Potomac Valley Swimming
Level 1

The purpose of swim meets - information to help your swimmer be successful

Mike Kraeuter

What is the purpose of competing at a swim meet? We can compare it to a test at school. When we practice we work on many aspects of the sport; streamlines, technique, race strategies, awareness, breathing, etc.…Competing at a swim meet we (meaning the coach & athlete) get to see what comes out in the competition and what they have become proficient in and what still can be worked on. Answering questions like;

  • How did your plan work out?
  • What went well in your race?
  • What have you been practicing that you were able to do in the race?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • What can you bring back to practice and work on for the next time?

The time that is achieved at the conclusion of the race is a result of what we have been practicing and those elements materializing in the competition. We learn from each race to see how we can move faster and more efficiently to swim the race better.

There are no “good” or “bad” times. There is no “dropping” or “adding” time. The definition of time is the duration in which all things happen, or a precise instant that something happens. We explore this during our post-race chats.

We ask that you let your child race this weekend and test out what they have been working on in practice.

Another aspect of a swim meet is learning how they flow.

  • What heat and lane? (we ask them to memorize it as it works on mental skills)
  • When is the best time to warm-up for my event?
  • What is the best time to line up for my event?

They do this by paying attention to the coaches and how the meet is running.

We can’t forget that a swim meet is experiential and FUN. A culmination of the work done in practice, a time to race, hang out and get to know and support your teammates and learn from the coaches.

One thing that hinders the progress of all the above is the overuse of cell phones at meets.

  • Playing games on them takes away from paying attention to the flow of the meet and socializing with teammates and coaches.
  • Your children will get up to their races with the help of the coaches and if they don’t, they will learn a valuable lesson (it only takes one missed race).
  • Looking up times and texting about the race only puts undue stress and anxiety on your child to perform.

Please ask yourself this question…Whose experience is it? Let them learn, fail, race, play, and socialize!