A Swimmer's (and Parent's) First Meet:

Learning to navigate through a swim meet for the first time can be a little challenging. But don't worry... we've all been there. Give yourself time to transition, and please lean on the NF AquaFlyer Swim Team families that have been walking these swim meet pavements for years as they can get you where you need to be.

When should I arrive at the meet?

A notification will be sent out to each family a week or so before the meet. The notice will inform you when your swimmer will be competing and what time he or she should report to the NF AquaFlyer swim coach on deck for warm-ups.

What is "check-in"?

When you arrive at the meet the first thing you need to do is check in with your coach. If you do not check in you cannot race. Feel free to ask parents, swimmers, and/or officials where to go if you're not sure. 

Where should I sit at a meet and what do I bring? 

Look for your teammates and sit with them. The NF AquaFlyers Swim Team usually sit together in one location. Please bring chairs (if allowed), healthy snacks, a drink and an extra towel. In addition, you may want to bring a smart phone (if allowed), games or a book to pass the time. Most importantly, bring your team suit, goggles, and team cap for racing.

When do I warm-up?

Once you have checked in and are situated with your teammates, your coach will notify you when it's time for warm-ups. Your coach will guide you through the warm-up process. When warm-up is over, head back to the team area and relax. The meet should start shortly as they usually start on time.

During warm-up, parents assigned to time usually attend a timer's meeting to review timing procedures. Feel free to ask other parents questions about timing or meet protocol. We are here to help ease you into the NF AquaFlyer family.

Why do I need to check the heat sheets before I race?

Once all swimmers have checked in and scratches (swimmer no-shows) are noted, heat sheets are published. Heat sheets are posted by girl’s events and by boy’s events. The heat sheets are listed by event number and they show the heat and lane number for all swimmers participating in an event. You will need to know what lane to report to and which heat you race in ahead of time. Many times swimmers will write on their hand the heat and lane of each event they are swimming. If you are in the first events of the meet the heat sheet will be available prior to the start of the meet. You will see crowds of swimmers and parents hovering over the heat sheets, don’t be shy, step up and look for your name printed on the heat sheet.

When do I race?

It is very important not to miss your race. If you miss your race you will not be able to swim in the next heat. Grab your cap and goggles and report behind the starting blocks early before your event starts (sometimes the coach might remind you, but it's your responsibility to line up accordingly). Check with your timer that you are in the correct lane and heat. The timers have a list of swimmers for their lane. Make sure to put on your cap and goggles while you are waiting for your heat. Concentrate on your race as you approach the blocks and make sure that your goggles are on tight and secure.

What is the difference between the short whistle and the long whistle?
When the heat is ready to swim the Official Starter will call the swimmers to the blocks with two different whistles. He first blows a short whistle that tells the swimmers to approach the blocks (in the water for backstroke), he then blows a second long whistle that tells the swimmers to get on the blocks and place their feet in racing start position (for backstroke, grab the bar and place your feet on the wall), the Official Starter then says, “Take your mark.” The swimmers take the start position; swimmers do not move until your hear the beep or tone that starts the race. Then swim like an NF AquaFlyer swimmer!

What do I do after my race is done and I’ve touched the wall?
Most of the time the officials want you to stay in the water on the wall until the next race has started (except for the backstroke). This is called a “fly over start.” Once the next race has started quickly exit the water and ask your timer for your time. Then go back to your team area and find your coach.

Do I talk to my coach after my race?

Yes. Your coach will have feedback to give you from your race. The NF AquaFlyer swim coaches are insightful, encouraging, and caring; the swimmer will always find it worthwhile to talk about the race with their coach. And parents should always ask their swimmer after the meet what the coaches said.

My races are over. Do I just leave?

Check in with your coach to make sure you are not in any relays and to say goodbye. You also want to see if your parent is finished timing (if they timed). The final times will be posted where the heat sheets were if you want to write them down. If not, we will post them here on the website when they are available to us.

Congratulations... you are now a seasoned NF AquaFlyer Swimmer!