follow.

In our case, we had some good breaks. The school was a new high school added to an existing K-8 school and the administration was interested in building the school. It also helped that the wife of the headmaster had been a competitive swimmer and that the facilities director at the school had been a college swimmer and was a former Olympian. The school, with some skepticism, let us start a team the first year as a club. We told them that we would do all of the work, and we did. There were 10 or 12 middle school swimmers and 4 high school girls. We only had a couple of team practices and two of the fathers served as “coaches.” There was enough interest that the school changed the club to a team the next year. We found a great coach that the school hired and found pool time 2 days a week. The second, big break was that the school joined an athletic conference that year and the swim team won the first school athletic trophy – finishing 3rd in the regional meet and 6th at state. Since then, the team has been the most successful at the school with 7 regional and 4 state championships.
I think the restraints imposed by public schools might make the creation of a team there much harder. But I know in the late 60s a group of parents, including my mother, went to our School District meeting to sell them on having swimming at all area high schools. At the time, with help from our parents and Title IX, the District created a city wide high school swimming program building six 25 yard and one 50 meter pool for the program.

February 17th, 2011, 12:06 PM
in my highschool in the early 90's school were required to see if they already had someone on staff capable of being a coach before hiring a person to only be a coach. so the swim coach was a teacher at the school.

in other cases, coaches get teaching jobs because the school wants them as a teacher.

it might be worth checking with the district if they have room for another team. maybe they already have 6 and adding a 7th would cost the district more money.

uniforms in swimming atleast at my school var minimal. we had a t-shirt and suit.

in college they were loaners. we borrowed them for the swim season but had to hand them in after our conference meet. seniors usually got to keep theirs.