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Swim Team Handbook 21
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Swim Team Handbook

Office Phone: 414 751-7194



Thank you for considering the Schroeder YMCA Swim Team or for recently joining the team.  We are looking forward to getting to know you and your family better and helping you to either get started in competitive swimming or raise your swimming to a higher level at the Walter Schroeder Aquatic Center and Ramirez Aquatic Center.

You are joining the best youth-serving organization in the Milwaukee metro area.  Schroeder’s culture is strong and getting stronger.  All of our athletes are challenged to work very hard and engage during training sessions regardless of swimming speed.  Additionally, each will be challenged to relate the lessons in the pool to future challenges they will encounter in school and life.  Practical mental skills, simple core values to live by, challenges outside the pool and exposure to acclaimed programming are all part of each athlete’s experience.  

Why choose the Schroeder YMCA Swim Team?  

Our facilities are the finest in Wisconsin.  We boast an expert staff that is stable, caring, and led by a team of full time coaches.  Our coach to athlete ratio is low and our swimmers have prime training times between 3:30 PM and 7:30 PM.   The Schroeder YMCA Swim Team is focused on quality.  Schroeder’s athletes enjoy training without compromise and our team is coach-led and athlete-centered.  The team’s mission is performance excellence and to fully prepare our athletes for college participation and for life.

These factors, plus hard work on the part of our families and staff, make the Schroeder YMCA Swim Team one of the best in the country.  Our athletes improve at a faster rate and remain in the sport longer.  For these reasons, area athletes turn to the Schroeder YMCA Swim Team to accelerate their improvement or rejuvenate a stagnant career.

Our team is also fully committed to following the Safe Sport procedures implemented by USA Swimming, and recognize athlete safety as our top priority.  Our staff is dedicated to creating a safe and supportive environment for our members.

Our goal for you or your swimmer is to have each athlete enjoy a long career of sustained performance improvement and to enjoy a positive sporting experience.  


David Anderson

Head Swim Coach

Schroeder YMCA Swim Team


mobile:           414 364 0275


The Walter Schroeder Aquatic Center, Ltd. is the non-profit corporation that operates and is charged with the renovation and ongoing maintenance of the Walter Schroeder Aquatic Center.

We asked our families to make large contributions in 2008 to help with big capital expenses associated with the purchase of the pool and funding phase 1 of our capital campaign.  You answered!  Our first 10 years of operation has been challenging and exciting, but our financial need will not diminish over time.


The Schroeder Swim Team is a non-profit youth-serving organization with the goal of promoting excellence, preparing youth for college and ultimately prepare them for success in life.  We know that maintaining a strong financial base is essential to fulfilling our mission of helping to deliver life changing experiences and lessons to the youth and families we serve.

The Build the Future campaign is our annual fundraiser intended to help offset our operating expenses.  The campaign is an athlete driven fundraiser; our athletes are the number one priority of our organization, so we ask each year for their help to “Build the Future” of Schroeder. This will be an optional fundraiser; participation is encouraged but not mandatory, and this event will represent our main fundraising event each year.

Further details are sent out prior to the start of each long course season. We will be asking you to consider supporting us with a gift to help sustain our programs.   If you have any additional questions about the program, please contact Coach David Anderson.




The Schroeder YMCA Swim Team’s coaching staff has adopted a progressive training group structure to further the mission of the Schroeder programs which is to: “Promote excellence, prepare youth for college and ultimately, prepare them for success in life.”

The groups are designed to allow each athlete to train and compete at the level best suited to his or her ability not by age.  The training group structuring will provide athletes with more individual attention. Further, the addition of group specific meets will offer the opportunity for athletes to compete in meets best suited for their stage of development.

The organizational model has four levels which cover the full range of swimmers from no previous competitive experience through highly committed training and international level competition.

