The Gator Handbook

Coaching Expectations
Gator Philosophy
Practice Policies
New Swimmer Requirements
Safety Issues
Competitive Strokes
Parent Expectations
Swim Meets
Team Administration
Swimmer Expectations

Board of Directors:

Vice President of Boys
Vice President of Girls


Team Apparel
Concession Stand Boys

Concession Stand Girls
League Representative
Photos & Slide Show


Banquet/Team Parties

Melanie Brock
Kathi Casper
Nicole Millett

Pat Walko  
Kelly Flowers

Carey Keisling
Maureen Stanton

Kathy Geve
Kathy Steenback
Ronda Schiavone

Geoff Brock
Jen Kochmer


This handbook is designed to answer questions and provide you with some basic information about the Abington Gator Swim Team. We hope you will find this handbook helpful, and that it will make your transition or return to swimming an enjoyable one.


Use the buttons below to more easily navigate the handbook's sections.




The Abington Gators Swim Team is one of finest competitive swimming clubs in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Our goal is to offer a healthy, team driven environment for our swimmers and to provide them with the tools necessary to be successful in the sport. While our program has enjoyed a tremendous level of competitive success, we take the most pride in developing teamwork, and leadership in and out of the pool. It is our intent and mission to lead the way for competitive swimming in Northeastern Pennsylvania and to carry on the proud traditions that the Gators have built upon over the years.
The Gators program strives to instill in its swimmers an understanding of concepts such as teamwork, high self-esteem, personal accountability, goal setting, goal achievement, and leadership. We have gained a reputation of training the area’s best and brightest athletes while at the same time – having fun! The discipline required to train, guide, and motivate young swimmers is a delicate balancing act requiring involvement from coaches, parents, volunteers, and the swimmers themselves. The Gator Swim Team consists of our swimmers, our head coach and team of assistant coaches, a volunteer board of directors, including our league representative. The Abington Gator Swim Team is one of 10 teams belonging to the Northeast Pennsylvania Age Group Swim League (NEPAGSL).

Competitive swimming is one of the most exciting, dynamic, and committed team sports available to youth today. This is due primarily to the concept of “Teamwork”.

In swimming, when a team does well, it is generally because a vast majority of the team members have made a personal commitment to challenge themselves and others they swim with. However, this is not only a commitment from the swimmer; it is a commitment from the entire family. When you and your child join the Gators, you become part of a highly tuned team. A team of swimmers, coaches, parents, and volunteers chartered with developing a competitive spirit, a sense of camaraderie, good sportsmanship and teamwork required to succeed in swimming and in life. Being a member of the Gators requires a commitment from all! Swimmers are expected to compete in meets, participate in practices and in other Gator events. Parents are expected to cheer, support, and volunteer and to help out wherever possible. Coaches are expected to teach, train, mentor, and inspire the athletes.






Boys and girls residing within the numerous communities of Northeastern Pennsylvania who are ages 6 - 14 years are eligible to join the team. To comply with the NEPAGSL rules, a swimmer must be between6 and 14 years old on October 1st.


For a first time swimmer, after completing his/her first week of practice, the coaches will make a decision if your child is prepared for a competitive swim team setting.

Before starting practice with the team, every swimmer MUST be able to independently swim the length of the swimming pool - 25 yards.

The age categories are: 14 and under, 12 and under, 10 and under, and 8 and under. Different age groups swim different distances. Our 8 and under children swim 25 yards or one pool length for a majority of their races, but may at times swim a race of 50 yards. Swimmers who are 9-12 predominantly swim 50 yard races and on occasion will swim some 100 and 200-yard distances. The older age groups swim mostly100’sand200’swithlongerracesinthefreestyleandindividualmedley. Throughouttheyear, every swimmer will have the opportunity to swim a variety of different races and distances. The swimmers may swim in events in their age groups or older age groups, but cannot compete in younger groups.




There are four competitive strokes: freestyle, backstroke, breast stroke, and butterfly.

Swimmers do NOT need to know how to perform these strokes prior to practicing with the Gators. Our highly skilled coaches will train each swimmer on the intricacies of these strokes.

When an individual swims all four strokes in one race it is called the individual medley or IM for short.

Besides individual events, there are relay races in each age group. A freestyle relay consists of four swimmers, each swimming one fourth of the race. In a medley relay each swimmer swims a different stroke in the following order: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle.

