Friends & Affiliates
Meet Prep

Meet day and Meet weekends are always an exciting time for the swimmer and parents.  Here are a few things to help for first-time swimmers and parents.

First, how to read a heat sheet.  You may get a "heat sheet" or "program" prior to the meet or at the meet, depending the hosting teams preferences.  Either way, you will want to know how to read it.  Below is a great link to help with that:

How To Read A Heat Sheet


The night before:

  1. Eat a good dinner the night before you swim. Eat plenty of carbohydrates and proteins but don't eat something too heavy or completely out of the norm. Stay away from acidic foods (including tomato and tomato sauce), for they will upset your stomach and cause cramps. The best plan is to eat something simple and easy to digest.

  2. Pack the swim bag to make sure you don’t have to do it in the morning.  2 pairs of goggles, 2 swim caps, 2 towels, pool shoes (crocs/flip-flops), and a bottle of water (they should also have a water bottle, but a spare one never hurts in case they forget one).  Healthy snack (e.g., fruit, peanut butter crackers).  Something warm to wear on deck (e.g., hoodie, towel pants, parka), and dry clothes to change into after meet.

  3. Go to bed early and get a good night's sleep.


The day of the meet at home:

  1. Eat a good breakfast.  Nothing too heavy, as you don’t want to feel sluggish and try and stay away from too much sugar. 

  2. If you received the “Heat Sheet” or “Program” prior to leaving for the meet, write down the event, heat, and Lane on their hand or leg. You can write the information on a piece of paper and place in a baggie to stay dry or write on the child’s arm or leg.   Here is an example: 














  1. Have your swimmer get into their swimsuit prior to leaving the house.  One item to note, several of the pools will not allow a parent into the locker room with the child.  If your child is younger and you are concerned, talk to one of the parents that have an older child of the same gender that can go with the child the first time to help them.  You may also talk to your coach to see if a buddy system for new or younger children has been established to help them through their first meet. 

  2. Swim meets can be several hours long.  Parents should also bring a few things for themselves.  A pen, highlighter, water bottle, phone, printed out heat sheet if available.  It is usually quite warm in the stands so dress accordingly. 

  3. Fill up the water bottle and leave early, as we never know what Buffalo weather will throw at us trying to get to the meet.


At the meet:

  1. Determine where you will meet with your child at the end of their events.

  2. Remind your swimmer to check-in with their coach as soon as they get there.

  3. As for the parent, find a seat near the rest of the team parents, just look for the t-shirts!  We are all there to help each other and will assist with what-ever we can.  Have fun!


When to leave: 

  1. After the final swim, the swimmer should check in with their coach and may be given a cool down prior to being dismissed.