1.  Swimmers with little or no previous experience

2. Athletes with Some Prior Experience and a Modest Level of Commitment

3. Committed Athletes with Strong Skills and Experience

4. Very Skilled and Highly Committed Athletes

Training Groups/Descriptions

Swimmers with little or no previous experience

Super Stars (8 & U), Schroeder Stars (9-13), Lions:  are for young swimmers new to the sport, who want to test the competitive waters and get a taste of organized swimming fun.  Youth do not have to be able to perform all strokes; must be safe in the water and must be able to swim at least 20 Meters / 25 Yards without stopping or assistance

  1. Regular practice attendance is encouraged
  2. Participation in the Schroeder Conference Program is mandatory
  3. Training is offered in sessions
  4. Billing is a flat fee per session

Athletes with Some Prior Experience and a Modest Level of Commitment

Age Group 3: for team’s 9-13 year old swimmers who are eager to learn, open to making changes and working hard.  Athletes should be able to swim all strokes.  

  1. Regular practice attendance is encouraged
  2. Participation in USA & YMCA meets is encouraged
  3. Participation in the Schroeder Conference Program is mandatory
  4. Training is offered in sessions
  5. Billing is a flat fee per session

Committed Athletes with Strong Skills, Lots of Enthusiasm & Energy

Super 8: Group is for the team’s 8 & Under swimmers who are very good young swimmers.  Often these guys can do things that would kill their parents in an hour of practice.  Super 8s can swim all four strokes & put together an individual medley.

  1. Regular practice attendance is encouraged
  2. Participation in USA & YMCA meets is encouraged
  3. Participation in the Schroeder Conference Program is mandatory
  4. Training is offered in sessions
  5. Billing is a flat fee per session

Junior 2: Group is ideal for 13 & 14 swimmers who have busy schedules, some experience but are pretty new to competitive swim.  This group works on skill development, working hard as a team, having fun and getting ready for school team participation.

  1. Regular practice attendance is encouraged
  2. Meet participation is strongly recommended
  3. Participation in the Schroeder Conference Program is mandatory for 12&u athletes
  4. Swimmers are encouraged to train year round
  5. Billing is monthly on a year round basis

Junior 2 to Age Group 1 Advancement Criteria (WSAC ONLY)

Must be 12 through the end of the SC or LC season

Coach’s discretion - Are they physically/mentally ready and mature enough?

Must complete 2 out of 3

Junior 2  to Junior 1 Advancement Criteria (WSAC ONLY)

Must be turning 13 before December 1st (SC season) or June 1st (LC season)

Coach’s discretion - Are they physically/mentally ready and mature enough?

Must complete 2 out of 3

Senior 2:  Group is for athletes in high school.  Most have been swimming for multiple years, are varsity level swimmers on their school teams or working toward varsity squad.  Athletes identify themselves or are known to their friends as “the swimmer”.  Team culture is emphasized.  Training sessions are challenging, complicated and engaging.

  1. Regular practice attendance is encouraged
  2. Meet participation is the norm
  3. Swimmers are encouraged to train year round
  4. Sr 2 may participate in Morning Practice and Dryland
  5. Billing is monthly on a year round basis

Very Skilled and Highly Committed Athletes

Age Group 2: Group is for the team’s most enthusiastic 8-10 year old swimmers which is reflected by their training ability, technique, practice/meet attendance and attitude

  1. Regular practice attendance is required 3-5 x week. Families plan vacations around the competitive calendar.
  2. Meet attendance is a must
  3. Participation in the Schroeder Conference Program is mandatory until a state qualifier, many are aiming at Zone level swimming
  4. Year round training is required
  5. Billing is monthly on a year round basis

Age Group 2 to Age Group 1 Advancement Criteria (WSAC ONLY)

Must be turning 11 before December 1st (SC season) or June 1st (LC season)

Coach’s discretion - Are they physically/mentally ready and mature enough?

Must complete 2 out of 3

Age Group 1: Group is made up of the team’s top 11 & 12 year old swimmers.  They have great training habits, are willing to make changes and they really love swimming.

  1. Regular practice attendance is required 4-5 x per week. Families plan vacations around the competitive calendar.
  1. Local competition and travel meets
  1. Year round training is required
  2. Billing is monthly on a year round basis

Age Group 1 to Junior 1 Advancement Criteria (WSAC ONLY)

Must be turning 13 before December 1st (SC season) or June 1st (LC season)

Coach’s discretion - Are they physically/mentally ready and mature enough?

