Preparing for a Swim Meet

For first-timers, a swim meet can seem like a bewildering event. To help you and your swimmers understand what to expect, we've put together this guide.

Prior to the Meet

SWIMMERS: GET YOUR EVENTS. At the swim practice on the morning of the meet, the coaches will write your child's events on the back of his/her hand with a Sharpie. (I'm quite serious.) Swimmers who do not attend the meet-morning practice will get their events at warm-ups at the meet. 

SWIMMERS: REST. After practice, try to spend the rest of the day out of the sun, taking it easy. Drink lots of water and eat healthful foods! You'll need to be at the pool at either 4:30 (home meets) or 5 (away meets).

PARENTS: CHECK YOUR VOLUNTEER ASSIGNMENT. Meet duty volunteers need to report to their designated assignment in a timely manner. If a designated volunteer cannot work a schedule meet, it is the responsibility of the volunteer to contact the volunteer coordinator and/or find a replacement. Not showing up for your assigned position could cause a delay in the meet and require another family to work the position.

What To Pack

You'll want to bring supplies with you to the meet. Pack the following:

  • Killer Whale swim suit, cap, goggles
  • Extra goggles
  • Lots of towels (one for wrapping up, one for sitting on, one for making a towel fort...)
  • Plenty of water to drink
  • Sweatshirt/hoodie, warm-up pants (it gets cold at night)
  • Chairs (if you want to sit--venues never have enough deck chairs for everyone)
  • A cooler full of dinner and/or healthy snacks (most venues have a concession stand with a grill for hot food items)
  • Games/cards to play in between events
  • Money for the concession stand (but save the sweets for the END of the meet!)

At the Meet

SWIMMERS: CHECK IN WITH THE COACHES. When you arrive, find a coach and let him/her know you're there. Coaches make relay assignments before warm-ups, so they need to know who is on site. After you've checked in and confirmed your events, including any relays you've been assigned to, get ready for warm-ups.

PARENTS: SET UP BASE CAMP. You're going to be at this meet for a couple hours; find a spot where you can set up your chairs, coolers, etc., and get comfy. And start waiting.

SWIMMERS: LISTEN FOR YOUR EVENTS. The Starter will call events to report to the Clerk of the Course; swimmers need to listen for their events so they can get to the Clerk's area on time. We will have parent volunteers who will help round up the younger swimmers, but we need parents to help their younger swimmers pay attention. If your swimmer misses his/her event, the Head Referee will work them back in somehow, but we'd rather avoid that scenario if possible.

PARENTS: CHEER FOR YOUR CHILDREN! When your child is swimming, the most important thing you can do is cheer like a crazy person and congratulate him or her when it's over. Even if he came in last. Even if she got DQ'd. The coaches will handle the coaching; we parents are there to show our support. 

SWIMMERS: REPORT FOR FEEDBACK. After an event, report to Coach Eric to get feedback on your swim.

SWIMMERS: BETWEEN EVENTS: Cheer for your teammates! Don't get in the way of timers and judges, but do get your voice out there to encourage your fellow Killer Whales. All swimmers, parents and spectators are expected to behave appropriately and with good sportsmanship at all times. Teams can otherwise be penalized. 

SWIMMERS: DO NOT LEAVE UNTIL YOU ARE SURE YOU ARE DONE! The freestyle relays are swum at the END of the meet (except for 8+unders), so don't leave if you might be on a freestyle relay team!  If a swimmer fails to report for a relay, three other swimmers will be UNABLE to compete.