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Guide to Swim Meet Survival

We hope that this guide will give you a general idea of what to expect at your first swim meet.

A swim meet is a fun and exciting time for you and your children.

This Guide aims to help new swimmers and parents learn the ins and outs of a typical swim meet.

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 Night Before

The Swim Bag

In addition to the routine stuff to bring to your lessons or training (swimwear, towel, goggles and cap), you will need a few more things for a swim meet.

Here’s a basic checklist:

  • Extra-large towel or blanket for your swimmer to keep warm between races

  • Towels…two are better than one

  • Loose fitting, comfortable clothing to wear in between races (our team colours are Blue & Black 💙🖤 and are encouraged)

  • Chair/s (there is limited spacing and seating available)

What Parents/Spectators Need

While some people enjoy watching the competitors and spend nearly all of their time watching the events in the pool, other people prefer to relax with their children in between events. You may want to consider bringing some of the following:

  • A folding chair (rock-hard pool deck floors and unforgiving bench seats will get uncomfortable as the day progresses)

  • Ball-point pen, highlighter & sharpie (writing events the simmers arm is very useful)

  • Book, paper, magazine

  • Or you might be busy helping with one of the many volunteer positions

  • Note this is an indoor meet, it gets VERY warm in the indoor pool area. Be sure to dress in layers.

The Food Bag

We aim to have onsite catering, but this may not be enough for your swimmer. We also recommended you BYO food and drinks, here are some good swim meet choices:

  • Water (fluids are VERY important) avoid sweet drinks such as juice and soft drinks

  • Salad Rolls or Bagels

  • Carrot and celery sticks

  • Fruit – grapes, bananas & apples

  • Granola bars, oatmeal

  • Easily digestible, portable foods are your best choices.

For further tips on what foods to feed you swimmer visit: 

The Arrival

What do I do FIRST?

It is best if your swimmer arrives wearing their swimwear under their clothes.

The coaching team or senior swimmers will announce when warm up will commence. We encourage all swimmers to participate in the group stretching warm up (typically in the the gym or deck area when held at the Yarra Plenty Pool). Then the in pool warm up commences. Coaches and our senior swimmers are available to guide those who are unsure of what their warm up involves.

Once your swimmer returns, make sure they drink something and wrap up in something warm. They should just hang out and rest for their first race!

It is also a good time to make sure they know their events. Write them down on your child’s arm. Remember to use a waterproof marker. Sharpies are perfect!

Don’t worry too much; your child will get a helpful reminder at the marshalling area and also on deck before they jump in the water.

Example of what the arm of your swimmer may look like:
Example of what the arm of your swimmer may look like:

Make sure that your swimmer stays warm and hydrated. The body uses energy to warm itself and energy is something to conserve before events. Make sure that they keep up with their cap and goggles – there’s nothing more nerve wracking than searching for caps and goggles seconds before its time to report.

It is a very good idea 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.

Race Results

After a couple of events, you can go looking for where the meet operators are posting the results. The results usually run a few events behind due to processing time. This is where you will find out what your swimmer’s time was and how they fared among all the swimmers in their age group. The results are listed by event and show the swimmers in order of finish.

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