The Coral Springs Swim Club stays in contact communication with its membership throughout the year via email blasts from coaches and Board of Directors, facebook page and group and via Instagram.
Here is a sample of Parent Education Articles in an assortment of topics our club has developed and makes available to the families.

1. How To Prepare For Your First Swim Meet by Liz Pittinger
2. Parents Sizzler Meet Checklist by Coach Jessica N. Long
3. Do you have time to time? by Mary Lincoln
4. Shopping for food? It's easy! by Arlene Semeco
5. Lets's talk vitamins! by Arlene Semeco
6. CSSC Nutrition Corner by Chris Rosenbloom
7. Free EKG Screening for Young Athletes at Miami Children's Hospital by Sharon Robb
8. A Force for Success by Patty Gómez
9. Volunteer Action by Patty Gómez

How To Prepare For Your First Swim Meet

by Liz Pittinger
CSSC Parent
Former Member of Board of Directors


1. It's important to eat well the night before your events, so loading up on carbs: pasta, whole grain bread, vegetables and fruit are a great way to fuel-up the night before a race.
2. Get a good night's sleep, approximately 8-10 hours is best.
3. You may be nervous, but it is still very important to eat breakfast. Keep it light and easy to digest. Again, carbs will fuel your body and last longer: bagel with a little cream cheese, oatmeal with fruit, whole grain toast, fruits, juice, etc. are all good choices.

What to Pack:
4. You will need to pack a small cooler with snacks and drinks. Fresh fruit, granola bars, fruit bars, etc. are good choices. You may get hungry after some of your events but you won't want something heavy on your stomach. Keep the snacks simple, healthy, and easy to digest.
5. WATER!!! Don't forget your water bottle or sports drink. It is so important to stay hydrated. Sipping water throughout the day will go a long way to keep your body in top form. Remember, if you are thirty, then you are dehydrated, and you will tire more quickly.
6. Swim gear: remember your cap, goggles, swimsuit(s), towels. It's always good to have an extra cap and goggles on hand in case one breaks. We always take extra towels too (one for after warm up and each event, especially in colder weather when getting dry and warm is more difficult.)
7. In the colder months, you will need a blanket, parka, socks, warm shoes, sweatshirt and pants.
9. Chairs for you and your family. The teams sit under tents together. It adds to the fun of the day having the kids/parents socialize during the down times. Cards, games, books, etc. are also a good way to pass the time in between events.

At the Race:
9. The swimmers don't pay at the door but the rest of the family members must pay to enter. You will also may have to purchase a Heat Sheet at the door. This is the list of all the events, each heat, and each swimmer's lane. It's your program guide for the entire day. You'll see parents writing the information for their children's races on the kids' hands or arms. It's not a bad idea to do this so bring a Sharpie pen. Some meet hosts will post the heat sheet on their website for free or you may receive an email from your child's coach with the heat sheet.

Example: Say your child is doing two events in one day (Event 3 - 50 back, Heat 2, Lane 7; Event 5 - 100 Free, Heat 1, Lane 2). This is how you would write that on his arm:













10. Go find your team's tent and check in with your coach.
11. Your coach will let you know when the team will begin the stretch/warm up.
12. Hang out and wait for the first event. Keep track of the events and go to the starting block well before your event is called. *IT IS NOT YOUR COACH'S RESPONSIBILITY TO GET YOU TO THE STARTING BLOCK! Pay attention to what event is being swum. Some of the races last less than 30 seconds so be aware of the schedule and get to the starting area well before your event begins.
13. Before your event, talk to your coach. The coach will give you racing instructions, things to think about, etc. Then go line up behind the timers.
14. Parents are not allowed in the area behind the starting blocks. Parents: take your child to the correct lane and have him check in with the timer. Your child should stand behind the timer's chair and wait for his/her heat.
15. When your race is over, stay in your lane until the next heat dives off the blocks. Stay still and remain close to the wall so the swimmer who is diving in next is not distracted. Once the next swimmer takes off, you can get out. *If you are swimming backstroke, this rule does not apply since the swimmer starts in the water.
16. After your race, go talk to your coach. The coach will tell you what you did well and what you can still work on. This is all part of learning how to race.
17. Warm down after every race. Jump into the warmup lane (feet first) and swim easy to warm down your muscles.
18. Go back to your team's tent and relax until your next event.

