Los Alamos Aquatomics - Every great swimmer starts somewhere... start today with us!!

Parent Information

We in the process of adding informative documents for parents.  Most will be emailed out first then placed on this page for future reference. If  you have a question or would like to see more information on a specific subject please email us using the Contact Us link below. 

Parents Guide to Swim Meets

What to take a swim meet 

Swimsuit, team cap, goggles and 2 towels.

It’s also a good idea to have an extra suit, cap, and pair of goggles handy.

If you need a new team cap please ask the coaches and we will make sure you have one.

Blanket, yoga mat, or chair. Something comfy for you and/or your swimmer to sit on. You’ll be there a while.

Warm Clothing- staying warm is essential.

No electronics for swimmers!! Books, cards, etc are ok.

Healthy snacks and drinks.

Water, Gatorade, granola bars, fruit, yogurt, cereal, trail mix, sandwiches, bagels.

Sharpie marker, pen, highlighter for a heat sheet - swimmers like to write their event numbers, lanes, and heats on their hand, arm, leg, foot, etc. so they know what the are swimming. This also helps the timers and the coaches know when and where they should be behind the blocks.

Example of what to write:

2 4  7 - 50 Free
3 5  9 - 100 Back

When the Meet Starts 

Arrive at the pool 15-30 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time begins. Warm-up times are listed in the meet information posted on the website. We will also send out a reminder emails on the Thursday before every meet.

Help your swimmer find the coaches. Look for coaches on deck to let them know you are at the meet. Look for a teammate or coach to direct you to our area. The team will always sit together (some pool parents are not allowed on the deck … kids will be with us on deck – parents find each other). Make sure to wear your team shirts, look for lost parents and swimmers, try to spread out early so swimmers can squeeze in as more arrive. If you arrive early and first try to find a “good” place (we prefer away from the large teams and crowds).

Parents and coaches are not allowed in athletes locker rooms – usually there is a family room if your swimmer need help with the suit – but this is a good time for them to figure it out.

Kids should be ready to be behind the block with suit, cap and googles 5 mins before warm up.

While your swimmer is warming up , find a heat sheet to purchase, or share with another parent. Heat sheets are usually available for sale in the lobby or concession area of the pool and generally sell for $5-10 cash (it's a fundraiser for the host team). It lists all swimmers in each event in order of “seed time”.

This is a good time for parents to relax, settle in, and get some food while the kids are warming up.

Swimmers will return to the team area after warm-ups. This is a good time for swimmers to find heats and lanes.

Most swimmers will want to write heat and lanes on their hands with a sharpie and gather for a cheer. The meet will usually start about 10-15 minutes after warm-ups are over.

The Meet 

Your swimmer is responsible for what events they are competing. (The coaches always know but we like the swimmers to take responsibility – and we will help out too).

Check in with the coaches before you go to the block and after every swim!!!

Swimmers can come find a coach with any questions at any time.

Listen for events. Current events are usually announced over the loudspeaker.

Most common question is when to go behind the blocks. The best answer is – it depends… It depends on how many heats are in the event before or what heat the swimmer is in and what event it is. A good rule of thumb to start is 5-10 mins or at two - three heats. To figure when that is, add up the slower times of the heats before … so for 50 free the heats are usually 1 min, for 200’s they are 3-4 mins, for 50s go up 5-6 heats before and for 200’s at least a heat or two. Some swimmer like to go up early and mentally prepare – others cut it close and stress out the coaches when we don’t see them behind the blocks… we prefer to error on the early side. Always leave time to talk to coaches before going up to the blocks.

(Reminder: no parents behind the blocks – coaches will help get the newer swimmers and make sure they know where to be until we think they got it down.

After talking to coach, report to the blocks. Kids should look for the swimmer before them or can always ask the timer in their lane. The timers (usually volunteer parents – best seats in the house) behind the starting blocks often check to make sure that swimmers are lined up in the right order – but not always. Therefore, it is always a good idea to have your swimmer check in with the lane timers to make sure they are in the right lane and heat.

Swimmers behind the block should be focusing on what they are swimming and paying attention to when they will swim.

Sometimes they do “fly over starts” where the previous swimmer remains in the water while the next heat starts. Other meets allow swimmers to get out before the next heat. Either way, swimmers need to remain close to the wall for fly overs and get out quickly for regular starts.

Remind your swimmers that good sportsmanship is always expected. Fist bumb your competition – tell them “nice swim”. There is no reason to be visually upset after a swim – what ever happened warm down and fix it for the next race.

As a reminder the parents’ job is to tell their swimmer they did awesome and to listen to your coach if they weren’t happy with their swim. Best times are special and not a sure thing every meet (especially the faster they get). Remember sometimes your swimmer swam slower but maybe they added flip turns – so that is the big improvement not the time… there is a lot to improve on besides times.

What is a DQ?: it means your swimmer was disqualified – They did something wrong while swimming. This is not always a bad thing and we will not disagree with the officials (they do their job we do ours). A DQ means the time will not count and they will not be included in the results for that event. Coaches always say we can tell a swimmer they are doing something wrong 100 times, a DQ official usually only once or twice. There are lots of rules for swimming – Coaches teach your kids those rules. A common one is not touching the wall with two hands when swimming breaststroke or fly.

After each race, swimmers should report immediately to their coach - then warm down – then they can see their family support team (parents!).

Repeat above steps until all events have been completed. When you have a break from swimming…


When your swimmer has completed all of their events for the day, they are able to go home.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to check with the coach before leaving to make sure your swimmer is not included on a relay. It is not fair to other swimmers who may have stayed to swim on a relay where your swimmer is expected to be a member and they are not there.

 Results will likely be posted in a hallway or common area of the meet. Make sure your swimmer knows their times. This is the best way to track progress. Swimmers should know their times so they have a goal to beat! Also, remember that swimmers are competing against the entire event…not just their heat. Results will be posted that include all heats (so if your swimmer wins their heat…they might still get 10th overall).  Ask a seasoned parent or coach about the Meet Mobile App.  

MOST IMPORTANT: Ask for help! If during any of this you feel lost or confused, be sure to ask other parents for help! We have all had our “first meets” and know it can be overwhelming. Once you have attended one or two meets, it will all become very routine and even enjoyable.

Experienced parents have lots of tips for meets too – please share those!!!