Welcome to all our new families!  For those of you that have not participated in a USA Swim meet before, here is some helpful information.  You can also go to our website under "meets" and scroll down to "new to swim meets" for further information.


Meet sign ups:
Meets are not required with our team.  Coaches do encourage swimmers to participate in meets as it builds confidence and enthusiasm as swimmers see their swim times improve over time.
Parents or swimmers can get on line and declare their intentions for participation of swim meets.  This is done by logging into the team website, then on homepage click on the "edit commitment" tab.  On the page that comes up, scroll down to swimmers name, click.  A box will come up that will allow you to declare yes or to decline participation.  If your swimmer can only participate in one day or the other of the meet, there will be a "note" box under the declaration that you can write special requests.
If you declare "yes" for your swimmer, the events that swimmer is eligible to swim will automatically come up.  The coaches will put swimmers in their events so you won't need to worry about that part.  Just click on "save changes" and you are done.
We do not have an Automatic Sign up policy.  If we do not hear from swimmers, we will assume they are not planning to attend the meet.  Once swimmers are signed up for a swim meet, they are responsible for all meet fees.  Host meets do not offer refunds.  Swimmers that declar they will attend, but do not attend will still be responsible for meet fees.
Once the deadline is past, we ask that changes not be made as it is time consuming to re-do entries, re-submit entries, change relays, etc.  
We do list our entire season meets as soon as possible so families will know in advance when the swim meets are.  When meet sign ups are due, we put an email out asking that declarations for meets be made prior to a set date.  After that date we ask no changes be made due to the time it takes the coaches and the host meet director.
Once a swimmer is signed up for a meet, there are meet fees due.  Swimmers are welcome to put additional funds in their accounts to draw against for meet fees.  Meet fees are due prior to the swim meet or upon billing.
Once our swimmers are signed up for a meet, they have taken one open slot for the meet.  Meets have a limited number of swimmers that are able to participate in the meet.  If swimmers are signed up for a meet, we ask that they fulfill that commitment and swim.  The meets generally have to turn other swimmers away so we like to have our swimmer swim if they have taken a slot at the meet.
Illness or funerals are the only excused absences from a meet but meet fees are still due as no refunds are given from the host meet directors.  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.

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, is an important day for swimmers to swim to loosen up muscles and get swimmers mentally prepared for competition.  Swimmers will also receive warm up instructions at practice.
Swimmers should pack for swim meets the night before to make sure things are ready as often meets start early in the morning.  Last minute stress in rushing to get out the door uses valuable energy that could be used for racing.
Swimmers should eat a good nutritious meal without heavy meats.  Meat takes all night to digest leaving swimmers not as rested.  Pasta's are good choices the night before a meet.  Fresh fruits and vegetables are great ways to build energy stores in swimmers.
Swimmers should get to bed early for plenty of extra rest.  Sleep helps to regulate hormones in the body in addition to good rest.

Swimmers should pack the following items for all swim meets:
Sweat shirt and sweat pants
Extra towels
Extra goggles
competition suit
team cap
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 early to not have to rush and use extra energy stressing to get to the meet on time.  Plan for traffic, etc.
Swimmers should arrive in time to the facility to change and be on deck with caps and goggles ready 10 minutes prior to the start of warm ups.  This allows swimmers time to focus and relax and not rush. 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 on time behind the blocks, we most often will get a lane just for our team.  When our swimmers drag in late, we have to share a lane with swimmers from other teams making it even that much more crowded with the rest of our swimmers do finally arrive.
Warm ups are generally either 45 minutes or 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 lightening, the lines on the bottom of the pool to anticipate turns, 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.  Parents are asked 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.  

USA Rules state that parents are not allowed on the decks at all unless they are timing.
There are no spectator fees for most meets (championship meets at Federal Way can sometimes be an exception) but there are heat sheets for sale.  Most meets heats sheets are approximately $5 to $7 dollars.  The heats sheets will indicate the time your swimmers events will begin. 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 as a parent club job too.

After warm ups, swimmers should replenish and eat a healthy snack to replenish what energy they used up in warm up.
Swimmers should put sweats on and stay seated.  Swimmers that don't have sweats on, have to 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 or 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 plenty 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.

Awards depend on the meet.  Meets award ribbons up to a designated number determined by the host meet.  Ribbons are awarded up to either 8th or 12th place for most meets and medals for top 8 finishers in championships. Results are always posted at the facilities.  Our team will send out a meet recap after each meet for swimmers and families review of 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, and other necessary positions required to run a successful swim meet.  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 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!
Swimming is a great sport and we hope your swimmer enjoys their meet experiences.
If you have further questions, please refer to the website or contact your swimmers coach.
Coach Sophia