Congratulations! You are about to swim in your first swim meet. This is one of the most exciting aspects of our sport. It's your opportunity to use the knowledge you have gained from all of your practices and get an official time on your events. Below are some tips to help you and your family prepare for your swim meet. Remember, each time you race you will gain more confidence, realize what racing strategies work for you, and improve as a swimmer overall. This is about gaining confidence and developing a love for the sport that will last a lifetime. Good luck and have fun!

Do you have time to time?

by Mary Lincoln
Head Timer of the Coral Springs Swim Club


Anyone can do these jobs. It's an awesome way to have a front-row seat at a meet and a chance to see how the swimmers handle the pressure behind the blocks. You'll meet lots of people and feel like a part of the team. High school students can earn volunteer hours. In addition, CSSC Hospitality provides the Timers with water, snacks and a delicious meal! It's a great way to spend your day!

In order for our meet to be successful, we rely on many people to volunteer their time.
One of the easiest, yet critical, volunteer positions is the Timer. At championship meets, we run two pools during prelims, and for this we need 40 Timers in the morning session, each day. Then for Finals we would need 20 Timers.
Timing is simple. At each lane, one Timer operates a stop watch and the other Timer verifies swimmers' names and records the time. If a Timer misses a start for any reason, he/she signals the Head Timer who has an extra watch available.

Volunteer Action

by Patty Gómez
CSSC Volunteer Coordinator


Volunteering at Meets
CSSC is recognized as the top host for swim meets in the region. It's on of the best meet organizers in the country and it receives amazing feedback from visiting international teams. Running a successful meet is possible only through the outstanding participation of volunteers.

  • Volunteering at Social Events

Training and racing are just part of the equation of success at CSSC. Fostering friendships and sharing outside the pool makes our team stronger every day. Coaches, swimmers and families participate in several social events throughout the year. From outright party time to serious charity work, such as our Annual Food Drive, we all have fun together.

At all our events, our swimmers and other community middle school and high school students can participate as volunteers and accrue valuable Community Service Hours.
"Volunteers don't just do the work ~ they make it work." - Carol Pettit
Younger volunteers (elementary school students) are also always welcome as volunteers at CSSC.

It's Easy
For all meets and most big events, CSSC Volunteer Coordinators set up a sign-in online portal for volunteers (website). CSSC uses the convenience of the Team Unify platform to organize and manage volunteers work.
Signing up to volunteer is easy. It can be done online by going to the upcoming meet page (events page) and signing up for a job.

How to contact us?
Jodi Robins - [email protected]

Jobs Available at Meets

  • Timer
  • Hospitality Helper
  • Parking Attendant
  • Concessions Helper
  • Awards
  • Gate & Heat Sheets
  • Runner
  • Training Available to Become
  • OmniSport Operator (requires training)
  • Computer Operator
  • USA Swimming Official (must be USA Swimming registered and certified)

We love our volunteers. Here are some of the perks we offer:

  • VIP parking
  • Free entry
  • Complimentary Heat-Sheets
  • Buffet-style Breakfast
  • Snacks
  • Drinks
  • Buffet-style Lunch

PLUS... you get to know the behind-the- scenes process of running an USA Swimming Sanctioned swim meet.

CSSC offers multiple rewarding opportunities to parents and community members to get involved and support our young swimmers' development.

"The more we know about something, the more we appreciate it." – Anonymous

Lets's talk vitamins!

by Arlene Semeco
CSSC Swimmer, 3-time Olympian and Registered Dietician


From all the vitamins, vitamin E and C are recommended for athletes to enhance recovery due to their antioxidant properties reducing oxidant-induced muscle damage. The recommended daily intake for a vitamin C is: 25 mg/day for children 4-8, 45 mg/day for children 9-13, and 75 mg/day for adolescents 14-18. For vitamin E the recommended intake is: 7 mg/day for children 4-8, 11 mg/day for children 9-13, and 15 mg/day for those older than 14 years. Finally, iron is the most affected mineral during physical activity, therefore an adequate intake of iron is recommended through supplementation and diet.
Make sure you buy vitamins and minerals supplements from trusted brands and never forget to thrive for a perfect diet!


The human diet consists of macronutrients and micronutrients. The macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins and fats, whereas the micronutrients include all the vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals are necessary for the metabolism and breaking down of the carbohydrates, proteins and fats for energy production. Athletic performance can be compromised in the absence or insufficiency of micronutrients. But this does not mean that an excess of vitamins and minerals will alter athletic performance without an increased need for them due to physical activity.
A balanced diet suggests that the human body's needs of macronutrients and micronutrients are satisfied. However, in the real world, people do not have perfect diets and therefore supplementation is necessary. For athletes it is imperative that an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals is being met in a daily basis. Therefore, for an athlete that does not have a perfect diet (who does anyways?), it is recommended that they take a high-quality multivitamin to ensure the consumption of all the necessary micronutrients.