Must complete 2 out of 3

Junior 1: Group is for the team’s most engaged 13 & 14 year old swimmers; Jr 1 athletes are able to handle a substantial amount of sustained work and they are highly skilled.  Athletes in this group are usually scoring at state level competition and are looking toward Sectional or National level competition.

  1. Most athletes will swim a minimum of 5 times each week and participate in dryland sessions.  Most will find it hard to continue to do other sports or other activities.  Families plan vacations around the competitive calendar.  
  2. State and higher level competition is the norm along with travel
  3. Billing is monthly on a year round basis

Junior 1 to Senior 1 Advancement Criteria (WSAC ONLY)

Must be a Freshman in High School

Coach’s discretion - Are they physically/mentally ready and mature enough?

Must complete 2 out of 3

Senior 1:  Group is for athletes 14 & up.  Schroeder is one of the best teams in the region and the athletes in the group are superb.  Athletes really enjoy participating in all aspects of training and competition.  They are driven, goal oriented, universally excellent students and frequently obsessed with achievement and perfection - and they like to have fun.

  1. Regular practice attendance is expected and necessary to remain in the group
  2. The team and individuals travel multiple times per year all across the country.
  3. Billing is monthly on a year round basis


Sr1 & Sr2 HS swimmers who go out for HS swimming may pay a reduced rate of $40 a month for the 3 months of their HS season.  This will allow them to attend any practices they can make during their HS season

- HS girls would pay $40 month for September, October and November - regular monthly fees would begin on December 1st

- HS boys would pay $40 month for December, January and February - regular monthly fees would begin on March 1st

All AG2, AG3, Super 8, Super and Schroeder Stars swimmers pay a mandatory upfront Schroeder Conference Entry Fee of $30 which covers 2 conference dual meets and the conference championship meet.  A team cap and awards are included.


There are three primary costs associated with joining the swim team.  Membership

and training group fees can be paid by monthly bank draft (EFT) or in a lump sum - regardless, a credit card must be on record.

Annual membership and training fees are divided into 12 equal parts


Becoming a member of the Schroeder YMCA Swim Team


1. USA Swimming Registration


USA Swimming, Inc. is the national governing body for swimming.  Membership is $72.00 each year ($62.00 for 8 & Under). Membership is required to swim in any USA-sanctioned competitions and every team member must be registered.

2. Meet Fees

Entry fees are detailed in meet information (typically $20-30 per meet).  Fees will be paid from the Team Unify Team Management platform when you sign your athlete up and the fees go on your monthly account.  Families are responsible for paying facility surcharges and WI swim splash fees (typically about $10).  


3. Training and Membership Fees   Please ask for current rates.





Practice is supposed to be fun, but there has to be some order for each workout to succeed.  Before, during and after practice there should be a minimum of horse play.  Normal rules of conduct around pools should be observed and common sense should prevail.  Timeliness is important.  Athletes are expected to be supportive of one another.

Bullying is not tolerated - read more


Generally, any training begins with a warm up, followed by the main activities or goals for the session, and is concluded with a warm down.



Parents, feel free to watch and observe all training sessions.  At the Aquatic Center, parents are asked to sit up in the bleachers (not on the deck bleachers) while their athletes are on deck working with coaches.  

At our Schroeder Prep practice sites, parents can be quite physically close to athletes and coaches.  While it is tempting to help your athlete by making sure they are listening or helping to reinforce what the coaches are saying, it can commonly be a big distraction and your athlete’s attention is divided between you and their coach.  Parents may be asked to change how you participate while watching your athlete practice up to the point where you may be asked not to observe to see if better focus can be achieved by having your athlete’s attention not divided.  

Parents are strongly encouraged to swing through the locker room and come into the Aquatic Center or our other sites and check to make sure that your swimmer actually gets down the hall and to practice on time.  If you have questions about the practice or about team-related matters, the best way to communicate is to ask the coach after practice, to phone and talk, email, or to make an appointment.  Regular parent – coach communication is an important component to long-term success.  Please contact the coaches anytime, however, try to avoid the time just before practice is beginning – it’s generally the most stressful time of the day for the coaches.


