Parent Handbook

Welcome to the MAKOS Swim Program hosted by Miami University!


The sport of swimming has many benefits, including the people you and your child will meet. The camaraderie among swimmers is unique, and many swimmers become lifelong friends. One of the greatest benefits your child will gain from participating in an organized swim program is the life skills they will develop.

These skills include time management, self-discipline and sportsmanship. Your child will reap the benefits of swimming long after their competitive participation ends.

This handbook has been prepared to help you and your child succeed in this program. Supporting your child in swimming can be a very rewarding experience. The more involved you are, the greater the benefits will be. You may soon find yourself cheering at competitions, volunteering during meets or becoming a USA Swimming official. Whatever your role, your child’s experience has much to do with your positive support. Please ask questions of your coaches, Rec Center aquatic staff and fellow parents. We are all working towards the same goal: to provide your child with the best possible experience in swimming.


Team Goals:

Swimmers: The Makos program strives to provide opportunities for each swimmer to reach their full potential. This includes learning how to set, work towards and surpass both individual and team goals. We also strive to help each swimmer further develop their self-esteem and confidence through positive competitive swimming experiences.

Team: The Makos program works to teach good sportsmanship, team camaraderie, self-discipline, and physical fitness among all swimmers on the team. The program also works to promote swimming as a major competitive sport. As a team, we strive to compete at a high level at all competitions.

Coaching Staff

MAKOS has a head coach whose job is to supervise the entire competitive swim program. There are several assistant coaches who assist the head coach in training all swimmers. Each coach on the MAKOS staff is a certified lifeguard and certified in First Aid and CPR. Our coaches are dedicated to providing high quality swimming instruction for all team members.


2023-2024 Coaching Staff

Head Coach Chris McKinney; (765)580-8427; [email protected]


Assistant Coach: Gabrielle Nicol

Assistant Coach: Ben Crowder

Assistant Coach: Madelyn Holcomb

Assistant Coach: Lily Galloway


Mako Team Administrator: Terri Shannon (513)529-8154 (o)

(513) 255-5043 (c)

[email protected]


Coach’s Responsibilities

The coaches are responsible for placing swimmers in practice groups. This is based on the level of commitment and ability level of each individual. When it is in the best interest of the swimmer, they will be placed in a more challenging training group.


Sole responsibility for stroke instruction and the training regimen rests with the MAKOS team coaching staff.


Decisions concerning which meets swimmers will attend will be made on an individual basis and involve input between each swimmer, their coach and parents. The coaches make the final decision concerning which events a swimmer will be entered into.


At meets, the coaching staff will conduct and supervise warm-up procedures for the team and prep the swimmers for their events. After each race, the coaches will provide feedback regarding the swimmer's performance.



Senior Elite

Sectional time standards required. Focus on all aspects required to compete at national level meets.

Swim: Monday - Friday 6:30 – 8:00 PM, Saturday 11:00 AM-1:00 PM

(5 Swim practices a week recommended)

Additional morning practices on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday TBD

Lifting and core dryland schedule dictated by the head coach. 



13 and Up

High intensity focus as well as stroke and race discipline. 

Swim: Monday - Friday 6:30 – 8:00 PM, Saturday 10:30 AM-1:00 PM

First 30 minutes dedicated to dynamic body activation.

(5 Swim practices a week recommended)


12 and Under

Intermediate level practices for those entering competitive meets -- should have ability to complete 3,000 yard practices

Swim: Monday - Friday – 5:30 – 6:30 PM

  (4 swim practices a week recommended)



Pre-competitive level for those typically between 6-10

Orientation toward skill mastery, fun, development of ability to swim for an hour. Practices are held in the Diving Well and 50 Meter pool.

Introduction to swim meets is encouraged.

Monday-Thursday from 5:30 – 6:30 PM (2/3 practices a week recommended)

Practice Policies & Equipment Requirements

The following guidelines are to inform parents and swimmers of the coach’s policies regarding practice. These policies are designed to provide the best possible practice environment for all.

For the swimmers’ safety and protection, they should arrive at the pool no earlier than 15 minutes prior to their workout time (13 and over arrive 30 minutes early to stretch), and should report immediately to the pool deck. They should be picked up no later than 15 minutes after their practice is over. Swimmers should be ready to swim 5 minutes prior to the start of their practice. If practice starts at 5:30, they are expected to be entering the water at 5:30 PM.

