What to Expect at Your First Swim Meet and More – A Guide

Hello Parents!  We are so very excited for your swimmer to experience their first meet!  We know that this will be the first meet for many of our families, so we thought we'd give you all the low down. All swimmers on the team are expected to sit "As a Team" on deck for meets at the following locations: Grand Junction, Denver University, Epic, Air Force and Loveland. Parents are not permitted on deck at these meets unless they are timing or officiating. Meets where swimmers can sit with their family include: Sopris, Aspen and Craig. Parents at these locations will be expected to assist their swimmer in getting to their events on time. All swimmers are expected to talk to their coach before and after every race.

Aspen- has a great facility, with a wonderful 6 lane yards pool. There is a limited amount of seating indoors (1 set of small bleachers, and scattered benches), and plenty of seating on the adjacent grass area.  Most of us bring lawn/camping chairs and big blankets and set up to hang out in the grassy area when our swimmers are not in the pool. If the weather does not hold (eg. freezing or raining) - then everyone will be inside. There is usually designated space for parents/kids to sit and hang out. Coach Patti suggests that all the families try to sit together - it's great for the younger and older kids all to hang out together and get to know each other (and the parents too!).  Remember that first thing in the AM it can still be very chilly, while it can be hot inside the pool area - so be prepared with lots of layers. And bring sunscreen! 

Craig- is an outdoor pool, so be prepared for weather. Be sure to pack sunscreen and layers for various weather. Plan on bringing blankets/chairs for seating. 

1807, 605 Washington St, Craig, CO 81625

Sopris – Located near Glenwood Springs, Sopris is a nice indoor pool in a rec center. Typically, parents and kids will set up blankets and chairs in the gym, which has a nice view and is directly next to the pool. Definitely pack chairs, as the gym floor can be a bit uncomfortable after 4-5 hours. The proximity to Target (not endorsed by SSST) is also a plus.

100 Wulfsohn Rd, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

Grand Junction – This is probably the nicest pool in the state, and can be converted between a 25 yard and 50-meter (Olympic Size) pool. The pool is on the Mesa Campus, so there is arena seating for parents located up some flights of stairs. While indoors, it is still a good idea to plan on packing a blanket to sit on. Additionally, since parents and kids will be farther apart, plan to pack in separate bags for parents and kids. 

1040 Mesa Ave, Grand Junction, CO 81501

Thornton- Nice 50 Meter pool which is a fun time to get out and swim in a larger meet/facility. The spectator area is typically very warm so plan for wearing a t-shirt or shorts if you want to be comfortable. 

 5310 E 136th Ave, Thornton, CO 80241


Denver University- Again, DU is a fun, big pool located in Denver. The facility is nice, but parking can be tricky. 

2240 Buchtel Blvd S, Denver, CO 80210

Epic- Epic Center is a the FAST team's pool and tons of fun to swim at. The pool is very nice, and their team is big which makes for an exciting meet. 

1801 Riverside Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80525

Air Force Academy- The States Meet is often held here. The State Meet is really fun since the meet is more competitive and fast by nature, and CO Springs has a lot of nice places to hang out, if you look around. 

5220 Cedar Dr, U.S. Air Force Academy, CO 80840

All Meets:

Bring food - there are typically concessions, but really nothing very nutritious.  Bring food for yourselves, and most importantly for your athlete to snack on in between events - ideally something with protein.  Make sure you give them something that they have eaten before and have not had problems with!  It is important to keep them well hydrated and well-nourished throughout the meet.  Small but consistent snacking is OK - it is important not to overload the stomach with too much food at one time (we don't want anyone sinking to the bottom!!).  Some food ideas - peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, nuts/trail mix, dried fruit, fresh fruit, hard boiled eggs, avocados, deli meat.  Most of us bring small coolers for perishables. Coach Patti encourages all swimmers to eat nutritious healthy snacks at the meet and stay hydrated. Suitable beverages include water or watered down gatoraide.

Plan to be there all day or at least 5 hours for each session that your swimmers is in including warm-ups. Swim meets can take time.  Your swimmer will likely have an event close to the beginning and end of the meet.  If you are done?  We encourage you to stay and cheer for their teammates!  And please cheer for your swimmer - but remember they cannot hear you while they are in the pool!! ;).   

If your child makes a mistake or has a bad swim - no big deal.  This meet is designed to be fun and to learn from.  Many swimmers will disqualify or "DQ" on some events- this means that they did something technically that they were not allowed to do - for instance on breast stroke you must touch the wall with 2 hands at the same time.  Stay positive, and your swimmer will have a great meet no matter what.  Some families have a "DQ rule" - if they DQ, to make them feel better, they let them go to DQ for a sundae ;) 

"Psyche Sheets" - this is a preliminary list of swimmers in each event.  Usually listed fastest to slowest.  Many of your swimmers will have "NT" which means that they have no time recorded from a previous meet.   Psyche Sheets will be posted uner the Event sescion for that meet at steamboatswimteam.com. for all the families attending Aspen. They are usually  also posted on the host team website, or on westernslopeleague.org sometime during the week before the meet. 

