Swim Meet Tips

Team Uniform
Team suits and caps are required at swim meets. Suit measurements and orders will be taken at one of the first practices. The team will wear the same swim suit this season as last year (black with silver sharks).

What to Bring to a Swim Meet
1. Meet suit, cap and goggles (2 pairs of goggles if possible).
2. Two or more towels (early in the morning towels don't tend to dry out).
3. Something to sit on or under, such as lawn chairs or blankets, and tarps or sunshades.
4. Sunscreen and hats, for both swimmers and parents.
5. Sweat suits to wear after warm-ups and a T-shirt to wear later in the day.
6. Games, deck of cards, coloring books, etc. No Frisbees or balls, please.
7. Food: a small cooler with water, drinks, and healthy snacks. Fruit, bagels, dry cereal, and sports drinks make good between-race snacks.  In general, avoid items with a lot of fat, fiber and refined sugar. Concessions may be available.
8. Money for concessions and a heat sheet.
9.  Ink pen (to mark swimmers' event #'s on their hands).
10. Highlighter or Pen to mark swimmer's events on the heat sheet.
11.Stop watch, if you have one, to informally time your swimmer.

What to Expect
If you’ve never attended a swim meet before, here are a few things you can expect:
1. The meet lasts about 4 hours.
2. Canopies/tents, towels, and kids everywhere.
3. Chilly mornings
4. Limited viewing space (except for deck volunteers)
5. Boredom between your child’s events if you don’t volunteer for a shift timing, recording, working concessions, etc.
6. New friends and a great time if you get involved with the team.

Arrival at the Meet
1. Arrive at the pool 15 minutes before the scheduled warm-up time.
2. Upon arrival, look for the Makos section and check in with the coaches.
3. Team members should sit together for management sake (we don't want them to miss their events) and it encourages friendships between teammates.
4. Older, responsible swimmers will be assigned to assist and line up the younger ones.
5. Please park in designated areas only; No parking on the grass at the Meadowbrook Woods pool.

Warm-ups
Each team gets a 20 minute warm-up.  The home team always warms up first.  For home meets, that means you’ll need to arrive around 6:00 am. 

1. Listen for the Mako warm-up announcement. All swimmers should warm up with the team, to reduce the chance of injury and familiarize the swimmer with the pool and the backstroke flags.
2. After warm-ups, swimmers go back to the team area and wait until their events are called. This is a good time to get something to eat, drink, some water, and use the restroom. Relays are the first events, so don't go too far!!!
3. It is important for all swimmers to know what events they are swimming. Many swimmers write their events on their hand.

Swimming the Meet
Meets usually start between 7:00 am and finish around 11:00 am.  After both teams have warmed up, we sing the National Anthem and then the meet should begin.  Relays are first. 

1. When the announcer calls the event number over the loudspeaker, the swimmer should report immediately to the Clerk of Course.  This is the area where adult volunteers get the swimmers in order for their event.  At some away pools, there are actually two staging areas for Clerk of Course – one for 8 & under swimmers and one for 9 & older.
2. At the Clerk of Course, each swimmer is given an event card.  This card lists the swimmer's name, seed time, event number, event description, heat number, and lane assignment.
3. Just before the swimmer's event, they will be lead to the starting end of the pool and will give their card to the volunteer known as the Runner.  The card is passed to the Recorder and the swimmer's finish time is written on the card.
4. After swimming each event, swimmers should get their time by asking the timers, and then go directly to the coaches to discuss the race.
5. Parents are not allowed on deck during a swim meet unless in a working capacity.Parents need to tell their swimmers how great they did!   The coaching staff will be sure to discuss stroke technique with them. You need to tell them how proud you are of them and what a great job they did. Help your child relax and get them to drink or eat something light


Results
Event results (official times) are posted outside the pool area as soon as they become available. Call any errors to the attention of the coaches immediately. Results will also be posted on the team website. Ribbons will be handed out at the Tuesday morning practice following the meet.

What if my child has never swam on a swim team before?
A. No problem. We have all levels of swimmers and practice schedules are arranged by skill level. You will be amazed at the progress your child will make in just one summer.

  • to have fun,
  • to improve skills and learn new ones,
  • to be with friends and make new ones,
  • to feel the excitement of competition,
  • to succeed or win, and
  • to excercise or become fit.

S.W.I.M. P.A.R.E.N.T

  • S upport
  • W inning is not as important as learning, improving and having fun
  • I nvolve yourself, be educated
  • M ake an effort to attend swim meets

  • P rovide unconditional love
  • A ct as a role model
  • R emember to have fun
  • E ncouragement
  • N otice improvements
  • T alk with your kids
Ten Commandments for Swimming Parents
  1. Good parents don't impose their ambitions on their child
  2. Are supportive no matter what...remember swimming should be "fun"
  3. Let the coach coach!
  4. Make only positive comments or none at all
  5. Acknowledge their child's fears
  6. Good parents do not criticize the officials
  7. Honor the bond between their child and the coach
  8. Are loyal and supportive to their child's team
  9. Help set realistic goals; stressing personal bests versus winning

    And above all...
  10. Good parents accept their child's abilities and limitations
Bilateral (or alternate side) breathing: This is something you will hear the coach talk about many times. It is a breathing pattern for freestyle. While the term may sound somewhat strange, it simply means breathing every third stroke, first to one side and then to the other. It is much like a dance step that your parents or grandparents call a waltz which has a 1-2-3 pattern for the feet, but for swimming, the pattern is for counting arm strokes and turning the head to breathe. You might say to yourself as you take your arm strokes, "1-2-3." On the count of 3 roll the head away from the arm that is extending out in front, and at the same time take the breath. The head lays very low when it rolls; DO NOT PICK THE HEAD UP.

Be sure to blow the old (and bad) air out while your head is under water. This breathing pattern should be used at all times for general freestyle practice. It guarantees a breath every third stroke, and helps you swim a much smoother freestyle. While it may seem hard at first, you should learn this pattern. When your coach wants a different breathing pattern for certain sets at practice and during your races, he or she will indicate this.

Streamlining: This means to get the body in the thinnest position possible. You should look like a torpedo in the water. The arms need to be very straight and stretched out long (not loose and looking like boiled spaghetti). The muscles of the upper arm need to be tight and stretched to the back of the ears. Streamlining is used for all strokes, both at the start and at every turn. Swimmers should practice streamlining during workout so it will be effective when they race.


Dropped Time When a swimmer goes faster than the previous performance they have "dropped their time."
False Start When a swimmer leaves the starting block before the beep or gun.
Flags Pennants that are suspended over the width of each end of the pool approximately 15 feet from the wall.
Heats A division of an event when there are too many swimmers to compete at the same time. The results are compiled by swimmers' times after all heats of the event are completed.
Heat Sheet The pre-meet printed listings of swimmers' seed times in the various events at the swim meet.
Psych Sheet Another name for a heat sheet or meet program.
Length The extent of the competitive course from end to end.
Short Course A 25 yard or 25 meter pool.
Long Course A 50 meter pool. This is an "Olympic size" pool.
NT No Time. The abbreviation used on a heat sheet to designate that the swimmer has not swam that event before.