The way an athlete is disciplined on this team is to remove the swimmer from the activity or competition at the time of the problem for a period of time.  Usually, the swimmer is invited to rejoin the activity. If necessary the athlete may be dismissed from the remainder of the session. If an athlete’s behavior warrants further disciplinary action, the coaching staff may request a meeting with the parents and the swimmer before the swimmer returns to the next practice session.  Members may be removed from the team at the discretion of staff.

Review the WSAC Athletic Code for Team Travel


The health and safety of our athlete members is our top priority.  To ensure this, the Schroeder swim team adheres to the standards set by USA Swimming.  These include:

  1. All swimming practices are open and observable to parents
  2. All of our coaches and non-athlete members are certified through USA Swimming, whereby they are required to pass a criminal background check and receive training on Safe Sport athlete protection.
  3. Schroeder coaches adhere to USA Swimming code of conduct.
  4. Security cameras are maintained throughout the buildings at both WSAC and Prep locations
  5. Door security at WSAC during peak practice hours
  6. Coaches adhere to locker room policy to ensure athletes and coaches are not changing at the same time but coaches or staff must swing through the locker rooms to make sure the environment is secure and behavior is good.
  7. All parents and guardians must acknowledge Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies as mandated by USA Swimming annually.

For further information on our Safe Sport policies, please contact Coach Phil Davies at


        The purpose of this code of conduct for coaches is to establish common expectations for all members of the coaching staff of the club.  It is to be used as a guide to promote a positive team environment and good sportsmanship.

Any complaints of a coach violating this code of conduct will be brought to the attention of his/her supervisor and/or the club’s board of directors.


1. Communication

2. Meet Entry Procedure

3. Time Standards

Swimmers and Swim Meets are classified by time standards. Athletes progress from the "C" (entry level) through "B" and onto "A" at the fastest.  Swim meets are then rated for all swimmers (ABC) or A/B or A for the stiffest competition.  (Some meets have special, meet-specific time standards.) Most time standards can be found through the link on our site to the Time Standards tab

4. Equipment

Swimming doesn't require much equipment. Items like buoys and boards will be available for use at the pool.  The Schroeder YMCA Swim Team has chosen Speedo to be our equipment provider.  Group coaches may require: Fins, Paddles and Snorkels.  Athletes should label their pieces and keep them in a mesh equipment bag.  Elsmore Swim Shop can supply all of your needs. Speedo provides our team with strong support in three ways:  outfitting, financial support of the team and Aquatic Center, and through sponsorship of our two biggest meets. Athletes must race in Schroeder apparel and are strongly encouraged to support Speedo products when choosing training gear.  

5. New to the Team?  Of course you will have questions!

Don’t know how to fill out an entry form or what meets to attend or who to ask about what?  It’s not uncommon for new swimmers and their parents to be uncertain about almost everything.  Contact your group coach for answers to all questions.

Swim Team Family Work Requirements - please refer to website during covid

A good portion of the revenue for the swim team comes from hosting meets.  You/your family is required to work at all the meets that we are hosting.

During the year we will conduct five (7) major meets:

GMO                        October

Y Invite                         November

YMCA Finalist                   December

12 & U State                December

A+                             February

Y-State                      March

SSTY Dist/Sprint           May

Read the details about Swim Team Family Work Requirements


The Schroeder YMCA Swim Team began in the Fall of 1977 when coach Bob White, Jr. brought a group of about fifty swimmers together to practice at Northridge Lakes, Brown Deer H.S. and at the North Suburban Branch YMCA when it opened.  The goals of the Schroeder Swim Team were realized early, as members began to set state records and qualify for national competition.

