SWIM MEET BASICS
BEFORE THE MEET STARTS
- Arrive at the pool at least 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time begins. This time will be listed in the meet information handed out to all swimmers and also in the team newsletter. (warm ups usually start at 7am)
- Upon arrival, find a place to put your swimmer's blankets, swim bags and/or sleeping bags. The team usually sits in one place together, so look for some familiar faces.
- Find the swimmer check-in / coach area. Check in with the coach!
- Heat Sheets. A heat sheet is usually available for sale in the lobby or concession area of the pool. It lists all swimmers in each event in order of "seed time". 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. A Heat sheet may be available close to the start of the meet that lists the actual heat and lane a swimmer will be competing in.
- Go through the Heat Sheet and find and circle all of your swimmer’s events. Then write or have the swimmers write each event-number on his or her hand in ink. This helps him/her remember what events he/she is swimming and what event number to listen or watch for. (Bring a sharpie or two)
- 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 8am.
- Most 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." Swimmers should report with his/her cap and goggle.
- The clerk 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.
- Parents should be able to tell where they are welcome to stand and what areas seem to be roped off.
- After each swim:
- He/she is to ask the timers (people behind the blocks at each lane) his/her time.
- The swimmer should then go immediately to his or her coach. The coach will discuss the swim with each swimmer.
- 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.
- Take him back to the team area and relax.
- This is another good time to check out the bathrooms, get a drink or something light to eat.
- The swimmer now waits until his/her next event is called and starts the procedure again. When a swimmer has completed all of his/her events she and the parents have completed any jobs they are responsible for, you all 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 he/she is not there.
- Results are usually posted some where in the facility, on a wall. Awards are often gathered for a team and given to the coach at the end of the meet. The coach will give out awards to swimmers at a later time.