All swim parents help out at swim meets!!  It's just the nature of children’s sports.  Make your child proud of you, just as you are proud of them, and cheerfully help out!!!

MART continuously endeavors to maintain its commitment to be a family oriented club that is reasonably financially accessible to all interested swimmers. Fundraisers are optional with the exception of swim meets we host.  It is required that families provide support for each session of hosted swim meets.  To maintain membership in good standing in the Club, all annual fees, including hosted swim meet volunteer obligations, must be paid in full and kept current.  The fee schedule is set as low as possible and expects that each family will contribute their time at hosted swim meets. 

Our volunteers help us continue to develop our MART Tiger Shark team pride in offering the finest meets, while keeping the costs of swimming to a minimum. Besides saving your family money, working at swim meets is a great way to support your child and to get to know other swim families.  Also, many volunteer positions provide unique opportunities to watch your child race.  For example, timers have the best seat in the house by being positioned at the starting blocks, and it's fun to watch each swimmer complete their event and accomplish their goals.

There are many different volunteering opportunities at each home meet. The positions range from non-technical gateworker/heat sheet sales & hospitality jobs, to the slightly more technical timer positions. You may also volunteer as an Official after special training, which is offered throughout the year at various locations in our LSC, Florida Gold Coast.  Please ask your coach how to train to be an official if you are interested.

For specific information on ways to help out at swim meets, check out MART Swim Meet Job Descriptions.   Be sure to sign up online for meets as soon as you receive an email that "Job Signup" is open.  Click here for more information on Job Signups

If you’re worried about your child, please note that we all started out the same way, wanting to be by our kids, wanting to assist them in getting ready (putting on cap, goggles, going to the right place, etc), wanting to “coach” them into doing well.  Unfortunately, this does not develop the self-sufficiency of the swimmer.  Self-sufficiency, in turn, fosters self-esteem.  The quicker the swimmer develops their self-esteem in these small tasks, the quicker they become self-motivated to improve, and the quicker they will progress to the higher levels of swimming and life.  This ultimately allows the swimmer to gain more satisfaction from their sport/life. 

See you on deck!


Swim Meet Information

Meet Schedule

Each season’s meet schedule is available at the beginning of the season and is posted on our website. Swimmers are encouraged to compete in a meet once every 2-4 weeks. However, it is not mandatory to attend all the meets offered. Pick the meets your swimmer will attend based on the classifications and your swimmer’s level of achievement.

Types of Meets


These are meets in which the swimmers and clubs are invited by the host team. Invitationals are for our swimmers to measure their progress against equally strong swimmers representing other USA swim teams.


These meets, generally held for the State or Region, require performance standards and attract national caliber swimmers. Qualifying times for these meets may range from “B” times to “AA” times and sometimes even faster. Examples of these meets include BB Champs, Junior Olympics (J.O.’s), Senior Championship, Sectionals, Futures, Junior Nationals and Nationals.

How We Compete

Swimmers compete in age groups separated by gender. When you see "U" as in 10&U, it means "under" as in swimmers 10 years-old and under (younger) may compete in that event. At meets, we compete in heats because we only use eight lanes at a time. If we have sixteen 10&U girls who want to swim the 50 freestyle, we can only have eight of them swim at a time. The first eight will swim in heat one, the second eight will swim in heat two.

Heat Sheets

A "Heat Sheet" is the swimming term for a program. It lists all of the events and who is swimming in each event. It also shows the heat, lane, age and current time for that swimmer. By looking at the heat sheet (it takes some time to learn how to read it) your coach can tell your swimmer "You are in event #3, 25 Freestyle, Heat 2, Lane 4, your old time was 27.5 seconds, let’s try to get a best time today!"

What to Bring to Meets

MART team suit, MART team cap and your favorite pair of goggles. MART Team uniform shirts At least TWO towels (they get very wet) Sunscreen, possibly a hat and light clothing to hide from the sun and chairs parents Small snacks (grapes, teddy grahams, granola bar) and lots of fluids (water, sports drink) A highlighter to highlight your name in the heat sheet and pen/maker Always, always, always have extras of EVERYTHING because you just never know!

