Swim Meet Etiquette

Following these simple guidelines will help you (and your teammates) get the most out of the upcoming championship season.

Be prepared. It is best to know what events you are swimming BEFORE warm-up. This way, you can practice the appropriate starts, turns and sprints in the warm-up. Also, make sure that you have everything you need – towels, swimsuit, water bottle, cap and goggles.

Stay positive. If you have a bad swim, or you don’t want to swim the events you’re entered in, get over it and just do your best. In her Road to Athens Journal, recently published on USA Swimming’s web site, Mary DeScenza writes, “Sometimes your coach puts you in an event you do not like. You just have to do your best and not complain.”

Realize that relays are just as important as your individual events (if not more so). Give it your all and help pump up your teammates (no matter which relay you’re on). Swim in the relay order your coach gave you, and HAVE FUN! Also, stay and cheer on your team until your last teammate is out of the water.

Talk to your coach and cool down after every event. Make sure that you see your coach after each event to get input on your race. And if you have time, cool down between events until your heart rate is below 100. Cooling down will make a huge difference in your body’s ability to recover for future races.

Respect the meet officials. Remember that these are volunteers who want to see you get the most out of swimming. Go so far as to thank the person who DQ’d you for helping you to improve.

Clean up ALL of your mess. It is important to leave your area just as you found it. Throw away your empty bottles and Power Bar wrappers. If your teammates left a mess, go ahead and pick it up. That’s what teammates are for!

Arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled warm up, it’s typically very crowded, so it’s important to be on time. Get to a meet early enough to settle down into a ‘spot’ with your team, generally we sit in a gymnasium “camp out style.” Swim meets are the best time to get to know your teammates and build team spirit. It is also easier for your coach and teammates (relay members) to find you if they need you.

Be ready with your cap and goggles on when the warm-up session starts. Meet warm-ups are often short and crowded

When it is time for the kids to swim their events. They go to the bullpen and the adults can go into the pool area to watch them swim. When the event is over everyone goes back to the gymnasium to wait for the next event. After your child’s last event you can head home.


Most of the meets are in the St. Louis/Eastern Illinois area. You may decide to do a meet for just one day and not need a hotel room. Some meets are all weekend long and a hotel may be needed. It is really the parents’ decision on how many days/events to enroll their child in. Typically the meet information packets for each meet has hotel information in it as well.


What to Bring:




What is for sale at most meets during the winter season:


Resource: Article provided by USA Swimming, Swimmers, Interesting Stuff