General Information and Policies
The information provided here is summarized from the team handbook, which is updated each year. Any questions or concerns about information or policies should be directed to the coaches, or the school athletic director.
Boys Swim & Dive is a Winter sport with the season beginning in mid-November. The JV season will typically finish by February 1st. The Sunflower League Championship takes place the first week of February, with the State Championship meet two weeks later.
Girls Swim & Dive is a Spring sport which begins in late February. The JV season will end by May 1st with League Championships the first week of May. The State Championship meet is the third week of May.
Meet Schedules and Information
The official published team schedule is published on the Sunflower League website, though changes may occur during the season that are not reflected on their calendar. The team website and emailings will announce changes.
Information about the state championship, as well as official rules and guidelines governing high school swim & dive are available at the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) website.
To participate you must have turned in a completed, signed, KSHSAA pre-participation physical form. All students AND their parents must also complete the participation packet on the District’s Skyward platform, prior to the season beginning. You will not be allowed to practice or compete until these forms are complete.
SM South Swim and Dive Coaches
Head Coach – Derek Berg
Assistant Coach – Chris Copeland
Assistant Coach – Rachel Neuman
Assistant Diving – Jessica Marsh
More information and short bios are available on the coaches page.
Coach Berg’s Philosophy
As the Head Coach of Shawnee Mission South Swimming and Diving, I will create an environment of success, providing the opportunity for kids to achieve their goals, both in and out of the water. I believe in good sportsmanship and teamwork and will promote both to all members of the team.
My main responsibility as the Head Coach is to help each athlete become the best swimmer that they are capable of becoming. I believe the number one goal for each athlete is to improve their technique and achieve their best times throughout the season. As the team’s head coach, I take the responsibility to stay as current with that research as I can, and to convey the necessary knowledge and skills to the kids so that they can continue to improve, no matter what level.
It is the athlete’s responsibility to know and adhere to the schedule for the week. Updates will be emailed and posted to the website. This will include:
- Swim & Dive practice schedule
- Meet reminders and team departure information
- Team dinners
- Upcoming deadlines and other time-sensitive info
- News and announcements from the coaches
Little equipment is needed to participate in Swim & Dive.
- Goggles – (Speedo, Arena, or other quality goggles recommended). You may want at least two pairs in case straps break
- Swim Suit(s) – Boys: Briefs or jammers, whatever the athlete is comfortable with. Girls: One-piece. Many athletes wear 2 suits in practice and have a separate racing suit that is only worn during meets. The designated team suits, available for order, will be used as competition suits during the season, but are not required. Tech suits are not required either, though many will choose to use them for the League and State Meet competitions. You may find inexpensive suits at just about any sporting goods store or Swim Quik. Online vendors like SwimOutlet.com are another good option.
- Towel and/or shammy
- Shoes, Shorts or Sweats, and T-shirt appropriate for Dryland Exercises
The team also puts together an apparel order every year. Items available may include sweatshirts, shorts, sweats/joggers, long-sleeve T-shirt options, etc. These items are all optional. Team members will automatically receive a team T-shirt as part of their team/booster registration.
The style of training we utilize is called Ultra Short Race Pace Training (USRPT). This training involves intense swimming and attention to technique. Everything we do in practice will be geared towards racing: from the way we warm up, stroke technique, starts and turn work we do, to the training sets. To work properly, this type of training puts a lot of responsibility on the athlete.
The repetitions will be short, but intense, and it is vital that the athlete pays attention to their times during practice and gives the level of effort expected. This type of training may be different than what the athletes are used to, but it is very effective and works for all levels of ability.
Learn more: Download a USRPT presentation by SMS Head Coach Derek Berg. (pdf)
Academic Standing and Your Participation
Student-athletes must have a current passing grade in at least 5 of their classes to be eligible to compete in each meet.
Academics First Program
For every “F” that a student-athlete has on their class schedule, they will be required to attend 1 hr of tutoring — either with the teacher of the class they are failing, or in the Academics First program room. Academics First tutors are available Tuesday and Friday mornings at 7am, and Wednesdays after school.
When there is a ‘snow day’ we will have practice. The District and Athletic Director will determine the time, which will be communicated through the team website and through the captains. If School is in session and then dismissed early, there will not be practice.
There is absolutely NO HAZING of any kind permitted on SM South Swim and Dive. Violation of this policy will result in appropriate disciplinary action.
Social Media Policy
While social media is a large, positive part of our culture, it can also have a disruptive impact on young people. Participating in swimming and diving is a privilege not a right. And that right will be revoked if social media is mishandled. Consequences determined by the coaches/athletic department will result with the misuse of social media.
The following things are prohibited and will result in disciplinary actions:
- Sexually, explicit, profane, lewd, indecent, or defamatory language.
- Derogatory language regarding school personnel or other students.
- Nude, sexually-orientated, indecent images, or altered pictures will not be acceptable and is a violation of team policies.
Athletes should be very cautious about what they post on social media and what their friends post about them. Parents should have the password to their child’s account and check it frequently. If parents have Facebook/Twitter accounts, they should be friends with/follow their child for proper supervision.
Varsity Letter Awards
To earn a Varsity letter in Swimming, the athlete must achieve the Kansas 6A State Consideration time or faster in an individual event. Divers must achieve the point requirement, or legally complete a line-up at a meet that meets the minimum DD for State qualification in order to receive a varsity letter.
SM South Athletic Department
Questions about eligibility and other school, district, or state rules or policies should be brought to the coaches, or directly to the school athletic department.