Congratulations on your swimmer being ready for their very first competition with Edina Swim Club!!
Check out the USA Swimming 101 page for the basic rules of competition.
Here are some frequently asked questions we have received about that very first swim meet:
How do I prepare my swimmer for a meet?
Pack all of your swimmer's gear well ahead of time and do a bag check before you leave the house. Necessary items: suit(Gator if you have it), cap(Green Gator), goggles-2 pair, towel-2, gator warm ups, socks, shoes or sandals, healthy snacks(no candy or chips), water! It is always good to bring some waterproof games for kids to play with each other. Swimmers do not need their equipment bags for meets.
When do we arrive?
The week of a meet, the coaches post the warm up times for each session on the blue title page of the meet under the meets and events tab. Arrive for warm ups 15 minutes early to give your swimmer time to adjust to the environment, find their friends and get last minute instructions from the coaches. Never skip warm up thinking that the extra rest will help your swimmer. They need to be awake, get their bodies moving and be comfortable with the process. A first swimming meet can be overwhelming. Early arrival will give the swimmer more time to adjust and settle in with the coaches and team. Warm up times are listed on the meet info on the title page of the meet on our website.
Where does my swimmer go when they arrive?
When you arrive, the team will have a designated sitting area on the deck. Send your swimmer to this area with the coaches and their teammates. No parents on the deck. USA Swimming rules ,and insurance regulations prohibit parents from being on the deck, unless in an official volunteer capacity. We also want the swimmers to gain that sense of independence and connect with their coaches and teammates. Think of it as a baseball game. You would not come over to the dugout during the game, and the baseball players sit with their teammates, even when they are not out on the field! Getting connected to teammates and having fun on the deck are the greatest parts of the day. We are a team and function as a team! Coaches will help kids sit with their gator groups and get to know each other.
How will my swimmer know when to swim their events?
Plan to purchase a heat sheet which will show you when the swimmer's events are and what heat and lane they will compete in. Sometimes you can print a Meet Program(heat sheet) for yourself and one for your swimmer. Highlight your swimmer’s name in their events. The coaches will post entries in our area and have heat sheets of our own to let the swimmers know when their races are. If you want, you may put your swimmer’s event number, heat number and lane number on their arm with a sharpie. This helps many of the swimmers feel comfortable knowing when it is their turn. Generally, the scoreboard will have the current event and heat at the top, so that helps everyone know when races are coming! Coaches will send your swimmer to the starting blocks a few heats before they are set to swim.
If you have a smart phone, download helpful apps-Deck Pass, Meet Mobile, On Deck. These apps help you keep track of results and your swimmer's times.
Can my swimmer sit with me?
Swimmers should plan stay on deck, but they may come check in with you after each race, provided that they have spoken to the coaches first to get feedback concerning their race. They are usually looking for you to be proud of them and offer some positive words, then send them back over to the team! They may not sit in the stands.
What should they bring to the meet?
Towels-2-3. They will want a dry one when all finished for the day.
Team suit,team cap,goggles-You may want a spare pair of goggles, too!!
Warm clothes, and socks and shoes or sandals. We want them to stay warm!
Healthy snacks-fruit, nuts, whole wheat bagels and crackers, water. NO CANDY, CHIPS or POP!
Cards-or any other interactive games to play between races. No electronics or phones, please.
When can my swimmer leave the meet?
Once your swimmer is done with their races they may leave. It is really important to make sure they are done with all races and check in with the coach before leaving.
What are the expectations for parents and swimmers?
Coaches want swimmers to embrace all aspects of competition with courage and thankfulness. Meets are great experiences in many ways. Do not put pressure on your swimmer to achieve any certain level! We are here for a fun, first experience. Things may go perfectly or some things may go wrong, and that's ok! We will all learn from it.
Refrain from giving tips and extra advice. They have heard it many times from coaches, and your advice, though loving, heightens their emotions in a way that can lead to greater nervousness.
Do not compare your swimmer or their progress to other swimmers- Ever! Each swimmer should be trying to be their best, not worrying about others. Competition should be friendly and teammates and even those from other teams, should be seen as friends.
Just enjoy the races. Some races may be awesome, some may be a struggle. All are learning experiences, and your swimmer’s value is not determined by the outcomes.
Stay positive about your swimmer, other swimmers, the coaches, other parents!
The kids do not interact as well with electronic games. It is almost impossible to get the brain to refocus on a race when consumed with a video game. All swimmers should come ready to be inclusive and develop their friendships with their teammates.
Be patient with the process. The first meets may be a little nerve wracking, but that is normal. Please ask the coaches any questions you have ahead of time. We will need to attend to the swimmers at the meet, and again, parents are not allowed on the deck. We are more than happy to help swimmers feel comfortable. We are all on the same team, and want to partner with you to give your swimmers the best experience possible.
Good luck and Go Gators!