The coaches determine the strokes and races that swimmers will compete in. These decisions are final and based upon the swimmer's personal motivation and personal best times.




The team is administered by a Board of Directors and is coached by several dedicated swimming professionals who enjoy teaching/coaching/mentoring every swimmer from the novice to those of championship caliber. The Board of Directors handles the administration and organization of the team along with fund raising and relies heavily on parental support.

All parents participate in a variety of volunteer positions: fund raising, soliciting sponsors, deck parenting, lane timing and helping with the food stand are just a few examples of where you can get involved. Board Members for the 2018-2019 swim season are:



The head coach’s job is to supervise the entire Gator’s swim program.

The coaches are responsible for running practices and placing swimmers in the appropriate practice groups based on age, ability and capability of each individual swimmer. When it is in the best interest of the swimmer, he or she may be placed in a more challenging training group by the coaching staff. The coaching staff is responsible for stroke instruction and the season training regimen. The practices are based on solid fundamentals of body positioning and technique. Each aspect of every workout during the season is planned to enhance every swimmers competitive technique, confidence, and overall self-esteem. The coaching staff is also responsible for planning the swim meets and determining what events each individual swimmer will participate in. After each race, the coaches will take time to offer support, encouragement, and might offer some constructive comments to help enhance performance. The coaching staff is constantly updating and improving the swim program.

Head Coach: Corey Wimmer

Assistant Coaches: Mia Nardone, Mike Freeman, Seychelle Duckworth, Melissa Smith

Please feel free to e-mail the coaches at:




Swim practice is the most important aspect in the development of the age group swimmer and in this competitive program.Although competition is the test of a swimmer’s personal dedication and commitment, it is the practice regimen where the fundamentals are established.

It is the practice session where the lessons of leadership, commitment, and teamwork are taught. It is the practice session where the foundation for success and achievement is developed. It is the daily routine of swim practice that sets this sport above all others!



8U & 10U

Mon - Thurs 6:30 - 7:30pm


12U & 14U

Mon - Thurs 7:30 - 8:30pm


Friday - ALL AGES

6:30 - 8pm


SIGN IN AND SIGN OUT. Children who swim with 8U and 10U must be escorted into practice to sign your child in. ALL SWIMMERS must have a parent or guardian come into practice to pick them up. Swimmer will not be allowed to leave practice without being signed out by a parent or guardian. Swimmers must remain in the bleachers when they are not swimming and/or waiting to be picked up by parents. NO EXCEPTIONS. All swimmers must be out of the locker room 15 minutes after the practice has ended. Parents are expected to arrive on time, and to assist their children as needed to ensure everyone leaves in a timely manner.


PRACTICE CAN AND SHOULD BE FUN! All swimmers should maintain a positive attitude and should make the most out of every minute of practice time. Coaches/Board Members and Parents will work together as a team to encourage any attitude changes that will create an environment of positivity. Every single practice is a series of challenges designed to build confidence, improve stroke technique and enhance cooperation skills. Every swimmer should meet the challenges and embrace the goals established for him/her by the coaching staff.


Swimmers should be present at the pool 5 MINUTES BEFORE THE START OF PRACTICE so that we can start on time.

Swimmers are not permitted to “Hang Out” in the stands or in the locker rooms when not practicing. Swimmers should only be present during their scheduled practice, unless other arrangements have been agreed upon by the coaching staff and board president.

All Swimmers must sign in for each practice. Failure to attend 3 practices a week without a permissible excuse, such as illness, school activity, vacation, may result in the swimmer not fully participating in the next scheduled meet. This is a rigorous schedule, but is specifically designed to improve skills through repetition and to enhance teamwork through participation. For those families who foresee this as a problem, please discuss your concerns with the coaching staff as soon as possible.

Smoking or illegal drug use, profanity, bullying or any illegal or destructive action, such as harassing other swimmers in any way will result in immediate dismissal from the team.


NO PHOTOGRAPHY IS PERMITTED in the LOCKER ROOM are NOT PERMITTED, for any reason at any time.
*Any photo activity in the locker room will cause immediate dismissal from the team.*


Please leave them Home or at the Check in Desk (we are NOT responsible for any phone). *Any phone activity in the locker room will cause immediate dismissal from the team.*

All discipline problems will be handled by the coaching staff immediately, but may be referred to the Board of Directors at the Coach’s discretion.





