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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.

Swimming meets are exciting! This guide helps new swimmers and parents know what to expect. Don't hesitate to ask our friendly team for help!

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.

  • Pack the bag! Bring your swimsuit, towel, goggles, cap, and extras:

    • Big towel: Keep warm between races.

    • Extra towel: Towels get wet fast!

    • Comfy clothes: Team colors are blue and black 💙🖤 get into the team sprit!

    • Chair: Seating is limited when our club hosts larger meets.

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:

  • Bring a chair: The pool deck gets uncomfortable.

  • Pen & paper: Track your swimmer's events.

  • Entertainment: Books, games, etc. for in-between times.

  • Dress in layers: It's warm inside!

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:

  • Bring your own: On-site food might not be enough.

  • Hydration is key: Water is best, avoid sugary drinks.

  • Pack healthy snacks: Salad rolls, fruit, granola bars, etc.

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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