Last Updated: 18 February 2017
I am fifteen years old; can I be part of a coaching staff for a RSTA summer swim team?
- Yes. BUT you cannot be officially referred to as a “coach.” The reason for this is that the United States Department of Labor does not recognize individuals under the age of 16 to be hired as a “coach.” To comply with this regulation, RSTA has established a “Team Lifeguard” position to be a part of the staff that coaches each swim team. A team lifeguard’s primary responsibility is to provide a safe swimming environment for all RSTA swimmers. All RSTA employees are responsible for providing a safe and fun environment for all participants.
If I am fifteen years of age; do I need to obtain “working papers?”
- Yes, working papers are required of every RSTA employee under the age of 16. This process has changed in Virginia; find out what you need to do at http://www.doli.virginia.gov/laborlaw/employment_certificate_instructions.html
I am 16 years old and have never been employed by RSTA, for which position should I apply?
- The RSTA personnel committee would recommend that you apply for both the team lifeguard and 2nd assistant coach. New employees often are hired for the entry level position and move up through the ranks if the opportunity arises in the league.
If I apply for only one position on one team, could I be offered a position on another team?
- No, you are only being considered for the position for which you applied on the team(s) in which you expressed interest. Applying for multiple positions across multiple teams increases the number of available positions for which you could be considered.
Are there age requirements for each RSTA position?
- Yes, team lifeguards must be at least 15 years of age; 2nd assistant coaches must be at least 16 years of age; and both assistant head coaches and head coaches must be at least 18 years of age. Individuals applying for these positions must be of the required age by May 15.
Does RSTA provide training for new employees?
- Yes, all RSTA employees are required to attend a coaches meeting, which is scheduled approximately one week before the beginning of evening practices. During this meeting, RSTA employees are introduced to league policies and procedures. In addition to the meeting, all RSTA employees are required to attend Reston Association’s (RA) Rusty Guard training. Almost all of the employee’s training is hands-on training. The head and assistant head coach are responsible for training each of their employees for their roles. Team Managers and the RSTA Personnel Committee work closely with the coaches to provide the support needed to develop skills needed for effective coaching.
What is "Rusty Guard" training and why does an RSTA employee need to go through it?
- The majority of RSTA employees are not Reston Association employees and therefore they may not know the specific layout of the team’s pool where they are assigned. In many situations, RSTA employees have not worked since the previous season and may be a little “rusty” in their skills. The “rusty guard” training is a refresher course but NOT a recertification test.
What criteria are used in selecting employees?
- Evaluation criteria used to select coaches and team lifeguards have been developed based on USA Swimming’s “Qualities of an Effective Coach.” The criteria were put in place to recognize the variety of organizational, swimming, and interpersonal skills that are needed to develop into and perform as an effective summer swim team coach. Coaching staffs for each individual team are put together in a way that allows for individuals with different areas of strength to complement one another.
Do I need to be a year-round swimmer to be considered as an RSTA employee?
- No, many coaches and team lifeguards do not swim competitively year round.
Do I need to belong to a swimming club such as NCAP, Machine, HACC, YMCA Water Wolves, etc. to become a RSTA employee?
- No, an RSTA employee does not need to be a member of a swimming club.
If I am not an “A” swimmer is it possible to be an RSTA employee?
- Yes! Evaluation criteria used for the coach selection/hiring process recognize the variety of organizational, swimming, and interpersonal skills that are needed to develop into and perform as an effective summer swim team coach. The ability to swim and to demonstrate skills enhances effectiveness and, as a result, serves as one of the criteria used to evaluate coach and team lifeguard candidates.
What happens if my certifications are not current when I apply for an RSTA position?
- Any individual may apply for an RSTA position regardless of the status of their certifications. If offered a position by RSTA, the individual must meet all conditions stated in their offer letter. Failure to meet these conditions by the date stated in the letter may result in the offer being rescinded by the league.
What happens if my certifications expire during the season?
- RSTA requires that all certifications are current for the entire season no later than the Friday prior to the yearly coaches’ training meeting in May. Failure to have current certifications may result in an offer being rescinded.
Am I hired by a specific RSTA team?
- No, you are hired as an RSTA employee by the RSTA Personnel Committee.
If I work for one RSTA team this year will I work for that team next year?
- Not necessarily; RSTA employees are assigned a position based upon the needs of the league.
Are the team managers my supervisor if I am offered a position by RSTA?
- Yes, the team managers are on deck every day to support the coaches and the team. In conjunction with the coaches, managers make sure the practices are safe, instructive, and fun. Managers will be part of the mid-year and final coach evaluation process. However, at any time, the coaches are able and encouraged to work with their Personnel Committee Team Representative for additional support and on any problems that may arise.