Parents Sizzler/ Developmental Meet Checklist

by Jessica Nugent Long
CSSC Age Group Coach


At most Sizzler meets, due to the age of the swimmers, there will more likely be a bull pen system in place. This bull pen is a sectioned of area for swimmers and coaches only. This system offers an efficient way to organize the swimmers before their events. Parents need to sit/stand on the pool side or bleachers to watch the races.

Each Swimmer will usually swim 25 yards (1 lap) of each of the four strokes (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle). There is usually a Boys and a Girls 100 Freestyle Relay at the end of the meet. We will let you know prior to the meet if your child will be swimming in the relay portion of the meet, so you will know to stay around after your child has finished their four individual events.
Last but not least: don't worry! It's all about having fun, learning by participating, building positive associations and swimming the best they can!

Here are a couple of "Need To Know" items to keep in mind for our upcoming swim meets. We hope this will help you get through some of the confusion!

  • Be sure to be on time for our team warm-up.
  • Be sure your child is well-fed but not too full. Light, energizing meals are the best! (i.e. healthy sandwiches, cereal, fruit, bagels).
  • Be sure to bring with you water, sports drinks, granola bars and fruit, just in case.

The team warm-up is a very important aspect of the whole meet. Your child has the chance to prepare his/her body and mind to swim in the meet. It's important they do this with their fellow swimmers and coaches.
When you arrive to the competition pool, please look for your CSSC coach (we'll be properly attired with club t-shirts). We'll take the children to the warm-up portion of the meet.

A Force for Success

by Patty Gómez
CSSC Volunteer Coordinator


Why Do They Do It? It could be argued that there have to be many other things, families could be doing other than spending an average of 10 hours of non-paid work every weekend there is a meet at our pool. Yet, they choose to be at the pool side, helping. Besides the obvious and common reasons to volunteer, here are some of the answers we've gotten to that question from parents in our community:

"I want to put my two cents to help the meet be a success"
We know too well it can be frustrating for swimming families to attend a meet where the timeline is not respected, where the pads constantly malfunction, where there are not enough timers, where the results are not posted on time -or at all, where there are no enough heat-sheets and where it's hard to find a variety of drinks and food.

"I want to model for my children that it takes involvement and collaboration to make good things happen"
This is a key element. Not only parents step up to volunteer, but young siblings and swimmers that might not be swimming a particular session turn up in the pool on time and smiley - ready to work. Encouraging the growing generations to continue on the path of community service is certainly a great way to build not only good swimmers but good citizens.

"It's fun"
It sure is. When you volunteer, you make new friends, you understand and appreciate more all that happens behind the curtains and as you can tell by the pictures, working at CSSC meets has a flare of laughter!

At CSSC we offer many benefits to our volunteer parents: VIP parking, free entry, breakfast, snacks and lunch and lunch for their children (during long sessions). We also ensure that our parent volunteers will receive the support they need to see their children's races, which is primarily the reason for them to be at the pool. For the younger crowd of volunteers we offer "Community Service Hours" and of course great food...
We host several meets each year, come out and volunteer. Look out for the sign-up notice from your coach, at our website or via facebook ... and join us.

DID YOU KNOW ... that volunteerism in America is on the rise and is a cultural phenomenon that truly distinguishes our nation? The Federal Agency for Service and Volunteering, reports something we know very well: Parents' volunteer rate is seven percentage points higher than the national average (33.7% compared to 26.8%). Parents are at the heart of that magic driving force.

We want to highlight the one component that makes everything happen at a meet for the swimmers: VOLUNTEERS.
We are fortunate to have high participation of parents and swimmers at our meets. Because of that we usually face no difficulties filling every position at every session. We are very appreciative of that. During a typical four-day meet, more than 90 parents, friends and swimmers from our community and from visiting families get to perform 237 jobs. From the Parking Attendant that happily greets and directs everyone at the start of each session, to the workers in the computer room, every volunteer offers an invaluable asset to the meet: their time. The concession store cooks and sales people, the Hospitality Service volunteers and the timers cover several shifts from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm to ensure that every family, swimmer, coach and official will encounter a friendly and helpful face.