While on the pool deck swimmers are the responsibility of the coaching staff. During practices swimmers are never to leave the pool area without the coach’s permission.

The MAKOS have an obligation to act as guests when using the Miami University Rec Center.

Every member of the team and their families must respect this privilege.

All of the Miami Rec Center rules must be followed at all times by swimmers and families.

The coaching staff should be notified if swimmers will not be attending practice due to sports, vacation, etc.


Equipment Requirements

A team suit or competition suit is mandatory for all swimmers who plan to participate in Championship Meets.

A team cap is mandatory for all meets. Plain caps are acceptable, but caps with logos/pictures are not to be used by the team outside of practice.

Team suits and caps promote team unity and pride and assist coaches in identifying swimmers at meets.

Other required equipment:

  • practice suit

  • goggles




Optional equipment:

  • Snorkel (Highly Recommended)

  • Nose Clip (Highly Recommended)


All equipment can be purchased at

It is important the meet/competition suits are not used for practice. They will

stretch and wear down creating extra drag if the same suit is used for practice and meets.


Swimmer Code of Conduct

  • Any swimmer who is known to use alcohol, drugs, or tobacco is subject to suspension from the team.

  • Never interfere with the progress of another swimmer, during practice or otherwise.

  • At all club functions, whether practice, meets, or social gatherings, we expect each swimmer to behave in such a way that their actions reflect positively on the team.

  • All members of the club need to protect and improve the reputation of the club.


Please refer to the complete Swimmer Code of Conduct found on Appendix A.


Swim Meets

The USA swim year is divided into two seasons. The winter, or “short course”, season runs from September to March. The meets are held in a 25-yard/meter pool. The summer, or “long course”, season runs from April to August. Meets are held in 50-meter pools (Olympic size).

Swimmers compete in groups that are divided by gender and age: 8 and under 9

-10 year olds, 11-12 year olds, 13-14 year olds, 15 and up, or Open.

USA Swimming (National Times) has established time standards by gender and age. This allows children to compare themselves with their age group competitors across the country. Parents and swimmers are encouraged to keep a record of times achieved as a means of tracking progress.

Information about upcoming meets will be posted on An email will also be sent out notifying families of deadlines to enter meets. All of the entries will need to be done on the team website prior to the entry deadline. You may make notes on the signup page on what days of the meet will be attended. If there is no preference, the swimmer will be signed up for all days of the meet. The events for the swimmers will be determined by the coaching staff. Events that swimmers are entered in will be posted on the team website.    All meet fees are included in the team fees. Families will be responsible for the fees if they sign up for the meet and do not show up. Letting a coach know that a swimmer will miss a meet will only relieve the family of the cost if the events have not been submitted to the host team. Once the team sends in the entries, we are responsible to pay for all swimmers entered.


To enter a meet, a swimmer/family must be in good standing with all team

accounts (dues, meet fees and volunteer requirements).


Transportation to Meets 

The team does not use buses to travel to meets. It is the swimmers’ and parents’ responsibility to get to each swim meet.


At the Meet 

Arrive at the pool at least 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time begins. Athletes will be notified by the coach regarding warm up time.


A heat sheet is usually available for sale in the lobby or concession area of the pool. It lists all swimmers in each event in order of “seed time”. When the team entry is sent in, each swimmer and their previous best time in that event is listed. If the swimmer is swimming an event for the first time, they will be entered as a “no-time” or “NT”. A “no-time” swimmer will most likely swim in one of the first heats of the event. It is important for any swimmer to know what event numbers they are swimming. Swimmers may swim right away after warm-up or they may have to wait awhile.

A swimmer’s event number will be posted on the scoreboard, and it will be up to them to report to the deck. Swimmers should report with cap and goggles.

Generally, girl’s events are odd-numbered and boy’s events are even-numbered. Example: “Event #26, 10-Under Boys, 50 freestyle.”


Things you, as a parent, can do after each swim:

  • Tell them how great they did! The coaching staff will be sure to discuss stroke technique with them. You need to tell them how proud you are and what a great job they did.

  • The swimmer will wait until their next event is called and starts the procedure again.

  • When a swimmer has completed all of their events, swimmers and their parents get to go home.


**Make sure you, as a parent, check with a coach before leaving to make sure your swimmer is not included on a relay. It is not fair to other swimmers who may have stayed to swim on a relay where your swimmer is expected to be a member. (The coaches speak from experience on this issue).


What to Take to a Meet 
  1. Most important: Swim Suit, Swim Cap and goggles.