Swim meets are an important part of “The Gator Experience” and should be thought of as a fun and exciting opportunity to measure progress and experience the thrill of competition. Participation in the meets enables every swimmer to strive for individual and team accomplishments. They provide a break from the practice routine and “test” skill development from week to week!

Swim meets are a MANDATORY part of being a member of the team. Swimmers are expected to swim in every meet. If a team member has to miss a meet, prior notice must be given to the coaches by the Wednesday before the scheduled event. Unforeseen circumstances that arise after that time, such as illness, require an immediate phone call to the coaching staff. Any other issues PLEASE Speak with one of the Board Members and we will address this with the Head Coach.

The 2018-2019 meet season will begin in December. There are approximately eight swim meets throughout the months of December, January and February. Meets are mostly held on Saturdays with the possibility of Sunday afternoons depending on which team is hosting the event. Approximately half of the meets will require travel with the remainder of the meets held at Abington Heights High School Pool.

During the 2018-2019 season, the GIRLS team will swim at 1:00 pm and the BOYS will follow at approximately 3:30pm. There is also a possibility of combined meets Boys & Girls Swim together. We request all girl swimmers to be on deck ready to warm up no later than 12:00 pm and all 2nd group swimmers prepared to warm up no later than 2:30pm. For a Combined meet ask for more information from board member.

Do not arrive too early as it gets very crowded between meets, however, do be on time.

Scratch meetings will begin 30 minutes before a meet starts. This means that swimmers not on deck at that time may have their events altered or eliminated. It is preferable to avoid making changes on deck the day of the meet. Therefore, please get your swimmer to the pool on time, and in the event that your child cannot swim please email a coach immediately - the head coach and board president will monitor the team email closely on their phones prior to a meet.

If a swimmer has not arrived 20 minutes before the meet and has been removed from events, they will not be added back in, and will be required to stay for the duration of the meet to cheer their team mates.

All swimmers will swim in the events that the coaches have assigned in the meets. There will be no exceptions. Swimmers can swim in a maximum of 3 individual events + 1 relay event during every meet, but there is no guarantee that they will be in 4 events.

All swimmers must wear team suits for every meet. NO JEWELRY may be worn while participating.
It is the responsibility of the parents to get their swimmers to every meet. The team will utilize the Remind

App for changes/announcements regarding swim meets.

All swimmers must remain suited and on deck for the entire meet and participate in the team cheer at the end of the meet.

If you arrive early, such as if you have a sibling at the early meet, please remain seated and cheer your team mates, but do not walk around or distract them in any way, they need to focused on their events, not socializing. We also recommend that electronic devices are NOT to be brought on deck, for the same reasons, swimmers should focus on their events and team, however are allowed as there may be a significant amount of time between events.

For Championships, team members may choose the individual events they would like to swim, but the coaching staff will select any applicable relay teams. Swimmers are required to attend the Championship meet. However, you must have attended two-thirds of the regular season meets to qualify for championships.





Swimmers cannot compete for any other team during the Northeast Pennsylvania Age Group Swim League swimming season. Failure to adhere to this rule will make swimmers ineligible for all meets including end of season championships.

Swimmers are expected to attend practice 3 or more nights a week. There is generally practice five nights a week. You are expected to be on time for practice. Plan to be on deck 5 minutes before your actual practice time in order to begin stretching exercises and rinse off. Remember to sign in on the attendance sheet each time you attend a practice session. This is used to verify your participation in practice, which ultimately determines eligibility to swim in competitions.

Wear a practice suit / jammers, goggles, and cap (boys may opt out of a cap) at all practices. [No two- piece suits]. Do not wear your team suit for practice, save it for the meets.

Always wear a hat when leaving practice during the cold weather months.

Swimmers are expected to behave appropriately in the locker rooms, showers, and while in the pool. There will be no smoking, drug or alcohol use, sexual conduct/harassment, fighting, screaming, running, picture taking or any other type of disturbance. You are expected to behave in a safe manner at all times, the safety of all swimmers is very important. If a serious problem occurs, a swimmer will be asked to call his or her parent to be picked up. Please remember to respect the property and bodies of others. Swimmers are expected to be positive role models by maintaining an attitude of respect, loyalty, patience,

courtesy, and tact. If parents are called twice regarding inappropriate behavior, you will be dismissed from the team.

