Swim Meet Survival Tips

Swim meets are long, usually 3-4 hours plus additional time before the meet for warmup. You may drop your Swimmer off at the door if they feel comfortable going into the building and making their way to the pool deck to find their coach. You may leave the meet if you need to, and return at an appropriate time.


Things to bring for swimmers

2 towels

2 pair of goggles

Team bathing suit

Team t shirt

Sweatshirt and sweatpants (sometimes it gets chilly on deck)

Flip flops, Crocs, or moccasins (if your child does not want to be barefoot on deck)

Healthy snacks (dried or fresh fruit, granola bars, pretzels)


A smile!

A sharpie marker

Something to keep busy on deck (deck of cards, small board game)

Older kids can have phones or electronic devices, but be careful as it is a wet environment. We do prefer that kids are socializing and cheering on their teammates rather than glued to electronics!

You may want to keep a portable camp chair in your car for the occasional meet where chairs are allowed if swimmers are housed in a gym.


Things not to bring for swimmers:

Sugary Snacks

Valuables or things that can't get wet

They do not need their mesh equipment bags

Footballs or frisbee like items


Tips for Parents

It is very hot at swim meets. Dress in layers so you can take things off if needed.

If you are a timer volunteer, your feet will get wet so wear appropriate footwear.

You may want to bring a laptop or book to keep busy.

Parents usually sit in the bleachers in the pool area. They can get crowded. Sometimes personal chairs are allowed in the lobby or other areas of the building for parents to sit and get some air away from the pool area. Please note that USA meets in New Jersey generally do not allow personal chairs.

Parents are not allowed on the pool deck to visit their children.

Most meets have concession stands with bagels, coffee, muffins, soft pretzels, hot dogs, pizza, chips, water, soda, etc. There may be tables where you can gather and eat. You may meet your swimmer there too.

There may also be a vendor selling all kinds of swimming apparel and equipment.

Generally swimmers are not allowed in the bleachers to sit with parents. They sit on the pool deck with their team. They do very well bonding with their teammates and listening to their coaches. If your child needs you, we will find a way to get in touch with you!

When your child is finished his or her events, you may leave the meet. Please have your child tell the coach they are leaving. At some meets, (usually team dual meets) the coach may request that everyone stay until the end.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy watching your swimmers and teammates!


Things to review with your swimmer:

Proper behavior is expected - Voices down, no horseplay.

Be courteous to your teammates AND to kids on other teams. Never talk negatively about other teams or teammates.

Be mindful of sensitive conversation topics.

Shake hands with the swimmers in the lanes next to them after each race is completed.

Do not eat directly near the pool or walk around the deck with food; eat only at your seat.

Pick up all trash after the meet is over, including any dropped food.

Keep your belongings together in one place, not sprawled out.

Have your items labeled with child's name, especially team t shirts and team apparel. Use a Sharpie.

Have your child responsible/accountable for their things. Have them pack their own swim bags so they get used to knowing what they need. Pack the bag the night before if it is an early morning meet. Keep a laminated index card in their bag to assist them. (one side for practice needs, the other side for meet neeeds)

Do not obsess over times/improvements. Not every swimmer will drop time at every meet or for every event. We want the kids to be well rounded and enjoy the sport!