Joe Schweitz became head coach soon after the Schroeder Center opened in 1979.  He served from the summer of 1980 until Rick Klatt took over in the spring of 1981.  As the team continued to grow, it became necessary to hire a full time age group coach.  Steve Betts became part of the Schroeder staff, taking charge of the developmental program.  At the time, Schroeder was the only team in Wisconsin with two full time professional coaches.  Steve became head coach in August of 1982.  The team's developmental program began to pay off as Schroeder regularly won state championships and began to receive national attention.  Team members qualified for national championships and won the YMCA Short Course Nationals back to back in 1985 and 1986, as well as Junior Nationals West in 1986. John Woods was named Senior Coach in the Fall of 1986.  Successes continued, and three athletes qualified for Olympic Trials in 1988 including past Schroeder Coach, Marsha Hillard.  In 1991, Ron Pinkert was elevated to Head Coach, and he coached at the Schroeder YMCA through 1995 during which time K.T. Lee broke National Age Group Records.

David Anderson was named Head Coach in 1995.  Lindsey Highstrom represented Schroeder at the 1996 Olympic Trials, and she was also named a member of the USA National Junior Team.  Anderson was named YMCA National Coach of the Year in 1996. Then in 1997, Schroeder returned to the top by capturing the YMCA National Swimming and Diving Combined Team Championship.  In 1998, Schroeder took 13 athletes to the summer USA National Championships, the largest team in the club’s 22 year history.  

Schroeder added another Women’s YMCA National Swimming Championship in 1999, and was well-represented by five swimmers at the 2000 Olympic Trials - Sara Petric, Christy Garth, Emily Stapleton, Ben Bartell and Cortnee Adams. Matt Miller joined the full-time coaching staff in June of 2000 and immediately made a significant impact on the team’s top age group athletes.  In June of 2001, Matt was elevated to Co-Head Coach and in the spring of 2003 his 12 & Unders won the Wisconsin State Meet.  Mitchell Stoehr established three National Age Group Records in freestyle.  The summers of 2005 and 2006 brought additional 12 & Under State Titles to Schroeder.

Two Schroeder athletes, Ben Bartell and Cortnee Adams, qualified for the 2004 Olympic Trials and the Schroeder YMCA has been represented at every USA National Swimming Championship with one exception since 1995.  Miller and Anderson established a goal in 2001 to move the Schroeder YMCA Swim Team to be the best team in the Central Zone.  Currently, the Schroeder YMCA Swim Team is considered to be a Top 10 team in the Central Zone and it has been annually recognized by USA Swimming as a National Club of Excellence garnering the Silver Medal Team distinction since 2006.  

2008 was a year of challenges and continued competitive success.  The Walter Schroeder Aquatic Center, Ltd. - a new non-profit organization was established  with the mission of preserving the pool for future generations.  The new 501(c)3 corporation raised $2 million to help renovate and preserve the state’s finest competitive aquatic facility.  Five athletes represented Schroeder in Omaha at the Olympic Trials meet - Josh  Baseheart, Kevin Baseheart, Steve Cebertowicz, Chase Gravengood and Adam Mania.  Alex Dionne qualified for the 2008 Beijing Paralympics in the 400m free and represented Team USA in China!  Other 2008 summer highlights included William Colbert’s USA Junior Team qualifying swim in the 100 M Breast at Jrs as well as Schroeder’s NAG Record in the men’s 4 x 100 MR at Jrs.

In September of 2008, the Walter Schroeder Aquatic Center re-opened with new bulkheads, starting blocks and filters. 2010 saw Schroeder finish 12th in Men's Team scoring at USA Nationals and a surprise National title in the Men's 4 x 100 Meter Free Relay.  2012 was another successful Olympic Year.  Schroeder was well represented at the 2012 Trials with Adam Mania reaching the semis of the 100 M Back along with Mitchell Friedemann, Alex Meyers, Carl Newenhouse and Steve Cebertowicz also raced.  Schroeder had two qualifiers for the Paralympic Trials with veteran Alex Dionne in his 3rd Trials and newcomer Jeff Valodine.  Triathlete Gwen Jorgensen made the USA Olympic Team in Triathlon.  In 2013, SSTY added another USA National title in the 4 x 100 M Free Relay.  The team of Friedemann, Cebertowicz, Mania and Ellis Miller won in 3:22 in Indianapolis.  At the 2013 USA Junior Championships, Alex Meyers made the USA National Junior Team that raced in Dubai, UAE at the 2013 FINA World Junior Championships.