Shopping for food? It's easy!

by Arlene Semeco
CSSC Swimmer, 3-time Olympian and Registered Dietician


Fruits and Vegetables:
• Bulk up on fruits and vegetables at their seasons peak.
• Look for fruits and vegetables that are brightly colored, for example yellow and orange because they are rich in beta-carotene, while green vegetables are rich in vitamin C and calcium.
• Buy frozen vegetables without sauce.
Milk and milk products:
• Gradually switch from whole milk to reduced-fat, from reduced-fat to low fat, and from low fat to fat-free milk. Your kids won't even notice it! Low-fat and fat-free milk have all the great nutrition of whole milk but with less fat and fewer calories.
• Choose fat-free yogurt or sorbet instead of ice cream.
• Use fat-free and low-fat cheeses (such as part-skim ricotta or low-fat mozzarella) instead of regular cheeses.
Meat and Meat alternates:
• Choose lean meats or trim the fat from pork and beef; remove the skin from poultry.
• Eat at least 2 serving of fish per week.
• Use legumes often. Legumes are rich in protein and vitamins!
• Use 2 egg whites in place of each whole egg.
Fat and Oils:
• Use butter or margarine sparingly; select soft margarines instead of hard margarines.
• Limit the use of lard and meat fat.
Arlene Semeco has an undergrad in Food and Nutrition, and in Human Environmental Science at the University of Alabama and is currently completing her Master's degree in Dietetics and Nutrition at Florida International University.


When going to the grocery store, we are faced with endless options of foods and products. This, sometimes, could be tiring and even overwhelming.

What's the right option to buy? How can I know I am making the right decision? Don't fear! Choosing the right product is not as hard as you think. Here are some tips that will help you make the best decision when buying groceries for your family.

Breads and cereals:
• Select breads, cereals, and crackers that are rich in fiber and whole grains and low in saturated and trans fats (for example, whole wheat bagel instead of croissants).
• Prepare pasta with homemade tomato sauce instead of cheeses or cream sauce.

Nutritional Trends for Performance

by Chris Rosenbloom
Sports Dietician


What's hot in the food and nutrition world for 2013? Seems like everyone has a list of trends for the New Year, but here are some I've culled from various sources that will enhance a swimmer's performance:

1.Muscle and protein.

Research on protein and the timing of eating protein-rich foods continues to be a hot topic. Younger people are looking for energy, toned muscles and staying in tip top shape, while older folks (like your parents and grandparents) are interested in maintaining muscle as they age. Including protein at every meal and snack is the way to go and the food industry is adding protein to a variety of products to make it easy to get the muscle-building nutrient. Look for protein in granola bars, cereals, smoothies, and even extra protein added to milk, but don't overlook the obvious sources of protein: an egg for breakfast, a slice of cheese melted on toast, a chicken drumstick, tofu noodle bowl, and cereal and milk all contain high quality protein.

2. Snacking and mini-meals.

Small bites will continue as trend in the new year with many quick service restaurants adding snack options for a quick bite. Swimmers should embrace this trend by keeping snacks on hand for pool-side munching or post-workout recovery at the ready. Freeze a bottle of sports drink or fruit juice and throw it in your back pack to keep string cheese, a turkey sandwich, or yogurt cold for a post-workout snack. Learn to make your own granola or trail mix to keep you fueled. My favorite is Food Network's Ellie Krieger's nutty granola mixed into plain Greek yogurt for a protein-boosting, tasty breakfast or snack.

3. Whole grains in meals for kids.

Whole grains are showing up in every carbohydrate-rich food from spaghetti noodles to the sandwich bun on your burger and for good reason. Whole grains contain all the healthy parts of the grain so that means more fiber and more nutrients that are lost when whole grains are processed into white flour. Swimmers need carbohydrates to fuel the demands of long-training and competition so start to sneak in more whole grains by choosing breads, cereals, waffles, pancakes, muffins, and even the burger bun made with whole grains.

4. Breakfast.

You know breakfast is the most important meal of day so jump on this trend. Most swimmers have early morning practice and hitting the water without hitting breakfast can mean running out of energy to finish your workout. Yogurt, a toasted whole grain English muffin with peanut or almond butter, or a cereal bar can give you the energy needed to push through practice. If the drive through is the best you can manage, look for new offerings like yogurt parfaits or egg white breakfast sandwiches instead of greasy chicken or sausage biscuits.
Chris Rosenbloom is the sports dietitian for Georgia State University Athletics and is the editor of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Sports Nutrition Manual, 5th edition, 2012. She welcomes questions from swimmers, parents and coaches.