As a competitive swimmer you will be expected to participate in meets, usually on a monthly basis. Swimming has two seasons; Short course (25 yard pool) season held between September and April. Long Course (50 meter pool) held between May and August. Both are equally important for the development of the swimmers ability to race and achieve time standards.
A week before a scheduled meet the swimmer will receive notice of entry and what events he/she will be participating in. Please note that there is a fee per event for attending meets. This fee is paid to the meet host five days prior to the meet. Once entries have been submitted, no changes are allowed. If a swimmer cannot attend a particular meet, it is his/her responsibility to advise the coach.
Meets usually last about 4 hours long so it is extremely important that you and your family come prepared with the necessary tools to be comfortable. The following is a list of essentials to pack up for the meet:
1. Towels (two)
2. Comfortable chairs
3. Change of clothes including socks to keep your body warm in the winter.
4. Team swimsuit, team cap and goggles (two of each)
5. Healthy snacks and water. Fruit is the perfect snack to eat during a meet.
6. Sun block
7. Book or music (anything to keep you relaxed while you wait for your next event)
8. Pen and highlighter
The day of the meet swimmers are required to be at the pool for warm-ups one hour (or more) before the actual start of the meet. Upon arrival at the meet the swimmer should report directly to the coach. After warm-up swimmers need to stay with the team (together). MAC always puts up one or two tents for our swimmers to sit in the shade. The tent is reserved for athletes only. Parents are welcome to sit near the tent. At every meet, there is an entry fee charged to all non-swimmers. This charge usually ranges between $2 - $5 per person. At the entrance the hosting team also sells the meets Time Sheets for that day’s session. This charge ranges between $2 – $3. You will want to purchase a time sheet upon arrival as this will tell you your event, heat and lane number for all your events. You will want to highlight these on your sheet as the events move really quickly throughout the day and you do not want to miss your race. Any errors in the heat sheet should be reported to the coach immediately so it can be corrected prior to the meet start up.
The swimmer should check with the coach both before and after every event. Before the event the coach may give advice about the strategy or main objective for the swim. After the swim the coach will comment or discuss the swimmers performance. Right after each swim the swimmer should ask the lane timer what his/her time was and report it back to the coach.
As a MAC swimmer and MAC family member you are expected to display good sportsmanship and respect to all other swimmers and meet officials at all times.
Now that you know what to expect at your first meet, fasten your swimsuit, put on your goggles and get ready for the time of your life!