Do I have to wear a speedo?

You can wear any kind of swim suit that makes you comfortable. There are a variety of suit styles that members wear. Just come to a practice and check them all out!

Where is a good place in Atlanta to buy swim suit, gear, etc?

Most sporting gear stores have a good selection such as Dicks Sporting Goods. Kast-A-Way Swimwear has 3 dedicated locations around Atlanta also. You find directions on their website. We also have a partner program with Swimoutlet, which is a great place to find all your swimming gear needs.

How do I join Trout?

It’s easy, go to our Join page and follow the instructions for new members.

How often are social events for the team?

The team tries to get together at least once a quarter. In the winter we have our annual awards banquet. In the summer we have our team picnic. Various other events take place throughout the year. There is also a Sunday lunch ritual that some team members participate in after practice.

How do I pay for membership?

Team members can either pay quarterly or yearly at the beginning of the year. For exact pricing visit our Membership page.

Where do I park when I come to the aquatic center?

On weekday evenings, please park on the road along Tech Parkway near the Aquatic Center. You WILL need a parking pass to park there. Currently, they are $15.00 a month. You can also park at a pay meter, or the pay lot across from the CRC on Ferst Dr.

I still have some questions, can I email someone?

Just head over to the contact page and fill out this form. Someone will get in touch with you.


Do I have to be a competitive swimmer?

Absolutely not. The Rainbow Trout is made up of all levels of swimmers. All we ask is that you can swim freestyle for 50 yards. As long as you can do that you can join our team.

Do I have to be fast?

No. The Trout has all speeds of swimmers. Swim practice is broken down into 10 lanes with each lane being a different level and speed of swimmer, from slow to fast. Beginners simply start in the slow lane and then move up as they improve.

Do I have to swim in meets?

No. Our team doesn’t require members to compete in swim meets. We do hope that after a few years of swimming with us that you might enjoy competing in the local meets with us. If you’ve never been to a master’s swim meet you should come and cheer us on. You’ll discover that masters swim meets are really more about socializing and having fun than heavy competition.

What swim strokes do I need to know to join?

We only require that you know freestyle. Our coaches will be able to help you learn and improve breast, butterfly, and back.

Do I have to attend all the practices to join?

No. We offer four swim practices a week just to try to meet everyone’s busy schedule. Very few can make all of the practices.

What should I bring with me to practice?

You will need to bring your suit, a towel, and goggles. The GA Tech Aquatics facility provides kick boards and pull buoys. There are locker rooms for showering and changing after practice.

What does a swim practice consist of?

A swim practice or workout lasts for an hour and thirty minutes. The coach provides each lane with a workout sheet to follow. The sheet consists of instructions about what to swim during the workout. Each practice workout varies, but they usually consist of swimming each stroke, kicking, pulling, and drilling. Here’s an example of a practice workout.

What’s this I hear about a swimmer’s language?

Practice workouts are communicated in a secret language that only swimmers can understand. Actually it’s just abbreviations for what stroke to swim, how far to swim that stroke, how much to rest, and how much effort to put into it. It can be intimidating at first, but doesn’t take long to learn. If you have questions about a workout just ask someone else in the lane, or ask the coach. Take a look at our example of a practice workout to see the common abbreviations.

Water Polo

Who is eligible to play water polo for Atlanta Rainbow Trout?

The club runs a year-round masters program that has an age range of around 25 years (23-48) and that is open to anyone over 18. Our average age is about 35. Whether you are a good swimmer who is interested in learning a new sport or someone who has played for years, we’d love to have you join us!

What if I’ve never played water polo before?

Many of our members had not played polo before. Polo is a team sport that is similar to soccer and ice hockey. If you are a strong enough swimmer, can tread water and throw a ball, we can teach you the sport! We have a paid coach at each practice who with other team leaders will work with you individually and in groups to develop your skills and understanding of the game.

I’ve never played water polo, how good do you have to be?

Our club has a good mixture of players of differing degrees of water polo skill. We’re also committed to developing the future of our club, and welcome people of varied water polo skill levels. Water Polo is a physically demanding sport that requires a lot of endurance. You must be a strong enough swimmer and be able to tread water, but we will teach you how to play the game! Most of our members never played before joining the team.

How competitive is the team and who do you play?

The ART Water Polo club is a masters level organization that competes in the Southeastern Zone of USA Water Polo. The Southeast Zone is comprised of Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi.

We are one of only two masters water polo teams in Georgia and as such we compete most frequently with teams that are members of the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA). We travel to tournaments at college campuses in Athens (UGA), Knoxville (UT), Chapel Hill (UNC), and Auburn and Tuscaloosa, Alabama (UA). We play against and occasionally practice with the other local teams; Dynamo, Georgia Tech and Emory.

We are also a member of the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics organization and participate in IGLA and Gay Games competitions nationally and internationally. We have fielded teams in competitions held in Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, Paris and Washington DC.

Are there tryouts?

No, there are no formal tryouts. We welcome all new water polo players regardless of their level of water polo skill who have strong enough swimming skills! Water polo is a strenuous endurance sport that requires a certain level of physical stamina and reasonably good health to play.

However, to maintain the competitive level of the team and/or for your safety, if we believe your health or swimming ability is not to be at an adequate level, we will notify you that you will not be able to continue to play water polo and may suggest that you join the swimming division of our club until your skill level reaches an acceptable threshold. We solely reserve the right to determine who we allow to participate.

Is there a women’s team?

No, however women have been part of our team and are welcome to join!

When do you practice?

Practices are held year-round on Tuesday and Friday evenings from 7:30-9:00 pm.

How are the practices structured?

