Swim Meet 101
Rule number 1 is do what your coach says. When in doubt, find your coach, or any Phoenix Swim Club coach and they should be able to help.
What should I bring?
The biggest things are racing suit, cap, and goggles. You should also bring 1 or 2 towels and some clothes that can keep you warm even if they get a little wet. Bring some snacks and a water bottle. You shouldn’t go more than 2 hours without putting a little something in your stomach. A lawn chair is a nice thing to have if you’re at a longer session.
Where do I find a heat sheet?
At most meets the heat sheets can be found at the clerk of course. At our meets that’s the big red tent by the office.
How do we know what event/heat is happening now?
There are two ways to find out what event and heat is currently swimming. The event # and heat # are on the scoreboard on the top line, event first & then heat. The other way to tell is to listen to the announcer who usually tells you what heat is happening at the beginning of each race.
What do the whistles and buzzer mean?
Two whistles means you should be ready behind the blocks. The next, single whistle, is your cue to step up. The buzzer is the noise that starts the race.
What should I do before my race?
Before you warmup you should talk to your coach about race strategy and possible warmup sets, if you haven’t already done so. After you warmup, try to be behind your block at least 10 minutes before you swim. For shorter races (50s and 100s) that can be 6-10 heats. For some of the longer races (400s & 500s) it will be 2 or 3 heats.
When should I warmup?
You should do a general warmup whenever you get to the pool to wake up the mind and loosen up the body. Specific race warmup happens within 30 minutes of the start of your race. Get back in and set up your stroke and do a couple short fast efforts to get your body ready to race. Remember, feet first entry into the warmup pool.
What should I do after my race?
Right after your race you should warmdown until your heart rate and breathing return to normal. After that, you should go talk to your coach about the race. Then figure out when your next race is and repeat! Try to keep hydrated, relaxed and out of the sun in between races. Don’t go more than a couple hours without some healthy food.