CSSC Partners
New to Swim Meets

New to Swim Meets?

Swim Meets can be the most overwhelming part of being new to CSSC. Swim Meets are strongly encouraged, so here is a general overview of the meet process:

Click here to view a 25 Slide Powerpoint to help you with what to do at a swim meet.

This Presentation was created by a former "New Parent" to CSSC.


  1. Days before the meet the team will send out an Estimated Timeline and Timing Chair List that are assigned to each team based on attending athletes. (Please glance over these, as I always get questions that are indicated in the timeline.)

  2. Our team typically warms up approximately 55 minutes before the start the meet. We ask that you plan on arriving about 75 minutes before the start of the meet.

  3. Find the Team Canopy and signup for Timing Assignments if the signup is ready.

  4. You can sit in the team canopy area, or if there is room and you have brought a canopy, please setup near our team canopy. (Two canopies next to each other provide more cover that two separated).

  5. The Swimmer should report to the Clerk of Course (This is normally a table under a canopy where there is a line of swimmers checking in) the swimmer will check-in and be told the event numbers that they are in.

  6. It is recommended to bring a sharpie and write the event numbers on the swimmers hand, so that they can remember.

  7. The swimmer will then go back to team area to find the group that normally does a 2 – 5 minute stretch.

  8. The team will then warm-up together in the lanes the assigned by the coaches on deck.

  9. They should report back to team area after warm up.

  10. Before the Event there will be a board that the heats and lanes will be posted. This board is posted on or near the pool deck. Each meet is different.

  11. The Swimmer will check their heat and lane on this posting board and then report to their coach to tell them their heat and lane. (You can also write with the sharpie the Heat and Lane on their hand near the event number if you'd like. ie. H2 L3)

  12. The coach will then provide some pre-event reminders and then the swimmer can warm-up a few laps before their race.

  13. The swimmer will go behind their lane a few heats before theirs.

  14. The swimmer can check the timers about if they are in the right lane as they should have the timing slips on their clipboard saying all the swimmers who should be swimming in their lane.

  15. The heat before theirs finishes and the swimmers stay in the water. There will be some short whistles. This means that the swimmer should step in front of the timers facing the starting block.

  16. There will be a long whistle. This means that the swimmer should step on to the starting block.

  17. The Starter will then say, “Take Your Mark,” and the swimmer go down in a ready position (swimmers must come down and hold still)

  18. There will be a loud beep and a flash from the starting system. The swimmers dive in and begin their race. The heat before them will now climb out of the water.

  19. When the swimmer finishes their race they will remain in the water. The Heat after will begin and then the swimmers can climb out.

  20. The swimmer should do a few laps warm down and then go talk to their coach (The coach probably has many kids in the meet, so going right away may not be best as they most likely have kids in the same age group swimming, and when there is a different age group swimming they may have more time.

  21. The coach will talk to the swimmer about their race. There will be praise and some criticism. (Allow the coach to provide the critique, the parent does need to repeat the critique or add in their own thoughts about the race. There are many things that a swimmer can do wrong, and the coach is probably going to talk about aspects that they have been focusing on at workouts.)

  22. This cycle repeats itself throughout the meet.


A few more notes about the process:


Warm-up: It is important to be on time. The warm-up for younger kids is more about developing a routine than a need to warm-up the body (Kids are ready to go already, they're young). As they get older they will need warm-up more to perform well and prevent injury. If bad habits of showing up late or not warming up enough are established early on, it is much harder to get the swimmers to learn when they are teenagers.


Warm-up is also a team aspect. They get to prepare for their meet with the rest of their teammates. This is hurt by someone showing up late or not at all. A swimmer is left out of being part of the group. Routine and being part of the team are much more important than results at the young age.


Cheering on other swimmers is strongly recommended. Whether it is your child cheering on a teammate, or you cheering on one of their teammates. It is great to establish that you as parent are in support of the team, and it that you recognize the importance of the teams success to help develop your swimmer. You can't control the success and development of other swimmers, but other swimmers can be a motivating factor to your child at practices, as teammates try to train along with their teammates.