Practices usually consist of about 30 minutes of warm-up and conditioning, then drills and instruction, and finally a scrimmage. We have a regular coach who will be directing practices from the pool deck. Please arrive on time … because water polo is a team sport, late arrivals disrupt the flow of the practice.

What happens if I miss a practice?

As with any sport, the more practices you attend, the more likely you are to improve. Thus, if you miss a practice you may be missing out on a key concept or experience. Most people are involved in a number of activities and will occasionally need to miss practice.

If someone is frequently absent, he or she may receive diminished playing time in tournament games since priority is given to those members who have shown the greatest dedication and skill.

What kind of equipment do I need?

The bare minimum necessary for all water polo players to participate is a suit. Goggles are recommended for swimming warm-up, but not required. ART provides balls and water polo caps for all practices and games.

What fees are associated with ART Water Polo?

See the membership page for current fees. There are four separate fees associated with joining the team. The ART membership fee is an annual fee for the calendar year. Additionally, there are quarterly dues. The combination of these fees pays for pool rental, coaches, equipment, and overhead expenses related to maintaining the team. There are no additional ART membership or team dues for ART members who pay swimming dues!

Water polo players are also required to maintain membership with USA Water Polo. USA Water Polo membership is an annual membership. Additionally, all ART members must obtain a Georgia Tech Buzz Card. The buzz card is a picture ID that is required in order to enter the Campus Recreation Center. This is a one time fee.

What do my dues pay for?

Dues are calculated to cover pool rental, payment for coaches, and equipment expenses. Dues also cover other team related overhead expenses such as maintaining a website, PO Box, accountant fees, marketing and membership in organizations like International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics. They are constant from quarter to quarter. In January, the team offers annual dues at a discount over quarterly payments.

What do I need to be a member of USA Water Polo?

USA Water Polo insures all sanctioned practices, leagues, and tournaments in which the club participates. The club is registered with USA Water Polo, as are all ART water polo coaches. Membership in USA Water Polo provides you with some medical insurance coverage. For a participating athlete to be covered during play and to be eligible for competitions, he or she must be a current USA Water Polo member. A USA Water Polo membership also keeps you updated on all the recent water polo news around the globe.


What are the typical triathlon distances?

Triathlon distances range from fun/sprint distances to ultra-distances. At the shorter distance range, the sprint triathlons are great for the first timer. This can consist of as little as a 200 yard swim, a 5-10 mile bike and a 3 mile run. A great middle ground, is the Olympic distance, named after the official Olympic Triathlon. This consists of about a 1 mile swim (1.5 km), a 24.8 mile bike (40 km) and a 6.2 mile run (10km). At the other end of the spectrum are Ironman distances – a 2.4 mile open water swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run.

When is the triathlon season?

The main competitive season typically begins in April and extends all the way through October or November. The team chooses 4-5 races during the season to attend as a team, while individuals will compete at various events throughout the year. If you are up for the challenge of completing a triathlon, this is the group for you!

Can I really finish a triathlon?

Yes, you can. If you’re reading this, the chances are pretty good that you could finish a triathlon. As long as you pick a triathlon that’s suited realistically to your abilities and are willing to work hard, you can finish.

What triathlon distance is right for you?

It really depend on your comfort in the water. You can probably ride or run (or walk) the distance in longer events. But don’t put yourself in the water for a longer distance than you can handle. If you’re just starting out, you may want to consider a super sprint distance, with roughly a 375 meter swim (equal to about 13 lengths in a pool) in shallow water.

Do I need to have a strong background in one of the events?

Not necessarily. While you will encounter athletes who swam in high school meets or ran cross-country, many new triathletes are approaching these events for the first time.

I’ve heard that a triathlon swim is rough, and people even try to swim over you; True?

The talk about the swim typically surpasses the reality, which is: there are no lane markers, everyone’s trying to go in the same direction, some with more success than others. Yes there is occasional contact, but it’s unintentional. Do not take it personally, just keep swimming.

I like to run, but people tell me I shouldn’t run marathons and compete in triathlons in the same season; thoughts?

No reason at all that you can’t run and compete in triathlon. Many are convinced they train and race better by having marathons and triathlons in their racing plans.

Do I need to train a zillon hours?

Short answer: no. You’ve got limited time to train; be realistic. Train hard in the time you’ve got. You can do very well while training far less than you think you have to.

Can a training log help?

Absolutely. But it doesn’t need to be very complex to be of tremendous value.

Do I need to buy expensive gear?

No. It’s possible to compete in a triathlon with equipment you have in your garage and your closet.

Do I need to buy a wetsuit?

A triathlon wetsuit can cost $200 to $400, so it’s a pricey investment. The reasons to get one: help you stay warm in longer swim distances, and the buoyancy will make most amateur swimmers swim better. But a wetsuit is not mandatory for most triathlons, and certainly not needed in the short distance races like Super Sprints, held in water that’s warm. Some triathlon stores will rent wetsuits, and that’s a good bet if you only plan to do one or two triathlons. If you can see yourself staying engaged in triathlon longer, the cost of a wetsuit makes sense.

Do I need to buy an expensive triathlon bike?

Anything with two wheels in your garage can get you started at no extra cost.

There’s a saying ‘if you think a new bike will make you faster, then it will.’ Part is psychological. But in the first place, you are the one powering your wheels. If you are not in shape, a $5000 dream bike with tricked out wheels and components won’t make a difference. On balance, at any triathlon transition area, the bikes will be more impressive than the bike riders in many cases. It’s another way of saying just buy the bike that works for you, don’t worry about trying to have the hottest bike out there. Better to be the hot rider.

What’s it like?

Triathlon is about the expected as well as the unexpected. The successful triathlete – you – earns that internal and external respect by taking whatever the day, the course and the competition hands you.

With gratitude to