June 12, 2018
Greetings from Coach Holly!
Saturday is our first swim meet of the season, so I want to give you some information on how swim meets work for newcomers. Meets generally start around 7 am and end around noon on Saturdays. We have the weekend of July 7th off. Every Friday before noon I will send out an email with our warm-up time and directions to the pool.
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 also choose 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. If you choose the “Individual Medley” as one of your events, it is NOT a relay - it’s an individual event, the 100 IM. If you sign up for a meet, and then Saturday comes and you cannot attend for any reason, please text me at (301) 471-7395 and let me know asap. That gives me time to adjust relays if necessary and inform the meet director of scratches.
When you go to a meet, prepare for any kind of weather. Many people bring canopies and chairs. Our families set 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 usually be 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 9-12 year olds swim for 8 minutes, then 13-Olders & 8-Unders 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 will be posted on a list by the check-in. Have your swimmer look to see if they are in a relay. 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 the list of alternates. Before you leave when your child finishes swimming, have them check with me to see if I need them to stay for a relay if their name is on the alternate list.
And last but not least, I will tell you what I tell the swimmers. If your child should be disqualified from a race (a DQ) because they’ve done something illegally (like a scissor kick or turning to their stomach on backstroke) 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 ask questions.
See you Saturday! Go Barraudas!