YOUR FIRST SWIM MEET
WHAT TO DO? WHAT TO WEAR? WHAT TO BRING?
First of all, relax! Swim meets are a fun, learning experience. Getting nervous is normal, but don’t let it ruin the meet. You are probably nervous because you don’t know what to expect. After you participate in one meet, it gets much easier and you won’t be so nervous.
Entering the meet
Each swimmer must complete an entry form for meets they wish to attend. Our Race Secretary all the details about upcoming meets on the website. The website meet details contains information about the meet venue, events, qualifying times (if applicable), entry fees and entry deadlines.
Event selection for each swimmer should be determined in consultation with your coach, parent and the swimmer. A coach may suggest a swimmer enter specific events to gauge progress, build confidence, or present an appropriate challenge.
- Be clearly marked and provided to your coach or placed in the Woden box prior to the stated deadline (written on the meet flyers – look for Woden deadline nor meet deadline).
- Include the appropriate entry fee which will be an amount per event entered. The club submits these fees to the host team with our entries, so you need to pay your fees when you submit your meet entry form to the club.
Please ensure you keep a note of the events you have entered your child in. Each meet lasts approximately 5 hours so expect to be at the pool for that length of time, depending on how your events are staggered throughout the day.
I’m at the meet, now what do I do?
Look for the Woden Valley Swim Club area. Our swimmers and coaches will be in Woden Valley Swim Club gear. Find a seat within the team area and prepare for warm-up.
A Woden coach will take you through warm-up at the allocated time, attending warm-up is an important part of participating in meets and coaches expect swimmers to arrive in time for warm-up.
Purchase a program (if needed), and look up the event numbers of your swims. Some swimmers find it useful to have the event number written on their hand.
Watch the “claims board”. Usually you are required to report to the “Marshall” three events before your race. Speak to any of the coaching staff if you can’t identify the event board of marshalling area.
A Woden Coach will always be present for a meet, don’t worry if it is not your usual coach, you should still see him/her before going to your race.
After you swim a race
When you’ve finished a race, talk to the Woden coach. your coach has things to tell you about your swim. They will also provide guidance about what to do next, cool down, eat, etc. Get dressed, including footwear. It is important to STAY WARM!
What do I wear?
Dress warmly and be prepared for everything! You can always take layers off, but if you didn’t bring enough, your body is wasting energy before you race. It’s great to wear a club shirt if you have one.
What do I bring?
In your swim bag you should pack:
- Towels (most people like to have two).
- Swim Suit (racing suit if you have one), cap and goggles, and perhaps an extra suit and goggles. You never know when you’re going to break something or lose something, so be prepared!
- Food and drinks : food choices from cafes are usually limited. Bring healthy snacks from home to eat and drink.
- Meets can be long, so bring things to do: homework, reading, cards, games, etc.
Do I have to wear a Team Cap?
Team Cap – Yes, they are mandatory. Latex caps are available for purchase from Woden coaches for $12 (or via our website, by contacting the property officer).
Things to remember
The coaches are there to watch every swim, so their first priority is to the swimmers in the water. Please be patient when you come over before or after your swim. Your coach will talk to you right away if possible; otherwise he/she will ask you to wait. For the coaches, the meet is like a 3-ring circus with swimmers coming pre-race, swimmers in the water, and swimmers coming after swims to get feedback. They can’t go into long discussions about everything, so if they are short with you, please understand and maybe ask another swimmer a general question. The coaches aren’t the only ones with the answers.
At every meet the club is required to provide timekeepers usually for one lane, it is expected that all parents will volunteer to help out with the task. Many parents find it more interesting to time keep while watching the meet, rather than sitting in the stands (don’t be scared of the stopwatch, you won’t by lynched for making a mistake). You will meet other parents and will help make the competition possible, as without officials, your children cannot compete.
Swim meets held in 25 metre length pools are known as “short course” meets and are generally the focus of the winter season. Swim meets held in 50 metre length pools are known as “long course” meets and are generally the focus of the summer season.
GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN AT YOUR FIRST MEET!