  2. Towels-Realize your swimmer will be there awhile, so pack at least two.

  3. Food: Each swimmer is usually allowed to bring a soft sided small cooler.


Suggestions for items to bring:

  • Drinks: Keep your athlete hydrated with Water, Gatorade/Sports Drinks-

no soda, please!

  • Snacks: High protein snacks are the best because of how much energy your athlete uses at a meet! Granola bars, fruit, yogurt, cereal, sandwiches are wonderful- avoid candy


Once you have attended one or two meets this will all become very routine. Please do not hesitate to ask any other MAKO parents for help or information!


These meets are a lot of fun for the swimmers! Swimmers get to visit with their friends and meet kids from other teams. They also get to “race” and see how much they have improved from all the hard work they have put in at practice.


Special Parent’s Note: The pool area is usually very warm. Therefore, you need to make sure you dress appropriately. Nothing is worse than being hot at a swim meet. It makes the time pass very slowly! Feel free to bring folding chairs to sit on. However, some pools, like ours, may not let you bring them in.



MAKOS hosts three home meets during the Short Course season. These meets serve as our fundraisers in order to keep our fees low. They are:

  • Home Tri Meet: Oct., 2023     

  • Little Elves Meet: Dec., 2023. The 13 and Over group will time for this meet. This is a great team building opportunity as the younger athletes look up to the older ones.

  • Makos Holiday Spirit Classic: Dec., 2023. This is our major fundraiser for the year. Each family is responsible for working 3 sessions during this meet.


New: If your family is unable to meet your team obligations for swim meets, you will be assessed $100.00 per session you are unable to work. Your swimmer could also be held out of meets for the remainder of the season.  If we don’t have enough timers, we could lose the opportunity to host these meets. When we are short timers, we contact the Club Sports teams at Miami and have to pay their club for their time. Please contact Terri Shannon for exigent circumstances or if you have questions regarding this new policy.


It takes 30+ parent volunteers each session to run each meet. Without parent volunteers MAKOS are unable to successfully hold meets. Helping with hospitality, timing, officiating, marshaling and announcing is necessary Please plan on being involved with these exciting and fun meets. And remember to dress lightly; it gets hot at the pool!

MAKO Fee Structure

The MAKOS is a non-profit organization owned and run by Miami University. The coaches are paid staff. Primary expenses of the club are coaching salaries, equipment, meet fees, and office expenses. Team dues as well as the hosted meets cover these expenses.

Short Course: Team dues can be paid in one lump sum at or with our payment plan. Fees paid in full at the beginning of season will receive a $50 discount on the primary child.

The payment plan will be broken into four payments.The payments will be automatically billed on the first of October, November, December, and January. For the payment plan, a MasterCard, Visa, or Discover credit or debit card must be on file. You also have the ability to pay by back draft. The Team Unify site charges a rate of 2.95% plus .30 cents per transaction on cards! Bank drafts are charged $3.00.

Long Course is similar except the payment plan is divided into two payments due to the length of the season.

Parent Responsibilities

MAKOS is a family organization- when your swimmer joined MAKOS, so did you! Parent volunteers are what keep our team running. Parent volunteers run committees, work at swim meets, help fundraise, and get their swimmers to practice on time. You are needed to keep our team healthy and functioning in an orderly, positive way. As a part of the MAKOS, you have the following obligations:

  1. Stay informed-

Visit the team website ( at least once a week.

Check your email– we use email to notify parents of upcoming meetings, changes in practice times, unscheduled pool closures, etc. It is important that we have an accurate email address for you.


  1. Attend scheduled parent meetings.

    • Your input is valuable and necessary to a healthy, thriving team.

  2. Pay team fees on time.


  1. Support your child’s coach and the team with a positive attitude.


  • If there is a problem, please discuss it with the coach first, at an appropriate time.

  1. Willingly volunteer to help at meets when called upon. A minimum of 3 sessions per family, per meet is required for meets that last 3 or more days.


The MAKOS Swim Program is fortunate to have experienced, professional coaches working to develop our children into better swimmers and more importantly, disciplined people. As parents, it is absolutely essential that we give our coaching staff the respect and authority they deserve to run our swim team. Our coaches are hired for that purpose.


MAKOS highly encourages the following parental behavior:


  • Open communication between parents, swimmers and coaches. emphasizing goal-setting and focusing on the performance expectations of both the swimmer and the parents.

