A Little Bit About Swim Meets

Greetings from Coach Holly!

Saturday is our first swim meet of the season, so I want to offer general information on how swim meets work for newcomers.  Meets usually start around 7 am and end around noon on Saturdays.   Every Friday before noon  I will send out an email with our specific meet warm-up time and directions.  We have the weekend of July 8th off.  

If you want to sign up for Saturday meets,  you must sign up by NOON on the TUESDAY before the meet to be entered.   Usually you may choose 4 individual events.  I am happy to choose events for your swimmer if you’d like.  I determine the relays, so if your child would like to be on a relay (or if they would NOT) please let me know in the note section when you declare.  Please note, if you choose the “Individual Medley” as one of  your events, it is NOT a relay - it’s an individual event.

When you go to a meet, prepare for any kind of weather.  Many people bring canopies and chairs.  Our team sets up shelters in the same general area.  Bring warm clothes and sunscreen.  Often there are concessions at the meets, and it’s nice if we can support all the teams by frequenting them.  That being said, you can bring your own coolers with drinks and snacks.

Swimmers should wear their team suits (or a blue or black suit) and caps at meets.  If your swimmer is on another team (high school or year-round) they are not allowed to wear any gear with any logo other than their summer team.  Each new family gets a team cap as part of their registration.  They are in the Family Box at every outdoor practice.  If you need a cap for this first meet, please look for Michelle Baird.  Swimmers do not HAVE to wear a cap, but if they do, it must be a team cap.

When you arrive at the meet, the first thing your swimmer should do is check-in.  There will be either a check-in table or parents with clipboards checking in swimmers. Volunteers should also sign in at this time. This is also where you can find the Handwriter’s Sheets .  On the Handwriter Sheet, it will say something like – Brown, Holly  #13, 2/6.  What that means is, my event is number 13, and I’m in the 2nd Heat, in Lane 6.   Write your swimmer’s event numbers, heats and lanes on their hands or arms to help them know what they are doing.  

We will have a very short amount of time for warmup, usually 20 minutes.  Have your swimmers get ready to warm up as soon as they are done checking in.  At home meets, we have the first warm up at 7:00.  At away meets, we warm up second, usually at 7:20.  Since we have such a large team, we split the warmup time.  This year we will have 10 – Unders  swim for 8 minutes, then 11-Olders swim for 8 minutes, then we all do starts and sprints together for about 5 minutes.  Swimmers need to be ready to go at a moment’s notice.

There are relays at the middle and end of the meet.   The swimmers who are participating in relays and the alternates swimmers will be posted on a list by the check-in.  Have your swimmer look to see if they are in a relay or if they are an alternate. When I enter the relays, I submit a list of alternate swimmers in case someone gets sick or can’t swim for some reason.  If I need to replace a swimmer, I may only draw from that list of alternates.  If your swimmer is listed as an alternate, have them check with me  b efore you leave to see if I need them to stay for a relay.

And last but not least, I will tell you what I tell the swimmers.  If your child should be disqualified from a race (called a DQ) because they’ve done something illegally (like a scissor kick or turning to their stomach on backstroke finish) IT IS NOT A BIG DEAL.  I consider practice to be like their homework, and swim meets to be their test.  If they get a DQ it’s like getting one wrong on a test – it lets us know what homework we need to do to improve.  If your child is upset, let them know it’s not the end of the world.  If they get a DQ in one race, it does not affect the other races.

At the end of the meet, it’s nice if our team helps the host team by picking up trash in our area.  Your child’s results will be posted on TeamUnify usually within a day.  I send out a meet summary email with info about the week ahead.  Your child’s ribbons will be in the Team Box on Monday.  Look in the file folder with your family name to get the awards.

So there you have it!  If you have any questions, Board members are always available at meets to chat with and answer questions.

See you Saturday!  Go Barraudas!

Coach Holly