What To Expect At A Meet:

Most swim meets are two and a half (2 ½) days long – Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. The Friday schedule usually begins between 4:00-6:00PM and has events for age groups 10 and under through Senior. Each meet schedule is different and is determined by the host team. The schedule for Saturday and Sunday has each age group either swimming in the morning or the afternoon. Expect a full morning or afternoon spent at the pool. For example, if your child’s age group swims the morning session, plan on getting to the pool for warm-ups at approximately 7:00-8:00AM and leaving when the session is over at Noon-1:00PM, depending on the size of the meet.
Swimmers usually spend down time in a “crash area”. This is usually a gym or area near the pool. Bring a sleeping bag or blanket to throw down. Most meets have concessions but it is a good idea to bring extra snacks, water or sports drinks. The most important item is LIQUID – swimmers need to replace liquids. Do not drink dairy products before swimming – these can cause stomach cramps. Remember to pack games, books or music.
Most meets have “heat sheets” available to purchase. Heat sheets will specify heat and lane assignments your child will be swimming. This information is also available from the coaches. It is a good idea to write the event number and stroke on your child’s arm or leg as a reminder. Psyche sheets are another form of a heat sheet that only shows the swimmers in each event, listed by entry time from fastest to slowest. You can estimate the heat assignment and the swimmer will get their lane assignments when checking in with the Clerk of the Course. If heat and lane assignments are available, they should be included on your child’s arm or leg. 
Remember to dress accordingly – pool areas are usually hot and humid!! Crash areas may be cold for wet swimmers so don’t forget a sweatshirt.
Swimmers should be ready to enter the pool at the time designated for warm-up, therefore they should arrive at the pool NO LATER THAN 30 minutes before that time – this will give them enough time to find the team in the “crash area”. Swimmers need to make sure that they have their suits, goggles, swim cap and towel before they leave home!! It is a good idea to have back-up goggles and swim cap.
It is a swimmer’s responsibility to make sure they report to their event in time to swim. Some meets have a reporting area (Clerk of the Course) to put swimmers in event order, however, some meets simply have the swimmers report to their assigned lane/block. Make sure your swimmer is aware of their event. Experienced swimmers and parents will assist new swim families/swimmers – please do not be afraid to ask for assistance!!
Each swimmer is to report to the coach as soon as they have completed their event so the coach can give them feedback. If your child comes to you, remind them to see their coach first – THANKS!
Do not leave the meet until you or your swimmer has checked with the coach about whether or not they are on relay. If a member of the relay leaves before the event, the other three team members will not be able to swim. Most relays are not announced or posted until the final phase of the session. Talk to the coach if you have questions.
Remember at meets, swimmers are working not only to win races but also to get new “best times”. A child can take 25th place and be thrilled because he/she got a faster time than before. A word of praise and support from family, other teammates and team families is a great way to reward and acknowledge their hard work.
Last but not least, expect to have FUN at a meet! It’s exciting to be on a relay or to cheer on teammates. Sharing snacks, playing games, and building friendships are all part of the meet experience. Setting and achieving goals, as well as perfecting skills, is rewarding.