"Heat Sheets" - They may or may not be sold at the meet. Coach Patti will post all meet information including the heat sheets in the Event section of the meet on our webiste at steamboatswimteam.com. prior to the meet if they are available. Sometimes the heat sheets are only sold at the meets and not availble prior to the meet.  Please make sure to print them out and bring them along with you to the meet. They will tell you what EVENT, HEAT and LANE your swimmer is in for each event. At the home Mini Meets, all parents will the opportunity to watch how to write the events on their swimmers arm. Please come to the meet on Saturday with your swimmers events on their arms ready to go (Same procedure for Sunday). Please use a black or dark colored sharpie. If you are not sure how to do this, an older swimmer or veteran parent will help you mark your athletes arm with each event. It looks something like this:

E           H               L

1            4               3      50 free (this means they are in the first event in the meet, the 4th heat.  In the 4th heat, they are lane 3…)

5            1               2      25 breast etc.

"Warm-up Times" - Coach Patti will post warm up times in the Event section of the meet at steamboatswimteam.com as soon as she receives them from the hosting team. They are usually availabel 1 to 2 days pior to the meet. All swimmers are asked to be at the pool 15 minutes prior to warm ups- in their swim suits, with warm clothing (SSST tees, pants and sweat shirt) and shoes on. Also have your swimmers have their SSST cap on and goggles adjusted and ready to go. If you need help with anything please reach out to another veteran swim family or one of the older swimmers. They are only too happy to assist. Sometimes we assign Buddy Swimmers to help out new swimmers. Please note that if your swimmer is not at warm-ups on time ready to go in the water, they may be taken out of a relay.

What to bring:

A happy excited swimmer and parents!

Swim towels - 3 is good if you have them.  Often 1 to dry off with, 1 to stay warm with, and 1 extra

Goggles - bring a backup.  Seems like goggles only break at a meet! If outside, a dark pair and a lighter pair for inside.

SSST Cap (all swimmers must wear one at the meet- available at OTHS front desk- consider a backup, they break too! (your backup does not need to be a team one)

Swim suit - your team one.  If you have a backup swim suit, bring it too.

Socks, warm up outfit, SSST Tee and other (sweatshirt, pants) - it is VERY IMPORTANT your athlete stay warm between events.  Coach Patti loves to see layers, with socks and shoes!! Have your swimmer dry off after their event and then get back into warm clothing and footwear (shoes or flip flops). The pool decks and ground are very cool ...feet must be kept warm at all times.

*Many athletes will have a swim bag to hold the above items.  Not needed, but functional!

Steamboat Swim Team T Shirt - show your team spirit!!  Parents too if you have one!

Blankets - a big one to sit on or one for your chilly swimmer to wrap up in.

Warm fuzzy winter hat!! Keep warm and covering the head is a good place to start. 

Sharpie - for writing your athletes events on their arm 

Pens - if you want to keep track of times 

Highlighters- make sure to keep track of your kid in the heat sheets by highlighting them!

Food - as above

Water bottles (2) - with water or (healthy) drink of choice - Some athletes like Cytomax or scratch labs for electrolyte replacement, others just water.

Lawn chairs/camping chairs

Money - heat sheets will likely be sold at the meet - they are usually $5, sometimes they are available online before the meet. Reminder: heat sheets will be available prior to the Aspen meet, please remember to print your copy out before leaving home.

Consider shampoo, conditioner, and lotion for showers after the meet.  Your swimmers skin can get really dry. Note: If your kid has really sensitive skin, it can be good to apply petroleum jelly prior to hoping in the pool especially since the chemicals are typically harsher at other pools. 

Video camera or camera if desired. Note: No photography behind the blocks. Large lens photography is not allowed unless you are photographing for the team and have credentials. See MAAAP for more. 

Something to do- these meets can last forever ;)

First Aid Kit - asthma inhalers if appropriate, Tylenol, etc...

Hair ties -LOTS!- this may seem like a minor thing, put they really are a big help for the girls

And finally a GREAT attitude and a smile on your face!

After the meet, your athlete will be TIRED.  Do not talk to your swimmer about the meet unless they want to talk about it.  Feel free to say GREAT JOB!  But then ask - Where do you want to eat?  Or how about those mountains???  Give them time to decompress, and then talk to them when they are ready!!


That’s it!!

Contact Head Coach Patti or your Group Parent Liaison if you have any questions!