FAQ

“If I don’t practice the way I should, then I won’t play the way that I know I can.”

Ivan Lendl

“I am building a fire and every day I train, I add more fuel. And at just the right moment, I light the match.”

unknown

“To give yourself the best possible chance of playing to your potential, you must prepare for every eventuality. That means practice.”

Steve Ballesteros

“If there exists no possibility of failure, then victory is meaningless.”

Robert H. Schuller

“The object of teaching a events child is to enable him to get along without a teacher.”

Elbert Hubbard

“I know a lot of people think it’s monotonous, down the black lines over and over, but it’s not if you’re enjoying what you’re doing. I love to swim, and I love to train.”

Tracy Caulkins

“If you can’t win, make the fellow ahead of you break the record.”

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  • What is Longhorn Aquatics?

Longhorn Aquatics (TXLA) is a club for competitive athletes of all ages and ability levels. TXLA offers an age group swimming program for swimmers aged 6-18, an age group diving program, an elite swimming and diving programs for athletes on the national and international levels of competition, and masters swimming and diving programs for athletes age 18 and up.  Practices are offered during the early morning, late afternoon, evening and at night (generally in 1 – 3 hour sessions).  Saturday practices are offered for most practice groups. TXLA offers training to its athletes year round.

USA Swimming, USA Diving, AAU Diving, and US Masters Swimming are the national governing bodies for aquatic sports in our country. They provide insurance and resources and oversee the growth and development of the sport.

  • Where does the team train?

TXLA groups practice at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center on the UT Campus, the Pflugerville Gilleland Pool, and occasionally at Austin-area public pools. See the Facilities page for more information on the pool.

  • Why can’t parents be on deck during workouts?

Due to USA Swimming and Texas Swim Center liability regulations only USAS, USMS, USAD or AAU registered athletes and coaches are allowed on deck at any time. We are sorry for any inconvenience or discomfort this causes.

  • What do I need to bring to tryouts/registration?

Please bring a swimsuit, towel, goggles and your checkbook or credit card (divers do not need goggles). We will provide registration materials and answers to your questions. If you are new to South Texas Swimming, you will need to present a copy of a birth certificate. You can also click, print and fill out one of the tryout forms to bring with you.

  • What equipment does my diver/swimmer need?

All divers need a relatively tight fitting suit, chamois, and bag or backpack for their equipment. Swimmers need a water bottle, fins, paddles, goggles, cap, and suit, plus a bag to carry all of it. Suits, caps, goggles, chamois, paddles, fins, bags and more are available on the second floor at the Longhorn Aquatics store (there are discounts for members).

  • Where can I park at the TSC?

All participants and spectators must have a valid UT permit or park in one of the nearby daily use garages. The best parking option is the E permit, which offers an annual flat rate to park in the Trinity and Manor garages seven days a week and in the Brazos garage after 5pm on weekdays and weekends.

How to get an E Permit:

    • Obtain an authorization letter from the front desk at the Texas Swimming Center.
    • Bring your authorization letter to the Parking and Transportation cashier window in the back of the Trinity Garage where you can purchase your permit.  See our Parking page for more info.
  • Can I use/rent a locker?

Lockers are available for members to store their equipment and personal belongings. Athletes may bring a lock to lock up their clothes while in training, in the day use lockers, but must remove the lock at the end of practice. If a member would rather keep their items in the locker room overnight, locker rentals are available.

Locker Fees
Dates Valid Cost
 September 1st - August closing $80.00
September 1st - December closing $35.00
January 1st - August closing $60.00
January 1st - May 31st $45.00
June 1st - August closing $30.00
    • Lockers are purchased at the Front Desk of the Texas Swimming Center. Cash or check only; checks should be payable to “The University of Texas at Austin”.
    • Lockers are rented on a first come, first served basis.
    • Access to your locker is allowed only during your allotted time at the Texas Swimming Center.
    • Users must use the combination padlock provided by the Texas Swimming Center, and locker must be locked at all times. Upon vacating locker at end of rental, users may keep the lock. Lock replacement will incur a $5 fee.
    • If you withdraw from your program you must vacate your locker and remove all belongings, including the lock.
    • Contents of expired lockers will be removed and retained for 30 days, then discarded.
    • Suspicion of a dangerous or illegal substance in a locker may be cause to remove lock and inform UTPD with no notice given.
    • The Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center at the University of Texas at Austin shall not be held liable for any damage and/ or theft of property kept within a locker.
  • Is volunteering required?

We could not run swimming and diving competitions without help from our members. Therefore, volunteering is required. The more involved your child is in our programs, the more volunteering is required. Of course not all parents choose to volunteer and if that is your choice, a fee will be assessed based on the non-completed volunteer hours. Fees for swimmers are assessed in May for Short Course season and in September for Long Course Season. Divers are assessed once a year in August when the UT pool is closed. The amount depends on your child’s level of participation. See volunteer requirements for exact amounts. You may contact the Longhorn Aquatics Business Office (512-471-2710) with specific volunteer questions.

  • How do I volunteer?

Approximately 7-10 days before a hosted swim meet is scheduled to occur, an email will circulate informing you that our online system SuperMeets is available for registration. Log in and sign up for the sessions and jobs you want to work. If you have never used SuperMeets, you must -

      • Go to the Super Meets page
      • Login using the email address you listed on your volunteer form in the registration packet
      • Use the default password: swimfast
      • Press the Login button
        • The history/account information for your family will be displayed. This will be blank now because it is the beginning of the season, but check it after the meet

Already registered — login to the system

      • Go to the Super Meets page
      • Enter your email address and private password you created when you registered
      • The history/account information for your family will be displayed. There will be nothing here since it is the start of a new season, but check back after the meet
  • How does my diver/swimmer change groups or move up in the program?

