EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SWIM MEETS... BUT, WERE AFRAID TO ASK (or didn't know what to ask)
Listed below are some guidelines geared to help you through your first couple of swim meets. It may seem a little overwhelming, but the best way to get started is to just dive in! If you have questions, please contact your parent captain or Coach Mary (see contact details below).
Before the Meet Starts
• The night before the swim meet, pack your your EISF suit, EISF cap, goggles and 3 towels, find the assigned EISF t-shirt and swag you and your swimmers will wear, pack your swimmer’s snacks, and write your swimmer’s event numbers and events on their arm in a sharpie. (Coaches will fill in heats and lanes on the pool deck) This helps him/her remember what events he/she is swimming and what event number to listen for.
• Arrive at the pool in your EISF uniform (T-shirt and black bottoms or dress sweats) at least 20 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time begins, swimmers need to be on deck 15 minutes before warmups start. The warmup times will be listed in the meet information and on the meet timeline that will be emailed out before the swim meet.
• Upon arrival, send your swimmer and their gear off to get settles. The swimmers sit together on the pool deck, the parents sit together in the stands, so look for some familiar faces.
• Your swimmer will get his/her goggles and EISF team cap on and be ready for warm-up instructions. It is important for all swimmers to warm-up with the team no matter what time their event will race.
• After warm-up, your swimmer can go check in with you, change suits, go to the bathroom, have a snack, etc. Swimmers must be back at the team area at least 5 minutes before the meet starts for the national anthem and team cheer.
• Heat Sheets. A heat sheet is usually available for sale in the lobby or concession area of the pool. Heat sheets generally sell for about $5 dollars. It lists all swimmers in each event in order of "seed time". When the team entry is sent in, each swimmer and his/her previous best time in that event is listed. If the swimmer is swimming an event for the first time, he/she will be entered as a "no-time" or "NT". An "NT" swimmer will swim in one of the first heats of the event.
It is important for any swimmer to know what event numbers he/she is swimming (again, why they should have the numbers on their hand). He/she may swim right away after warm-up or they may have to wait awhile. Read the meet information to get a feel for how the meet will run.
Before each swim:
• Swimmer should check in with his/her coach at few events before they are scheduled to swim. The coach will give pointers and encouragement. The swimmer should know their time going into the race (as listed on the heat sheet) and have a goal in mind for the swim.
• A swimmer's event number will be called, usually over the loudspeaker. Swimmers should report with his/her cap and goggle to the area behind the blocks. It is encouraged to have your swimmer behind the blocks a few events ahead of time so they don’t miss their race.
After each swim:
• Swimmer should ask the timers (people behind the blocks at each lane) his/her time if it doesn’t come up on the scoreboard.
• He/she should go immediately to the cooldown area for the designated cooldown swim (anywhere from a 100 to a 600 depending on the swimmer’s age and ability) and then report to the coach for feedback. The coach will ask him/her their time and breifly discuss the swim with each swimmer.
Things you, as a parent, can do after each swim:
• Give a thumbs up, high five or hug and notice something positive in their effort or intentions.
• This is another good time to check out the bathrooms, get a drink or something light to eat.
• The swimmer now waits until his/her next event is called and starts the
A note on Relays
• Relays are put together by the coaching staff before the meet based on the best information the coaches have at the time. Swimmers who cannot participate in relays due to conflicts must indicate this when they enter the meet. Otherwise, swimmers are expected to be available for relays in all sessions they are competing. Often times, swimmers get sick, injured, have things come up, so they need to bow out of a relay, or they improve to qualify for a relay he/she did not originally qualify for and therefore the 4 swimmers will need to be adjusted. Therefore, on deck on the day of the relay, the relay personnel will be assessed and potentially adjusted so that the fastest combination of swimmers represents the team. Sometimes swimmers on the B relay outperform swimmers on the A relay. The coaching staff takes note of the swimmers relay performances and logs that information for future relay decisions.
After a Meet
• When a swimmer has completed all of his/her events he/she and their parents get to go home. Make sure, however, you, as a parent, check with the coach before leaving to make sure your swimmer is not included on a relay, if relays are at the end of the meet. It is not fair to other swimmers who may have stayed to swim on a relay where your swimmer is expected to be a member and he/she is not there. (The coaches speak from experience on this issue).
These meets are a lot of fun for the swimmers! He/she gets to visit with his/her friends, play games, and meet kids from other teams. He/she also gets to "race" and see how much he/she has improved from all the hard work he/she has put in at practice.
What To Take To The Meet
• Swim Suit, goggles, and ESIF swim cap
• Towels - Your swimmer will be there awhile, so pack at least two
• Warm Team Clothing- Dress Sweats, Hoodie and/or extra t-shirts: These are available on the Team Store site.
• Food: Swimmers can bring a small cooler with snacks. Sports drinks, Granola bars, fruit snacks, yogurt, cereal, jello cubes, and sandwiches are a good idea. Please do not bring soda or candy.
Meet Fees - A $5 meet fee for local meets, $20 for travel meets, will be assessed to each swimmer to help cover coaching and meet expenses. For the State meets, “relay only” swimmers will be assessed a surcharge of $20..
Special Parent's Note
It’s very important to sit with the other team parents in your team shirt and CHEER! We have the best parent area in Iowa and the kids LOVE it. So be positive, make your voice heard, and enjoy getting to know your fellow swim parents in the stands. You learn a lot by talking to your peers and newer parents learn from you, too.
Remember, the pool area is usually very warm, so your team shirt should do the trick no matter how cold it is outside. You might want to wear shorts as well.
Splash Parent Captain: Lori Weih Lori.Weih@unitypoint.org
Rapids Parent Captain: Tara Macho firstname.lastname@example.org
Whitewater Parent Captain: Julia Wittnebel email@example.com
Cascade Parent Captain: Brenton Hakes firstname.lastname@example.org
Developmental Lead Coach: Mary Bonine email@example.com