Swimmers are to act in a caring, honest, respectful, and responsible manner at all times while on Abington Height's property or when attending/representing the team at other schools for swimming competitions. Swim Team members will not deface or damage school property whether at home or away meets. Dismissal from the Team is mandatory for this offense.

Swim team members are not permitted to “hang out” in the stands or locker rooms while another age group is practicing. Swimmers should only be present during their age group’s scheduled practice time.

Swimmers are expected to communicate with the coaches about setting goals, asking questions about training, or when problems or concerns arise.

Swimmers are expected to inform their coach if they are unable to participate in a scheduled swim meet. This should be done no later than the Wednesday before the scheduled meet. If you become ill over the weekend e-mail the Gators as soon as possible. Swimmers who are no shows for swim meets will not be permitted to compete in the next scheduled meet. This behavior also seriously impacts team performance. Please let the coaches know in advance if you will not be attending a swim meet. There will be a sign in sheet every week to let us know if you can’t attend a meet.



swim team is large so your support is needed to ensure that the program is what we want for our children. With that in mind, please consider the following:

The Abington Gator swim team needs your time and talent! Each swimming family is responsible for one food or cash donation for a home meet for the concession stand. We will also need your help for home meets. In order to be on deck with the team we require the appropriate state required clearances. Please see the Parent Links page for links to each required clearance.

Registration Fees. Registration is to be completed online at our website, The cost of registration is $265 for all swimmers.

Stay informed about all of our team activities. When you pick your child up from practice be sure that you check for notifications at the table by the entrance of the pool. Check e-mail often as it is the main form of communication for the team.

Support your swimmer’s efforts at practice and at meets. Swimmers are competing against their own times, and sometimes they do not go faster than the last. Ensure that you support and encourage your swimmer no matter what their performance. Praise your swimmer often- they are working very hard!

See that your swimmer gets proper rest, hydration and nutrition. Help your swimmer keep track of his/her swim times in different events at all meets. Although every meet will not result in a better time, if you help track their times at meets over a longer period, both you and your swimmer will see improvement.

NO PARENTS ARE ALLOWED ON DECK DURING PRACTICE (only in the designated seating area). Coaches are not to be disturbed during practice; they need to keep their eyes on the pool at all

times. If you have a question for the coach, please let a Board member know so we can notify the coach and see when time is available after practice to speak.

Line-ups for meets are the coaches’ decision only. A swimmer is placed in an event for the good of the team. During a regular meet, a swimmer is allowed to swim in 4 events (3 Individual and 1 Relay), but there is no guarantee they will swim 4 events. Please do not discuss the line-ups with the coaches.

SAFETY ISSUES: All Swimmers must be picked up inside the building. For legal and safety reasons, all swimmers must be escorted in and out of the building. There are NO EXCEPTIONS. Please be sure that your swimmer is dropped off and picked up on time for practice and swim meets. Swimmers MUST be out of locker rooms 15 minutes after practice has ended.

Do not try to coach your swimmer! When your child is swimming, he/she will be coached. When he/she is out of the water they need your support.





Communication is vital in any organization and should always be a two way street. The Board of Directors and Coaches will make every effort to convey information to swimmers and their parents. Likewise, swimmers and their parents need to communicate with coaches in order to avoid misunderstandings and to inform them of issues that may affect a swimmer’s training and competition.

Information from the Board and Coaches involving practice schedule, pool time, upcoming events and other pertinent information will be e-mailed and posted at the table by the entrance to the pool.

Immediate information or schedule changes due to weather or building maintenance will be communicated via the Remind App! Please text @agators18 to 81010 to add your phone number to the Gators Remind list!

ALL ITEMS MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE; however we will do our best to communicate upcoming changes.

Thank You!
Welcome to the Gator Team!!

Board of Directors:

Vice President of Boys:

Vice President of Girls: Treasurer:



Concession Stand:




League Representative:

Karoline Mehalchick
Larissa Allspaugh
Nicole Millett
Pat Walko
Kelly Flowers
Jessica Giermanski
Kim Moher (Boys) & Katherine Geve (Girls) Pam Walko
Natalie Gilboy
Jill Moyle
Corey Wimmer


Have a question? Reach out.