A significant step was taken in the fall of 2012 when Schroeder began a second site on the southside of Milwaukee.  Beginning with a handful of committed swimmers and quickly attracting a core of excited new young swimmers Schroeder now utilizes multiple facilities across the southeast side of Milwaukee County!  As of the summer of 2016, 100 athletes were based and training on the south side of town.  

In 2015-2016, Schroeder set its sights on becoming a Gold Medal Team, putting an athlete on the Olympic Team and Winning a National YMCA Team Title again.  Schroeder’s youngest set a new NAG record in the 200 Medley Relay, a new site is under construction on the city’s south side at Ramirez Aquatic Center. Seven Schroeder athletes were in Omaha at the Rio Trials: Adam Mania, Kevin Steel, Nick Petersen, Alex Meyers, Cassy Jernberg, Ashlyn Schoof, and Hannah Saiz made the final in the 200M Fly.  Hannah won the US Open and a National Championship in the 200 Fly.  

2017 saw the opening of the Ramirez Aquatic Center which serves as the anchor site for Schroeder’s athletes on the south side of town and Cassandra Jernberg and Hannah Saiz helped SSTY to its highest finish at a Summer national meet finishing 12th at the US Open in New York.  2019 was filled with success as five first time qualifiers raced at the USA Summer Jr National Championship in Palo Alto, CA.

We look forward to years of improvement, success, and stability based on the waves of great young swimmers coming through the team.



We are deeply grateful to the late Walter Schroeder.  His vision in establishing the Walter Schroeder Foundation made the Aquatic Center possible. The Aquatic Center was built through a grant from the foundation to the YMCA. Walter Schroeder's history is indeed an unusual and interesting one.  A native of Milwaukee, he was born on May 19, 1878 to German immigrant parents.  Hard work was part of Schroeder's life from childhood.  At age 14, Schroeder worked as a clerk in the office of the Milwaukee Register of Deeds for $3.50 a week.  Shortly after, he

became a staff member of the Milwaukee Legal News and within two years he helped form the Daily Reporter.

By age 21, Schroeder had joined his father in a real estate and insurance business known as the Chris Schroeder and Son Co.  Within a few years Walter had established a record as Wisconsin's most energetic and competent salesmen, and his agency soon became the largest general insurance agency in Wisconsin.  Between 1921 and 1924, Schroeder entered into an exciting program of developing a chain of hotels.  In 1926, Schroeder started his most ambitious multi-million dollar project, the Schroeder Hotel (now the Milwaukee Hilton), which has become a distinguished landmark.

During his lifetime Schroeder, made large and frequent contributions to benefit young people.  The gift from the Walter Schroeder Foundation to construct the Walter Schroeder Aquatic Center ensured that one of Milwaukee's most renowned citizens will continue to have a profound impact on the community. The Schroeder Aquatic Center opened in 1979 and at the time was the only indoor 50 meter pool in the state.  The Milwaukee area competitive swimming community, led by swim team parents John and Anne Hazelwood, recognized the need for a facility of this type and presented the idea to the Schroeder Foundation and the YMCA.  This new pool would be associated with the newly opened North Suburban Branch YMCA (1977), which had the land and would serve the entire competitive aquatics community.  The foundation approved donating the four million dollars, and also set aside another $500,000 to be invested to provide for the long-term maintenance of the pool.  At the time, this was the largest single donation to a YMCA in the world.

The Walter Schroeder Aquatic Center has fulfilled the early expectations for the pool.  The facility has hosted numerous national, regional and state championship competitions.  Its water is still known to be among the fastest in the country and is the site of Mary T. Meagher's former World Record butterfly performances.  In the  30 years since its construction, the Aquatic Center has been the site of countless local, state, regional and national caliber competitions and continues to serve the competitive swimming community play host to nearly a quarter of all USA Swimming splashes in the Wisconsin LSC annually!

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