  • Meeting with the coaches/swimmers/parents during normal operating hours to discuss issues.

  • Positive reinforcement of all swimmers in all situations - team spirit, team loyalty.

  • Parental involvement in organizing and running of meets and other team events.


MAKOS will not tolerate the following behavior from parents:


  • Coaching your children at practice or during meets, that is the coach’s job.

  • Interrupting or confronting the coaching staff on the pool deck during practice or meets.

  • Abusive language towards coaches, swimmers, parents, officials or your own children.

  • Any behavior that brings discredit or disruption to our swimmers and our organization.


Always remember that Coaches coach, Swimmers swim, and Parents parent. Please review the Parent Code of Conduct and sign your acknowledgement found on Appendix B.


The Code was developed as a standard to emphasize our organization’s commitment to making everyone’s involvement with our club a positive experience.


Volunteer Areas and Descriptions


No Training Necessary

Runner – This position’s main responsibility will be to post final results in designated areas.

Head Timer – The Head Timer is responsible for maintaining extra timers during a MAKO hosted meet in the event that one of the lane timers malfunctions as well as recruiting lane timers.

Lane Timer – Lane Timers are needed at every swim meet to help time the swimmers in individual lanes. We need two timers per lane at every meet. The more timers we have, the less time any one timer has to work.


Training Required

Stroke and Turn Judge – A Stroke and Turn Judge goes through training and looks at how swimmers are performing their strokes and turns during a swim. This judge is responsible for disqualifying swimmers on the basis of incorrect stroke or turn.

Referee – Is responsible for the swim meet, judges, swimmers, etc.

Announcer- Announces the beginning and ending of a meet. They also announce all events and heats during the meet.




The team maintains a website that is updated periodically and contains a lot of information about the team.



The coaches can be reached by e-mail. For those members who have e-mail access, this is a good way to communicate or make appointments to speak with them.



This is the team app for quick and changing practice/meet information. See the coaching staff to receive the link.


Problems with the Coaching Staff 

Listed below are some guidelines for parents when raising concerns about the coach’s policies or coaching philosophy:


  • Try to keep foremost in your mind that you and the coach have the best interests of your child at heart.

  • Keep in mind that the coach must balance your perspective of what is best for your child with the needs of the team or a training group.


  • Discuss the matter first with the coach whether it’s the head coach or the assistant coach. If the coach cannot satisfactorily resolve your concern, then direct your concern to Terri Shannon the Makos Administrator, to join the dialogue as a third party.


  • If another parent uses you as a sounding board for complaints about the coach’s performance or policies, listen empathetically, but encourage the other parent to speak directly to the coach. He/she is the only one who can resolve the problem.


Visit these websites to see what is happening in swimming across our region and nation:    - Website for Ohio Swimming - Website for USA Swimming




As a member of the MAKOS, I am responsible for myself and my actions and will act in accordance to the specifications of rules, conduct and behavior when I am participating in organized events (including but not limited to practice, swim meets, travel meets, organized events and team outings). I will adhere to all the Rules and Code of Conduct that are listed here.


I will remember that I am a member of the MAKOS and represent the MAKOS when I am participating in swimming events and when I wear MAKOS apparel. While I am representing the MAKOS I will use common sense and good behavior so as not to disrespect myself, my peers, my coaches, my chaperones or any other affiliates of USA Swimming.


Swimmer's Responsibilities

Swimmers should be dressed with all equipment (i.e. goggles, swim cap, etc.) in place and ready to swim promptly at the scheduled practice times.


The MAKOS support a family atmosphere that fosters teambuilding and continual self-improvement. So, encourage one another, work hard and above all have lots of FUN!


When swimming, we must all follow some simple rules. Guidelines, expectations and rules include:


  • No running on the pool deck.

  • Don't hang or sit on lane lines.

  • Plan to assist the coaches as requested.

  • Come to practices prepared in proper clothing / suit, with proper equipment

  • Do not enter or exit the pool without the coach's permission unless it’s an emergency.

  • Display good sportsmanship at practices, swim meets, & all team event

  • Represent the MAKOS wherever you go, showing everyone how great we really are.

  • Be a leader, set a good example for others that look up to you.

  • No diving unless directed to do so by one of the coaches.

  • Respect other authority figures reminding you of appropriate behavior and conduct.

  • Do not participate in any unsafe activities that may cause harm to yourself or others.

  • Use common sense when making decisions; when in doubt, don’t do it.

