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Swim Meet Survival Guide

Arrive early for warm-ups on day of meet (5:50am) – coaches will remind you of the exact time. Swimmers are expected to be at the team warm-ups. If you are not there, you risk being scratched from the meet, especially the relays.

Before the Meet:

  • Check the meet entries sent via email. It is important to know what you are swimming. Make sure you check the RELAYS also!!!
  • Get a good night of SLEEP.
  • EAT a great breakfast!
  • Check the entries again when you ARRIVE at the meet. Look for any changes!
  • Know the meet schedule. Pay attention to what event number the meet is on - it moves QUICKLY!

What to Bring to the meet so you come PREPARED!

  • Team swimsuit
  • Goggles (2 pairs… just in case!)
  • Swim cap
  • Sweatshirt, sweatpants and/or a heavy jacket
  • Towels (at least TWO…extra ones are nice to have at end of the meet)
  • As a general rule, at least one dry towel for every event your swimmer is competing in, plus an additional towel to be used after warm-ups. Swimmers need to be dry and warm when out of the pool. COLD SWIMMERS do not perform well!!
  • Sleeping bag (especially on cold mornings and evening meets)
  • Extra clothes – have clothes or a robe for your swimmer to wear between events. Again, COLD SWIMMERS do not perform well! Sweats or loose-fitting clothes work best. Tight clothes can be hard to get on and off if the swimmer or the clothes are wet. These clothes will be wet by the end of the meet, so you might want more dry clothes to wear home.
  • Waterproof sunscreen
  • Shade – pop-up tents or other shade structures are essential. If you don’t bring your own, find a family to share with or arrive very early to grab a slice of shade. On cold/rainy days, tents are helpful to stay dry and warm!
  • Folding chairs (so parents have some where to sit)
  • Picnic blankets (so kids have somewhere to sprawl)
  • Food and drinks… especially WATER! Concession stands offer a variety of offerings but plan to bring some favorite items from home. Pack nutritious snacks that are high in carbohydrates and complex sugars, including bagels, fruit, granola bars, etc. Simple sugars/candy should be avoided. Bring plenty of drinks (water, Gatorade, chocolate milk, etc.), as swimmers do get dehydrated. Avoid carbonated beverages.
  • Entertainment - there can be long periods of time between your swimmer’s events depending on what they are swimming and how many swimmers are at the meet. Take something for them to do, including books/magazines to read, cards, activity books, electronic games, tablets, etc.

During the Meet:

  • Know your event numbers, heat and lane. Write them on your swimmer’s hand or arm with a Sharpie.
  • You must check in at the HEATING tent in order to swim your events. It is YOUR responsibility to know what events you are swimming. Events will be posted at the meets. They will also be announced over the loudspeaker and/or displayed on the EVENT CALL board. PLEASE PAY ATTENTION. Remember the meet moves FAST!!
  • First Call (Event #) on the call board – you should go to the heating area, ready to check-in and line up for your event.
  • Last Call (Event #) on the call board – you should be in heating, if not, you are LATE!!!
  • Listen to the announcer.
  • Talk your coach before you head to the heating area. They will let you know how to prepare for the event you are about to swim.
  • Give your name and age to the timers (this will ensure that your swim will be recorded properly under your name).
  • Ask the timer for your time AFTER each event (this is for your records and so you can tell your coach and parents).
  • After your event, GO talk to your coach about how you did!!

After the meet:

  • CHECK your swim bags - use the inventory of what you packed to make sure you are going home with everything you brought.

Things to REMEMBER:

  • Show GREAT SPORTSMANSHIP! Congratulate the other swimmers in your race. Shake hands with them across the rope after your swim.
  • CHEER for your teammates and swim buddy!
  • Show respect to the Meet Officials, and workers. They are volunteering so you can swim!
  • Keep your team area clean. Pick up trash and belongings before you leave the meet.
  • If your swimmers are in the 8 and under group, PARENTS please be sure that they are in the heating and herding tent early. Look for the RELAY HERDERS, and know the events that you are swimming. (REMEMBER to write your event #’s on your hand or arm!)
  • DO NOT leave the meet before you finish your events and CHECK OUT with the coaches. Even though a swimmer may not have been listed in an event, sometimes LAST MINUTE changes occur during the meet and you might be scheduled for another event. (i.e. Free Relay


Please understand that your child may need your help during the meet. Help get them to get to their events on time. Also, remind them to talk to their coaches BEFORE and AFTER their events. We have a few coaches and over 200 swimmers, so please help them out!

CONGRATULATE your swimmer on their AMAZING effort! Have FUN!

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