There is SO much to think about for swim meets... but trust us... it gets easier as you attend more meets. Here is an extensive list to start you off...
Suggestions - Items To Bring To A Swim Meet
-Swimsuit(s): your swimmer should wear their competition suit to the meet.
-Swim Bag: should contain at least 2 towels, 2 swim caps (as caps rip easily), 2 pairs of goggles (as straps can break), warm clothing for cover up between events, change of clothes for after the meet (don’t forget the underwear!), and flip flops (as the pool deck can be slippery or hot – if outdoors)
-Inhaler: if your swimmer is asthmatic, make sure to bring this as some pool atmospheres can have a variety of triggers for an attack
-Black Fine Point Sharpie: to write the numbers of your swimmer’s E/H/L (event/heat/lane) on their leg, forearm, or hand.
-Highlighter: to highlight your swimmer’s event information throughout the swim meet program/heat sheet
-Money: to purchase items at concession stand, purchase swim meet program – cost ranges from $5 - $10, or to purchase items from the swim meet vendor (swimsuits, novelty caps, goggles, and a variety of other swim related accessories)
-Snack Bag/Cooler: to bring your own bottled drinks (water recommended over sports drinks) and snacks such as trail mix, vegetables, raisins, crackers, string cheese, energy bars, beef jerky, dry cereal, bagels with peanut butter, etc.
-Sleeping Bag/Blanket: to lay out in hallway/gym “crash” area at swim meet for kids to sit on and rest while waiting for their events (a pillow can be helpful too)
-Entertainment: IPod (with high energy songs!), DVD players, cards, other small board games, books, etc, to keep your swimmer busy and relaxed as they wait for their events. COACHES recommend card games or other things that swimmers can participate together as it helps build that TEAM atmosphere!
-Chairs: a bleacher seat for comfortable seating while watching your swimmer or folding chairs for parents to sit and rest in the “crash” area while waiting for your swimmers events
-Easy Up Tent: comes in handy for outdoor meets – you may want to partner with another family or two to share a tent (not every family has to bring one)
-Sunscreen/Lotion: great for outdoor meets as the swimmer will be exposed to the direct sunlight (and so will spectators)
SWIMMERS MAY NOT WEAR ANY WATCHES, JEWELRY, OR ANKLE BRACELETS OF ANY KIND AS THEY WILL BE DISQUALIFIED FROM THEIR RACE
Suggestions – What To Do The Night Before A Swim Meet
-Eat a "carb" loaded dinner! Spaghetti and meatballs is a great choice! Carb and protein.
-Get extra sleep for you and your swimmer! It can be an early start and/or a long day at a swim meet if you have multiple swimmers.
-Get the swim bag and snack bag packed. Also, organize items for your cooler so you don’t forget anything.
-Set out your blankets, chairs, entertainment items, etc for the meet (and put your name on items in case of something being mis-placed at the meet – there are lost & found areas).
-Log-into your account in the member area and write down the event numbers your swimmer is entered in- that will make looking through the program easier.
-Be familiar with the pool location. Print out directions/phone number to the natatorium or have the address available for your GPS.
-If attending an outdoor meet and the weather is questionable, check our facebook page or texts for any meet delay/cancellation notices.
Suggestions – What To Do For Your Swimmer At The Meet
-Be 5 minutes early for warmup at swim meet!
-Bring your swimmers event list (which you printed from our website the night before) and assist your swimmer in writing the E/H/L (event/heat/lane) numbers on their forearm, hand, or leg. (If you can do this BEFORE warmup- it will make for a much smoother day!)
-Some meets have “Positive Check-In” so make sure your swimmer has checked in for all of their events, especially IL hosted swim meets and for distance events (500yd, 1000yd, 400m, 800m, etc).
-Find the RCA coach on the pool deck before warm-ups for lane assignment.
-Encourage your swimmer see their coach BEFORE and after their events. Many swimmers stay with their team and coach on deck!
-Very important to let the coach do the coaching! Your role as a parent is to be positive, encouraging, and supportive towards your swimmer. Let them know how PROUD you are of them!
-Keep your swimmer hydrated between events. If they are hungry, offer one of those healthy snack choices from your cooler or visit the swim meet concession stand but watch your timing between events.
-RELAX! It’s your swimmers time to shine. If you’re relaxed, they will be relaxed.
-Let the coach know when you are leaving the swim meet. In some cases, a previously scheduled swimmer for a relay may not be able to swim and an alternate will be needed.
Suggestions – Other Helpful Swim Meet Related Tips
-To remove sharpie markings on your swimmer, use spray sunscreen