Hello Parents & Swimmers,

Swimming great is all about great preparation.  Below are some tips that will help you manage your swimmer and yourselves as you prepare for a swim meet. 

The Few days Before the Meet:

  • Stay off your legs. Please don’t go on a big ski day or for a long hike the day before a race.  Save your energy for the races.
  • Nutrition, please make sure to reduce fat content and eat a high carbohydrate and balanced meal plan.  Choose calories that offer a higher quality source of fuel over those that are not so good.
  • Sleep, get a good night sleep.  Don’t let the kids stay up to late watching movies or playing computer games.

Race Day:

What to eat race day?

  • Have a great breakfast
  • For Lunch eat light.  Soup, sandwich, or wrap works well.  You don’t want to eat something that will take the rest of the day to digest and tire you out.

What to pack in your swim bag?

  • Black Race suit
  • Racing goggles
  • Killarney Swim Cap
  • Killarney T-shirt  or black shirt if you do not yet have a team shirt.
  • Towel
  • Track pants or shorts
  • Sandals or deck shoes
  • Team Jacket
  • Deck snacks – fruit, drinking boxes, water bottle, crackers, NO CANDY.

Note: Staying Warm – it is important that the swimmers keep their muscles, from head to toes warm. Cold muscles don’t perform as well as warm muscles.

Arriving at the Pool

  • Enter the building 20-30 minutes early
  • Report on deck to the team area 15 minutes early, such that swimmers and team can establish the area, coaches can run a meeting, inform swimmers of warm up procedures, and swimmers can get into the warm up ON TIME.
  • Late swimmers are usually emotionally distressed, as they can’t find their team or area, and it’s a distraction for coaches to individually update each late swimmer as to the proceedings.

During warm up

  • Coaches will run a team warm up or provide guidance for individual warm ups.  Team warm ups are primarily used for the Senior B levels and below.  The team warm up allows the team to claim a lane, and allows for the team to work together to warm up properly.
  • Following warm up the swimmers should report back to the team area, towel off, get warm clothing on, and begin stretching.  Usually a team cheer will be completed after the team meeting or at the end of warm up.

Swimming Events

  • Swimmers will be placed into lanes and into heats for each of their events.  The program or heat sheets are usually posted on the wall for the swimmers, the coaches will have a copy, and most host clubs sell heat sheets to the parents. 
  • Swimmers should know what events they are swimming, this is posted on the KSC web page.  Relays may change at the coaches discretion.
  • Before each race the swimmer should report to the coach.  The coach will provide advice on technique, strategy, rule reminders, etc.  Once this pre-race talk has been complete the swimmer should report to their lane.  Swimmers will need to follow the heats carefully as not to miss their swim.  They can ask the timers’ for help if they are unsure.
  • During the race swimmers should compete to the best of their ability.  They should try and implement the skills taught and learned during practice. 
  • At the completion of the race, shake your competitors hand and say good race, good job.
  • Swimmers should return directly to the team area and follow up with the coach for race debrief.  The coach will provide comments on what went well and areas of improvement.
  • If there is a warm down facility swimmers can warm down first then see the coach, or visit with the coach then complete warm down protocols.
  • Once these steps are complete and there is time between events, the swimmer can go socialize with family or friends
  • At the completion of the swimmers last event, the swimmer should confirm with the coach that that is all before they depart for home.

Disqualifications or DQ’s

  • At the novice level disqualifications are common.  Swimmers should not get to upset.  Learn from the mistake or a friends mistake and make it better next practice and race.  DQ’s happen because the swimmer forgot the rule, or had trouble executing the rule.  Again at this level, DQ’s happen often.  The coaches will provide swimmers with rule reminders before the races, and clarification to the swimmers in the event of a disqualification.

Some basic rule reminders:


  • Not many rules on FR, except that you cannot change strokes during the race.  Only one stroke is permitted.  Most swimmers choose to swim front crawl or freestyle. Make sure to do a flip turn at each end or at minimum touch the wall.
  • One hand finishes are allowed.


  • Start on your back, push off each wall on your back, finish on your back.
  • One hand finishes are allowed.
  • Once you log roll over to make the flip turn you are only allowed one freestyle arm recovery and pull.  And you must stay in constant movement. No pausing in any of the turn movements, or you will get DQ.


  • Touch with 2 hands every wall.
  • Push off on your front.
  • No flip turns, use open turns.
  • Pullout on each wall. One long pull past your hips, recovery your arms and kick to the surface. Only one Fly kick is allowed on a breast pullout.
  • Your head must be at the surface before you start swimming the full stroke.


  • Touch with 2 hands every wall.
  • Push off on your front
  • No flip turns, use open turns.
  • Keep legs together, arms must pull symmetrically.

IM or individual medley

  • FL to back – touch with 2 hands and push off on your back
  • Back to breast – touch on your back and push off on your front
  • Breast to free – touch with 2 hands and push off on your front.


  • Don’t leave until the swimmer coming in has touched the wall.

What Should Parents Do?

  • Double check to make sure the swim bag is packed correctly.
  • Provide nutrition, police nutrition.
  • Police sleep patterns going into the meet.
  • At the meet, get the swimmers to the pool on time.
  • Let the coach, coach.
  • Provide the swimmer with encouragement and unconditional love.
  • Get to know the other KSC parents.  Meets can be long and you need to have fun too!  Socialize get to know the other parents and swimmers.  Cheer them on like your own!
  • Make sure swimmer has all belongings at the end of the day and has helped to keep the team area clean.

Hope this information helps.