Each child will be considered on an individual basis for placement within a group. As your child progresses in the sport, he or she will be offered the opportunity to move up within our group structure. This is a decision that will be made by the participant, parent, and coach. Members can request a group change at any time, but the final decision will always rest with the head coach.

  • What if a member needs to drop out of the TXLA program?

It is the responsibility of the parent or member to inform the coach and TXLA if the member must drop out of the TXLA program. The parent or member must complete an Inactive Status Form. This form must be turned into the front desk or faxed into TXLA by the 15th of the month to avoid billing for the next month. The accounting office continues to bill until written notification is received.

  • How do I get information on special events at the TSC that may affect the practice schedule?

The only disadvantage of training at one of the best facilities in the country is that there are a number of special events each year that may cause a workout to be cancelled or temporarily moved to a local pool. We will make up these workouts when practical, but it isn’t always possible. Members will be notified of any schedule change via email and website as soon as possible. This is often only a few days before the cancellation or time change because we do not always receive information about an event very far in advance.

  • What is an A Time?

USA Swimming has established National Age-Group Time standards to allow for a stepping stone approach that swimmers can grasp. This is a great way to see progress, even if a swimmer doesn’t win his/her event. They start at B times and finish at AAAA times. First time swimmers, or swimmers with times slower than the B time, are classified as having C times for those events. Most swim meets that use time standards to determine eligibility for swim meets use these time standards.

  • What is Short Course and Long Course?

Short Course is training or competing in 25 yard or meter pools, while Long Course is training or competing in 50 meter pools. Most indoor pools in the USA are set up as 25 yard pools, so most younger athletes become initially familiar with short course yard (SCY) times. Since these meets are held in the winter months, our Short Course competition season starts in September and culminates with championship meets in February and March. The Long Course competition season begins in April and continues through July and August, depending on the highest-level championship meet a swimmer can qualify.

  • What is TAGS?

The Texas Age-Group Swimming Championship (TAGS) meet is the state championship meet for swimmers 14 & under. The Short Course meet is held in early March, while the Long Course meet is held in late July. It is one of the premier age-group meets in the USA, and therefore, the top age-group meet in Texas. Swimmers who successfully qualify and compete in this meet are generally those that go on to greater success in high school and collegiate swimming later in their career. Qualifying times are established by the Texas Swimming Association every fall based on participants in previous years. You must have the qualifying times to enter the meet.

  • What is the Sectionals meet?

These are the meets that our developing senior swimmers should strive to qualify for and successfully compete. The meet is held in mid February and mid July, and for many athletes, this is a primary chance to qualify for other regional and National caliber championship meets. Sectionals are primarily made up of Texas athletes, but swimmers and teams from around the country compete in them as well.

  • What is Texas Senior Circuit?

These are Long Course meets held at Houston, Dallas, Texas A&M University, and UT. Texas Senior Circuit was established by Texas club and college coaches to provide the best possible in-season competition for top level athletes. Longhorn Aquatics swimmers who qualify for these meets should be prepared to participate. Swimmers who are not training properly will not be allowed to enter these meets.

  • What are National Top 16 Reportable Times?

Every year USA Swimming collects results from meets all over the country and publishes a list of the Top 16 performances from each age group from the previous year. There is a list for both Long Course and Short Course meets. Swimmers who achieve the reportable times are not guaranteed to be on the final Top 16 list.

  • How do I get entered in a meet? (TXLA swimmers only)

All TXLA Swimmers are entered in all meets that we host. Away meets are different.

You will have several opportunities to let us know you cannot attend particular meets.

In Longhorn Aquatics, coaches (not parents) do entries for swimmers. If you feel there is a particular change you would like to make in the swimmer’s events, there is a procedure to make changes.

After the meet entry deadline, you cannot be added to a meet. You will have to deck enter in open lanes on the day of the meet.

A deadline will be set for changes (event changes or dropping one day or the entire meet). This deadline is after the meet entry deadline and is only for TXLA athletes. After this deadline, you will be responsible for the entry fees even if you don’t compete – no exceptions.

More information –

You can find start times, order of events (what events are on which days) and other meet format information by reading the meet announcement for each meet. Meet announcements are posted on our website as well as the South Texas website about 45 days before a meet.

For away meets, athletes will be entered if they meet the qualifying times AND the coach feels like it is an appropriate meet for that swimmer. But this does not eliminate your volunteer requirements.

About three or four weeks before a meet, you will receive an email with information about the upcoming meet. If you know that you will not be able to attend the meet, please let your coach know. This will  take the swimmer off the eligibility report that is given coaches to do entries. Once we have entries from the coaches, an email with the first pass will be circulated. This is your second chance to drop a day or the entire meet.

If you want to request a change in the events that the coach has selected, here’s what you need to do. Send YOUR coach an email (with a copy to the entry person) requesting the change and explain why you want to makethe change. Please don’t email all of the coaches. If the coach approves the change, the adjustment will be made in Team Manager (the team database for entries and results).

After the meet entry deadline (included in the meet announcement), you can’t change your mind and request inclusion to the meet. You can enter the meet, but you will have to deck enter on the day of the meet if there are open lanes. You will have to pay the deck entry fee to enter, which can range between $10-$20 per event.

The deadline for changes corresponds to the date that we need to transfer the entries from our Team Manager database to Meet Manager (the software that runs the meet). This is after the meet entry deadline and is only available for TXLA swimmers. This is the date that the meet will be seeded and sent to the printer. Once the meet is seeded, entry fees will not be refunded (for any reason) because the swimmer has taken a lane. With that said, it is always nice to know if the swimmer has gotten sick at the last minute and will not attend the meet. (Other teams that enter our meets must submit entries 11 days before the meet, as a South Texas rule). They are not refunded entry fees for any reason after the meet entry deadline.