Are RSTA employees paid a salary or an hourly rate?
- Each RSTA employee is paid an hourly rate that is the same for all individuals with that position title in the league regardless of their years in the league.
How do I get paid?
- Every employee has a time sheet that must be submitted to their head coach for each pay period. The head coach submits the team’s time sheets to the league accountant and the personnel chairperson. Failure to submit time sheets on time may result in a delay of payment.
I have heard that RSTA has a “TIPS” program, what is this program?
- The “TIPS” program was initiated several years ago to encourage RSTA employees to return for the next season. Individuals qualify for the “TIPS” program upon being hired for a second season. The program works like this:
- after their second season as a RSTA employee they receive a bonus of 5% of their total pay for that season;
- after their third season as a RSTA employee they receive a bonus of 10% of their total pay for that season;
- after their fourth season as a RSTA employee they receive a bonus of 15% of their total pay for that season;
- and after their fifth and every subsequent season as a RSTA employee they receive a bonus of 20% of their total pay for that season.
How often are RSTA employees paid?
- RSTA employees are paid three times during the season based upon the hours worked during that pay period. Those individuals qualifying for the “TIPS” program will receive a fourth pay check after the season is over.
If I am offered a position at a particular pool may I ask to be transferred to another to another pool?
- A job offer is for a specific position at a specific pool. Each individual who is offered a position has the option to either accept or reject their offer.
Is there a possibility of advancement with RSTA?
- Yes, a very high percentage of RSTA head and assistant head coaches start as team lifeguards or 2nd assistants and obtain positions with greater responsibility in subsequent seasons as opportunities present themselves and based on performance.
I am considering applying for a lifeguard position with RA; am I able to work both jobs?
- Yes; RSTA works very closely with RA. RSTA notifies RA with the names of all RSTA employees once offers have been accepted. RA schedules RSTA employees at pools that are convenient for them to arrive on time after a practice. Often RA schedules RSTA employees at the same pool where they work for RSTA but it is not guaranteed.
Who do I notify if I am unable to attend a practice?
- You should notify your head coach, your team’s Managers and Personnel Committee Team Representative, and the RSTA Personnel Committee Chairperson as soon as possible. Failure to notify the Personnel Committee Chairperson may result in suspension without pay or being dismissed as an RSTA employee.
How many days can I miss during the season?
- Head and assistant head coaches may miss up to 7 days during the course of the season that begins the first Tuesday after Memorial Day and continues for nine weeks. Head and assistant head coaches may not schedule their time off at the same time. Second assistants and team lifeguards are permitted to be absent up to 10 days. All RSTA employees should notify their Personnel Committee Team Representative and the RSTA Personnel Committee Chairperson as soon as possible of any time they are requesting off for vacation or personal time.
Does prior experience as an RSTA coach or team lifeguard have an impact on the coach selection/hiring process?
- Yes. Coaches and team lifeguards are evaluated each season in which they are employed. Evaluations from the prior year are used as an input in the coach selection/hiring process for subsequent seasons.
How are RSTA employees notified that they have been selected as an employee?
- Individuals being offered positions for the upcoming season are notified by an e-mail by the Personnel Committee Chairperson within 24 hours of the selection meeting. Those offered positions have until the following Saturday after the selection meeting to accept or decline an offer by e-mail to the Chairperson. Failing to respond to an offer will be considered as declining an offer. Offers are contingent upon the applicant passing a background check.
How is an individual notified if they will not be offered a position?
- After all offers have been accepted those individuals who will not be offered positions will be notified by e-mail by the RSTA Personnel Committee Chairperson.
What steps are necessary to complete the required background check?
- Individuals who have received an offer of employment with RSTA will receive an email with steps to follow to register with Sterling Backcheck to complete the background check. Failure to complete this step within the time frame described in the information from Sterling Backcheck will result in the employment offer being rescinded. Background checks will only be performed once every three years for each employee.
If I am hired as a Substitute Lifeguard/Coach, when will I work? Where will I work?
- Substitute Lifeguard/Coaches can be hired at any time by any team to fill the role of an absent coach. So it is possible that a substitute coach may be contacted by a pool other than his/her home pool to fill in for an absent coach. This is a great opportunity for the substitute to gain experience across the league.
If I am a Substitute Lifeguard/Coach, how much, and when, will I be paid?
- The substitute will be compensated based on his/her experience and based on the position s/he is replacing on deck. Payroll for time worked will be processed during the next pay cycle.