Potomac Valley Swimming
Level 1

Swim Meets Tips

Mike Kraeuter

Once you get through your first few meets, everything will make so much more sense!

No two swim meets ever run exactly the same. It can be the same meet that the club hosts each year, but things will be different. The most important thing to remember is to be flexible. Swim meets are a large undertakings and are run by humans who are fallible.

It’s ok to be a little confused at first. Don’t be afraid to approach someone from our team to ask a question. We have the best swim parents who are more than willing to help out a new family!

The Swim Bag Packing List:

  • Team cap (green one), goggles and team swimsuit!
  • Team t-shirt (BLUE on Saturdays & GREEN on Sundays)
  • Extra-large towel or blanket for your swimmer to keep warm between races or sit on if necessary
  • Towels…two are better than one
  • Loose fitting, comfortable clothing to wear in between races (preferably BLUE WAVE apparel)
  • Water (fluids are VERY important) or sports drinks NO SODA
  • Card or board games (please no electronics, most kids get lost in their phones and don’t pay attention to the coaches)
  • Remember to label all your items


  • Check the Blue Waves website the night before and read any emails - Last minute updates are very common.  Changes can include location, timeline, meet sheet, positive check-in, etc.   
  • Know and discuss with your swimmer what events he/she is swimming that day.  
  • Print directions to the meet and know how long it takes to get to the facility.
  • Please make sure your little athlete arrives ON DECK at least 15 minutes prior to warm-ups so they have time to adjust to their surroundings. That means knowing the warm-up times (allow for extra time for parking) – all this info is in the Meet Announcement
  • Have your children go to the designated locker area and change into their swimsuit.  Note: some meets might require swimmers to arrive in their swimsuit.
  • After changing, immediately report to their coach in BLUE WAVE team area.  The team area is wherever the coach has found a place for the kids to sit.  This changes from meet to meet.
  • Volunteer to help time.
  • Remember that, as a parent, if you’re not a timer you are not allowed on deck (USA Swimming Safe Sport rules), behind the blocks, to discuss time with the timers, or to approach the stroke-and-turn judges. If there is a question or problem, you should ask your coach who will then handle it for you.  
  • It is very important that your child speaks to their coach both before and after their race. This is a great way to get immediate feedback during a race setting.