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Your First Swim Meet

Your First Swim Meet
The first swim meet can be overwhelming for kids and their parents. Here are some tips to make the first meet go smoothly for you and your child.

  1. Swim meets can be long (sometimes stretching four hours or more) and hot (it is summer!). Shrimp families may leave after the kids have finished swimming. Shrimps are not required to stay for the entire meet.
  2. Swim meets are crowded and can be loud. There are a lot of people at CSRC swim meets. We typically have more than 250 swimmers. Not to mention coaches, parents, siblings and everyone associated with the other team. Be prepared for lots of people! The baby pool is closed during swim meets so bring something for younger siblings to do while the swim meet is going on.
  3. Sometimes bad weather delays meets. Because it is the summer and thunderstorms pop up, be prepared for bad weather. If there is thunder, the kids have to get out of the pool and we have to clear the pool deck and wait for 30 minutes. Even though it is inconvenient, it is for everyone’s safety that we follow these rules. We do not like to cancel meets but will do so if the weather does not clear up in a timely manner. If we cancel a meet before the IM, we have to have a make-up meet. That can be a big hassle for everyone involved: coming up with a new meet date, finding volunteers, etc. You can understand why it is easier to wait out a storm and continue the meet rather than cancel. The team reps from both teams make the final call about whether to cancel or delay the meet. The official weather rule can be found at the bottom of this document.
  4. Swim meets are fun! This is a fun, family oriented league. Enjoy your time with other CSRC families. Cheer on the kids – they love to hear the crowd encouraging them as they swim. Wear your team colors or our themed-meet gear!

What T0 Bring

  1. Plenty of food for your swimmers (and for you!). Snacks with proteins and carbs are great. Granola bars, peanut butter crackers, fruit, cheese, etc. Stay away from high-sugar snacks and drinks. Please remember that no glass is allowed on the pool deck. Food is sold at both home and away meets. You can always visit the concession stand.
  2. Plenty of water. It will be hot and even though the kids are in the water and may not feel thirsty, their bodies need hydration.
  3. An extra towel. The kids will be in and out of the water quite a bit and their towels will get wet. It’s nice to have a dry towel to use mid-way through the meet.  Some evening meets get chilly. Having a blanket in the car is not a bad idea.
  4. An extra set of goggles and an extra cap. It is very stressful for the kids to realize that their goggles are broken just before they race. Same with a torn cap. Be prepared for something to break at the last minute. It will help your swimmer feel more comfortable and less stressed!  We sell CSRC caps at the swim suit fitting days and during practices.

Navigating The Swim Meet

  1. Our shrimps always swim first. The girl shrimps swim, then the boy shrimps. At the start of home meets, all of the shrimps meet on the tennis courts. The coaches get the kids ready for the meet, line them up and then bring them to the pool deck. We will do the shrimp tunnel (home meets only) as a way of encouraging our smallest swimmers. It’s one of the most endearing CSRC traditions. Be ready with your camera!
  2. Bring your heat sheet. Heat sheets will typically be sent out by email prior to home meets. If you would like a paper copy, please print up the heat sheet at home before coming to the meet. When we are visiting other pools, we are not given heat sheets. The coaches will tell the kids the events, heats and lanes for their swims and/or heat sheets are posted at the host pool.
  3. You will see many kids writing their event number, heat and lane number on their arms or legs with Sharpie markers. This helps the kids keep track of which events they are swimming, which heat they are in and which lane they need to be in before the start of the race. You do not need to do this, but many kids like being able to have all of their swim information easily accessible. When your child is asked to go to “clerk of course” it is the staging area where the kids are put into their correct heats/lanes. It does help to write your child’s first and last name on the back of their shoulder.  This helps those lining up kids before events.
  4. Volunteers make swim meets possible. Each family is needed to volunteer for a minimum of two halves during the swim season. We ask that families with two or more swimmers volunteer for three halves. If you are volunteering for the first half, your shift ends before the IM. If you are volunteering the second half, be ready to start your volunteer job at the IM event.  If you are unable to volunteer at your assigned time, it is your responsibility to find a replacement and notify the volunteer coordinators. This is a minimal commitment for the amount of fun we have each season!
  5. Relays are always fun. Our coaches will do their best to have each child swim in at least one relay during the season. If you need to leave a meet early, please let the coaches know so that they can plan the relays accordingly.
  6. Please do not approach the computer table with questions. The men and women running the computers are working hard to enter in information about times. If you have a question concerning your child or his/her times, please ask a coach.
  7. DQ – A DQ is when a swimmer has made a mistake in his/her swim technique and is “disqualified”. It is not a big deal and should not be a cause for concern. EVERY swimmer gets a DQ at some point. (I’m sure Michael Phelps has gotten his fair share of DQ’s!) The DQ is a chance for the coach to see what the child needs help with in his/her swim technique and then work on that particular issue during swim practice. Some reasons for DQs include, but are not limited to, not doing a two hand touch when swimming the breast stroke or butterfly, putting feet down on the bottom of the pool, or going off the block before the sound of the horn. Please encourage your swimmer if s/he gets a DQ. It’s really not a big deal and we don’t want our swimmers to feel discouraged!

One of the most helpful things you can do a new swim parent is to find a friend who has been to meets in the past. A fellow parent who can answer questions and help you during the first swim meet will go a long way in making the meet an enjoyable experience. And as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to the parent reps or a coach.

Weather Policy

In the case of thunderstorms during SouthPark Swim League swim meets, the safety of swimmers and parents is always our first priority. Clearing the pool and the pool deck is at the discretion of the home team's lifeguards/pool management in cooperation with team representatives for each team. If a storm prevents the start of at meet at the regularly scheduled time, team representatives can elect to postpone the start to a later time in the morning/evening if weather forecasts indicate that a storm will pass. In addition, if a meet already in progress is suspended due to thunderstorms, the goal is always to wait and consult with weather forecasts, with the goal to re-start the meet when a storm clears. Cancelling a meet is always the last resort.



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