Guide to First Meet

A Guide to Your First Meet

(You Will Need to BUY A SHARPIE MARKER!) (See Bottom Of Page)


Arrive early!

Most pools are small and parking is at a premium. It can also be hard to find deck space to watch from if you arrive late. Give yourself a good ten minutes to unpack the kids and get to the pool.

Find the event sheets (a.k.a. Heat Sheet)

These are purchased at the entrance of the pool.

This is to find the event, event number and heat the swimmer will be swimming at that particular meet. Use the Sharpie to write the event numbers on the hand, arm or leg. Be sure to write the event #, Heat #, Lane, and which stroke the swimmer will be swimming. (Most swimmers use the grid format. See bottom of page)

Report to the warm up lane

Swimmers then report to the team warm-up lane as designated by the coaches. Everyone must complete warm-ups! This is the time for swimmers to get ready for their races, get their muscles warmed up, and get used to the pool they are swimming in.

  Team Meeting

Following warm-up Coaches will hold a team meeting and all swimmers need to be present.

After the team meeting

After the team meeting, swimmer will go back to the area where they are sitting and wait there until his/her first event is called. Make sure you are paying attention to the Event Board which shows the event and heat number that is swimming. The announcer will also announce events and heats. Make sure your child is lined up behind their lane at least 3 events before they swim. Each swimmer can verify that they in the correct lane by asking the timer in that lane if they are unsure.


Team swimsuit/Swim cap/Goggles & a spare if you have them.

2 towels (they will get wet)

Nutritious snacks and/or snack bar money

Water bottles

Cooler for your drinks

Permanent markers, highlighters, and pens to keep track of your child's events *(See bottom of page)

Toys, cards or games to play and keep your kids occupied between events.

A book to read between your child's events



This is commonly written on the swimmers upper thigh or forearm with a sharpie marker!

Below is an example of a swimmer's events and how it should be written.

Event 1, Heat 2, Lane 3, 100IM

Event 7, Heat 1, Lane 2, 25 Fly

Event 15, Heat 3, Lane 6, 50 Back Stroke

Event 21, Heat 1, Lane 4, 25 Breast Stroke

Written on swimmer:








100 IM




25 Fly




50 Back




25 Breast


If this is your first time, please help your child/swimmer understand what everything means.

25 Fly - 1 lap of the Butterfly stroke (from 1 side of the pool to the other side)

50 Back - 2 laps of the Backstroke (going to the other side of the pool and back to where they began)

Sometimes it takes a few days for a new swimmer to understand 25, 50, IM, Medley. However, from my experience, if you go over these with them, everyday, they begin to understand. While you are driving in the car, ask him/her how many laps is a 25. Then ask them how many laps is a 50. At breakfast, or anytime during the day.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, make sure they understand how many laps they are about to swim before they get onto the block at a swim meet.

The earth is 75% water – can you swim?