Congratulations! You are now ready to attend Development Swim Meets!
Development Swim Meets introduce young swimmers to a competitive swimming environment. The large weekend meet can be long and may be intimidating for new swimmers at first. Development meets are held mid-week in the afternoon/evening when it is convenient for the whole family to participate, and the focus is on fun and effort rather than speed. The structure of these meets is very similar to weekend meets, but are much smaller. We encourage our development swimmers to sign up for these meets as they are an important part of being a member of a competitive swim club.
How do I know where to go?
A few days before the meet, your coach will email your parents an event sheet which tells you which races you’re entered in, where the meet is being held, and what time warm-ups are. Make sure you arrive in plenty of time as swimmers who are late risk being scratched from their events. It is important to attend warm-ups. This is a chance for you to get used to the pool, the blocks, and get your backstroke flag count.
What should I take?
Meets are held rain or shine, and generally outside, so you should come prepared for all kinds of weather. Be sure to bring the following:
- A warm sweat suit, jacket, parka and rain wear
- Swimsuit, swim cap, and goggles
- Several towels
- Nutritious food
- Lots of water
- Sunscreen and a hat
- Playing cards, books, games, etc.
- Chairs, tents, and sleeping bags are also popular while waiting between races
What should I do when I get there?
As soon as you get to the meet, head for the Stingray team area. Once you’ve dropped your stuff off, find your coach and let them know you’ve arrived. The coaches can usually be found on the pool deck, at special tables set up for them. Your coach will tell you if there’s been any change in your warm-up time, and what lane you’ll be warming up in.
What are my volunteer responsibilities?
Once you are settled and you have partnered with another parent or two to look after each others’ children under the tents, you can head over to the hub of activity where you will find a sign up sheet for Volunteer Timers. The shifts are often 1.5 hours and you usually sit with another parent from our club. As a timer, all you need to be able to do is hit a start and/or stop button on a stop watch. There are officials on the pool deck happy to give directions. Our club’s volunteer coaches will help ensure your swimmer makes it to their races.
Warm-ups 10 minutes before it is time to get in the water to swim your coaches will meet you at the team tent to do team activation. Being a part of activation and warm-ups is very important. It lets swimmers get accustomed to a new pool where blocks, walls, and flags will all be different then at our home pool. We expect that if you have signed up to swim at the meet that you will attend warm-ups. Warm-ups usually last about 15 – 20 minutes. After your warm-up, you’re free until your first race.
Going to marshalling
On the event sheet your coach emailed out each race is assigned a number. The meet organizers will call out this number when it is time for you to go to marshalling. Marshalling is the area where swimmers are organized into their heats in preparation for the race. Listen carefully to the announcements! When you hear an event a couple before yours being called go and see your coach for you pre-race pep talk. After you pep talk head straight to marshalling. When you get there you will be given a card with your name on it. Don’t lose this card! It is what the timers use to record your time for the race. You will be assigned a heat and a lane number; officials will help you find your spot on the benches where you sit until your race. Junior coaches will be attending the development meets and they will assist young swimmers in the marshalling area.
After the race
After you’re finished swimming, go straight to your coach for your post-race debrief. Your coach will talk to you about what went well in the race, and what you still need to work on. After your talk, you’re free until your next event is called.
After the event, your time (and the times of all other swimmers in the event) will be posted near the pool. The results sheet usually indicates your time, what place you came in, whether your swim was a “best time,” an “A” time or a PQT time.
Awards vary from meet to meet. At most meets, ribbons are awarded to swimmers who finish in the top eight places. If the meet is held in a six lane pool, no seventh and eighth place ribbons are also awarded. All swimmers also usually receive Participation ribbons. Special “great swim” ribbons and goodie bags are usually awarded to all swimmers competing in the 6 & under age category.