Is there a minimum age requirement to swim on swim team? 
There is a minimum age requirement.  Swimmers under the age of 7 must have a parent or other adult present during practices and meets.  Swimming on the team is lots of fun, and also requires lots of hard work and commitment.  Swimmers have the most fun when they are capable of swimming the strokes correctly, have the stamina for hour long practices, and want to swim on the team.

 

If I cannot swim across the pool, can I still be on the swim team?
No, to be on swim team, you must have the ability to swim across the pool. 

 

What swim strokes do I need to know how to swim?
You need to know how to swim 4 different strokes: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. 

 

Do I have to wear a team swimsuit?
Swimmers are not required to wear a team swimsuit; however, a competition style suit is preferred, especially at meets. For girls, the competition suit is comfortable and avoids problems with straps falling off the shoulders. For boys, the competition suit does not have the drag that a traditional suit has. Some young boys are reluctant to wear the competition suit. They might want to wear a traditional suit over the competition suit until just before they are ready to swim at the meet.

 

What should I do if I cannot attend a swim meet?
If you cannot attend a swim meet, please be sure to tell the coach ahead of time.  This is very important.  (If you know you will be out of town for a meet, it is helpful to tell the coach at the beginning of the season.)  Letting the coach know ahead of time makes the coach's job easier.  If the coach expects you to swim at a meet, and you do not show up, it will affect not only the individual events that were placed in, but also will put relays, which other children are part of, in jeopardy.

 

What should I bring to a meet?
You will want to wear your suit and shirt, and bring your goggles and towel.  You may also want to bring a swim cap, especially if you have long hair.  If it is going to be a chilly evening, you may want to bring several towels and a sweatshirt.  (Write your name on absolutely everything you bring.) Since there is a lot of "down time" between events, you may want to bring drinks and snacks (or money to buy these at the concession stand), as well as cards, games, etc. to help you pass the time when you are not swimming.

 

What time should I arrive for a swim meet?
Your coach will tell you exactly what time to arrive for each meet.  For home meets, you will probably be asked to arrive about 5:00, and for away meets at about 5:30.  This will give you time to see your coach to find out what events you are swimming.  (The event numbers will be written on your hand in marker.)  You will also have the opportunity to warm-up with the team.

 

Why do I have to warm up?
Warming up is something all swimmers do to prepare to swim fast. Warming up increases confidence by giving you a feel for the pool, the water temperature, flags, and blocks.  The home team warms up from 5:15 - 5:45.  The visiting team warms up from 5:45 - 6:15.

 

What are the events in a swim meet?

The events are:

  1. Medley Relay (event #1-10)  All four strokes are swum by four different swimmers in this order:, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle.
  2. Freestyle (event #11-20)
  3. Butterfly (event #21-30)
  4. Backstroke (event #31-40)
  5. Breaststroke (event #41-50)
  6. Individual Medley, aka. I.M. (event #51-60)  All four strokes are swum by one swimmer in this order: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle
  7. Freestyle Relay (event #61-70)  Four different swimmers swim freestyle.

 

Who will I be swimming against?
Swimmers compete according to age group (8 & under, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, and 15-18.)  These age groups are based on the swimmers age on June 1. Boys and girls do not compete against each other.  Each event begins with 8 & under girls, then 8 & under boys, etc., in age group order.  Most races will consist of one, two, or three heats, dependent upon the size of the pool and the event.

 

What are heats?
The goal of each an every swim meet is to get a personal best time. To help swimmers accomplish this, they are arranged in heats (races) with others who have similar times. If you do not have a previous time, you will usually swim with other swimmer who do not yet have a time for that event.

 

How many events will I swim in at the meet?
Swimmers can be entered in a maximum of five events. Of those five events, only three may be individual events, and two may be relays.  This does not mean that you will swim in 5 events.  The coach will make the decision on how many and which events you enter based on the number of swimmers in your age group, your ability to swim the strokes without getting DQ'd, if you have attended the minimum number of practices, and other factors.

 

What does DQ mean?
DQ stands for "disqualified."  At a swim meet, you can get DQ'd by a Stroke & Turn Judge if you do not swim a stroke correctly, or end your swim by touching with the wrong number of hands.  (To ensure fair competition for all swimmers, rules are equally applied to all swimmers, regardless of age or experience.)  Being disqualified is not the end of the world. Almost all swimmers have been DQ'd at some time. Getting DQ'd is a learning experience, not a failure. If you get DQ'd at a meet, your coach will receive a DQ slip with your name and the reason your were DQd.  Your coach will explain why you were DQ'd, usually at practice, so that you can improve for the next meet.

 

How will I know when to report for my events?
When you hear your event called over the loudspeaker, report to the "Clerk of Course." This is the person who gets the swimmers in order for their event. For younger swimmers, your parents might want to walk you over to the Clerk of the Course, and then go back and wait for you to race.  Once you get to the "Clerk of the Course", someone will tell you where to wait, and when it is your turn to race.

 

What can I do to feel more comfortable at my first swim meet?
There are lots of ways to feel more comfortable!  You can team up with a friend or other experienced swimmer and ask them to help you to know what to do and when to do it.  If you don't know anyone, you might want to ask your coaches, or your league representatives.

 

What will my parents do during the meet? 
Of course, your parents will be watching you swim your event and cheering for you!  They will probably want to bring chairs and set them up so you know where to find them when you are not swimming.  They will probably want to volunteer to help during the meet.  Without the help of parents, we can't even have a meet!  Don't worry.  Even if they are working, they will still be able to watch you swim.