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Frequently Asked Questions / Team Traditions

[Please note that some of this information is invalid during the COVID-19 pandemic]

What is the BTW Swim Booster Club?
The BTW Swim Booster Club is a support group for the Booker T. Washington High School Swim team. We raise money to support the needs of the team in coordination with the swim coaches. We provide the team with workout equipment, swim parkas, etc. The Boosters also coordinate the production and sales of Hornet competition swimsuits/caps, swim team spirit wear, home meet support (concessions, gate entry, heat sheet sales, timers, coaches/officials' meals, etc). We try to keep the Boosters dues to a minimum by doing fundraising; it helps if every family on the swim team joins the BTW Swim Boosters Club.

New Season Parent Orientation Meeting
In early to mid September, the Booster Club and the coaching staff host an orientation meeting that all parents are encouraged to attend. We go over the upcoming season practice and meet schedules, swimmer expectations, have sign ups for committee coordinators, sign ups for Pasta Party hosts, and coordinate the purchase of the new season's swimsuits, parka rentals or purchases, and any new gear needed. If you're a new swim parent, this is the meeting where you can get answers to any questions you might have about the upcoming season. 

What is the typical practice schedule?
This is a typical practice schedule; it may change throughout the season.
After school practice (also referred to as 
8th Hour) lasts until 5:30 pm. 8th hour practice runs from August until Regionals in early February. Swimmers who make State will have 8th hour until after State. Morning practices are from typically 7:00-8:00 am Monday - Thursday. Morning practices run October through January. Swimmers are expected to come to at least 2 morning practices a week.

What is the typical meet schedule?
Swim meets are typically on Tuesday or Thursday evenings beginning in early November and continuing through early February. If swimmers qualify at the Regional Championship, they  compete in the State Championships in mid-February. Look for a meet schedule in early fall.

How do the students get to meets in high school swimming?
The students will travel by a TPS school bus to and from meets outside the Tulsa metro area, but parents/students usually provide the transportation to meets in the Tulsa metro area.  Swimmers need to be picked up upon bus arrival at BTW or other pre-designated meeting place.

Do parents attend meets?
Parents are welcome to attend every meet. Often the hosting school charges entry fees per person, including Booker T. Washington. When BTW hosts a home meet, we need lots of volunteers to help the visiting teams, coaches, and other parents feel welcome. At these meets parents supply food for coaches, sell concessions, and collect gate entry fees, time races, etc.

When do the meets start and end?
The meets usually start at 5:30 pm.  Swimmers will stay after school for home meets to help set-up and warm-up before the meet. The ending time for each meet will vary upon the number of teams and heats in each event.

What are some Booker T. Swim Team traditions?
1) Pasta Parties: these typically occur before most home meets and other special meets, such as the Hornet Invitational, the Rose Invitational, and the Regional Championship Meet. One swim family hosts a party at their house and provides pasta and sauces, and each swim family signs up to contribute a salad, bread, or drink. 2-3 other parents usually sign up to help the hosts at the party.

2) Team Activities: Before school starts in the Fall, we usually hold a swim party at a neighborhood pool facility. Bonding Night also takes place soon after school starts. This is typically an overnight event chaperoned by swim parents. The swimmers play games and get to know each other better. We have held Bonding Night at Camp Loughridge and FUMC Family Center in the past.  

3) Rose Buddies: A special pasta party is held the week of the annual Rose Invitational meet that usually takes place in late January at Oologah High School. The team holds a small gift exchange, like a Secret Santa exchange. A week or so before the meet, everyone writes their name on a slip of paper with a list of some of their favorite things. Everyone draws a name, shops for their Rose Buddy, and brings their gift(s) to the Rose Buddy pasta party. The gift amount is usually limited to $10 or $15.

4) Rose Sheets: At the Rose Buddy pasta party, there are sheets of paper with one swimmer's name on it. Everyone goes around and writes friendly, encouraging words on everyone else's sheet. The sheets are given to the swimmers right before the meet starts.

5) Day of Meet Food/Drink runs: On home meet days, after everything is set up for the meet (timing system, chairs, etc.), some swimmers will go to the nearby shopping center to get something to eat or a smoothie before the meet.

6) State Championship traditions: for those who qualify for State. Many of the boys will completely shave their heads (not mandatory.) Many of the girls will dye their hair or dye streaks of color in their hair (not mandatory.) State Qualifiers will usually have a special dress up day at school. There will be a special dinner for State Qualifiers and their families the week before the State Meet. 

7) Float Trip: One weekend in late May or June, we will do a float trip on the Illinois River. Parents help chaperone the trip. Unfortunately, bad weather has halted this trip many times recently and we may find an alternative in a pool party or something like that instead. 

8) After Meet Dinner at Braum's : After home meets, swimmers might go to Braum's to have dinner or ice cream or whatever people want to eat. They usually go to the one at 28th and Harvard, but ti depends on what the swimmers decide.

9) Annual Banquet: usually takes place some time in April. At the banquet, we celebrate the season, the graduating Seniors give short speeches, the Coaches hand out their awards, and the Juniors will write up silly awards for each swimmer. We also show the season highlights video at the end of the banquet. All swim families are invited. It's often a potluck, but the Booster Club may also choose to have food catered in. 

How can I be a supportive swim parent?

  • Join the BTW Swim Booster Club
  • Volunteer to help at least 3 swim meets.
  • Cheer for athletes who are not your own children.
  • Realize Disqualifications (DQ's) are learning opportunities.
  • Understand that your swimmer might not be picked for a relay team.
  • Understand that only the four fastest swimmers can be on the "A" relay team.
  • Help new parents "learn the ropes" in a positive way.
  • Emphasize the importance of "team" and cheering for teammates.
  • Let the coaches do the coaching.
  • Realize that one single swim is not all that is important. IT'S THE PROCESS THAT COUNTS.
  • Focus on your swimmer's personal time improvements and effort, not their place in a race.
  • Realize that every swimmer is a winner as long as they do their best.
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