Guide to Your 1st Swim Meet- Aspen

What to Expect at Your First Swim Meet- A Guide to the Aspen Meet

Hello Parents!  We are so very excited for the upcoming Aspen meet.  We know that this will be the first meet for many of our families, so we thought we'd give you all the low down… (If you've been there before, go ahead and delete!!)  

Aspen has a great facility, with a wonderful 6 lane yards pool. There is a limited amount of seating indoors (1 set of small bleachers, and scattered benches), and plenty of seating on the adjacent grass area.  Most of us bring lawn/camping chairs and big blankets and set up to hang out in the grassy area when our swimmers are not in the pool. Coach Patti suggests that all the families try to sit together - it's great for the younger and older kids all to hang out together and get to know each other (and the parents too!).  Remember that first thing in the AM it can still be very chilly, while it can be hot inside the pool area - so be prepared with lots of layers. And bring sunscreen! 

If the weather does not hold (eg. freezing or raining) - then everyone will be inside.  This will be a fairly big meet, which means it will all be a little crowded, but still fun!  We still will try to sit together as a team if space allows.  The gymnasium will also be open for swimmers and families.

Bring food - there are concessions, but really nothing very nutritious.  Bring food for yourselves, and most importantly for your athlete to snack on in between events - ideally something with protein.  Make sure you give them something that they have eaten before and have not had problems with!  It is important to keep them well hydrated and well-nourished throughout the meet.  Small but consistent snacking is OK - it is important not to overload the stomach with too much food at one time (we don't want anyone sinking to the bottom!!).  Some food ideas - peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, nuts/trail mix, dried fruit, fresh fruit, hard boiled eggs, avocados, deli meat.   Most of us bring small coolers for perishables. Coach Patti encourages all swimmers to eat nutritious healthy snacks at the meet and stay hydrated.

Plan to be there all day.  Swim meets, especially ones of this size, can take time.  Your swimmer will likely have an event close to the beginning and end of the meet.  If you are done?  We encourage you to stay and cheer for your teammates!  And please cheer for your swimmer - but remember they cannot hear you while they are in the pool!! ;)  

If your child makes a mistake or has a bad swim - no big deal.  This meet is designed to be fun and to learn from.  Many swimmers will disqualify or "DQ" on some events- this means that they did something technically that they were not allowed to do - for instance on breast stroke you must touch the wall with 2 hands at the same time.  Stay positive, and your swimmer will have a great meet no matter what.  Some families have a "DQ rule" - if they DQ, to make them feel better, they let them go to DQ for a sundae ;) 

"Psyche Sheets" - this is a preliminary list of swimmers in each event.  Usually listed fastest to slowest.  Many of your swimmers will have "NT" which means that they have no time recorded from a previous meet.   Coach Patti sent out the link to Psyche Sheets to all the families attending Aspen. They are usually posted on the host team website, or on sometime during the week before the meet. 

"Heat Sheets" - They may not be sold at the meet. Coach Patti will email you the heat sheets prior to the meet. Please make sure to print them out and bring them along with you to the meet. They will tell you what EVENT, HEAT and LANE your swimmer is in for each event. At the home Mini Meet before Aspen, all parents will the opportunity to watch how to write the events on their swimmers arm. Please come to the Aspen meet on Saturday with your swimmers events on their arms ready to go (Same procedure for Sunday). Please use a black or dark colored sharpie. If you are not sure how to do this, an older swimmer or veteran parent will help you mark your athletes arm with each event. It looks something like this:

E           H               L

1            4               3      50 free (this means they are in the first event in the meet, the 4th heat.  In the 4th heat, they are lane 3…)

5            1               2      25 breast etc.

"Warm-up Times for Aspen" - Coach Patti will send out warm up times for our team as soon as she receives them from Aspen. All swimmers are asked to be at the pool 15 minutes prior to warm ups- in their swim suits, with warm clothing (SSST tees, pants and sweat shirt) and shoes on. Also have your swimmers have their SSST cap on and goggles adjusted and ready to go. If you need help with anything please reach out to another veteran swim family or one of the older swimmers. They are only too happy to assist. We will assign Buddy Swimmers to help out new swimmers.

What to bring:

A happy excited swimmer and parents!

Swim towels - 3 is good if you have them.  Often 1 to dry off with, 1 to stay warm with, and 1 extra

Goggles - bring a backup.  Seems like goggles only break at a meet!

SSST Cap (all swimmers must wear one at the meet- available at OTHS front desk- consider a backup, they break too! (your backup does not need to be a team one)

Swim suit - your team one.  If you have a backup swim suit, bring it too.

Socks, warm up outfit, SSST Tee and other (sweatshirt, pants) - it is VERY IMPORTANT your athlete stay warm between events.  Coach Patti loves to see layers, with socks and shoes!! Have your swimmer dry off after their event and then get back into warm clothing and footwear (shoes or flip flops). The pool decks and ground are very cool ...feet must be kept warm at all times.

*Many athletes will have a swim bag to hold the above items.  Not needed, but functional!

Steamboat Swim Team T Shirt - show your team spirit!!  Parents too if you have one!

Blankets - a big one to sit on or one for your chilly swimmer to wrap up in.

Warm fuzzy winter hat?  My daughter LOVES wearing hers - keeps her much warmer!

Sharpie - for writing your athletes events on their arm 

Pens - if you want to keep track of times 

Highlighters- make sure to keep track of your kid in the heat sheets by highlighting them!

Food - as above

Water bottles (2) - with water or (healthy) drink of choice - Some athletes like Cytomax or scratch labs for electrolyte replacement, others just water.

Lawn chairs/camping chairs

Money - heat sheets will likely be sold at the meet - they are usually $5, sometimes they are available online before the meet. Reminder: heat sheets will be available prior to the Aspen meet, please remember to print your copy out before leaving home.

Consider shampoo and lotion for showers after the meet.  Your swimmers skin can get really dry. 

Video camera or camera if desired

Something to do- these meets can last forever ;)

First Aid Kit - asthma inhalers if appropriate, Tylenol, etc...

Hair ties- this may seem like a minor thing, put they really are a big help for the girls

And finally a GREAT attitude and a smile on your face!


And FINALLY, after the meet, your athlete will be TIRED.  Do not talk to them about the meet unless they want to talk about it.  Feel free to say GREAT JOB!  But then ask - Where do you want to eat?  Or how about those mountains???  Give them time to decompress, and then talk to them when they are ready!!


That’s it!!

Contact Head Coach Patti or your Group Parent Liaison if you have any questions!