Tornadoes Swim Team New to the Swim Meet

Swim Meet sign ups:

Swim meets are not required for all levels of our team, but coaches do encourage swimmers to participate in meets because it builds confidence and enthusiasm as swimmers see their swim times improve over time.

Parents use the team website to sign up their swimmer for participation in swim meets. Meet sign ups will have specific deadlines. If you miss the deadline, you will be unable to attend that meet.

Click here to go to the team swim meet sign up page.

To commit to attending the swim meet:

  • Click Edit Commitment for the meet you wish to attend (click the meet name to see specific meet details)
  • Click your swimmer's name
  • Under declaration, select Yes or No
  • In the Notes section, tell the coach specific days you cannot attend or special requests for this meet
  • Click Save Changes

Coaches will select the events your swimmer will participate in.

When meet sign ups are due, an email will be sent asking that declarations for meets be made by a specific date. After that date, no changes will be made. If we do not hear from swimmers, we will assume they are not planning to attend the meet.

Meets have a limited number of swimmers that are able to participate in the meet, so if swimmers are signed up for a meet, we ask that they fulfill that commitment and swim. Illness or funerals are the only excused absences from a meet, but meet fees are still due because the host meet directors do not provide refunds. Swimmers that are ill or at a funeral must contact the coach on duty and let them know so they can make changes to relay teams and give scratches to the meet director. Swimmers that are signed up for a meet, but are no shows/no calls are charged a $10 no show fee each day.

Financial Responsibilities:

Swim accounts will be billed for meets they declare they are attending. Swimmers may add funds in their accounts to draw against for meet fees. Meet fees are due prior to the swim meet or upon billing. Once swimmers are signed up for a swim meet, they are responsible for all meet fees. Host meet directors do not offer refunds. Swimmers that declare they will attend, but do not attend will still be responsible for meet fees.Swimmers that are signed up for a meet but are no shows/no calls are charged a $10 no show fee each day.

Week and Day Before the Swim Meet
Swimmers should attend the appropriate number of swim practices to prepare for swim meets. The day before the meet swimmers should swim to loosen up muscles and get mentally prepared for competition. Swimmers should pack for swim meets the night before to make sure things are ready. Last minute stress in rushing to get out the door uses valuable energy that could be used for racing.

The night before a meet, swimmers should eat a good nutritious meal without heavy meats.  Meat takes all night to digest leaving swimmers not as rested.  Pasta is a good choice the night before a meet.  Fresh fruits and vegetables are great ways to build energy stores in swimmers. Swimmers should get to bed early so they get the proper rest. Sleep helps to regulate hormones in the body.

What to Pack for a Meet

  • Sweat shirt and sweat pants
  • extra towels
  • extra goggles
  • competition suit
  • team cap
  • water
  • healthy snacks--fresh fruits and vegetables
  • cards or IPOD music and headphones to relax between events
  • marker to mark events on arm of swimmer
  • change of clothes for after the meet

Day of the meet:
Swimmers should plan to leave home early giving plenty of time to arrive on time and stress free. Swimmers should arrive at the facility with enough time to change and be on deck with caps and goggles 10 minutes prior to the start of warm ups. This allows swimmers time to focus and relax without rushing. Swimmers will stretch behind the blocks and receive a reminder on warm up instructions from the coach. Warm ups get VERY crowded, so our team likes to be the first in the water.  If all our swimmers are behind the blocks on time, we most often will get a lane just for our team.  When our swimmers come in late, we have to share a lane with swimmers from other teams, making it even more crowded.

Warm ups generally last 45 minutes to an hour prior to the start of competition. Warm ups are important for swimmers to warm up their muscles for racing and also become familiar with the pool, it's depth, it's lighting, the lines on the bottom of the pool to anticipate turns, the flags, and the walls or bulk heads to turn on. At the completion of warm ups, swimmers will be asked to sit together with teammates to make it easier to find them. Parents are encouraged to sit together as a team to support our swimmers.  We encourage all parents to wear Tornadoes Team T-shirts to show support for our swimmers.  