  • By signing the contract, you are agreeing to all of the above and will be subject to consequences that will be dealt with on an individual basis left to the discretion of both of your Coaches, Miami University and USA Swimming.



MAKOS Swim Program hosted by Miami University


Please sign and date this portion in agreement with the above rules and conduct guidelines.


I,     , promise that I will follow the Rules and Code of Conduct as outlined above to represent the MAKOS Swim Program hosted by Miami University, and USA Swimming.


As a member of the MAKOS, I am responsible for myself and my actions and will act in accordance to the specifications of rules, conduct and behavior when I am participating in organized events (including but not limited to practice, swim meets, travel meets, organized events and team outings). I will remember that I am a member of the MAKOS, and represent Miami University Aquatic Club when I am participating in these types of swimming events and when I wear MAKO apparel. While I am representing the MAKOS, I will use common sense and good behavior to not disrespect myself, my peers, my coaches, my chaperones or any other affiliates of the MAKOS, Miami University, or USA Swimming.


(Swimmer Signature)    (Date)


(Parent Signature if swimmer is under 18 years of age)    (Date)



As a parent of a swimmer and member of MAKOS, I will abide by the following guidelines:



Practice teamwork with all parents, swimmers and coaches by supporting the coaching staff and your athletes and the other swimmers.


As a parent, I will not coach or instruct the team or any swimmer at a practice or meets (from the stands or any other area) or interfere with coaches on the

pool deck.


Demonstrate good sportsmanship by conducting myself in a manner that

earns the respect of my child, other swimmers, parents, officials and the coaches at meets and practices.

IV.    Maintain self-control at all times and know my role.


Swimmers-Swim Coaches-Coach Officials-Officiate Parents-Parent


As a parent, I understand that criticizing, name-calling, use of abusive language or gestures directed toward the coaches, officials, other parents

and/or any participating swimmer will not be permitted or tolerated.


Enjoy involvement with Makos Swim Program by supporting the swimmers, coaches and other parents with positive communication and actions.


During competitions, questions or concerns regarding decisions made by

meet officials are directed to a member of our coaching staff.    Parents address officials via the coaching staff only.


Sanctions: Should I conduct myself in such a way that brings discredit or discord to MAKOS Swim Program hosted by Miami University, or USA Swimming, I voluntarily subject myself to disciplinary action. The MAKOS maintain the right to terminate any membership with cause in the interest of our vision, mission and objectives.


Please sign, date and return appropriate pages.


MAKOS Swim Program hosted by Miami University


Name of swimmer(s):


I,         promise that I will follow the Rules and Code of Conduct as outlined above to represent Miami University Aquatic Club.    As a member of the MAKOS, I am responsible for myself and my actions and will act in accordance to the specifications of rules, conduct and behavior when I am participating in organized events (including but not limited to practice, swim meets, travel meets, organized events and team outings). I will remember that I am a member of the MAKOS, and represent the team when I am participating in these types of swimming events and when I wear MAKOS apparel. While I am representing the MAKOS, I will use common sense and good behavior to not disrespect myself, my peers, my coaches, my child (ren) or any other affiliates of the MAKOS, Miami University, and/or USA Swimming.


(Signature of Parent or Guardian)    (Date)





The yearly program registration fee and USA Swimming registration fee are not refundable and must be paid prior to the swimmer entering the water. New swimmers to the MAKOS Swim Program may participate for a maximum of one week prior to payment of the registration fees.


  1. Short Course: Team dues must be paid in one lump sum at registration or with our payment plan. The payment plan will be broken into four payments after the initial registration fee of $10.00. The four payments will be automatically billed on the first of September, October, November, and December. For the payment plan, a Mastercard, Visa, or Discover credit or debit card must be on file. The Team Unify site charges a rate of 2.95% plus .30 cents per transaction.

Long Course is similar except the payment plan is divided into two payments due to the length of the season.

  1. Each parent is responsible for reading and understanding the contents of the “MAKOS Swim Program hosted by Miami University” Handbook.

  2. Each family is responsible to volunteer a minimum of 3 sessions for each of the hosted meets, with the exception of the “Little Elves”. Should the family fail to meet the required hours, or wish to decline those hours, they will be charged

$50 per session that they fail to volunteer.


  1. Entry fees for meets listed on the MAKOS schedule are included in the cost of the training fees; if I commit my swimmer(s) to a swim meet that my swimmer does not attend, I may be billed for the cost of the meet entry fees paid by the program for my swimmer (s).