Whether you are new to the world of competitive swimming or just new to the Waves, you are in the right place! If you don’t find the answer to your question on this page, feel free to contact us via email or by phone at 440-808-5700.
What is the mailing address for the Westside Waves?
28955 Hilliard Blvd
Westlake OH 44145
How do I stay informed about what is happening with the Waves?
Check the website for updates, and we also frequently send out emails with changes to the practice schedule, upcoming meet info and info about other team events.
How much does the team cost?
Your fees will depend on a number of factors: on your grade level, practice group, what time of the season you register, etc. The Two Week Trial Period, during which you get know the team and we get to know you, cost $30. After the trial period, if you decide the Waves is a good fit for your swimmer (which we hope is the case!), the $30 will go towards your total registration fees.
Keep in mind that all swimmers will also have to register with USA Swimming, the national governing body for competitive swimming, on an annual basis.
Visit the Join the Waves page for more information on fees and what is included with your registration. Contact us for more specific cost information.
How can I get a Westlake Recreation Center membership?
Everyone entering the Westlake Recreation Center, where we practice, must have a membership card. You can read more about membership requirements and fees on the Westlake Recreation Center Membership page.
If you don’t live or work in Westlake, not to worry! We have swimmers from all over the west side of Cleveland. The Westlake Rec Center graciously allows a limited number of Waves Program memberships each year, which gives swimmers access to the facilities for Waves practices. These memberships are $215 per year.
The Rec Center also offers “Friends and Family Memberships” as well as a “Once a Member Always a Member” program that provides another way for non-residents to become members and make it to Waves practices! Visit the Front Desk at the Rec Center for more information and membership applications, and you can always contact the Waves with any other questions you have.
Is there a “try-out” or a certain test my swimmer has to complete to join the team?
The Westside Waves Swim Club is open to anyone wants to become a better swimmer! Our minimum requirement is that the swimmer is able to complete one length of the pool (25 yards) freestyle, without assistance. New members will have a two-week trial period in which we assess which practice group they fit into.
When can I sign up my child for the Waves?
We accept new swimmers at any time during the year. In the sport of swimming, we have two competition seasons: Short Course from September to March in which meets are held in 25-yard pools, and Long Course, from April to August in which meets are held in 50-meter pools. While starting at the beginning of a season allows the swimmer to receive the full lesson/training plan, we have new swimmers start all the time. We can prorate your fees depending on the situation. Visit our Join the Waves page for more information on getting started.
How many practices does my child need to attend?
Attending practice on a regular, consistent basis is key to continued improvement in swimming. Of course, we want to see you at practice as much as possible, but we also understand that’s important for new swimmers to not get “burnt out” by doing too much too quickly. The number of practices we recommend will differ based on the swimmer’s age and ability, but in general, younger swimmers should practice at least 3 times a week, and older, more experienced swimmers at least 4-5 times a week. See our practice groups page for more information.
When and where are meets generally held?
Most meets are held on weekends, either over two days or just on one, depending on the format and size of the meet. There is no standard time and finish time for meets; again it depends on the nature of the meet.
We also schedule dual meets from time to time, in which the Waves compete head on against one other team. These meets are sometimes held on weekdays and are shorter in length.
We participate in meets across Northeast Ohio, from Toledo down to the Canton area. A few times a year, we also participate in travel meets, in which we gather up a group and take a mini-road trip to mix things up a little bit. Previous travel meets have taken us to Indiana, Michigan, and parts of Southern Ohio.
See our Meets page for further information about upcoming meets.
Are swim meets required?
Meets are the culmination of the hours your swimmer has put in at practice, and they are also where are the fun and excitement happens! In order for us to measure an athlete’s progress, and for your swimmer to see the results of their hard work, they must attend meets.
We set a meet schedule at the beginning of each season. The goal is to get as many swimmers at each meet as possible, but we understand your family may have other obligations on weekends. Look over the meet schedule once it is posted and commit to at least several meets each season. Championship meets are at the end of each season (March for short course season, and July for long course season), so once your swimmer gets fast enough, you will want to make sure they are at those meets!
What gear does my swimmer need for practice and for meets?
For practices and meets, your swimmer will need:
- a competition-style swimsuit
- swim cap
- water bottle to stay hydrated
We recommend bringing an extra pair of goggles (and/or google strap), your second cap (provided by the team), and a second towel just in case. Having a second suit wouldn’t be a bad idea if you’re current suit is older than 1 year.
Meets usually last at least a few hours, and your swimmer will most likely have a bit of time between of their events. Along with water and/or Gatorade, they should have a few lighter, healthy snacks to keep them energized during the course of the meet. It is also a good idea to bring sandals/flip-flops, extra towels, sweatshirts, sweatpants or other athletic gear so that your child stay warm. In the summer, some of the meets will be held at outdoor pools. At these meets, it is recommended to pack sunscreen, umbrellas, lawn chairs and anything else you might need to stay comfortable for a few hours outdoors.
We provide a cap for all new swimmers that join, and can also order suits, goggles, additional caps, and other gear for your swimmer. Click here for more information on how to order team suits.