A Guide for Parents and Swimmers New to Swim Meets
Below are in-depth guidelines to help you get through your first couple of swim meets. It may seem overwhelming at first. It will become intuitive. Just be patient. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
Prior to the Meet
You will need to sign your child up for each swim meet. Coaches will send an email asking you to indicate your child’s interest in the meet. Go to the team website HCYSwim.com and login. Scroll down to the EVENTS section from the home page of the team website.
To see specific information for each meet (meet time, location, meet announcement), click on the name of the meet.
Next to each specific meet there will be an “EDIT COMMITMENT” button. Click on the “EDIT COMMITMENT” button. Click on your child’s name. Declare if your child is interested in attending the meet. If you need to send the coach information regarding the meet, please leave a note. YOU MUST BE LOGGED IN TO COMPLETE THIS FUNCTION. There will always be an entry deadline. This enables coaches enough time to prepare and submit entries.
- Some meet will not prompt you register your child for specific events. If this is the case, the coach will be choosing the events your child will swim. Please be aware that it is important that your child swim all the events throughout the year. Your child may not want to swim an event because they feel it is not their “best” event. They cannot improve unless they swim the event.
- Some meets will prompt you to register your child for specific events. Events will be listed below your intention. Click on the events you wish your child to swim. Pay attention to the number of events a swimmer can swim during each session. This information is listed in the meet program. If you have signed up for too many, the system will prompt you to remove one or more events. In addition, there may be qualifying times. Qualifying times vary by meet. These times are listed on the left side of each event. If the time is listed in RED, you swimmer has not yet made the qualification time. If you have questions regarding qualifying times please ask the coach.
When the entries are submitted, the coaches will attach the MEET ENTRY to the Event on the website. Click on the name of the meet to see this information. The MEET ENTRY LIST will list, by swimmer, the events he or she is entered in for that specific meet. Your child may also have the opportunity to swim in a relay. This info may also be listed in the MEET ENTRY LIST.
Survival Tip for parents – Indoor meets tend to be very hot and muggy. Volunteers and spectators should plan on dressing in layers or even shorts.
Before the Meet Starts
- Always check email and the team website for last minute information, weather delays or even cancelations.
- Arrive at the pool at least 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time begins. This time will be listed in the meet information is located in the EVENTS section of the website. NOTE: IF YOU ARE RUNNING LATE TO A MEET, PLEASE CONTACT THE COACH IMMEDIATELY OR CONTACT ANOTHER PARENT OR ANOTHER SWIMMER AND HAVE THEM RELAY THE MESSAGE TO THE COACH. FAILURE TO DO THIS MAY CAUSE YOUR CHILD TO BE SCRATCHED FROM THE MEET.
- Upon arrival, look for the HCY Team and coaches. Find a place to put your swimmer's blankets if the team is not sitting on the deck and swim bags.
- Find the check-in person. This is usually your child’s coach. Parents are not allowed on deck during the larger invitational meets so this may be a responsibility of your swimmer. Make sure your swimmer checks in with his or her coach!
- Once "checked in", write or have the swimmers write each event-number on his or her hand with a marker. This helps him/her remember what events he/she is swimming and what event number to listen or watch for.
- Your swimmer now gets his/her cap and goggles and reports to the pool and/or coach for warm-up instructions. It is very important for all swimmers to warm-up with the team. A swimmer's body is just like a car on a cold day-he/she needs to get the engine going and warmed-up before he/she can go all out.
- After warm-up, your swimmer will go back to the area where his/her team is sitting and wait there until his first event is called. This is a good time to make sure he/she goes to the bathroom if necessary, gets a drink, or just gets settled in.
- The meet will usually start about 10-15 minutes after warm-ups are over.
- According to YMCA Swimming rules (because of insurance purposes), parents are not allowed on deck unless they are serving in an official capacity. Similarly, all questions concerning meet results, an officiating call, or the conduct of a meet, should be referred to a coach. He or she in turn, will pursue the matter through the proper channels.
- Psyche Sheet or Heat Sheets.
- A psyche sheet It lists all swimmers in each event in order of "seed time".
- A heat sheet lists each swimmer in each event by heat and lane assignments.
- Psyche sheets and or heat sheets may be available for sale in the lobby or concession area of the pool. It can also be found in the MEET MOBILE App available on IPhone and Android. When the team entry is sent in, each swimmer and his/her previous best time (up to the date that the entry was submitted) in that event is listed. If the swimmer is swimming an event for the first time, he/she will be entered as a "no-time" or "NT". A "no-time" swimmer will most likely swim in one of the first heats of the event.
- At all meets, each team is responsible for timing in one or more lanes. Meets cannot start without timers. Many meets have been delayed as the result of timers not showing up to time. Please learn how to time. It is very easy and fun! It will entitle you to an up close view to your child’s events.
- It is important for any swimmer to know what event numbers he/she is swimming (again, why they should have the numbers on their hand). He/she may swim right away after warm-up or they may have to wait awhile.
- Most meets are computerized. There are generally two ways a swimmer gets to his/her lane:
- A swimmer usually reports directly to his/her lane for competition a number of heats before he/she actually swims. Check with your swimmer's coach for specific instructions.
- In some novice meets, a swimmer's event number will be called, usually over the loudspeaker, and he/she will be asked to report to the "clerk of course" or “bullpen”. Swimmers should report with his/her cap and goggle.
- Generally, girls events are odd-numbered and boys events are even-numbered. Example: "Event #26, 10-Under Boys, 50 freestyle, report to Clerk of Course." The "Marshall" or “bullpen” area is usually where all swimmers checked in before the warm-up.
- The marshal will usually line up all the swimmers and take them down to the pool in correct order. You can expect at least 4-8 heats of each event.
- The swimmer swims his or her race.
- After each swim:
- He/she is to ask the timers (people behind the blocks at each lane) his/her time.
- Depending on the coaches instructions, the swimmer may be asked to do some recovery swimming if a "warm down" pool or lanes are available.
- The swimmer should then go immediately to his or her coach. The coach will discuss the swim with each swimmer. Some coaches may wish to talk with the swimmer before her recovery swim.
- Generally, the coach follows these guidelines when discussing swims:
- Positive comments or praise
- Suggestions for improvement
- Positive comments
- Things you, as a parent, can do after each swim:
- Tell him how great he did! The coaching staff will be sure to discuss stroke technique with him. You need to tell him how proud you are and what a great job he did.
- Your child will go back to sit with the team and support their team.
- This may be a good time to check out the bathrooms, get a drink or something light to eat.
- The swimmer now waits until his next event is called and starts the procedure again. When a swimmer has completed all of her events she and her parents get to go home. Make sure, however, you, as a parent, check with the coach before leaving to make sure your swimmer is not included on a relay. It is not fair to other swimmers who may have stayed to swim on a relay where your swimmer is expected to be a member and she is not there.
- Results are usually posted somewhere in the facility or on the MEET MOBILE APP. Awards are often gathered for a team and given to the coach at the end of the meet. The coach will give the awards to the swimmers at a later time.