SWIM MEET FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SWIM MEETS?
Our "Friday Night at the Races" are intra-squad swim meets that are geared towards our Blue, Bronze, and Silver level swimmers. They are held on a Friday afternoon during practice.
Our team also attends "Invitational" meets hosted both by our team and teams around the central Florida area. They are held on Saturdays and Sundays (and with some meets having events on Friday night). At an invitational you can expect warm-up to last one hour and the competition to last approximately four hours.
Swimmers from the Senior and Gold may qualify for "Championship" meets both in the state of Florida and across the country. While we do take travel costs into consideration when forming our meet schedule, families in these groups should expect to travel to their championship meets as they will usually be out of town.
WHAT IS THE TEAM UNIFORM?
The NTC Aquatics team suit is a blue Arena swim suit with the NTC Aquatics logo. All NTCA swimmers, including those in an "unattached" status, must wear our team suit at each swim meet that they are representing NTCA. The coaching staff recommends the use of the "endurance" suits during the regular meet season. However, for championship meets, 11 and over swimmers may wear "Fastskins" or "Aquablades" suits. Our coaching staff does not recommend these suits for 10 and under swimmers.
If your swimmer chooses to wear a swim cap, he/she must wear the NTC Aquatics swim cap, both in practice and at swim meets.
The racing suit, team cap and t-shirt are the only required team uniform in competition. However, NTC Aquatics wants to display a strong sense of team unity at swim meets with all swimmers and family members wearing NTC Aquatics team apparel. All the team apparel can be purchased from our official team supplier, All American Swim/The Lifeguard Store.
WHAT IS THE SWIM MEET PROTOCOL?
- Warm up occurs before each meet. Warm-ups last from 30 to 90 minutes prior to the start of the swim meet.
- NTC Aquatics swimmers should arrive at the pool at least fifteen minutes prior to the warm up time. All NTC Aquatics swimmers are expected to sit together as a team.
- Double-check your swimmer's events in the heat sheet. If there is a mistake, notify the coach immediately.
- NTC Aquatics swimmers are responsible for knowing which events he/she is swimming and for being to their lane on time. For younger swimmers, parents typically write event numbers, heats and lane assignments on the swimmer’s hand or arm. NTC Aquatics coaches will assist new and young swimmers to their heat and lane assignments.
- NTC Aquatics swimmers should report to the coach prior to each race to prepare for their upcoming swim.
- At the conclusion of each race, swimmers should ask the lane timer for their stopwatch time. Younger swimmers report immediately to their coach. Older swimmers warm down first and then see their coach. This gives the coach and swimmer the opportunity to discuss the race and provide meaningful feedback regarding their performance.
- At most meets, electronic timing is used. The official time is typically the one appearing on the scoreboard as the swimmer touches the touchpad. However, if a swimmer misses the touchpad or there is a mechanical failure, the timing and score keeping officials analyze all backup times to determine the official final results.
- Between races, swimmers are expected to support their team by cheering, resting, and staying warm. Swimmers also are expected to stay hydrated and maintain their energy levels with light nutritious snacks.
- Please check with the coach before leaving the meet. Make sure your child has completed all his/her races including relays.
- IMPORTANT – If your child is unable to attend a meet due to illness or an emergency please notify the coaching staff immediately via e-mail. If you cannot reach an NTC Aquatics coach, please contact another swimmer participating in the meet and ask him/her to relay the message. If you pull out late from a meet for any reason, you will still be responsible for the entry fee.
HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR SWIMMER PREPARE FOR UPCOMING COMPETITION?
Remember, you don’t swim, your child does. Don't do it all for them. If children receive opportunities easily, they tend not to appreciate nor take full advantage of them. “Holding their hand” may seem like loving, caring parental thing to do, but it isn’t. It does not teach your child personal responsibility, self-management or self-discipline. The most important thing you can do to help your child achieve his/her swimming goals is to help him/her develop as a person with real independence and self-management skills. You prepare them for life; let the coach prepare them to swim fast.
At the same time, there are some things only you can do to help your swimmer do to prepare:
- Swimmers should get as much rest as he/she can the weekend and week before a meet.
- Swimmers should get as much rest as possible in between sessions.