Meet Procedure

First and foremost, show up ON TIME for warm-up. Swimmers who show up late are often disoriented and overwhelmed with everything that’s going on and at the site of so many swimmers in the pool! You may also miss some important announcements, stretches, and key points to warm-up that could have you swim faster later in the day.

When you get to the pool, look around to see where your team is sitting and go sit with them. Make sure you’re all settled and ready to go when your coach calls your group. We usually stretch in our groups, swim a short warm-up (just a few laps) and practice some dives. After warm-up you have some time to sit with your team or talk to your coach about your races. Find a heat sheet and highlight your name!

Your coach will let you know where you should be throughout the meet. It’s usually best to stay in the area where the rest of the team is sitting. You are responsible for making it to the starting block on time on your own. However, your coaches will be around the pool deck to guide you and it’s always a good idea to talk to your coach before and after your race.

Before you leave ask if you are on a relay! We want all swimmers to participate in relays if possible – they add points for the team and create a great TEAM experience! If you are places on a relay and leave early, the other three swimmers in your relay can’t swim their race.

Meet Etiquette for Parents

Support your swimmer. We can’t express that enough! They are doing the best they can and they’re trying they’re hardest to please everyone! Sometimes it’s hard, but let the coaches do the coaching while you give the love and support. If you have questions or concerns about your swimmer’s race feel free to talk to his or her coach about it and we’ll work together to figure things out. Support other swimmers. Every swimmer out there loves to hear a positive comment from someone other than their parent and coach – it means someone new noticed how great they are! Volunteer. Again, meets are not possible without parent volunteers – if your swimmer is comfortable at meets, please volunteer to time – you can still watch them swim!

Meet Etiquette for Swimmers

Support your fellow teammates. Cheer for them and they will cheer for you – show everyone how proud you are to be a part of MART and to have these swimmers as your teammates! Support swimmers from other teams. A mature swimmer congratulates other swimmers after a race, no matter who won. We want other teams to recognize the excellent sportsmanship MART promotes and we want them also to be able to say "Wow, those MART swimmers are not only fast, they’re nice too!" Swim in relays. Relays are a chance for everyone to swim together as a team – they are important and a lot of fun! See your coach. Talk to your coach before and after each race. We are there for you and just might have some useful things to say. Thank your parents. Your parents woke up awfully early to drive you to a meet and then sat in the sun all day, just for you. Say thank you!

Swim Meet Attire

We would like to see all MART swimmers wearing MART apparel. When you are in the water, we want everyone to know what team you swim for! ALL swimmers must wear MART caps available from coaches. T-shirts are available from our online vendor.
At Meets, our T-shirt colors are: Saturday (NAVY), Sunday (GREY).

Of course, if you don't have but one shirt, that's the shirt to wear!

Can I go behind the blocks with my child?    

Parents are not allowed behind the blocks. If children have their event, heat, and lane written on their arm as above it is much easier for people to help get them in the proper place.  Your child should report to their lane by the event before the one they are swimming to check in with the timer and make sure they are in the right place. Coaches will help younger and inexperienced athletes get into position, but as an athlete gets older and becomes more experienced they will be expected to report to the block on their own.

Do I have to volunteer at home meets?

  Yes.  One of the things that make the Tiger Sharks one of the best teams in the State of Florida is our volunteers.  We ask that all parents volunteer for sessions for each meet that the Tiger Sharks host. A sign-up sheet will be displayed on Team Unify under the Events tab.  Select the meet that you would like to volunteer for and click on the link for the sign-up sheet. There you will find a list of all the available positions. Choose the position you want, enter your name and hit save.


Other important and helpful information includes the following:

If you're looking for more information, there are  many resources on the internet for parents of athletes, and the USA Swimming website is a great place to begin.