Info for Parents/Spectators

Please make sure you allow enough time to drive to the meet facility, find parking, and get your swimmer behind the blocks 10 minutes before warm-ups start. The meets can be very crowded, so arriving early allows you time to find a good seat in the bleachers with other Tornadoes parents. Parents who arrive early will do their best to save bleacher space for other parents, but we can't always guarantee a spot will be saved, so arriving early is your best bet for the perfect seat!

USA Swimming Rules state that parents/spectators are not allowed on the decks at all unless they are timing. There are no spectator fees for most meets (championship meets are the exception). Heat sheets will be for sale during the meet. They cost approximately $5 to $7 dollars. Heat sheets will also be posted on the walls at the event. The heats sheets will indicate the events your swimmer is in, along with the heat and lane number. Swim meets are generally very organized and run on time.

Parent volunteers are always needed to help time at each meet.  Although all meets are electronically run, two sets of timers are used as back up in each lane.  Our team is usually assigned a lane that our team is responsible for having two timers cover that lane the entire meet.  We ask all our parents to take turns timing.  Parents can sign up to time when they sign up their swimmer for the meet. Click here to sign up and click the Job Signup button next to the meet.

Some of our team parents have been doing swim meets for a long time and love to help new swim parents. Please look around for a parent with a Tornadoes t-shirt and ask for help, or ask your swimmer's coach to help you find a parent to guide you through the process. 

Meet Competition
After warm ups, swimmers should drink water and eat a healthy snack to replenish the energy they used up in warm ups. Swimmers should put sweats on and stay seated. Swimmers that don't have sweats on, use energy to keep their body temperature at 98.6.  Sweats help the body temperature to stay where it should be and save energy. Swimmers should stay seated to also save energy for racing. Swimmers should snack on healthy snacks and water all through out the meet.

Swimmers that do not swim for over an hour after warm ups, should plan to re-warm up prior to racing.  If no warm up area is available, swimmers should stretch, do jacks, etc. to warm up body. Swimmers need to pay attention and be behind the starting blocks on time. Prior to going behind the blocks, swimmers should check in with their swim coach for last minute instructions. Once behind the blocks, swimmers should keep sweats on and stretch and jump up and down to elevate their resting heart rate to a racing heart rate. Just before swimmers are called onto the blocks, swimmers should remove sweats. After their race, swimmers should go immediately to the warm down area and warm down approx. 400 yards/meters or more depending on the swim. After warm down, swimmers should check back in with their coach to review their swim and get their split times. Swimmers should then put sweats back on, return to their seats, replenish their energy with healthy snack and water. Repeat for all events.

Swimmers do not need to stay to the end of the meet once their events are finished, but we ask that they check with their coaches prior to leaving to make sure they are not in a relay or for instructions for the next day. Swimmers swimming all or both days of a meet should get to bed early each night. Swim meets can be lengthy, so spectators are encouraged to bring reading materials or other things they can do while seated in crowded bleacher areas. After the meet, swimmers are usually hungry.  It can be fun for swimmers to go together with other team families to grab a bite to eat together and build good team friendships and bonds.

Meet awards can vary at every meet. Ribbons are usually offered, up to a designated place number, and determined by the host meet. Medals are sometimes offered for top place winners. Results are always posted on the wall at the facilities. Some meets use an app you can download on your phone, called Meet Mobile that provides real time results. Our team will send out a meet recap after each meet for swimmers and families to review performances.

Meet Conduct and Sportsmanship
Our Tornadoes Team has developed an excellent reputation among other teams for our sportsmanlike conduct, our team spirit and our parent’s willingness to volunteer for timers.  We are proud of our reputation and want to continue it.  We remind our swimmers and families that we treat other teams, coaches, families, equipment and facilities with utmost respect.

If a concerning situation arises at a meet, please contact your coach for resolution. Remember that you are a representative of our team and we ask that you represent our team in a most positive manner at all times. We encourage all our teammates to cheer and support each other.  We are a great team and we are proud of all of our swimmers!
Meet Preparation Video

Here is a handy video for those of you going to your first swim meet.  It discusses various aspects of the swim meet to help understand what is going on as well as handy things to bring to the meet!  It’s all of 6 minutes long.  Enjoy!

New Parent Guide on Swim Meets - Just the Basics

Here is a fun article on some really basic things you need to know about swim meets.