- Swimmers should go to bed early the night before the meet.
- Swimmers should eat properly staying away from junk food and drink plenty of water and other nutritious drinks.
- Parents should be positive about their swimmers performance – let coaches coach.
WHAT TO BRING TO A SWIM MEET?
NTC Aquatics swimmers are required to wear the team swimsuit and the team cap. Other team apparel is optional; however, wearing the complete team uniform promotes team unity and pride and greatly aids spectator recognition.
Parents and other non-swimmers should dress lightly. Pools are usually hot and humid. Shorts and t-shirts are appropriate – even at winter meets. Wear shoes that you don’t mind getting wet.
Checklist for the Swim Meet:
- NTC Aquatics team suit
- 1-2 NTC Aquatics team caps
- 1-2 pairs of goggles
- 2 towels (at minimum)
- T-shirts, sweats, socks, shoes – bring multiples since things will get wet
- Something to sit on – we recommend collapsible chairs, old blankets or sleeping bags
- Quiet games or books
- Water bottle, nutritious snacks and drinks or the money to purchase them from the concession stand
WHAT IS THE SWIM MEET ETIQUETTE?
While representing NTC Aquatics, swimmers are expected to wear NTC Aquatics apparel only.
While wearing NTC Aquatics uniform, individual swimmers must remember that his/her actions and words reflect upon the entire team and he/she should act accordingly. Each swimmer's actions reflect NTC Aquatics pride.
USA Swimming and Florida Swimming safety rules require that parents stay off the pool deck unless officiating or working for meet management.
Please see a NTC Aquatics coach if you have a question concerning meet results, an officiating call, or the conduct of the meet. The coaches will pursue the matter when appropriate.
As a matter of team pride, NTC Aquatics leaves the team area neat and clean at the conclusion of each competitive session.
NTC Aquatics swimmers are expected to swim each event entered and to consult with NTC Aquatics coaches prior to making a late entry.
In a prelims/ finals competition, NTC Aquatics swimmers qualifying for finals are expected to compete in finals.
When receiving awards in public, good sportsmanship is essential. NTC Aquatics coaches expect swimmers to be prompt, wear a team uniform, and cooperate fully with dignity and respect during the presentation. Be polite and modestly thankful. It is appropriate to congratulate other swimmers and receive congratulations with poise and courtesy. If photos are taken, remain until shooting is complete and cooperate with the photographer. The image you present is a reflection on the team.
HOW CAN I TRACK MY SWIMMER'S IMPROVEMENT?
One of the ways a swimmer improves is to become aware of his/her times in every event. We want each NTC Aquatics swimmer to keep a record of their competition times from meet to meet. Keeping the logbook at home will help keep the swimmer aware of times and goals. However, you can track the times of your swimmer by logging onto our NTC Aquatics website (or using the OnDeck app), or by looking at the USA Swimming website.
PRELIMS AND FINALS MEETS, WHAT ARE THOSE?
Championship meets usually have 2 rounds of competition per day for swimmers aged 11 and over. In the morning, ALL swimmers compete in the PRELIMNARY SESSION. Here swimmers qualify by time to compete in the FINALS SESSION. The number of swimmers that return to the finals session depends on the number of lanes in the pool and the meet format. If multiple heats of swimmers return to finals in each event, the second fastest heat is known as the CONSOLATION HEAT. In prelim/ finals meets, team points are only scored during the finals session. Swimmers who qualify for finals MUST either swim or SCRATCH. Swimmers who fail to scratch and fail to swim in finals may be disqualified from additional events during the remainder of the meet.
- If you do not know how to scratch, see your coach.
- If you aren’t sure if you qualified for finals, see your coach.
- If you are planning to scratch, please see your coach prior to making the final decision.
- Before leaving a preliminary session of a meet, ALWAYS check in with your coach.
DECK SEEDED / CHECK IN EVENTS. WHAT IS THAT?
At many meets, events longer than 200 yards or meters are deck seeded. Deck seeded events require the swimmer to check in stating his/ her intention to swim. Ideally, deck seeding longer events saves time by eliminating empty lanes and extra heats. Ultimately, swimmers are responsible for checking in, although the coach most of the times helps. Swimmers and coaches are notified ahead of time of all check in deadlines.