Other Swim Meet Situations & Details (or Everything You Wanted to Know About Swim Meets but Were Afraid to Ask)

Swim meets are a great family experience! They're a place where the whole family can spend time together.

Swimmer and Clock Graphic

This last page covers some of the situations that may arise in dealing with how your swimmer performs at a meet and some other miscellaneous items. These pages cover some very in-depth guidelines geared to help you through your first couple of swim meets. It may seem a little overwhelming, but we tried to be as specific and as detailed as we possibly could. If you have any questions, please ask your coach.

Go to the What to Expect at a Swim Meet | Swim Meet Volunteer Positions

What happens if your child has a disappointing swim?

If your child has a poor race and comes out of it feeling badly, talk about the good things. The first thing you say is, "Hey, that is not like you. I know you are disappointed, but it's not the end of the world!" Then you can go on and talk about the good things the child did. Don't talk about the negative things and don't keep talking about the race. Drop it and get your child to focus on the next race or something enjoyable coming up after the meet! Limit the "post mortems!"

If your child comes up to you and says, "That was a bad race, don't tell me it wasn't, " there is nothing wrong with a swimmer negatively evaluating a race. The important thing is for the child not to dwell on it. You should move the swimmer on to something good. "All right, you have had a bad race. How do you think you can do better next time?" Immediately start talking about the positive things.

What should you take to the meet?

  • Most important - Team  Swim Suit, Team Cap and goggles (if your swimmer uses them).

  • Towels - Realize your swimmer will be there awhile, so pack at least two.

  • Something to sit on such as a lawn chair, sleeping bag, old blanket or anything that will be comfortable to sit on. The swimmers will be spending a lot of time on it.

  • Team T-shirts - bring two or three because they can get wet and soggy.

  • Food - Each swimmer is usually allowed to bring a small cooler. It is better to bring snacks. They usually have snack bars at the meet, but the lines are long and most of the time they only sell junk food.
    Suggestions for food items to bring:

  • Drinks: Water, Fruit juice, Gatorade - no soda as the carbonation can cause problems!

  • Snacks: Granola bars, Fun fruits, yogurt, cereal, jello cubes, sandwiches, etc.

  • Games - travel games, coloring books, books, anything to pass the time.

  • Baby or talcum powder--To "dust" the inside of swim cap. This helps preserve the cap and makes it easier to put on.

What else should you know about our meets?

A few years ago, one of our "veteran" parents handed out this information to the other parents. We believe it offers a good parent's perspective on our meets.

"The pool area is usually very warm. Therefore, you need to make sure you dress appropriately. Nothing is worse than being hot at a swim meet. It makes the time pass very slowly!

"At most of the meets, the parents are allowed to sit with the swimmers in the team area on the deck. If you don't think that a concrete slab is comfortable, feel free to bring folding chairs to sit on.

"Better yet, volunteer to help out with the running of the meet and get involved! You get to be close to the action and take the focus off of your own child!

"Once you have attended one or two meets this will all become very routine. Please do not hesitate to ask any other parent for help or information!

"These meets are a lot of fun for the swimmers! He/she gets to visit with his/her friends, play games, and meet kids from other teams. He/she also gets to "race" and see how much he/she has improved from all the hard work he/she has put in at practice."